In order to protect trees during construction of a project and thereafter, and to maximize chances for their subsequent survival, a tree protection plan (TPP) shall be required. Said plans shall be prepared by an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. The arborist must certify that the project, as proposed, is in compliance with this chapter regarding the preservation and protection of existing trees from indiscriminate or unnecessary removal and damage. The certification shall be subject to City review and approval.
A. When a Tree Protection Plan Is Required. A TPP shall be required as a part of the materials submitted with applications for a tentative map, use permit, variance, design review, encroachment permit, grading permit, or building permit where the proposed work will be located within the dripline of any tree for which a tree removal permit would be required by the provisions of this chapter, whether on the subject property or on an adjoining property.
B. Exemptions. A TPP shall not be required for development applications relating to existing single-family or duplex residential uses, except when the project is located within the dripline of, or may cause the removal of, any tree with a d.b.h. of 20 inches or more if the tree has a single trunk, or which has at least one trunk with a minimum d.b.h. of 20 inches if the tree has two or more trunks.
C. Tree Protection Plan – Standards for Approval. The developer is responsible, from the initial site preparation through final building inspection, for the preservation of all trees for which a tree removal permit would be required by the provisions of this chapter and which are designated to remain on the project site. The developer is also responsible for installing any replacement trees that are required pursuant to SMC 8.12.060(E). In order to ensure the continued success of all trees to be preserved on a project site, and of any replacement trees, a TPP may be considered for approval by the Tree Board or Planning Director, as appropriate, so long as it contains the following information:
1. Size, species, state of health, estimated crown diameter, and accurate trunk location of all trees whose dripline is within the development area, including any areas where trenching is proposed, whether on the subject property or on an adjoining property.
2. Description of all proposed measures to ensure the survival of remaining trees throughout the entire development process.
3. Description of any proposed landscaping to be located within the dripline of existing protected native tree(s). Although this is not generally encouraged, if landscaping is proposed within the dripline of a protected native tree, drought-resistant plants and water conserving irrigation systems shall be used. Construction of walls, foundations, buildings, and grading shall be minimal within the dripline of affected trees.
4. Proposed size, species, and location of replacement trees.
5. Description of maintenance program for the replacement trees, including type of irrigation system, staking, weed control and length of maintenance period.
6. Description of existing and proposed grading and drainage characteristics on the project site and adjoining properties as these characteristics relate to trees for which a tree removal permit would be required by the provisions of this chapter and which are designated to remain on the project site.
7. The following conditions shall be noted on any TPP, and it shall be the responsibility of the developer to ensure that they are met by any individual involved in the construction of a project:
a. Parking of vehicles and/or storage of equipment, debris, or materials, including solvents, paints, and other toxic substances, under the dripline of trees which are designated to remain on the project site is prohibited during all phases of construction, including site preparation.
b. Each tree or group of trees which is/are designated to be preserved on a project site or an adjacent property shall be enclosed within fencing of a type previously approved by the City Arborist or Planning staff prior to initiation of any grading, movement of heavy equipment, or other construction activity, including demolition. Location of the fence shall be at the discretion of the project arborist, subject to City approval, but will generally be at the limits of the tree protection zone of any trees which are designated to be preserved on site.
c. Fencing shall remain in place until such time as the Planning staff or City Arborist is assured the trees are no longer in danger of construction damage. If the fencing is removed for any amount of time during the construction process, the project arborist and/or City Arborist must be on site to ensure that no damage to the tree(s) occurs.
8. The following condition shall be noted on any TPP, on any map sheet submitted with improvement plans, and on any building permit site plan which may be used in the performance of any site work including demolition, grading, trenching, compaction, or clearance within a tree protection zone of any subject tree to be retained on the project site, as well as for any tree on an adjacent site. It shall be the responsibility of the developer to ensure that it is met by any individuals involved in the construction of a project:
A Contractor is responsible for compliance with Tree Protection Plan (Sheet x). Failure to fully comply with the restrictions, conditions, and mitigation measures of the Tree Protection Plan, as reflected on (Sheet x), will result in the issuance of a stop-work order, and may also result in the imposition of fines, penalties, or both.
D. Performance Bond. A performance bond, consistent with the specifications of SMC 16.44.100(B), shall be required prior to issuance of an entitlement, to assure protection of trees on the site. The amount of any bond shall be $1,500 per tree that is required to be protected by the provisions of this chapter, or the value of affected tree(s), as defined in the most recent edition of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers’ “Guide for Plant Appraisal,” whichever is greater. This publication is available for review in the Planning Department office. To avoid unnecessary hardship, the Tree Board may reduce the amount of such bond or substitute other security. If, in the opinion of the City Arborist or Planning staff, no violation or damage has occurred during the construction, the bond shall be returned upon final building inspection. However, if damage has occurred, the bond for such affected tree(s) shall be held for three years and may be forfeited at the end of this period, if it is the opinion of the City Arborist or Planning staff that permanent damage has occurred. Such forfeited bond monies shall be used for replacement of such damaged tree(s), or for tree-related uses within the City, as the City may elect.
E. Nonconformance. In case of nonconformance with tree protection requirements, the City Building Official shall issue a stop work order until all requirements have been met.
F. Unauthorized Work. In case of unauthorized work, the City Building Official shall issue a stop work order until the project is brought into compliance with an approved tree protection plan. If unauthorized work has already caused damage, a stop work order shall be issued by the City Building Official, his/her designee, or City staff. The City Arborist or Planning staff shall determine if the tree can be saved or removed. If the tree must be removed, then the performance bond shall be forfeited or, if no bond was secured, then a penalty shall be levied pursuant to SMC 8.12.080.