Does the plan include removal of trees on open space?


Open Space Tree REmoval

Private Property and Open Space - For certified defensible space plans that include the removal of trees on Open Space:

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  1. In addition to the paperwork required for the tree removal on private property , the property owner must also submit a completed Open Space Tree Removal form to the Foundation Office with a copy of the same supporting documents required with the private property form.

  2. The property owner must submit evidence of the tree removal contractor’s liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.

  3. The property owner should include these specifications in the contract for tree removal on open space:

    • Stumps from cut trees will not be higher than 4 inches.

    • All slash on open space will be removed through the private property where defensible space is being created.

    • Motorized vehicles including chippers are not permitted on open space.

    • Contractors must carry fire extinguishers at all times and take care not to damage other trees, vegetation, or the soil.

  4. Upon receipt of the completed tree removal forms and supplemental documentation, the Foundation Office will post a sign on the property for 10 days, during which time neighbors may make comments for ARC considerations.

  5. The Open Space Manager will notify neighboring Genesee property owners that would be impacted by the work on Open Space, inspect the property and open space where tree removal is proposed, may consult with the property owner if necessary, and may provide written comments on the form.

  6. Assuming these steps have been followed, the ARC will approve the defensible space plan at its next meeting following the 10-day posting period. The Board of Directors will review and take action on the request at its next meeting following ARC approval. The Foundation Office will notify the property owner of decisions promptly, within 30 days of the decisions.

  7. The ARC and the Board of Directors must both approve an application to remove Open Space trees that are part of a private property defensible space plan.

  8. The property owner must notify the Foundation Office at least one day before tree cutting on Open Space so that the Foundation can have a staff member present to oversee tree cutting on Open Space and debris removal must be completed within 3 months of the approval date. Trees on Open Space may not be removed unless all the trees in the approved certified defensible space plan are removed.

Please note:

  • ARC Standards concerning construction apply.

  • The private property owner is responsible for all costs including tree assessment, marking, cutting, tree removal, slash removal, and any follow-up inspections or reviews.

  • Any damage caused to Open Space or private property as part of the project is the responsibility of the private property owner.

Private Property Tree Removal

Private Property - Policy and procedure to remove trees as part of a project to create certified defensible space on private property:

 The Genesee Foundation encourages and supports residents removing hazardous fire fuels to create defensible space around their homes.

A private property certified defensible space plan requires use of a qualified defensible space professional identified by Jefferson County Planning and Zoning, and a commitment by the property owner to execute, in its entirety, the tree removal outlined in the plan. 


In some cases, the certified defensible space plan may include removal of trees on Open Space adjacent to the private property lot in which case additional procedures are required (see


  1. Hire a qualified defensible space professional

  2. At least 2 working days prior to having a qualified defensible space professional on site to prepare the defensible space plan, the Owner must notify the ARC by email to

  3. An ARC member will visit the property either before or at the same time as the qualified defensible space professional for the purpose of marking trees which the ARC would like to save. 

  4. The qualified defensible space professional must evaluate and mark the trees to be removed on both private property and open space.

    • The defensible space expert will mark trees to be removed with flagging tape and will create a site plan that includes a graphic/diagram showing property lines for the subject property as well as adjacent lots and open space, the perimeter of the residence on the property, and the location of trees to be kept and removed.

  5. The qualified defensible space professional will take the ARC markings into account, but shall have the right, in consultation with the homeowner, to overrule the ARC for fire safety purposes.

  6. Submit this plan along with the ARC tree removal form to the Foundation office.

  7. The Foundation will post your property for a period of five days to allow input from neighbors. 

  8. Assuming these steps have been followed, the ARC will approve the defensible space plan at its next meeting following the 5-day posting period.

  9. You may begin work as soon as you receive approval from the ARC. Once completed, please fill out and return a Notice of Completion Form.