[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Greenport 12-12-1991 as L.L. No. 4-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Since it has been established that trees and shrubs generally stabilize the soil and control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, absorb air pollution, provide us with oxygen, yield advantageous microclimatic effects, have an intrinsic aesthetic quality, offer a natural barrier to noise and provide a natural habitat for wildlife in our area, and the removal of trees and shrubs deprives us of these benefits and disrupts fundamental ecological systems in which they are integrally involved, it is therefore the purpose of this chapter to prevent the loss of trees and shrubs within the boundaries of the Village of Greenport by controlling their indiscriminate destruction and to provide for appropriate pruning where necessary.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- STREET TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within Greenport.
All trees and shrubs upon the real property of the Village of Greenport shall be under the care and jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees, and no person shall cut, trim, deface or mutilate any tree or shrub that is located on village property without the written consent of the Superintendent of Utilities for the Village of Greenport or as part of the person's duties as an employee of the village.
There is hereby created and established a Village Tree Committee for the Village of Greenport, New York, which shall consist of no more than six (6) members, who shall be of the Village of Greenport and who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Village of Greenport Tree Committee powers shall be advisory.
The term of the six (6) persons to be appointed by the Mayor shall be three (3) years, except that the term of two (2) of the members appointed to the first board shall be for only one (1) year, and the term of two (2) members of the first board shall be for two (2) years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.
It shall be the duty of the Tree Committee:
To develop a comprehensive plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting and removal of trees and shrubs within the Village of Greenport, and particularly for those on Village property, and to present the plan on an annual basis to the Planning Board which shall consider the plan and, upon acceptance, shall constitute the tree plan for the Village of Greenport.
To make recommendations to any Department, Board or employee of the village or to any owner of real property located within the village as to the care, preservation, pruning, planting or removal of trees and shrubs.
To investigate, consider, make findings and report upon any special matter coming within the scope of its work at the request of a village board or department or as needed.
To develop and recommend a street tree species list for the village.
To develop and recommend guidelines for the placement and spacing of street trees and their distance from corners, fire hydrants and curbs.
To develop rules of procedure, choose its own officers pursuant to such procedures and to maintain a journal of its proceedings.
No street tree shall be planted closer than fifteen (15) feet to any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than ten (10) feet to any fire hydrant.
No street trees other than those species listed as small trees in the list to be prepared by the tree committee as provided in § 125-6D of this chapter may be planted under or within ten (10) lateral feet of any overhead utility wire or over or within five (5) lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the Village of Greenport shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight (8) feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Owners of such trees shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The Village of Greenport shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight or interferes with the visibility of any traffic control device or sign after notification.
The Village of Greenport may cause the removal of any dead or diseased tree or shrub on private property within the village when such trees constitute a hazard to life or property or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees or shrubs within the village. Prior to a removal of the tree or shrubs under this section, the Village of Greenport shall notify the owners of such trees or shrubs in writing. The notice shall request the owner to remove the tree or shrubs at the owner's expense, and in the event that the tree or shrub is not removed within sixty (60) days, the Village of Greenport is hereby empowered to remove the tree or shrubs and charge the cost of removal to the owners by adding the charge to the owner's property tax or by a direct charge to the owner.
The Board of Trustees shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Tree Committee. Any person may appeal any determination of the Tree Committee to the Village Board, which may hear the matter and affirm, modify or reverse the determination.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be, upon conviction or a plea of guilty, subject to a maximum fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) and a minimum fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.) or imprisonment for a term of not more than fifteen (15) days, or both.