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(1) Exemptions from Standards. The standards in this section do not apply to activities regulated under EC 9.4900 through 9.4980, or an application for development activity that includes or will result in:

(a) Residential Lots Under 20,000 Square Feet. Removal of significant trees from a parcel of property not subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section with an area of less than 20,000 square feet when:

1. Such parcel is occupied by a one-family dwelling, accessory dwelling, or duplex;

2. An application to construct a one-family dwelling, accessory dwelling, or duplex on such lot is being reviewed by the city. However, no significant trees may be removed prior to the approval of the development permit; or

3. The city has entered into an agreement authorizing the start of construction for a one-family dwelling, accessory dwelling, or duplex.

(b) Lots 20,000 Square Feet or Larger. Removal of up to 5 significant trees within a period of 12 consecutive months from a parcel of property not subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section consisting of 20,000 or more square feet of area;

(c) Land Use Approvals. Any tree removal on property subject to an approved conditional use permit, planned unit development, site review, or subdivision that include a tree removal/preservation plan or conditions related to tree removal or retention. In those areas, that plan or city approved modifications thereto control tree removal. This exemption does not apply to the removal of a street tree, which must be authorized by a permit issued pursuant to EC 6.305;

(d) Tree Removal Permit. Any tree removal specifically authorized by, and carried out in conformity with a city-approved tree removal permit under EC Chapter 6.

(e) Habitat Restoration. Removal of trees by the city or as authorized by the city for the purpose of implementation of a city-approved habitat restoration plan, and the express purpose of the plan is to restore native plant communities, enhance fish or wildlife habitat, or similar restoration purposes;

(f) Hazardous Trees.

1. The removal of hazardous trees on private property, provided that prior to removal the property owner submits to the city a written evaluation of each tree proposed for removal prepared by a certified arborist declaring the tree(s) to be hazardous and recommending immediate removal. The written evaluation shall be on a form prescribed by the city manager pursuant to section 2.019 City Manager – Administrative and Rulemaking Authority and Procedures;

2. The removal of hazardous trees by the city or under contract with the city, on public property or street right-of-way, provided the city’s urban forester issues a written evaluation of each tree proposed for removal declaring the tree(s) to be hazardous and recommending immediate removal;

(g) Fire Hazard Abatement. Removal of trees that the city fire marshal has declared in writing poses a potential fire hazard to existing structures; or

(h) Diseased or Dying Trees. Removal of a diseased or dying tree, provided that prior to its removal the property owner submits to the city a written evaluation of the tree prepared by a certified arborist certifying the unhealthy condition of the tree and recommending its immediate removal. The written evaluation shall be on a form prescribed by the city manager pursuant to section 2.019 City Manager – Administrative and Rulemaking Authority and Procedures.

(2) Tree Preservation and Removal Standards. No permit for a development activity subject to this section shall be approved until the applicant submits plans or information, including a written report by a certified arborist or licensed landscape architect, that demonstrates compliance with the following standards:

(a) The materials submitted shall reflect that consideration has been given to preservation in accordance with the following priority:

1. Significant trees located adjacent to or within waterways or wetlands designated by the city for protection, and areas having slopes greater than 25%;

2. Significant trees within a stand of trees; and

3. Individual significant trees.

(b) If the proposal includes removal of any street tree(s), removal of those street trees has been approved, or approved with conditions according to the process at EC 6.305 Tree Felling Prohibition.

(3) Adjustment to Standards. Except for applications being processed under EC 9.8100 Conditional Use Permit Approval Criteria – Needed Housing, EC 9.8325 Tentative Planned Unit Development Approval Criteria – Needed Housing, EC 9.8445 Site Review Approval Criteria – Needed Housing, or EC 9.8520 Subdivision, Tentative Plan Approval Criteria – Needed Housing, adjustments to these standards may be made, subject to compliance with the criteria for adjustment in EC 9.8030(13) Tree Preservation and Removal Standards Adjustment.

(Section 9.6885, see chart at front of Chapter 9 for legislative history from 2/26/01 through 6/1/02; amended by Ordinance No. 20351, enacted November 14, 2005, effective January 1, 2006; Ordinance No. 20353, enacted November 28, 2005, effective January 1, 2006; Ordinance No. 20594, enacted June 11, 2018, effective July 1, 2018, remanded on November 29, 2018, and provisions administratively removed; and Ordinance No. 20625, enacted January 21, 2020, effective February 22, 2020.)