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PTC to beef up tree removal rules

At the request of the city council, Peachtree City is preparing a stronger tree removal ordinance that will provide the ability for the city to deny tree removal on personal property in some circumstances.

The new ordinance has not yet been written, but Community Development Director David Rast gave a preview of some of its features at Monday night’s meeting of the city’s planning commission.

Residents who have tree removal permits denied will be able to appeal the matter to the city council, Rast explained.

Under current city ordinance, the city doesn’t really have standing to deny any tree removal permits, Rast said. Staff’s goal is to have the new ordinance prepared for council consideration at its Sept. 1 meeting.

The new ordinance would prevent the removal of specimen trees except in certain circumstances. Specimen trees would be defined as:
• Hardwood trees 38 inches or larger in circumference such as Oak, Hickory, Poplar and Sweetgum varieties;
• Softwood trees 31 inches or larger in circumference such as Pine, Leyland Cypress and Cryptomeria; and
• Understory trees 13 inches or larger in circumference such as Dogwood, Redbud, Sourwood and Cherry.

Residents would still be allowed to remove trees if they are diseased, dead or dying as allowed under current ordinance. Tree removal would also be allowed if the tree is located close enough to existing or proposed structures “that the utility or structural integrity of such structures is materially impaired.”

The new ordinance also requires homeowners to provide a copy of their property’s plat, which will be used to determine the buffers and floodplain on the property, Rast said. Homeowners who don’t have a copy of their plat should be able to get a copy from the city’s files, he added.

Another new requirement under the ordinance will be that the homeowner provide written approval from the subdivision’s homeowners association if there is one, Rast noted.

Recently it was suggested that city code enforcement officers stop visiting properties to check on the tree removal process both before and after in an effort to significantly cut down on staff time. Rast said he didn’t see how the city could avoid doing site visits to confirm which trees were removed.

Instead, the new ordinance will put more of the documentation burden on the person applying for the tree removal permit, or the company that is handling the work for a given site.

Rast proposed the permit fee be set at $25, but several planning commissioners said they felt it should be higher to appropriately cover the cost of staff time spent on each permit.



MajorMike's picture

Dear City Council,

You have GOT to be kidding me. Have you learned nothing in the past two years? A $25 tax to cut a tree on MY OWN property? I don't think so.

Now just who is the nimrod that originated this one? No, no, don't tell me, let me guess.

carbonunit52's picture

[quote]Now just who is the nimrod that originated this one?[/quote]

Time to 'fess up I suppose. The idea was sent via telepathy from the biological computer known as the carbonunit.

MajorMike's picture

Perhaps Vegar could use a few energy torpedos to blast the sweet gum trees and diseased pines in my yard. Otherwise, the chain saw blade that I sharpened yesterday is going to be put to good use this coming weekend.

Probably the key question in this little fiasco is: Do we currently have a problem? If indeed we do not, then I would say that five people need to get back to working on the budget and other real problems.

Much like the ill fated gas golf cart ban, I have to ask; Who is the (tree huggung) megawhiner that started this one? Perhaps it was the EPA "employee" that knew so much that she didn't know.

jIl moH ghajjaj jaghHomlIj

NUK_1's picture

[quote=John Munford]

Under current city ordinance, the city doesn’t really have standing to deny any tree removal permits, Rast said. [/quote]

..and the City damn sure shouldn't either. What is this crazy Big Brother garbage? A terrible idea. Council needs to tell Rast, The Planning Commission and staff to stop wasting everyone's time.

Brer Rabbit's picture

So if I understand this right,a homeowner could be denied the right to remove a large tree from his or her own property. What if a homeowner wants to remove a tree to reduce the threat of storm damage? What a mess the city would have if that tree later fell and damaged the home, or caused injury or death. I guess the council will come out and help fix it all up! Seems the city is asking for some major liability with this one.

NUK_1's picture

Insane. I removed all pine trees when I first got to PTC as all were very tall, weak and a real threat of ending up on my house. Frankly, they can pass any ordinance they want and if I see a need to get rid of a tree, it's out of here.

carbonunit52's picture

The ordinance could specify that if you are taking a tree down then you have to plant one to replace it. Badda bing, badda boom, nature would be indemnified.


That is exactly what I did when I requested to remove tree's from our yard. We specifically stated in our request that we would plant one new tree elsewhere on our property for each one removed. We purchased 5 fruit tree's from Home Depot for under a $100 (total) and took down 5 of those so called 'protected' tree's including a sweet gum and poplar.

Who is to make this decsion? An arborist? an environmentalist? or just someone with their hand out to collect the $25? There are no shortage of trees in PTC and so many of the trees are old and scary as it is. I have been on pins and needles after the dry spells and then the rains and winds came. I was afraid that I would wake up to find myself under one of those trees--if I did wake up. I think there are enough things that really need to be taken care of and looked into instead of coming up with another way to get someone's hand in my pocket.

mudcat's picture

That's right - everybody ask for a permit to remove your 3 or 4 most dangerous trees. When the city says no, just file that away until the tree falls on your house or the neighbor's. Then tell your insurance company to go after the city since it is clearly their fault.
We have to fight back against this stupid overregulation. Just leave us alone please.

Would you also like to run your toilet into the street like Paris does?

How about a ten foot deep well on your property for your drinking water?

How about if Gypsies moved in next door and across the street from you with three donkeys and a goat?

What if no body cut their grass and milk pods were growing everywhere?

What if your neighbors on both sides built a 12 foot cement wall around their property?

What if a "ladies" house opened up across the street from you with parking in the street?

What about a 24 hour party for a month in the second house up by hippies?

Maybe you could throw your garbage into the trees in the back?

A Horse Barn (stinky) goes up behind you with 30 horses and six goats.

So you want left alone about regulations huh?

(those e-coli Inspectors are giving meat handlers hell aren't they?)

mudcat's picture

As someone on here said once before, it is like picking at a scab, but here goes, turbanboy. One by one.

Toilets like Paris? We will be there soon enough when the city can't afford to repair their patched-together sewer system. Their solution ill be to sell permits to use the toilet.

10-foot well for my lawn's drinking water would save $100 per month sewer charges.

Gypsies with donkeys and goat? Be good for my granddaughter's birthday party.

Milk pods? Goats will eat these.

I guess i would have 2 free 12-foot cement walls. Just add one more and I'd have a villa.

Ladies house. I guess I could go over and be sociable. I like ladies.

24 hour party - see answer above.

Garbage into trees? Do that now. Happy squirrels.

Horse barn. Well, the goats could eat the garbage and we could teach the ladies across the street to ride horses around the golf cart paths - sort of like a walking sign advertising their business, or is that illegal too.

Nobody that lives in PTC really wants to be left alone with regulations--they moved here BECAUSE of the regulations! Some Scots Irish still like to fight against anything, even tree regulations! They are harmless but delusional! Guns under the seat for peace of mind and the 0.00000000000001% chance of preventing another Lubys! More likely to shoot their sleepwalking spouse or late-coming-home kid! Open sewers for all or die!

"In such a wild, uncharted place the book of God was vital, for it nourished their spirit and laid boundaries for their conduct. Other subjects simply had no relevance. Trigonometry and calculus would not help them find their way among the mountain trails. Adam Smith's economics were of no consequence in the matter of planting corn and breeding cattle. Nor did they need the essays of Plato or the plays of Shakespeare to teach them how to shoot a rifle, or to make clothes from animal skins, or to clear away the wilderness with their own bare hands."
— James Webb (Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America)

BHH's picture

when the they are dropping things.

Sweetgum trees should be eradicated from anywhere but woods.

They are little more than an over grown weed.


Dondol's picture

With everything else going on in this City and you bunch of Bloated, Self Important Politicians set around and think up this CRAP up. If this is the best you 5 can do, you should be Horse Whipped and run out of town. This just goes to show you what happens here in Mayberry, the City keeps people like David Rasp around when they fire people with integrity like Randy Gaddo. How about putting those PINHEADS of yours together and work for the people that elected you and not against them, bunch of @#*holes.

Mike King's picture

Well, I asked the question of where does the Council go after censure of the mayor, and it's now back to over regulating private citizens. Does any of the five have a clue about home/landowner rights? Perhaps I am in error, but I believe if Council met only once a month perhaps much of this trivial and over regulating would cease. As for as paying for "staff time" maybe someone needs to explain that they have better things to do.

The beavers along Flat Creek simply are just going to have to get better representation.

Busy Bee's picture

There is plenty of evidence of beaver activity at Drake Field, where a number of sweetgum trees have been cut down by beavers, and there are about 5-6 more mature (14 inch diamter) sweetgums that have been girdled by beavers - the bark has been completely removed from around the trunk, on the bottom 2 feet of the tree. Those trees will surely die and either fall or become a hazard. I agree with BHH that sweetgums are no great loss. At least the beavers seem to prefer sweetgums to oaks. But if I tried to cut down a 14 inch tree on my property, I would get in trouble with the city. When I called the city last week to let them know of the beaver damage on city property, I got the impression that no one particularly cared. Now a week later they are "beefing up tree removal rules." I guess the answer is to hire a beaver to do your tree removal.

Busy Bee's picture

Surely you can't be serious!

you have to have properly functioning grey matter to be serious. Look at the source on this one, there's your answer.

Of course, the beaver in the video is probably the only beaver half a buck has seen in the last half century or so.

Busy Bee's picture

I was making a Leslie Nielsen reference in response to the video, you dope ;)

Shirley, this is below you and your superior intelligence--half and half.

"Where does council go after censure?"

I could tell you where three of them need to go, but I'll leave that to you to answer!

However, I will say that was the worst show of ignorance I have seen in PTC. The ONLY time an elected Mayor should be hounded by censure is for committing a felony. Even then he was duly elected, and short of murder should serve his term without "want to be" citizens trying for the job next time.
Every accusation against him was strictly an opinion. If he wants to be himself, he has that right.

Even Nixon and Clinton were hounded unnecessarily and should have been tried after their terms in a court of law--if there was cause.
One had sex and said he didn't; the other was as crooked as a dog's hind-leg and somewhat nuts---but that was all known before he was elected!
Ford, thankful for the job, pardoned Nixon, however.

thinking about trees when there's about 200 city vehicles to be looked at? The whole five of you need to be censured! Good grief! If you are not going to do anything of consequence over there at city hall, just resign! Five empty chairs would be better then five full of people who think making up rules on tree cutting is the most important thing facing the city right now!

Joey Galloway is looking like the smartest man on the planet about now!

"No shade tree?
Blame not the sun, but yourself."
Chinese Proverb

This is what the PTC council does. Whenever something important but tough needs to be addressed they think up a new ordinance that will piss everyone off and distract the townsfolk from the real issues.

Flat out SUCK. In no way should they be included in any tree ordinance, in fact, they should be rewards for cutting them down.

PTC is long overdue for some pruning so we can see the lakes and natural beauty of the area. More permits for citizens? Come on! Instead of blocking private property owners from doing what needs to be done, the city should focus on the many over-grown and diseased trees in public areas that should be removed before more power lines are downed or the trees crash into a structure. Perhaps we can mobilize some of the residents to help beautify PTC's paths and roadways by clearing the view and removing kudzu.

is to be renamed at the Council mtg. Thursday. It is going to now be called the Brownbelt. It's new on the agenda.

It's called the "Dead Treesave Act of 2011". We are now to enjoy, (or else) the browning of our previously green greenbelts. Until the city collects a minimum of $1.5 million from tree cutting fees from every household that not only want to cut down a tree, but even THINK of cutting down a tree, there is no money to cut down or remove dead or dying trees in the brownbelt.

But, by golly, we're gonna have the cleanest darn city parking lots of any city in the country with our brand new half a million dollar no-bid Zamaboni-sized streetsweeper. If you ever see a speck of loose gravel again on that ashphalt, scream bloody murder to the folks downtown. Paid for with your stormwater dollars, of course, so it doesn't really matter, does it?

(PS)The vote will be 3-2 in favor, on the "Dead Treesave Act of 2011", naturally.

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