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Ornamental Lights for Street Trees - Frequently Asked Questions

Information
A permit is required to install ornamental lights in street trees. Below are some basic facts and links for supplemental information.
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When is a Permit Required?

  • Street trees: A permit is required to install ornamental lights.
  • Private trees: No permit is required to install ornamental lights.
  • Heritage Trees:  A permit is required to for attaching items to Heritage Trees.

Application and Instructions

Only an owner of the property abutting the planting strip, the property owner's designee, or a neighborhood business association may apply for a Ornamental Lights for Street Trees Permit.

There is a non-refundable fee for an Ornamental Lighting application

Administrative Rule PRK-2.02 Street Tree Ornamental Lighting Guidelines and Permit Fees is the guiding document for the process.

Seasonal Lighting: are light systems installed for 120 days or less. They must be removed at the end of the permitted timeframe.

Non-Seasonal Lighting: are lighting systems installed for more than 120 days. They require annual inspections and adjustments. 

Block Face: when proposing lights along an entire block with multiple addresses describe the location as the street and the two cross streets. (i.e. E Burnside from SE 4th to SE 5th)


Timeline and Process

Seasonal Applications

Seasonal lighting permits are for lights installed for 120 days or less.

Once an application is received and deemed complete it will be processed to a Tree Inspector who will perform an on-site inspection.  If the Tree Inspector needs more information or wishes to discuss the application, they will contact the applicant. The Tree Inspector will make a permitting decision and send a Notice of Decision to the applicant.

Installation and Removal of lights shall not occur during the active growing months of March-May.

Once the permit has expired, the lights are required to be removed.

Non-Seasonal Applications

Non-Seasonal lighting permits are for lights installed for greater than 120 days.

Permits are effective for 3 years.

Applications should be submitted in September.

Once an application is received and deemed complete it will be processed to a Tree Inspector who will perform an on-site inspection.  If the Tree Inspector needs more information or wishes to discuss the application, they will contact the applicant. The Tree Inspector will make a permitting decision and send a Notice of Decision to the applicant.

Installation and removal of lights shall not occur during the active growing months of March-May.

Annual inspections will be performed by the Tree Inspector to assess the trees for health and safety.

In September of the third year, a notice will be sent to the applicant letting them know the permit will expire. Applicants need to reapply for a new permit or remove the lighting

Year 0

September: Application w/Survey

December:  Permit Issued

Year 1

January – February: Installation

November: Tree Inspector Visual Inspection

Year 2

January-February: Corrections (If any)

November: Tree Inspector Visual Inspection

Year 3

January-February: Corrections (If any)

September: Notification of permit expiration, Application w/Survey (Back to Year 0)

Apply for a Street Tree Ornamental Lighting Permit


Street Tree Ornamental Lighting Documents: 

Street Tree Ornamental Lighting Guidelines

The permittee must abide by the conditions of the permit or the permit may be revoked and/or future permits denied. 

Ornamental Tree Lighting ApplicationThis form is to apply for a permit to affix ornamental lights to street trees.
Letter of Guarantee For Street Tree Attachment PermitGuarantee Letter for loss or damage to city trees and other city property that arise due to attachment of items to city trees. 

Read the Tree Code, Title 11