Q&A: How low can they go? Branches & city sidewalks

September 20, 2022

Walking down a sidewalk in Bartlesville, I have to often duck to miss tree branches in the sidewalk path. Interested to know if there is a city ordinance about the clearance height over city sidewalks? Seems like it should be seven feet or higher. Please let us know if there is one, and if so, the height and who is responsible for trimming to this level?

The answer to this will sound familiar to City Beat readers who read last week’s question about tree limbs hanging over a city street. Streets and sidewalks are both “public ways,” as defined in the Bartlesville Municipal Code, and the protocol for removing the offending branches is pretty much the same. The only real difference is the maximum height allowed.

Generally speaking, it is the property owner’s responsibility to make sure tree limbs are eight feet or greater above a city sidewalk. In cases where this isn’t done and a complaint is made to the City, Code Enforcement personnel will assess the situation and, where applicable, work with the property owner to bring the property into compliance. In cases where safety is compromised due to visibility or some other issue, the City may take direct action to remove the offending limb(s).

If you know of areas that need to be assessed/brought into compliance, you can contact the Community Development Department at 918.338.4230. You may need to leave a message, but a Code Enforcement officer will respond to the reported area(s) to assess the situation as soon as they can. If you would like to be contacted regarding your complaint, be sure to leave your name and number.

Lake levels look good

With surrounding cities putting in place water restrictions, is Bartlesville planning to do the same? With the extended forecasts showing very warm temperatures for the next 30 days or more, and no rain, wouldn’t this be a good thing to do at this time?

The City of Bartlesville is not considering water restrictions as lake levels are good and there are no other indicators for concern at this time. We always encourage water conservation, however, to help ensure we are able to meet demands as they rise. You can find some information on this on the City’s website, www.cityofbartlesville.org.