Mandatory Tree Removal Ordinance
The Town of Winter Park adopted a Nuisance Ordinance (Ord. 455, Series 2012) in March, 2012 that requires the removal of any trees that are dead, dying or diseased, or are in the process of dying as a result of being blown over or leaning precariously toward a structure (defined as an “infected tree”).
The presence of this type of trees in the town presents a real and substantial risk to the public in the form of an increased risk of a rapidly spreading fire and a significant threat to the aesthetic values which are of great importance to the social and economic vitality of the Town.
What property owners need to know:
- The ordinance defined an infected tree as:
- a tree, alive or dead, which is, or has been, infested with a tree pest (beetle or insect);
- any tree infested with a parasitic plant (i.e. mistletoe) that can affect the growth and vigor of the tree and expose it to attacks by diseases and insects;
- a tree that has blown down or is leaning precariously toward a structure;
- timber fuels that have accumulated on the urban forest floor as a result of dead or diseased trees which may present a fire hazard to the community (with exceptions for firewood piles and other appropriate tree piles);
- any tree stumps or root balls that are severely damaged or exposed more than fifty percent (50%) due to falling trees.
- Property owners are required to inspect their property each year and remove all infected trees prior to July 15th. If infected trees are not removed by this date, the Town will have the ability to enforce the provisions of Ordinance 455.
- Property owners may submit an acceptable plan and schedule for removal of the infected trees if there is a large number of trees that can’t reasonable be removed prior to the July 15th deadline. A contractor should be hired and estimated dates for removal shall be included in the plan. The plan should be submitted to the Planning Department. The plan will be accepted or denied (with reasoning) within 10 working days of submittal.
- The Town of Winter Park will aid homeowners in disposing of this excess material by hauling off logs and slash. This Town-provided removal of logs and slash does not apply to material created as a result of commercial tree removal or site clearing by a contractor in preparation for building, nor does it apply to tree stumps or trash. The removal program will run from mid May through October (weather dependent). Please contact the Public Works Department at 970-726-8081 ext. 222 for additional information.
- Property owners can find a list of tree removal companies that have a business license in the Town on the website. The Town makes no guarantee or representation whatsoever concerning the qualifications, experience, ability, competence, or business practices of any tree removal contractor on this list. The Town has no liability to any person with respect to the work or business practices of a contractor on this list and it is the property owner’s responsibility to research each company and insure they are bonded and insured.
- If a property owner questions the accuracy of currently infested trees marked for removal by a third party, the property owner can contact the Town Planning Department for a second opinion.
- Removal of trees other than “infected trees” requires approval by the Town Planning Department per Section 7-3-16 of the Winter Park Town Code.
- If there are infected trees within or near power lines, please call Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) Operations Department at 970-887-3378 extension #281 or #244.
- When MPE receives a request from a property owner, they will send out a crew to determine if a tree is within their easement and if it is, they will have it scheduled for removal. The property owner should mark the trees they believe are within the MPE easement with marking tape prior to calling them for a site visit.
- This only applies to MPE’s main power lines, they will not remove trees that may threaten a secondary power line which is the line that runs from the power pole to a structure. MPE will drop the secondary power line for the property owner while the trees are removed but the actual cost for tree removal is the responsibility of the property owner.
- For concerns or complaints about infected trees on neighboring property, please contact the Planning Department.
For concerns or complaints about infected trees on neighboring property, please contact the Planning Department.
Ordinance 455, Series 2012 – Full Document