Disclosure Requirements for Street Trees in San Jose Real Estate Transactions

Disclosure Requirements for Street Trees in San Jose Real Estate Transactions

When buying or selling residential real property in the city of San Jose, it is essential to be aware of the city's requirements regarding street trees. The San Jose Municipal Code outlines specific obligations for property owners to disclose the compliance status of street tree maintenance and replacement. In this blog post, we will delve into the disclosure obligations and regulations concerning street trees in San Jose real estate transactions.

Disclosure Obligations for Sellers and Transferors

According to Section 13.28.195 of the San Jose Municipal Code, any seller or transferor of residential real property must disclose to the acquiring property owner, at least seven business days before concluding the sale or transfer, whether the property complies with the city's street tree maintenance and replacement requirements. The city provides a specific disclosure form for this purpose.

Compliance with Street Tree Requirements

If the seller or transferor is unable to determine whether the street trees on the residential property comply with the approved development permits or if the permits are inconclusive regarding the presence and location of street trees, specific requirements come into play. The following regulations apply in such cases:

  1. For interior lots, there must be one street tree for each adjacent street, and for corner lots, a minimum of three street trees, unless modified by the Director for public safety purposes.
  2. If the current General Plan requirements differ from the regulations mentioned above, the General Plan requirements govern the number and location of street trees at the time of the sale or transfer. If the property meets the General Plan requirements, the selling property owner must indicate compliance on the disclosure form.

Exemptions and Director's Discretion

In certain situations, the Director has the authority to grant exemptions from the requirements outlined in Section 13.28.195. If the Director determines, in the interest of public safety, that planting and maintaining street trees on the residential property during the sale or transfer are not appropriate, a written exemption may be granted. However, it's important to note that such exemptions are specific to the selling or transferring property owner and do not carry over to subsequent sellers or transferors.

Ensuring Compliance and Public Safety

The San Jose Municipal Code's provisions regarding street trees in real estate transactions aim to promote compliance, protect the city's urban tree canopy, and ensure public safety. By disclosing the status of street tree compliance, buyers can make informed decisions and understand their obligations regarding these natural assets.


In San Jose, the disclosure requirements related to street trees in real estate transactions play a significant role in maintaining and preserving the city's urban landscape. Sellers and transferors must provide accurate information on the compliance of street tree maintenance and replacement to prospective buyers. By adhering to these regulations, the city aims to safeguard its green infrastructure and promote a sustainable and attractive living environment for residents.

Note: The information provided in this blog post is based on the excerpt from the San Jose Municipal Code and should be used for informational purposes only. For complete and up-to-date regulations, please refer to the official San Jose Municipal Code or consult with legal professionals familiar with local ordinances.

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