Town/Village of Mount Kisco, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Mount Kisco 1-23-1989 by L.L. No. 2-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 94.
Zoning — See Ch. 110.
Fees — See Ch. A112.
The Board of Trustees hereby finds and declares that the preservation and maintenance of trees, where reasonably possible within the Village, is necessary to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the Village/Town of Mount Kisco, because trees provide necessary shade, green space and aesthetic appeal, impede soil erosion and aid water absorption, provide other environmental benefits and generally enhance the quality of life. It is the intent of the Board of Trustees, by the adoption of this chapter, to provide for:
A. 
The protection and preservation of as many trees as possible, particularly those trees which are specimen trees and/or trees of select or rare species.
B. 
The reforestation and replacement of those trees which are removed due to disease or development.
C. 
The preservation of an acceptable level of green foliage in all areas of the Village.
D. 
Ensuring that suitable wildlife habitats are maintained and reinforced in all areas of the Village.
As used in this chapter; the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ALTER
To trim or remove more than 25% of a tree's growth, or to trim in such a manner as to change the natural shape of a tree's crown.
[Added 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001]
CROWN
All portions of a tree, excluding the trunk and roots, such as branches, leaves, flowers and other foliage.
INJURE A TREE
To weaken or severely alter a tree, whether to its branches, trunk or roots. Injury to a tree shall include, but not be limited to:
[Added 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001]
A. 
Improper use of machinery on the tree.
B. 
Storage of materials in or around the tree.
C. 
Soil compaction around the trunk of the tree.
D. 
Altering the natural grade to expose the roots, increase the depth by more than one inch of the soil over the roots or to cover the trunk.
E. 
Large excavations within 25 feet of the trunk of the tree.
F. 
Removing the bark around the circumference of the tree.
G. 
Excessive harmful pruning.
H. 
Paving with concrete, asphalt or other impervious surface within such proximity as to be harmful to the tree.
I. 
Application of herbicides or defoliants to any tree.
J. 
Causing or permitting any brine, oil, gas, gasoline, liquid dye or other substance deleterious to tree life to lie, leak, pour, flow or drip on or into the soil about the base of the tree at a point where such substance may in any manner cause harm to the tree.
MAJOR SUBDIVISION PLAT
A subdivision plat which, if approved, would have the effect of creating either more than one new lot or a lot for the development of which site plan approval would be required.
[Added 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
PRIMARY TREE PROTECTION ZONE
That portion of a lot constituting the front, side and rear yards and buffer areas, as defined in Chapter 110 of this Code.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any land owned by the Village/Town of Mount Kisco or any other governmental entity, including the right-of-way of any road.
[Added 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
A. 
Land in which a governmental entity or property owner owns a legal interest in a roadway or has an easement devoted to or required for the use of the land as a road.
B. 
Land designated as a road right-of-way on the Official Map of the Village/Town of Mount Kisco.
SECONDARY TREE PRESERVATION ZONE
All land not included in the Primary Tree Protection Zone, except for sidewalks and street rights-of-way.
SITE PLAN
A site development plan approved pursuant to § 110-45 of this Code.
[Added 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
SPECIMEN TREE(S)
Trees which have a minimum trunk circumference of 36 inches at a point four feet above the natural grade and/or a minimum crown spread of 15 feet; any other tree or grouping of trees deemed significant by the Village Naturalist.
TREE
Any woody plant having at least one well-defined trunk at least four inches in diameter measured at a height of four feet above the natural grade and having a clearly defined crown.
TREE PRESERVATION BOARD
The Tree Preservation Board appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Village/Town of Mount Kisco in accordance with this chapter.
[Added 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
TREE PROTECTION PLAN
A plan prepared pursuant to Article II of this chapter which identifies and shows the location, type, size and health of trees; states the ultimate disposition of the trees, showing the type, size and location of any trees to be planted; and sets forth measures to protect trees before, during and after construction.[1]
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
TREE REMOVAL PERMIT
Written authorization pursuant to this chapter to remove, alter, cut or otherwise destroy or injure a tree.
[Added 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001]
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of "tree removal," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001. See now the definition of "injure a tree."
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
No person shall plant any tree or shrub within the limits of any street, park or other public place without first securing a written permit from the Village Engineer and complying with the following requirements. Such a permit shall be granted only upon a determination by the Village Engineer that such planting will not create a traffic safety hazard, will not interfere with the use of such street, park or other public place by the public and will enhance the beauty and appearance of the street, park or other public place and the surrounding area. The Village Engineer will consult with the Police Department in evaluating whether the proposed planting will create a traffic hazard.
A. 
Trees planted within the limits of any street, park or other public place shall be of a quality approved by the Village Engineer and shall be placed at least 30 feet apart unless otherwise authorized by the Village Engineer. Each such tree shall measure not less than two inches nursery caliper.
B. 
Should any tree or shrub planted within the right-of-way of any street, park or other public place pursuant to any such permit, in the opinion of the Village Engineer, interfere at any time with the use of such street, park or other public place or the surrounding area, the Village Engineer shall mail a notice, in writing, to the permittee or, if the tree or shrub is planted within the right-of-way of any street, to the permittee's successor in ownership of the abutting premises to remove such tree or shrub and to restore such street, park or other public place to its original condition within 10 days of the mailing of the notice, and such permittee or owner shall comply with such notice within 10 days. If such permittee or owner shall fail to comply with such notice, the Village Engineer may cause the tree or shrub to be removed and the street, park or other public place to be restored to its original condition at the expense of such permittee or owner.
C. 
Any tree or shrub or plant planted within the right-of-way of any street pursuant to such a permit shall be maintained by the owner of the abutting premises and, notwithstanding anything set forth elsewhere in this Article, may trim such tree or shrub to the extent necessary to maintain it. The Village shall not be responsible for any damage caused to such tree or shrub.
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995; 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001]
A. 
No person shall, without first obtaining a tree removal permit:
(1) 
Remove, cut, break, trim or destroy or injure any tree or shrub planted or growing in or on any street or in any public place.
(2) 
Remove, alter, cut or otherwise destroy or injure any tree within the Primary Tree Protection Zone or Road Right-of-Way Protection Zone.
(3) 
Remove, alter, cut or otherwise destroy or injure any specimen tree within the Secondary Tree Protection Zone.
B. 
Application for a tree removal permit shall be made, in writing, to the Village Engineer, who, after consultation with the Tree Preservation Board, shall issue or deny the permit. The application shall be accompanied by the fee as set forth in Chapter A112, Fees, and shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The address and tax map designation of the property on which the subject tree is or trees are located.
(3) 
The total land area involved in cutting operations.
(4) 
The number of trees to be removed, altered, cut or otherwise destroyed or injured.
(5) 
The purpose for removing, altering, cutting or otherwise destroying or injuring the tree.
(6) 
A survey of that section to be disturbed, showing the location of all trees regulated herein to an accuracy of one foot, indicating those trees to be removed and those trees to be preserved, their species and diameter, except that where the total land area involved in cutting operations is less than 100 square feet, a sketch plan drawn by the applicant may be substituted for the survey.
(7) 
The method by which it is proposed that the trees be removed, altered, cut or otherwise destroyed or injured.
(8) 
The name of the individual or entity that will be removing, altering, cutting or otherwise destroying or injuring the tree.
C. 
The Village Engineer, in consultation with the Tree Preservation Board, shall issue a tree removal permit when it is established to their satisfaction that:
(1) 
There is a need for the action proposed to be taken, in that:
(a) 
The presence of the tree would cause hardship or would endanger the public or the person or the property of the owner or of an adjoining owner;
(b) 
The tree is diseased or threatens the health of other trees; or
(c) 
The tree or trees substantially interferes with a permitted use of the property.
(2) 
The need outweighs the environmental and aesthetic advantages to be derived from maintaining the tree in its present form;
(3) 
The action proposed to be taken is the least destructive action which can be taken consistent with accomplishing the desired end; and
(4) 
The means by which such action is proposed to be taken is consistent with accepted industry practice, the preservation of neighboring trees and the public safety.
D. 
No permit shall be required to remove, alter, cut, break or trim any tree when:
(1) 
Necessary to control a fire.
(2) 
Necessary for the immediate protection of health, safety or property. In the event a tree regulated by this chapter is removed, altered, cut or trimmed pursuant to this subsection, within three days after such act, the person on whose property the tree is located shall submit to the Village Engineer a letter or other documentation explaining and confirming the nature and extent of the immediate threat. The Village Engineer may require, in his/her discretion, documentation from a certified arborist.
(3) 
Necessary to maintain Village, county or state rights.
(4) 
Accomplished in accordance with a tree preservation plan approved pursuant to Article II of this chapter.
E. 
No tree shall be removed, and no permit shall be granted for the removal of any tree, from any parcel more than 40,000 square feet or for the development or any change in development of which site plan approval would be required, except pursuant to a tree preservation plan in accordance with Article II of this chapter.
A. 
No person shall fasten or attach to any tree any sign, poster, bill, notice or advertisement of any kind.
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, prohibiting certain substances in the soil at the base of a tree, was repealed 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001. See now the definition of "injure a tree."
C. 
No person shall fasten or cause to be fastened any animal to a tree in any street or public place or permit any animal owned by him or in his charge to stand so near any such tree that the tree may be gnawed or otherwise injured by the animal.
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
A. 
There shall be a Tree Preservation Board consisting of five persons appointed by the Board of Trustees, each of whom shall serve without compensation. The members shall serve for three-year terms commencing on the first day of the official year of the Village, except that any current member whose term is to expire at other than the end of an official year of the Village shall, upon expiration of such term, hold office until the end of the official year, and his or her successor shall then be appointed to a term of three official years. The Board of Trustees shall annually designate one member of the Tree Preservation Board as Chair until the start of the next official year of the Village. The Board of Trustees shall have the power to remove members for cause and only after a public hearing.
[Amended 12-16-1996 by L.L. No. 5-1996]
B. 
If, in the judgment of the Village Engineer or the Tree Preservation Board, it is necessary to retain an arborist to review an application, the application shall not be granted or denied until the applicant has paid to the Village Treasurer the cost incurred by the Village for such services.[1]
[Amended 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Subsection C, regarding those officers authorized to issue appearance tickets, which immediately followed this subsection.
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995; 7-9-2001 by L.L. No. 14-2001; 1-4-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005]
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in § 1-17A of this Code. Where the offense consists of removing, cutting, altering or otherwise destroying or injuring a tree, the removal, cutting, alteration, destruction or injury of each individual tree shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
In addition, any (specimen) tree as defined in this chapter, which is removed, injured or otherwise destroyed shall be replaced with a specimen tree of an equal caliper. Where replacement of a (specimen) tree is not practicable as determined by the Village Arborist, then an in-kind contribution equal to the replacement cost of the (specimen) tree shall be required.
[Amended 4-24-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995]
No site plan or major subdivision plat shall be approved unless and until a tree preservation plan for the subject property has been approved by the Planning Board. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any property subject to a tree preservation plan until all required planting and restoration is completed to the satisfaction of the Planning Board.
A. 
The tree preservation plan shall include the following:
(1) 
An inventory of existing trees, showing type, location, size and condition. The inventory shall include specimen and protected trees, trees or groupings of trees deemed significant by the Building Inspector, all trees with a minimum trunk diameter of eight inches at a point four feet above the natural grade and any grouping of five or more trees.
(2) 
An integrated site plan showing the trees to be saved and those to be removed, utilities to be installed, grading, the approximate location of all structures, driveways and curb cuts and proposed trees, plantings and other landscaping.
(3) 
A detailed plan to protect and preserve trees before, during and for a period of two years after construction. This shall include a written statement setting forth those steps to be taken to protect trees, roots and crowns from damage during site clearance, excavation, grading, installation of utilities, paving and construction.
B. 
The above items may be integrated into the normal application submittal.
The Planning Board shall apply the following standards in reviewing tree preservation plans and all development applications and in approving such applications shall attach such conditions and safeguards as are, in its opinion, deemed necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
A. 
Healthy specimen and protected trees and other trees deemed significant by the Planning Board located in a public place shall be preserved where feasible.
B. 
Healthy specimen and protected trees and other trees deemed significant by the Building Inspector or Planning Board may be required to be preserved at the discretion of the Planning Board.
C. 
Prior to the commencement of any development activity on any part of a site, the Building Inspector shall meet with the developer and his/her construction manager to ensure that:
(1) 
Those trees designated to be preserved are physically identified on the site so as to be easily recognizable as trees to be protected.
(2) 
The identified measures to protect trees before, during and for a period of two years after construction are implemented.
D. 
The tree preservation plan shall include a reforestation plan which shall generally conform to the following minimum standards:
(1) 
Shade and/or decorative trees shall be planted at a ratio of at least one tree per 2,500 square feet of lot area or major fraction thereof. Trees to be planted shall have a minimum trunk diameter of four inches at a point two feet above the furnished grade.
(2) 
In selecting locations to plant trees, priority should be given to that section of the lot within a buffer or public place.
(3) 
Credit toward the reforestation requirements shall be at a ratio comparable to one preserved healthy specimen or protected tree or other tree deemed significant for one required planting, as determined by the Planning Board.
(4) 
In determining the number of replacement trees to be planted, the Planning Board shall consider the size of the trees which are to be removed. Each specimen tree which is to be removed shall be replaced by several trees. On slopes of 25% or greater, two trees shall be planted for each tree which is to be removed.
(5) 
The Planning Board shall require the applicant to post a bond sufficient to ensure the care and health of all newly planted trees for a period of one year from the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. Such bond shall be acceptable in form to the Village Attorney.
E. 
The applicant shall be required to pay the cost necessary for the Village to retain an arborist to review compliance with the requirements of the tree preservation plan.
Upon any violation of the tree preservation plan, the Building Inspector shall issue a stop-work order immediately, and the applicant shall be required to take such remedial action as the Planning Board deems appropriate before a certificate of occupancy may be issued. Any violation of an approved tree preservation plan shall also constitute a violation punishable as provided in § 1-17A of this Code, for purposes of which the removal of each tree which was to have been preserved shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.