The heritage tree ordinance lists the following considerations to use in determining whether there is good cause for removal or heavy pruning of a heritage tree. The heritage tree ordinance administrative guidelines offer further explanation on each criterion.
A permit application does not guarantee the approval of the proposed tree removal(s), but the applicant may submit a heritage tree appeal form within a 15-day time frame.
Decision making criteria
Criterion 1: Death
The heritage tree is dead.
Criterion 2: Tree risk rating
The condition of heritage tree poses a high or extreme risk rating under the International Society of Arboriculture Best Management Practices.
Criterion 3: Tree health rating
The heritage tree is (a) dying or has a severe disease, pest infestation, intolerance to adverse site conditions, or (b) likely to die within a year.
Criterion 4: Species
The heritage tree has been designated as invasive or low species desirability.
Criterion 5: Development
The heritage tree interferes with (a) proposed development, repair, alteration, or improvement of a site or (b) the heritage tree is causing/contributing to structural damage to a habitable building. There is no financially feasible and reasonable design alternative that would permit preservation of the heritage tree.
Criterion 6: Utility interference
The removal is requested by a utility, public transportation agency, or other governmental agency due to a health or safety risk resulting from the heritage tree’s interference with existing or planned public infrastructure. There is no financially feasible and reasonable design alternative that would permit preservation of the heritage tree.