[HISTORY: Adopted by Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Commission Created
Article II Commission Powers and Regulations
[Adopted 3-11-1958 by Ord. No. 618]
A Shade Tree Commission is hereby created in and for the Township of Springfield. The Commission shall be constituted as provided by law and shall perform all the duties and may exercise all the powers conferred by law upon First Class Township Shade Tree Commissions.
[Amended 6-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1341]
The Commission shall be composed of residents of the township who shall be appointed by the Township Board of Commissioners and shall serve without compensation. One member shall serve for a term of three years, one for a term of four years, and one for a term of five years. On the expiration of the term of any Shade Tree Commissioner, a successor shall be appointed by the Township Board of Commissioners for a five-year term. The currently appointed Shade Tree Commissioners shall continue in their present office for the remainder of their terms.
[Adopted 12-9-1958 by Ord. No. 628; amended in its entirety 6-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1341]
The following words and phrases, as used herein, shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any permit, in writing, approved by the Commission as issued by the Code Enforcement Officer.
- Any natural person, owner, occupant, firm, association, partnership or corporation or their servants, agents and employees.
- The selective removal of tree limbs to enhance and control the healthy growth of a shade tree.
- SHADE TREE
- A woody plant, usually deciduous, which normally grows with one trunk to a height in excess of 40 feet and has a canopy which screens and filters the sun in the summer and winter, respectively, and also which in the future can be expected to extend into the right-of-way.
The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the street trees in the township and is authorized to:
Advise the Township Board of Commissioners, the Township Manager, the Township Engineer and the Parks and Recreation Board with respect to the preservation, maintenance, planting and/or removal of shade and street trees in the township.
Issue permits required under this ordinance for the planting, pruning and removal of street trees.
Study the problems and determine the needs of the township in connection with its tree planting program.
Further (as provided in Article XXX of the First Class Township Code), to plant, remove, maintain and protect shade trees on the public streets and highways in the township.
Recognize and assist in the enforcement of procedures in the planting and caring for trees near the highway.
No street tree shall be planted, pruned or removed without a written permit authorized by the Commission, from the Code Enforcement Officer, such permit to designate the location and type of tree, and such work shall be done to the satisfaction of the Commission.
The Commission shall have the authority to designate a suitable type of street tree and may refuse a permit to plant any type of tree which, in its opinion, is not suitable to the location.
The application for any permit hereunder shall be made, in writing, to the Township's Code Enforcement Officer. It shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and state the exact location and the species of any tree affected. It shall be the duty of the Township Code Enforcement Officer to submit every such application promptly to the Commission for approval or disapproval. The permit may be revoked at any time upon proof satisfactory to the Commission that any of the terms or conditions upon which such permit was issued are or have been violated. The Commission in its discretion may, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit, require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Commission or to deposit security satisfactory to it to guarantee the compliance by the applicant with the terms and conditions upon which such permit is issued. The applicant for a permit to plant or remove a street tree, as stated herein, shall pay to the Township Treasurer a fee as indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, for the use of the Township in considering the application and the site involved in the application.
[Amended 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
No street tree shall be planted within five feet of any driveway, nor shall any street tree on private property adjacent to the sidewalk be planted within three feet therefrom. No street tree shall be planted closer to the intersection of any two or more streets than 25 feet from the point of intersection of any two public right-of-way lines. A distance of 30 feet shall be maintained on streets which are state highways.
The Commission shall approve a permit for removal of a street tree if one or more of the following conditions is present:
Necessity to remove a tree which poses a safety hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or threatens to cause disruption of public services.
Necessity to remove a tree which poses a safety hazard to buildings.
Necessity to remove diseased trees, trees infested with destructive insects liable to infect the healthy trees on adjacent properties or trees weakened by age, storm, fire or other injury.
Necessity for compliance with other township codes.
Other conditions which, in the opinion of the Commission, warrant the removal of a tree.
Whenever the removal of a street tree will result in the property becoming in violation of the landscaping requirements stated in § 143-116D(2) of Chapter 143, entitled "Zoning," the issuance of a permit for such removal shall be contingent upon a commitment by the property owner to plant a replacement tree in accordance with said landscaping requirements.
In the event that any street tree shall be determined to be in a hazardous or dangerous condition so as to endanger the public health, welfare or safety and requires immediate pruning or removal, verbal authorization to the property owner or person, after an on-site inspection, may be given by the Code Enforcement Officer, followed immediately by a written notice to the property owner to correct the condition without issuance of a written permit. If, for any reason, the work necessary to alleviate the hazardous condition is not undertaken by the property owner after notification, the township may cause the work to be done and file a lien for the cost of so doing, with a penalty of 10% to cover the cost of collection, said sum being collected as debts are now collected by law.
No person shall, without first obtaining a written permit therefor, cut, break, climb with spurs or injure in any manner any street tree; or cut or interfere in any way with the main roots of any street tree; or spray any street tree with any chemical or insecticide; or place any rope, guy wire, cable, sign, poster or any other fixture on any street tree or guard for such tree; or injure, misuse or remove any device placed to protect any street tree, except in case of immediate necessity for the protection of life and property.
No person shall, without first obtaining a written permit, place or hereafter maintain any stone, cement or any other substance which will impede the passage of water and air to the roots of any street tree unless such person shall have an open space of ground surrounding the trunk of such tree, the outer border or such space to be not less than three feet from the trunk measured at the ground line.
No person shall pour salt water, oil or any other material at any place in such manner that injury might result to any street tree.
Planting and caring for trees near highway. All persons being owners, agents or occupiers of any land fronting on public highways in Springfield Township shall plant and care for trees and shrubs as follows:
From the effective date of this ordinance, no trees or shrubs may be planted upon any part of any public highway, and no species of poplar or willow trees may be planted within 25 of any public storm or sanitary sewer or public highway.
On or before the first day of June of each year, all trees and shrubs shall be so trimmed by the owners, agents or occupiers of such land so that at all times there shall be an unobstructed clearance of not less than nine feet above the paved portion of the public sidewalk and not less than 13 feet above the cartway.
It shall be the duty of any person or persons owning or occupying property abutting any such street or right-of-way within the township, upon which property there may be trees or shrubbery, to prune at all times such trees or shrubbery in a manner so that they will not obstruct the streetlights, the traffic signals or the posted traffic signs installed in the street or right-of-way bordering said property. Trees and shrubbery shall be maintained so that they do not obstruct the view of any street intersection. (See also § 143-108 of Chapter 143). The township, where the owner or occupier has failed to comply with the requirements of this chapter, shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with a streetlight or any traffic control device, traffic sign or street intersection. The cost of said pruning and disposal shall be recovered as provided in Subsection F.
These regulations shall be enforced by the Commission in conjunction with the Board of Commissioners and the Township Code Enforcement Officer and/or police. All work required to be done under any permit shall be completed within a period of three months from the date of the issuance of the permit, unless such completion date is extended by the Commission or the permit shall have been previously revoked for cause by the Commission.
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the regulations of the Shade Tree Commission shall be liable on conviction thereof to a fine or penalty not exceeding $600 for each and every offense. Such fine or penalty shall be collected as prescribed by law, and as provided in Chapter 1, entitled "General Provisions."