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City of San Mateo Municipal Code.

13.40.160 Penalties.

(a) In addition to the replanting requirements described above, if the Director finds that any person has violated any provisions of this Chapter, the Director may impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per participant per tree for such illegal act and the civil penalty amount will be determined based upon the egregiousness of the conduct in accordance with Chapter 1.11.

(b) In addition to all other remedies set forth in this code or otherwise provided by law, the following remedies shall be available to the City for violation of this Chapter:

(1) Any person or entity violating the provisions of this Chapter may be directed by the Building Official or inspector to stop work and to prepare a mitigation plan to correct the violation and mitigate the Damage inflicted. Once the violation is corrected and mitigation implemented, the Building Official or inspector shall allow construction to resume. The mitigation plan shall be filed and approved by the City Arborist, agreed to in writing by the property owner(s) and either implemented or guaranteed by the posting of adequate bond or other security. The mitigation plan shall include measures for protection of any remaining Protected Trees on the property and shall provide for replacement of each tree removed or Damaged on the property or at locations approved by the Director. The replacement ratio shall be determined by the Director according to the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) If a violation occurs in the absence of development, or while an application for a building permit or discretionary development approval for the lot upon which the tree is located is pending, the Building Official may condition the issuance of any building permit or approval upon the completion of a study, to be conducted by the City or consultant designated by the City, but in either case at the expense of the property owner, for the purpose of providing the City an opportunity to consider and determine appropriate mitigation measures for the tree Removal and to insure measures are incorporated into any future development approvals for the property for the protection of any remaining Heritage Trees in the area.

(3) Administrative Citations may be issued under Chapter 1.10 of the Municipal Code.

(c) Appeal of Penalties or Replacement requirements. Any person required to provide replacement or assessed penalties shall have the right to appeal that determination to the City Manager by submitting a written appeal to the City Manager within 30 days of the date of the Managing Arborist's written notice imposing the penalty. The City Manager will hold an administrative hearing within 30 days of receipt of the written appeal and will render a written decision within 30 days of the administrative hearing. The decision of the City Manager shall be final.