New Tree Trimming Requirements
Effective January 1, 2018, all trees, shrubs, vines, hedges, palms or other vegetation that overhangs or obtrudes upon any pavement, roadway, alley, or curb must be trimmed to a minimum of 14 feet during all weather conditions. Vegetation may remain at 12 feet minimum clearance over sidewalks.
The City of Castle Hills Fire Department has purchased a new ladder truck which has a minimum vertical clearance of 12 feet 3 inches. The former city code required a minimum of 12 feet of vertical clearance. The new truck exceeds the current minimum clearance. When nature sends rain, wind or ice the weight of the moisture and the movement of the vegetation pulls the vegetation or branches downward increasing the likelihood of the fire truck striking or rubbing on the vegetation or branches which will damage the fire truck.
Mayor Howell and the city council are requesting that all property owners trim to the minimum 14-foot clearance as soon as possible. Oak trimming is prohibited from February 1st through June 30th to aid in preventing the spread of oak wilt. The fees for tree trimming permits to raise the vegetation to the new 14-foot minimum will be waived until February 1, 2018. Trimming waivers will be granted for trimming during the prohibited trimming period on a case by case basis to ensure the tree canopy is raised to 14 feet over roadways or to protect persons or property.
Trees not trimmed to meet the 14-foot standards over roadways by August 1st will be subject to penalties as a code violation. Damages to vehicles from low hanging trees will be the responsibility of the property owner.
With a sticker price of approximately $1,050,000, and the importance of having the ladder truck in safe working condition it is vital for all property owners to comply with the minimum vegetation vertical clearance of 14 feet over roads, alley, and curbs. Thank you for helping to ensure that emergency responders can get to the emergency safely.