Article 5. Tree Board
§8-501 Falls City Code §8-503
Article 5. Tree Board
§8-501 TREES; DEFINITIONS.
1. Sidewalk Space – “Sidewalk Space” is herein defined as
the space between the street curb line and the abutting property
2. Street Trees – “Street Trees” are herein defined as
trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying
between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or
ways within the City.
3. Park Trees – “Park Trees” are herein defined as trees,
shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks
having individual names, and all areas owned by the City, or to
which the public has free access.
4. Community Forest – “Community Forest” is herein defined
as all street and park trees as a total resource.
5. Community Forest Manager – The “Community Forest Manager”
is herein defined as the official representative of the Tree Board
and as such is responsible for administration of the community
6. Topping – “Topping” is herein defined as the severe
cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches (3″) in
diameter within a tree’s crown to such a degree as to remove the
normal canopy and the disfiguring of the tree.
§8-502 CREATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A CITY TREE BOARD. There
is hereby created and established a City Tree Board for the City of
Falls City, Nebraska, which shall consist of seven (7) members
appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council.
§8-503 TREE BOARD; TERM OF OFFICE. The term of the seven (7)
persons to be appointed by the Mayor shall be two (2) years except
that the term of three (3) of the members appointed to the first
(1st) Board shall be for only one (1) year and the term of four (4)
members of the first (1st) Board shall be for two (2) years.
Members of the City Tree Board may serve no more than two (2)
consecutive terms. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during
the term of any member, a successor shall be appointed for the
unexpired term by the Mayor. Amended Ord. 95-102
§8-504 TREE BOARD; COMPENSATION. Members of the Tree Board
shall serve without compensation.
§8-505 TREE BOARD; DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. It shall be the
responsibility of the Tree Board to study, investigate, counsel and
develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for
the care, replacement, maintenance, and removal or disposition of
the community forest. Such plan will be presented annually to the
City Council and upon their acceptance and approval shall
constitute the official comprehensive City tree plan for the City
of Falls City, Nebraska.
The Tree Board, when requested by the City Council or City
Administrator, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report
and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the
scope of its work.
§8-506 TREE BOARD; OPERATION. The Tree Board shall elect its
own officers, make its own rules and regulations subject to the
approval of the City Council and keep the minutes and proceedings
of each meeting available for public inspection at the office of
the City Clerk. A majority of the members shall constitute a
quorum for the transaction of business.
§8-507 TREES; STREET SPECIES TO BE PLANTED. The office of the
City Clerk shall maintain a list of all approved trees that can be
planted in public areas and those defined as street trees. The
list shall be available to residents upon request to aid in the
selection of trees for private properties. The list of approved
trees shall be updated periodically to reflect new development or
species that will affect the population of the community forest.
§8-508 TREES; SPACING AND DISTANCES. Street trees may be
planted no closer together than thirty feet (30′) except in special
plantings approved by the Tree Board or Community Forest Manager.
§8-509 TREES; DISTANCES AND CLEARANCES FOR PLANTING. Street
trees may be planted in the sidewalk space where there is more
than ten feet (10′) between the edge of the sidewalk and the curb
of the street. Street trees shall be planted no closer than five
feet (5′) from a sidewalk or a street.
No street tree shall be planted closer than thirty-five feet
(35′) from any street corner, measured from the point of the
nearest intersection of curbs or curb lines.
No street tree shall be planted closer than ten feet (10′)
from any fireplug.
No tree or trees shall be planted within ten feet (10′) from
any point on a line on the ground immediately below any overhead
utility wire, or within five (5) lateral feet of any underground
water line, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
§8-510 TREES; PUBLIC TREE CARE. The City shall have the right
to remove trees, plants and shrubs within the right-of-way or
boundaries of all streets, alleys, lanes, squares and public
grounds, as may be required to insure the public safety or to
preserve or enhance the beauty of such public grounds.
The Tree Board may remove or order to be removed, any tree or
part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of
its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines,
water lines, or other public improvements, or is seriously affected
with an injurious insect or disease.
The abutting property owners shall be obligated and required
to perform normal tree care and maintenance on all street trees.
§8-511 TREES; PERMIT REQUIRED. No person shall plant a street
tree or any other tree in the public right-of-way without first
obtaining a permit from the City Clerk. The fee for said permit
shall be set by resolution of the Governing Body.
§8-512 TREES; REPLACEMENT. No person shall remove any community
forest tree without replacing such tree or trees in the vicinity of
the removed tree unless otherwise agreed by the Tree Board. The
obligation of replacing street trees shall be the responsibility of
the abutting property owner, no matter if the abutting property
owner removed the street tree or the City of Falls City removes the
§8-513 TREES; TOPPING. It shall be unlawful as a normal
practice for any person, firm, or City department to top any street
tree, park tree or other tree on public property. Trees severely
damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility
wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are
impractical may be exempted from this section at the determination
of the Tree Board or the Community Forest Manager.
§8-514 TREES; CLEARANCE OVER STREETS AND SIDEWALK SPACE.
Clearance over streets and the sidewalk space shall be the
responsibility of the abutting property owner. A clearance of
eight feet (8′) must be maintained over the sidewalk space and a
clearance of twelve feet (12′) must be maintained over streets.
Property owners are responsible for the trees on their own property
as well as trees on the sidewalk space that abuts their property.
§8-515 TREES; DEAD OR DISEASED TREE REMOVAL. The City may
remove or cause to be removed any dead or diseased tree within the
City limits not located on the sidewalk space. Diseased trees are
defined as those trees that may constitute a hazard to life and
property, or harbor insects or disease which represent a potential
threat to other trees within the City. The Tree Board will notify
in writing the owners of such trees. Removal is the responsibility
of the owners of such trees and shall be accomplished within sixty
(60) days of notification. In the event of failure to remove by
the owner, the City shall have the authority to remove such trees
and charge the cost of removal on the owner’s property tax.
It shall be the responsibility of the City to remove any dead
or diseased tree or any tree found to be a hazard from the City
§8-516 TREES; REMOVAL OF STUMPS. All stumps of street and park
trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the
top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.
§8-517 INTERFERENCE WITH CITY TREE BOARD. It shall be unlawful
for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the Tree Board,
Community Forest Manager or any of its representatives or agents,
while performing their duties as authorized by this Article.
§8-518 REVIEW BY CITY COUNCIL. The Governing Body of the City
of Falls City shall have the right to change, amend or overrule any
decision, order, act or recommendation of the Tree Board. Any
person may appeal from any ruling or order of the Tree Board to the
Governing Body. Any person wishing to appeal a ruling or order of
the Tree Board must do so by filing a written objection with the
City Clerk within ten (10) days of the notice of the ruling or
order by the Tree Board. The written objection must state specific
reasons or violations to this Article.