[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fishkill 1-19-1984 by L.L. No. 1-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent of this chapter to promote the welfare of the people of the Town of Fishkill by providing for regulation of the removal of trees in such a way as to protect and preserve the environment, roads and quality of the community in general. Trees are a natural resource and an integral part of the natural landscape of the Town, providing soil erosion control, surface water flow barriers and scenic beauty, and fostering myriad plant and wildlife species. The removal or harvest of trees is therefore of prime concern to the people of the Town of Fishkill and shall not be permitted, except as hereinafter provided.
No provision of this chapter shall be construed to repeal, modify or constitute an alternative to any lawful zoning, building construction, mining, land subdivision or environmental quality review law, or any applicable state or federal regulation. Where the provisions of any such other law or regulation impose more stringent restrictions than are required by this chapter, the provisions of such law or regulation shall govern.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms used herein are defined as follows:
General construction of language. All words used in the present tense include the future tense; all words in the plural number include the singular number; and all words in the singular number include the plural number, unless the natural construction of the wording indicates otherwise. Unless otherwise specified, all distances shall be measured horizontally. The word "Town" means the Town of Fishkill; the term "Town Board" means the Councilmen of said Board and the Supervisor of said Town; the term "Conservation Board" means the Town Conservation Board of said Town; the term "Zoning Inspector" means the inspector designated by the Town to administer this chapter and shall include the term "Building Inspector"; the term "Town Clerk" means the Town Clerk of said Town. The word "shall" is mandatory and not directory.
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A measure of lumber 12 inches by 12 inches by one inch as measured by International 1/4 inches Log Rule.
- COMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING
- The cutting or removal of live healthy trees for sale or exchange of goods, commodities or services, when it is not performed in connection with legally permitted soil mining, building construction or building site development.
- NONCOMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING
- The cutting or removal of trees when it is not performed as commercial timber harvesting.
- PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
- A person who has a minimum of a bachelor of science degree in forestry from a four-year college accredited by the Society of American Foresters and acceptable to the Town Board.
- STANDARD CORD
- A cut stack of wood measuring four feet by four feet by eight feet or 128 cubic feet.
There shall be no cutting or removal of trees from any property in the Town of Fishkill except as provided herein. These provisions shall not be construed as prohibiting or limiting the normal maintenance of trees or property through the selective removal of tree limbs, dead or diseased trees, or brush.
No person, firm or corporation shall conduct any commercial timber harvesting operation in the Town without first obtaining a timber harvesting permit from the Town Board.
No person, firm or corporation shall conduct noncommercial timber harvesting in the Town, where the total harvest is to equal or exceed 15 standard cords of wood or 1,920 cubic feet of wood or 7,500 board-feet of timber in a twelve-month period, without first obtaining a timber harvesting permit from the Town Board, except where such harvest is performed in connection with legally permitted soil mining, building construction or building site development. For those uses, a plan should be submitted to the Conservation Board for review under State Environmental Quality Review statutes. All other noncommercial timber harvesting shall be exempt from permit requirements, but must still adhere to the Town's timber harvesting standards.
Application. In all cases where a timber harvesting permit is required, the applicant shall file with the Town Clerk an application, in triplicate, for such permit, which shall include:
A letter of application stating a description of the proposed operation, the name and current address of the owner of the property to be harvested, and the name and current address of the professional forester to be consulted in the operation. This letter shall designate the Town Clerk as a person upon whom process may be served, and shall bear the signature of the applicant and the property owner.
A site map which shall show:
The location and boundaries of the property to be harvested.
The names and addresses of the owners of adjacent properties.
Existing topography at a contour interval of 10 feet.
The location and status of any previous timber harvesting operations on the property within the last five years or sufficient data for the Town Conservation Board to make an adequate evaluation.
All public roads within 500 feet of the property and roads that are to be used for access or removal of the harvest.
The location and bounds of areas to be harvested.
The intended location of storage piles, loading areas and skidding roads.
Road access to the property.
All buildings within 500 feet of the harvest site.
Sufficient data to determine whether the timber harvest will be controlled to prevent permanent environmental damage to the site or surrounding area.
A data sheet summarizing cutting operations, which shall include:
The total area involved in cutting operations.
A stand analysis.
The number of trees of each species to be cut.
The percentage of trees which have been cut in previous harvesting within the last five years or sufficient data for the Town Conservation Board to make an adequate evaluation.
The range, in inches, of diameter at breast height (4 1/2 feet above the ground) of the trees to be cut.
The total board-foot volume for each species to be cut.
The total volume to be removed from the cutting area.
The average number of board-feet per acre to be cut.
For harvesting of trees for products such as fence posts, poles, pilings and firewood, the number of units per acre and the total number of units to be removed (expressed in the applicable unit of measurement, e.g., cords of firewood) may be shown in lieu of the items in Subsection A(3)(b), (d), (e) and (g).
Proof of workmen's compensation insurance.
The application shall be accompanied by a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) consistent with the requirements of Town of Fishkill Town Code Chapter 130. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 130, Article V. The Town may, in its sole discretion, require an SWPPP for disturbances of less than one acre. In determining whether to require an SWPPP for disturbances of less than one acre, the Town shall consider the following:
[Added 11-10-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
Bond requirements. A performance bond shall be posted with the Town Board, in an amount and form to be determined by the Town Board, to insure conformance to the approved plans and this chapter and to insure repair of any Town road or Town property which may be damaged as a result of harvesting operations. The Town Board shall set a reasonable time limit for such bond, but not to exceed two years; a bond may be renewed or extended with each permit renewal. Said bond shall remain in full force and effect until a certificate of completion has been issued by the Zoning Inspector indicating that all the provisions of this chapter and conditions of the permit have been complied with. In lieu of such a bond, the applicant may post a cash deposit or certified check with the Town Supervisor.
Owner's protective insurance policy. An owner's protective insurance policy shall be posted with the Town Board in an amount and form to be determined by the Town Board, but not to exceed $1,000,000 naming the Town of Fishkill as a party insured, to insure the protection of the Town of Fishkill against any liability arising from the logging operations.
Each application for a timber harvesting permit, together with the required information described in § 140-5 shall be referred to the Town Board by the Town Clerk within five days of the date of application, for preliminary review. Within 45 days of the date the application is determined to be complete, the Town Board shall call a public hearing on the application. A public hearing shall be conducted in conformance with the requirements of § 114-2 of the Town of Fishkill Code. Notice of such public hearing shall be posted, published and mailed as required by § 114-2 not less than 10 business days before said hearing is held. Within 45 days after the close of the public hearing, the Town Board shall forward its findings to the applicant and the Zoning Inspector, indicating that the application has been approved, disapproved or approved with modifications or conditions. A copy of the Town Board's findings shall also be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk.
[Amended 4-15-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Each application for timber harvesting shall be referred to the Town Conservation Board by the Town Board, for review and recommendation which shall be considered before the close of the public hearing. Each application shall also be submitted to the Dutchess County Planning Board in accordance with the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, to the extent that the same may be applicable.
Applicants for a permit shall bear the expense of public hearing notice advertising.
Should the Town Board determine that a consultant should be retained to review the application, the applicant shall bear the cost of the consultant.
Permits issued under this section shall expire two years from the date of issuance, except that after a public hearing, and upon a finding of the Town Board that all terms and provisions of this chapter have been complied with, the Town Board may extend permits for one-year periods.
Review by a professional forester. Where an applicant wishes to conduct timber harvesting under permit, the area to be harvested shall first be reviewed by a consulting professional forester who shall be retained by the applicant. Said forester shall mark each tree to be removed, with paint or other distinctive means, at two points so as to be readily visible for inspection. One paint marking shall be low enough on the tree so as to be visible on the stump after the tree is removed.
No cutting or loading shall take place between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or on Sundays, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.
Timber harvesting shall be conducted in accordance with the operational standard entitled "Timber Harvesting Standards," which shall be maintained on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
Where it is deemed necessary by the Town Conservation Board, the Town Board may require additional harvesting standards which shall be set forth on the harvesting permit.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Town Zoning Inspector. The Zoning Inspector may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of the police, the Town Conservation Board, the Town Highway Department and all other municipal officials exercising jurisdiction over property being harvested or harvesting operations.
The Zoning Inspector and assistants described above, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of their duties, may enter upon any property at any reasonable hour, where timber harvesting is reported, proposed or being conducted, and no person shall interfere with such entry.
The Town Board may revoke a timber harvesting permit theretofore issued in the following instances:
Where it finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plans or information on which issuance of the permit was based.
Where it finds that the permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with applicable law.
Where the permittee fails or refuses to comply with a written order issued by the Zoning Inspector within the time fixed for compliance therewith.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate or fail to comply with a written order or notice of violation issued by the Zoning Inspector, or with any of the provisions of this chapter or conditions of the timber harvesting permit, shall be liable to punishment by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.