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posted: 9/4/2014 5:30 AM

Carol Stream cracking down on tree removals

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Carol Stream officials have begun enforcing the village's requirement for property owners to remove dead, damaged or infested trees from their private property.

Courtesy notices were sent to some residences with dead trees, Community Development Director Bob Glees said. Another round of notices is expected to be sent this week.

Earlier this year, the village board approved an ordinance addressing the issue, and it recently approved clarifications to that policy.

"Essentially what we are trying to accomplish is to require that dead, diseased or infested trees that are located on private property be removed by the property owner," Glees said.

In the past, he said, "there was no language in the municipal code that addressed the matter of dead, diseased or infested trees as either a health regulation requirement or a property maintenance code requirement."

Glees said the village is starting by focusing on trees that are "clearly dead." It is working in one area of the community at a time.

"It will likely take us several years to work our way through the entire village," Glees said. "But, of course, if a resident calls in a complaint and says, 'Hey, there's a dead tree at such and such an address,' then we will respond to it."

Although an online village newsletter indicates the ordinance requires removal of such trees by property owners or their tenants, Assistant Community Development Director Don Bastian said in most cases it will be the property owner's responsibility.

If trees are deemed "imminent" threats, the village will ask the property owner or tenant to immediately remove it.

"Otherwise, the village will do it "at the sole expense of the owner," according to the newsletter.

In the enforcement process, Glees said, courtesy notices will be sent first, with a formal notice of violation with a deadline for compliance following if the trees aren't removed.

The third step, he said, would involve DuPage County court.

"The impetus behind the ordinance that was passed in February was the fact that we are aware that there are many, many, in the thousands, of dead, diseased or infested trees on private property that are just sitting there and they present a danger, both in terms of property damage and personal safety," Glees said.

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