CHAPTER XII. PUBLIC PROPERTYCHAPTER XII. PUBLIC PROPERTY\ARTICLE 3. PARK & TREE BOARD

(a)   BOARD CREATED: There is hereby established a Park & Tree Board to consist of six voting members and a minimum of three non-voting members. The Mayor with the approval of the Governing Body shall appoint the voting and non-voting members.

(b)   TERM OF OFFICE: The original terms of office for voting members shall be as follows:

(1)   2 members: 1-year term

(2)   2 members: 2-year term

(3)   2 members: 3-year term

Thereafter each year the Mayor with the approval of the Governing Body shall annually appoint two members for three-year terms. The non-voting members shall serve one-year terms. If a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of a term, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor with the approval of the Governing Body, and such appointment shall be for the unexpired term only. At the end of a term the position shall become vacant and shall remain vacant until such time as a member shall be appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Governing Body. Any member may be removed for good cause by the Mayor and with approval of the Governing Body.

(c)   COMPENSATION. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation.

(d)   ORGANIZATION. In the first official meeting of the Board each June, the board shall elect one of the members as chairman and one of the members as vice-chairman, and said members shall perform the usual functions of their offices. After such election, the chairman shall appoint each of the remaining five voting members to one of the following roles:

(1)   Louisburg City Park Liaison

(2)   Lewis/Young Park Liaison

(3)   City Lake/Ron Weers Park Liaison

(4)   Louisburg Aquatic Center Liaison

(5)   Community Forest Manager

All such elections and appointments shall take place on an annual basis.

(e)   QUORUM. A minimum of three voting members of the Board shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.

(f)   RULES. The Board is hereby authorized to adopt its own bylaws and procedures related to the conduct of meetings subject to the laws of the State of Kansas and the policies and ordinances of the City of Louisburg.

(g)   ANNUAL REPORT. The Board shall make an annual report of all its proceedings and the conditions of the parks of the city to the Mayor and Council no later than January 31 of each year.

(h)   MEETINGS. The Board shall hold monthly meetings on the second Monday at 6:30 o’clock p.m. and such other special meetings as they may deem necessary for the transaction of the necessary business of the board or commission.

(i)    DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. The board shall act as an advisory board for the city in the following capacities:

(1)   Parks Programs of the City.

(A)  Act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in promoting, aiding, encouraging, and conducting parks, including the development of park facilities and programs.

(B)  Act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in the planning, maintenance, development and operation of all park areas and facilities owned, controlled or leased by the City of Louisburg.

(C)  Act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in formulating policies to facilitate the operation of the park system.

(D)  Act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in the establishment and/or revision of fees, and regulation of usage, of all city parks and facilities listed in Section 12-104. of the City Code.

(E)   At the request of the Mayor and City Council, to study and make recommendations on the acquisition and development of park areas and facilities.

(F)   Interpret the policies, functions and operation of the parks department to the public.

(2)   Tree Programs of the City.

(A)  To study, investigate, counsel, and develop and/or update annually, and administer written plans (annual and long-range) for the care, replacement, maintenance, and removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the Governing Body and upon their acceptance and approval shall constitute the official comprehensive city tree plan for the City of Louisburg, Kansas.

(B)  When requested by the Governing Body, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question relating to trees within the City.

(C)  Administer the Community Forestry Program as set forth in Section 12-302 of the Louisburg City Code.

(3)   Relationship to Governing Body.

(A)  The Governing Body shall refer all proposals and propositions for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of public parks and facilities, including the acquisition of land for park purposes, as well as any matters related to Section 12-303 of the City Code.

(B)  The Board shall make reports and recommendations to the Governing Body on all matters referred to it and any further recommendations as deemed advisable. Such reports shall be made within a time fixed by the Governing Body at the time the proposal or proposition is submitted to the Board. No action shall be taken thereafter by the Governing Body upon any such proposal or proposition until the reports and recommendations thereon have been received from the Board.

(C)  The Governing Body shall take action upon the reports and recommendations received from the Board within 30 days after their receipt at an official meeting of the City Council. The Governing Body may extend the time as it deems necessary to give the matter further attention.

(Ord. 1029; Ord. 1035; Code 2016)

(a)   DEFINITIONS.

(1)   Board: “Board” is defined as the Park & Tree Board of the City of Louisburg, Kansas.

(2)   Community Forest Manager: “Community Forest Manager” is defined as the official member of the Board responsible to advise on the administration of the community forestry program.

(3)   Hazard Trees: “Hazard Trees” are defined as trees with severe structural defects or splits.

(4)   Park Trees: “Park Trees” are defined as trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation in public parks.

(5)   Private Community Forest: “Private Community Forest” is defined as all trees within municipal boundaries but not owned by the City.

(6)   Public Community Forest: “Public Community Forest” is defined as all street and park trees, and other trees owned by the city as a total resource.

(7)   Street Trees: “Street Trees” are defined as trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on land lying between the property lines on either side of all streets and avenues within the City.

(8)   Tree Topping: “Tree topping”, also known as “rounding off” or “pollarding,” is defined as the systematic cutting back of limbs within the tree’s crown to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.

(b)   STREET TREE SPECIES TO BE PLANTED. The City shall maintain an extensive list of recommended trees for planting in public areas. The purpose of this listing will be to maintain diversity in the total tree population. This list shall be available to residents of the City upon request to aid in the selection of trees for private and public properties. The list of recommended trees shall be updated periodically to reflect new developments or species that will affect the population of the community forest.

(c)   DISTANCES AND CLEARANCES FOR PLANTING. Street trees may be planted in the tree lawn where there is more than six feet between the edge of the sidewalk and the curb of the street. Street trees shall be planted no closer than three feet from a sidewalk, driveway, or street.

(1)   No street tree shall be planted closer than 35 feet from any street corner, measured from the point of the nearest intersection of curbs or curb lines.

(2)   No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet from any fireplug.

(3)   Special permission must be obtained from the Community Forest Manager when planting street trees within 10 feet of any point on a line on the ground immediately below any overhead utility wire.

In any instance where this article conflicts with the City’s zoning ordinance, the zoning ordinance shall take precedence.

(d)   PUBLIC TREE CARE. The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees, plants, and shrubs within the right-of-way or bounds of all streets, alleys, lanes, squares, and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure the public safety. The abutting property owners shall have the right to perform normal tree care on all street trees. No person shall remove any park or street tree without permission from the Board.

(e)   TREE TOPPING. It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person or firm to top any street tree, park tree, or other tree on public property. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this section at the determination of the Board or the Community Forestry Manager.

(f)   CLEARANCE OVER STREETS AND WALKWAYS. Clearance over streets and walkways shall be responsibility of the abutting property owner. A clearance of 8 feet must be maintained over walkways and a clearance of 12 feet must be maintained over streets and alleys. Property owners are responsible for trees on their own property as well as trees on the public way that abuts their property.

(g)   DEAD OR HAZARD TREE REMOVAL. The City shall have the right to cause to be removed any tree within the city limits that is dead or has been declared a hazard. The City will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal is the responsibility of the owner or owners of such trees.

(h)   INTERFERENCE WITH THE CITY PARK & TREE BOARD. It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the Board, the Community Forestry Manager, or any of its representatives or agents, while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any trees within the community forest.

(i)    EXEMPTION FOR CITY STAFF. When, in the course of day-to-day activities or emergency events, city staff deems the removal, care, or modification of any park or street tree to be in the City’s best interest, such action does not need prior consent from the Board or Community Forestry Manager, provided that such action has been approved by the city’s Public Works Director and/or City Administrator, and that notice is provided to the Board within 30 days after such action has been taken.

(j)    LIABILITY INSURANCE. Private tree care companies must carry evidence of liability insurance and workmen’s compensation. No certification shall be required by a public employee doing such work in the pursuit of their public service endeavors.

(Ord. 1035; Code 2016)

The Governing Body is hereby authorized to establish fees for and regulate the usage of all city parks and city public areas by resolutions passed by the Governing Body.

(Ord. 1035; Code 2016)