By SUSAN MARSHALL
The city will soon be sending “notice to trim” letters to Peabody residents who do not cut back tree branches hanging over sidewalks, driveways, and city streets, said Police Chief Bruce Burke.
“The city of Peabody has an ordinance that provides for notification of property owners whose trees or shrubs are in violation,” Burke said. “After receipt of the letter, the owner has 10 days to do the trimming or the city can do it and bill the property owner. If the property owner refuses to pay the bill, the cost can be attached to the owner’s personal property taxes.”
Tree branches must be a minimum of eight feet off the ground over driveways and sidewalks and must be 16 feet above a street or alley. Residents with shrubs and bushes that encroach on an alley or street, or restrict the view of oncoming traffic at an intersection also are subject to notification of the violation and trimming done by the city to bring the property up to code.
“There also is the possibility of being ticketed,” Burke said. “The property owner in violation will then have to pay a fine and court costs. There is no set fee for violation of these ordinances. They will be set by the judge.”
Burke said he hoped publishing the city’s intent to send out letters would encourage people to get started on trimming now instead of waiting to be notified of the 10-day deadline for completion.