Why Protect Trees?
Trees are a uniquely valuable natural resource. They provide protection from sun and wind, help replenish the oxygen supply, and enhance the scenery around our homes and neighborhoods. Trees, especially mature healthy trees, foster an image of beauty, tranquility, and stability throughout our community. These many benefits should be preserved for future generations. Simi Valley Municipal Code Section 9-38 applies to all protected trees (as defined in Simi Valley Municipal Code Section 9-80) within City Limits.
What Is a Mature Tree?
A Mature Tree is any living native oak tree that has a diameter of 5 inches or more, or a tree of any other species that has a diameter of 9½ or more inches as measured 4½ feet above the root crown. For a tree with multiple trunks, contact the City to determine if it is mature.
Are All Mature Trees Protected?
All Mature Native Oak Trees are protected. Mature Trees of other species are protected, except those located in the yards of single-family homes. Mature Trees that are located within the public right-of-way may only be removed by authority of the City's Public Works Department.
Can I Remove a Mature Tree on Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, Industrial, or Vacant Property?
To remove a mature tree on multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, or vacant property, a Tree Removal Permit must first be obtained from the City.
Can I Remove a Mature Tree in My Yard?
To remove a Mature Native Oak Tree that that is in your yard, you must first obtain a Tree Removal Permit. You do not need a permit to remove other species of Mature Trees within the yards of single-family homes.
How Do I Get a Tree Removal Permit?
For the permit to be approved, you must return the completed application along with the required application fee (refer to the Summary of Service Charges). In addition to the permit, you must provide evidence that the tree:
- Is diseased or poses a threat of collapse;
- Interferes with utilities or an addition to an existing single-family residence;
- Prevents the reasonable development of the property;
- Is not the only protected tree in a neighborhood;
- Is on a property that is overcrowded with mature trees;
- Interferes with the construction of public improvements;
- Is unsuitable for use in an urban area; or,
- Is damaging surrounding pavement or structures.
A tree report may be required to verify the value, location, and condition of the trees and to determine if the tree should be relocated rather than cut down. Guidelines for preparing a tree report are available at the Planning Division or may be viewed in Appendix H of the Formal Planning Application.
Do I Have to Replace Any Tree Removed with a Tree Removal Permit?
Yes. If a tree is removed with a Tree Removal Permit, one or more specimen trees, with a total value equal to the value of the removed tree, must be planted on the property from which the tree was removed. The value of this removed tree is determined by the size, species, and health of the tree. In some cases, the City may require that the tree be relocated rather than cut down.
For assistance regarding how the Mature Tree Ordinance applies to your project, or if you have any questions on this or other planning related matters, please contact the Planning Division at (805) 583-6769.