For the purposes of this ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:
“Community Boards of San Francisco” shall mean the neighborhood mediation/dispute settlement service established under the auspices of the Community Board Program, Inc.
“Complaining party” shall mean any property owner who wishes to alter or remove a tree on the property of another which creates an obstruction to his or her access to sunlight or view.
“Obstruction” shall mean any view or access to sunlight which is blocked or diminished by the growth, maintenance or location of a tree.
“Restorative action” shall mean any specific requirement to resolve a tree dispute.
“Solar access” shall mean the availability of sunlight to a property.
“Thinning” shall mean the selective removal of entire branches from a tree so as to improve visibility through the tree and/or improve the tree’s structural condition.
“Topping” shall mean elimination of the upper portion of a tree’s trunk or main leader.
“Tree” shall mean any woody perennial plant, usually with one or more major trunks attaining a height of at least fifteen feet at maturity; as used in this ordinance, the singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular.
“Tree arbitrator” shall mean any trained and experienced arbitrator acceptable to both complaining party and tree owner to mediate or arbitrate a tree dispute.
“Tree claim” shall mean the written basis for arbitration or court action under the provisions of this Article which includes the following:
The nature and extent of the alleged obstruction, including pertinent and corroborating physical evidence. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, photographic prints, negatives, or slides. Such evidence must show absence of the obstruction at any documentable time during the tenure of the complaining party. Evidence to show the date of acquisition must be included.
The location of all trees alleged to cause the obstruction, the address of the property upon which the trees are located, and the present tree owner’s name and address.
Any mitigating actions proposed by the parties involved to resolve the tree claim.
The failure of personal communication between the complaining party and the tree owner to resolve the alleged obstruction as set forth in Section 823(a) of this Article. The complaining party must provide physical evidence that written attempts at reconciliation have been made and failed. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, copies of and receipts for certified or registered mail correspondence.
“Tree owner” shall mean any individual owning real property in San Francisco upon whose land is located a tree alleged by a complaining party to cause an obstruction.
“Tree removal” shall mean the elimination of any tree from its present location.
“Trimming” shall mean the selective removal of portions of branches from a tree so as to modify the tree’s shape or profile or alter the tree’s appearance.
“Views” shall mean a distant vista or panoramic range of sight of San Francisco, neighboring areas, or the San Francisco Bay. Views include but are not limited to skylines, bridges, distant cities, geologic features, hillside terrains, and wooded canyons or ridges.
(Added by Ord. 445-88, App. 9/28/88)