WEATHER »

Step Away from the Chain Saw

Steep New Fines for Improper Pruning


Maximum fines for excessive tree pruning in the City of Santa Barbara will increase from $100 per offense to $3,000, and from $100 to $5,000 for improper tree removal. Based on the new rules, adopted by the City Council on Tuesday, December 8, minimum fines will still start at $100. Proper maintenance of trees in public spaces like parking lots-or in private set-back spaces viewable by the public-has long been a volatile issue. Regulatory lines of authority have been fractured and confusing to city employees and property owners alike. In general, actual enforcement has been toothless. In the past year, there were more than 50 complaints of excessive pruning, most of which were substantiated. In a handful of cases, damage was severe enough that the affected trees had to be removed and new ones planted. In that time, only one fine was issued. That was subsequently appealed and the fine rescinded. Under the new rules, “excessive” pruning will be defined as anything in excess of one-quarter of the tree crown. Currently, it’s one third.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

SEC Sues Goleta Breast Implant Company’s CEO for Fraud

Hani Zeini allegedly concealed information and misled investors.

Goleta Woman Arrested in Hope Ranch for Prowling

Christen Aceves was also wanted for unlawful possession of a bird of prey.

Man Talked Down from Goleta Overpass

The 48-year-old had tied himself to a sign support.

Get Oil Out Founder and Dolphin Sculptor Bud Bottoms Dies

He was a true man-about-town and an engaged public citizen.

Plastic Bags? Throw ’Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.