Almost all trimming and removal of trees within the coastal zone fall under the 1992 TPO. The TPO prohibits the removal of, or alterations to most trees in the coastal zone. Under the TPO, trimming or cutting of most trees require a tree permit, and trees deemed as “protected trees” cannot be cut down for aesthetic or view-improvement reasons. In the coastal zone, the CZO protects species of trees including those that are considered within a Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, any tree that is native, any historical tree, and those trees designated as “heritage trees.” A permit is required even to alter a non-native tree or a non-native invasive tree species that is located in the coastal zone.Alterations or removal of protected trees are subject to permits as defined in the Ventura County Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO) and the Ventura County Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance (NCZO).
In the non-coastal zone, the NCZO protects trees including: oaks and sycamores if they are 9.5” in circumference or larger (measured at 4.5 feet above ground), any trees with an “historical designation,” any tree 90” in circumference or larger, and most trees 9.5” in circumference or larger which are native species, and located in the Scenic Resources Protection Zone (SRPZ). In the coastal zone, protected trees include trees that are considered Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, native trees, historic trees, and heritage trees. A permit is required even to alter a non-native tree or a non-native invasive tree species that is located in the coastal zone.
Trees covered by the TPO, required the protection (and permitting) of certain varieties and sizes of trees. This includes (1) any tree in an environmentally sensitive habitat area (“ESHA”). (2) trees that are native to Ventura County (or southern California, including: the Arroyo Willow, Big Cone Douglas Fir, Big Leaf Maple, Black Cottonwood, Fremont Cottonwood, California Ash, California Bay Laurel, California Juniper, Western Juniper, Catalina Ironwood, Santa Cruz Island Ironwood, Elderberry, Pacific Madrone, Oak, Southern California Black Walnut, Sycamore, and White Alder.
If you have concerns about the nature of you location or trees, please contact us and we can help. We obviously can’t give legal advice, so you may want to direct those questions to your preferred legal counsel.