[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken 12-5-2001 by Ord. No. DR-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
§ 62-10 Public improvements affecting trees; consent of Commission, county park commissions unaffected.
PERSON — Every person, firm, association, partnership and corporation.
- PLANT CONSTRUCTION
- As applied to public utility companies shall mean poles, wires, cables, subsurface conduits, pipes, manholes and appurtenant facilities of such companies installed in a street.
- PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY
- A public utility as defined in the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 48:2-13).
- SHADE TREE COMMISSION
- The Shade Tree Commission of the City of Hoboken.
- Trees and shrubs.
[Amended 2-18-2004 by Ord. No. DR-132]
The regulation, planting, care and control of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery upon and in the streets, public places, parks and parkways of the City of Hoboken, except state highways, unless the Department of Transportation shall assent thereto, and except county highways, parks and parkways, if a county shade tree commission is operative and gives assent to, shall be exercised by and be under the authority of the City of Hoboken Shade Tree Commission, which is hereby created. The Commission shall consist of five members, and shall include the Director of the Department of Environmental Services or his/her designee and two alternate members. The members and alternate members shall be appointed by the Mayor, shall be residents of this municipality and shall serve without compensation except as hereinafter provided. At least one member should have specific expertise in urban forestry, landscape architecture, horticulture or arboriculture.
The first Commissioners shall be appointed within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, and their terms of office shall commence upon the date of their appointment and be for the respective periods: five members — one, two, three, four, and five years. The terms of each appointee shall be designated in his appointment. All subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for the full term of five years, to take effect on January 1, next succeeding such appointment. In event that the membership of any Commission is increased, the new members shall be appointed in such manner that their terms shall expire in accordance with the foregoing.
The term of each alternate member shall be five years commencing on January 1 of the year of appointment, provided, however, that in the event two alternate members are appointed, the initial term of Alternate No. 1 shall be five years, and the initial term of Alternate No. 2 shall be four years.
An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member.
The Commission shall organize within 30 days after the appointment of its total membership for the remainder of the then calendar year, and thereafter annually by the election of one of its members as Chairman, and the appointment of a Secretary, who need not be a member. The salary of the Secretary, who may be compensated even if a member of the Commission, shall be fixed by the Governing Body of the municipality; the salary of all other employees shall be fixed by the Commission. All salaries shall be fixed as nearly as practicable in accordance with the salary schedule, if any, of the municipality for corresponding positions.
Any vacancy occurring by reason of the death, resignation or removal of any Commissioner shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Mayor or other chief executive of this municipality.
The Shade Tree Commission organized under this chapter shall have power to:
Regulate the planting and care of shade and ornamental trees now located, or which may hereafter be planted in any public street and park, except such as are excluded pursuant to § 62-2, including the planting, trimming, spraying, care and protection thereof;
Regulate the use of the ground surrounding the same, so far as may be necessary for their proper growth, care and protection;
Move or require the removal of any tree, or part thereof, dangerous to public safety;
Treat or remove any tree situated upon private property which is believed to harbor a disease or insects readily communicable to neighboring healthy trees in the care of this municipality and enter upon private property for that purpose, with the consent of the owner thereof; provided the suspected condition is first confirmed by certificate issued by or on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture;
No person shall do any of the following acts to any trees on a street without a prior permit from the Shade Tree Commission:
Cut, prune, climb with spikes, break, damage, remove or kill.
Cut, disturb or interfere in any way with any root.
Spray with any chemical.
Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device. (Nothing herein shall prevent any governmental agency from affixing, in a manner approved by the Shade Tree Commission, a public notice upon a tree in connection with administering governmental affairs.)
Remove or damage any guard or device placed to protect any tree or shrub.
Conduct razing, removal or renovation of any structure if deemed by the Commission to be damaging to neighboring street trees.
Place or distribute chemicals, including, but not limited to, salt, deleterious to tree health.
Maintain a stationary fire or device, which vaporizes noxious fumes deleterious to tree health.
Remove soil, either for trenching or otherwise.
Construct new sidewalks and/or driveways with any material whatsoever within five feet of a tree.
Plant any tree or shrub within the designated area under the control of the Commission.
The Shade Tree Commission may grant to public utility companies a blanket permit for (i) tree pruning for line clearance and (ii) for the installation and maintenance of subsurface and aboveground plant construction if there is interference with or endangerment to street trees.
Public utility companies may, during periods of emergency, without specific prior permit (i) install temporary attachments to trees and (ii) make emergency subsurface repairs.
Each public utility company shall exercise reasonable diligence in the maintenance of its plant construction so as to avoid damage to trees under the jurisdiction of the Hoboken Shade Tree Commission.
Requests for permits required by the provisions of this chapter for the performance of work should be directed to the Shade Tree Commission, City of Hoboken, Hoboken, New Jersey.
§ 62-10 Public improvements affecting trees; consent of Commission, county park commissions unaffected.
No statute giving any person or state, county or municipal board, body or official power or authority to lay any sidewalk along, or to open, construct, curb or pave any street, or to do any similar act, shall be construed to permit or authorize any interference with or injury to a highway shade tree without the consent of the Shade Tree Commission within whose jurisdiction such tree shall be located. In all cases such Commission shall reasonably cooperate with such person, board, body or official for the general public good. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be held to take away or diminish any of the powers or authority of the Hudson County Park Commission over the trees or shrubbery in any Hudson County Park within its jurisdiction, or to give any other commission or board any power or authority with respect to such trees or shrubbery.
During the month of December in each year, the Shade Tree Commission shall certify to the Governing Body of this municipality the estimated sum necessary for the proper conduct of its work during the ensuing fiscal year, which shall include the sums estimated to be expended for such of the following items as it is anticipated expenditure will be made for; namely,
Payment of wages and salaries of employees, if any;
Expenses of Commission members in discharging official duties including expenses incident to attendance at professional meetings;
Purchase and installation of trees and shrubbery; and
Purchase of necessary equipment and materials and the cost of services for the prudent promotion of the work. The Governing Body of this municipality shall annually appropriate such sum, as it may deem necessary for said purposes.
The Commission may prescribe a fine for violation of its ordinances in an amount not exceeding $1,500 for each violation, and the Municipal Court of Hoboken shall have jurisdiction over actions for the violation of such ordinances, and its ordinances shall be enforced by like proceedings and process as that provided by law for the enforcement of ordinances of this municipality. The officers authorized by law to serve and execute process for the Municipal Court of this municipality shall be the officers to serve and execute any process issued out of the Municipal Court for violations of the ordinances of the Commission.
A copy of any ordinance of the Commission, certified to under the hand of its Secretary, or Chairman shall be received in any court of this state as full and legal proof of the existence of the ordinance, and that all requirements of law in relation to the ordaining, publishing and making of the same, so as to make it legal and binding, have been complied with, unless the contrary be shown.
In addition to the penalties authorized by subsection A. of this section, the Commission may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of a municipal ordinance to pay a replacement assessment to the municipality. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree as determined by the appraisal of a trained forester or certified tree expert retained by the Commission for that purpose. In lieu of an appraisal, the Commission may adopt a formula and schedule based upon the number of square inches contained in a cross section of the trunk of the tree multiplied by a predetermined value per square inch, not to exceed $27 per square inch. The square inch cross section shall be calculated from the diameter at breast height and, if there is a multiple stem tree, then each trunk shall be measured and an average shall be determined for the tree. For the purpose of this section, "diameter at breast height" shall mean the diameter of the tree taken at a point 4.5 feet above ground level. The Commission shall modify the value of the tree upon its species variety, location and its condition at the time of removal or destruction.
Any public utility or cable television company that clears, moves, cuts or destroys any trees, shrubs or plants for the purpose of erecting, installing, moving, removing, altering or maintaining any structures or fixture, necessary for the supply of electric light, heat or power, communication, or cable television services upon any lands in which it has acquired an easement or right-of-way, shall not be subject to any penalty imposed by a Commission pursuant to subsections A. or B. of this section. This subsection shall not exempt any public utility or cable television company from any penalty or replacement assessment imposed for negligent actions.
All moneys collected, either as fines or penalties, for any violation of a rule or regulation of a Shade Tree Commission enacted by ordinance, or as a charge against real estate, under any provision of this chapter shall be forthwith paid over to the custodian of the municipal funds.
The Shade Tree Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary, pursuant to statute, and for the proper interpretation, administration and enforcement of this basic chapter, provided that such ordinances do not conflict with this chapter and conform to the general standards prescribed by this chapter.
All regulations adopted by the Shade Tree Commission shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk for inspection by the public during regular business hours.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or word contained in this code shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this Code which shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable.
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the appropriate Municipal Body from enforcing any other ordinance of the Code of the City of Hoboken dealing with property maintenance, which may include maintenance of trees on private property or public sidewalks adjacent to private property.