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    Ellsworth has Code of Ordinances in place.   Different subjects are being spotlighted here  and sections will only be high lighted.  A completed copy of the Code of Ordinances is in City Hall and the Ellsworth Public Library.   This Ordinance pertains to TREES.


Definition: For use in this chapter, “parking” means that part of the street, avenue or highway in the City not covered by sidewalk and lying between the lot line and the curb line, or, on unpaved streets, that part of the street, avenue or highway lying between the lot line and, that portion of the street usually traveled by vehicular traffic.

Planting Restrictions: No tree shall be planted in any parking or street except in accordance with the following:
         1. Alignment:  All trees planted in any street shall be planted in the parking midway between the outer line of the sidewalk and the curb.  In the event a curb line is not established, trees shall be planted on a line ten (10) feet from the property line.

        2. Spacing: Trees shall not be planted on any parking which is less than nine (9) feet in width, or contains less that eighty-one (81) square feet of exposed soil surface per tree.  Trees shall not be planted closer than twenty (20) feet from street intersections (property line extended) and ten (10) feet from driveways.  If it is at all possible trees should be planted inside the property lines and not  between the sidewalk and the curb.

       3. Prohibited Trees.  No person shall plant in any street any fruit-bearing tree or any tree of the kinds commonly known as cottonwood, poplar, box elder,  Chinese elm, evergreen, willow or black walnut.

Duty to Trim Trees:  The owner or agent of the abutting property shall keep the trees on, or overhanging the street, trimmed so that all branches will be at least fifteen (15) feet above the surface of the street and eight (8) feet above the sidewalks.  If the abutting property owner fails to trim the trees, the City may serve notice on the abutting property owner requiring that such action be taken within five (5) days.  If such action is not taken within that time, the City may perform the required action and assess the costs against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax.

(Code of Iowa, Sec 364.12 [2c, d & e])

Trimming Trees to be Supervised:  Except as allowed in Section 151.03, it is unlawful for any person to trim or cut any tree in a street  or public place unless the work is done under the supervision of the City.

Disease Control: Any dead, diseased or damaged tree or shrub which may harbor serious insect or disease pests or disease injurious to other trees is hereby declared to be a nuisance.

Inspection and Removal: The Council shall inspect or cause to be inspected any trees or shrubs in the City reported or suspected to be dead, diseased or damaged, and such trees and shrubs shall be subject to the following:

        1. City Property.  If it is determined that any such condition exists on any public property, including the strip between the curb and the lot line of private property, the Council may cause such condition to be corrected by treatment or removal.  The council may also order the removal of any trees on the streets of the City which interfere with the making of improvements or with travel thereon.

       2. Private Property.  If it is determined with reasonable certainty that any such condition exists on private property and that danger to other trees or to adjoining property or passing motorists or pedestrians is imminent, the Council  shall notify by certified mail the owner, occupant or person in charge of such  property to correct such condition by treatment or removal within fourteen (14)    days of said notification.  If such owner occupant or person in charge of said property fails to comply within 14 days of receipt of notice, the Council may cause the condition to be corrected and the cost assessed against the property.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12 [3b & h])

City of Ellsworth