The North Royalton City Council adopted changes to the City’s ordinances regarding the removal and replacement of tree lawn trees. The measure was adopted after even more tweaking took place. Members of the North Royalton City Council have been discussing the changes since it was first discussed at the May 21 City Council Building and Building Codes Committee meeting.
The amended ordinance was introduced by Ward 1 Council Rep John Nickell, Ward 5 Council Rep Heidi Webber and Ward 3 Council Rep Joanne Krejci at the June 6 City Council meeting. The measure was then placed on second reading and remained in the Building and Building Codes Committee for further discussion.
At the Building and Building Codes Committee meeting and at several Council meetings, several residents weighed in on the measure, most showing support for the continuance of trees in the tree lawns and the overall advantages to increasing the canopy in North Royalton. Some recommended a Tree Commission. Some recommended that the City hire an arborist to maintain the trees. Some Council members questioned the types of trees that have been designated for each street in North Royalton. Ward 1 Council member John Nickell said that the tree listing should be updated. Ward 3 Council Rep Joanne Krejci, Chairman of the Streets Committee, said that she thought the trees that have posed problems, such as shedding or a damaging root structure could be removed from the list. Ward 4 Council Rep Mary Gorjanc talked about documentation from the U.S. Department of Forestry that offered information about trees that would be more suitable for various sized tree lawns.
After four rounds of amendments were considered at the July 2 City Council meeting, it was determined to make two changes. The following is the amended version of the legislation:
(a) No person shall remove any tree and stump from municipal streets or properties or any tree and stump upon a public way, curb strip, tree lawn, street or alley without first obtaining a permit therefor, in writing, from the Service Director. The Service Director may grant said tree and stump removal permits to the property owner(s). Any person or property owner granted permission to remove a tree and stump for any purpose, may, but shall not be required to replace the removed tree. All replacement trees shall conform to the specification of the Service Director. Such specifications shall include consideration of the species, location, size and condition of replacement trees. The permitted person or property owner shall bear the cost (1) of removal of the tree and stump, and (2) of replacing trees removed, if the owner so elects.
(b) A permit shall not be required to remove any tree or part thereof which, by reason of damage by fire, windstorm, other natural calamity or disease, creates a danger to the public health, safety and welfare or which obstructs any public right-of-way. In the event the tree is removed, the stump must be removed and the tree lawn restored to its original condition. The owner may replace the tree from a selection of approved trees on file with the office of the Service Director.”
The newly amended ordinance was approved 6-1, with Council President Paul Marnecheck casting the only dissenting vote. He said that he thought that since there was no rush to adopt the legislation, Council could have taken more time to discuss more aspects of the tree scenario.

Contributing Writer