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Emily Council discusses land use ordinances

Web posted April 18, 2017
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

(Editor’s Note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of a special meeting of the Emily City Council held on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 as provided by the city Clerk.)

The special meeting was held to consider combing Emily’s city and land use ordinances into a single city code. Acting Mayor Gary Hanson and Council members Jan Mosman and Bill Spiess were present.

The Council reviewed recommendations from the League of Minnesota Cities regarding the city’s health and safety nuisances ordinance. Included among the items addressed by that ordinance is a section called “Tree Diseases and Shade Tree Pest Control”. During discussion, it was noted that the word “shade” should be removed from the ordinance wherever it appears “since everyone has their own definition of a shade tree”, thereby making enforcement difficult.

Council member Mosman suggested an annual inspection for tree diseases and pest control on city and public property by the Department of Natural Resources or a private company. In discussion it was noted that a tree inspector or city employee could not enter private property but could report to the property owner any diseased, damaged, or dying trees as a public service.

Research will be completed regarding whether tree pest nuisances are lawful, and if so, they will be referenced in the ordinance. In discussion, it was suggested that rather than defining pests and blight, the city could hire a tree inspector who could inspect trees in the city according to a list of recognized pests/diseases as periodically amended by the State.

The Council will also work to provide more definition in the ordinance regarding when a tree falls over a property owner’s line onto city property and clearing trees downed by storms.

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