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City Releases Windstorm Update

The City reminds residents that disposing of tree debris from private property onto City streets is illegal.

The following is a press release from the City of South Pasadena. All inquiries should be directed to Public Works Assistant Diana Harder at (626) 403-7240.

Now that all residents have received restoration of utility services, the City of South Pasadena is focusing on removal of downed and damaged trees and tree debris from city streets. 

Please note: the City is responsible for removal of trees and tree debris only from public trees, i.e., trees in parks, medians and city parkways (the area between city sidewalks and the street). Pursuant to Chapter 16 of the South Pasadena Municipal Code, homeowners are responsible for proper disposal of tree trimmings from their property.     

The City has learned that residents and some gardeners are disposing of tree debris and garden waste from private property onto city streets. Such disposal is not only illegal, but it also delays city crews from completing prompt removal of city debris from all of city streets. Residents or gardeners who have placed green waste from private property onto the street are asked to remove it. According to the city’s contract with Athens Services, the waste hauler will collect up to one (1) cubic yard or 220 gallons of trash/green waste, not to exceed 50 pounds per container, per week. This is equivalent to approximately six 35-gallon trash barrels.

In order to assist property owners, the City of South Pasadena has temporarily suspended the green waste bin permit encroachment fees and Athens Services is subsidizing the green waste disposal fees.

After all downed trees are removed, city staff will examine damaged public trees to determine whether they pose a risk to persons or property. Residents may call the Public Works Department at (626) 403-7240 to request that the city examine a damaged public tree.  Residents who are concerned about the stability of trees on their private property are advised to hire an arborist to examine their condition. Arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture can be found HERE. 

For trees destroyed or severely damaged by the windstorm, the city has waived the requirements of Chapter 34, Trees and Shrubs, of the South Pasadena Municipal Code, regarding the need for a tree removal permit. However, such waiver will continue only until Jan. 20, 2012, after which time residents must obtain a tree removal permit. Residents who have already removed a tree or plan to remove a tree before Jan. 20 are advised to contact the Public Works Department to identify the type and location of the severely damaged or destroyed tree. A tree removal permit and information regarding applicable requirements can be found HERE.

The city is interested in learning the number and type of lost and severely damaged trees, including those on private property.  It will soon post a survey and asks that residents provide such information.  In addition, the city’s Natural Resources and Environmental Commission is planning to sponsor a tree care forum in the near future.  Notice of the survey and the tree care forum will be posted on the city’s website and in local media.

If residents decide to burn tree debris in a fireplace, it should be noted that some leaves, such as those from a eucalyptus tree, are extremely flammable. The city recommends that any burn of non-commercial combustibles be closely monitored and that a fire extinguisher be kept close by.

Finally, the city laments the loss of so many trees in the community.  Residents may wish to honor a loved one or an organization by participating in the city’s Tree Dedication Program. For further information, please click HERE. Alternatively, the city anticipates that a tree replacement fund will soon be established by one or more tax-exempt community organizations, and it urges residents to consider a charitable donation to them.

The city thanks the residents for their patience as the city recovers from this devastating windstorm. By working together, the city and its residents will restore the community.

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