Generally dense vegetation that forms a barrier or fence in the front, rear, or side yard setback and diminishes sunlight, obstructs views or is a safety hazard related to ingress or egress from a property may be subject to a hedge height claim filing.
The City of Laguna Beach encourages property owner to retain, maintain, and preserve the aesthetic character and health of significant trees on their property. Certain trees may be designated as Heritage Trees because of their size, age, unique features, or significance to the character and history of the city.
The Preservation of Heritage Trees ordinance, LBMC Chapter 12.08, establishes a process for the designation of significant trees in the City as Heritage trees. The process begins when property owners nominate trees for evaluation. The ordinance establishes criteria to evaluate significant trees for inclusion on the list and provides incentives to property owners whose trees receive Heritage Tree designation from the City Council.
Heritage trees in public areas are maintained by the Public Works Department. A property owner may submit an application to nominate a tree on their property for inclusion as a Heritage Tree on the City's official list.
Each resident shares in the responsibility of being a good steward to the urban landscape. Recognizing the importance of proper tree trimming and establishing a maintenance schedule to preserve the aesthetics and the health of our trees is fundamental to maintaining our urban forest. View corridors to the ocean and to the mountains, significant components to our unique Laguna character, are easily incorporated into each property owner's tree trimming and maintenance program.
Parcels with a landscape plan approved through the design review process with maximum height limits established must trim the tree in accordance with the conditions on the approved plan. The City suggests that property owners with questions about trimming trees and other vegetation on their property consult with a certified arborist who can develop a pruning plan and maintenance schedule specific to the species and age of the trees while considering the site conditions on the parcel.