San Francisco 2017 Street Tree Ordinance Simplified
What the ordinance is
- Shifts responsibility of street trees from property owner to the City of San Francisco
- Sidewalks damaged by trees will also the City’s responsibility (see photo below)
- Measure E on November 2016 ballot. 80% SF voters approved it.
- Measure E was the result of pressure from property owners and Friends of the Urban Forest.
Start date of change: July 1, 2017
Street trees defined:
- A tree planted in the public right-of-way. In other words, trees on sidewalks adjacent to a property
Who is affected
- Commercial and residential property owners and managers
What Property Owners Need to Know
- A permit will be required for tree planting that would be in the public right of way
- They can continue to maintain street trees by “opting out”. There is an “opt-out” application.
- Street tree ordinance only applies to trees within the City limits
- A property owner who has received a tree pruning request from the City will still be responsible for that
- Property Owners can view their tree(s) on the Urban Forestry map
- Each tree has been inventoried and placed in 3 categories relative to their condition.
When – Plan and Timeline
- First – High Priority Projects
- Then The City begins catch up on the backlog of deferred tree pruning throughout.
- Public Works estimates:
- It could take 3 years for this to be completed
- A regular cycle of routine pruning will start in 2019.
- Trees to be pruned on a 3-5 year cycle. SF Public Works will post the schedule in July 2018.
$19 million dollars*
No new taxes
*the cost comes out of the City’s general fund.
- Sidewalks not damaged by trees are the property owner responsibility
- If a property owner has already received a notice to address an issue with a street tree, they are responsible for that request.
For more information
(415) 554-6700 or www.sfpublicworks.org/trees