[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Warwick during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Article II. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Tree Law of the Village of Warwick."
The Village of Warwick hereby finds that indiscriminate and excessive removal of trees by physical or chemical means from tracts of land has resulted in creating increased surface drainage and soil erosion, thereby causing increased municipal costs for proper drainage control, impairing the benefits of occupancy of existing residential property in such areas and further impairing the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas and concomitantly adversely affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the village.
This chapter shall apply to all timbering operations; all persons and corporations who are or will be applying for building permits in residential zones, subdivisions, commercial zones or for industrial construction; and all persons or firms, whether or not intending to apply for a building permit, with respect to property in commercial or industrial zoning districts or with respect to property in residential districts which is large enough to permit any subdivision pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance. School districts and federal and local governments are exempt.
No building permit shall be issued unless such person or corporation shows on an appropriate plan all proposed tree removals in relation to the survey stakes marking out a building foundation, garage, driveway, recreation area or any site that warrants tree removal. The species and condition of trees shall be reported to the Building Inspector of the Village of Warwick.
No live tree exceeding four inches in diameter shall be removed, except under the following circumstances:
If its presence would cause hardship or endanger the public or an adjoining property owner.
In areas to be occupied by buildings, driveways or recreation areas, and within a distance of 15 feet around the perimeter of such building, depending on tree species and conditions to be determined by the Building Inspector.
In areas having excessive cut or fill of land deemed inimical to tree survival as evaluated by the Building Inspector.
In areas where selective thinning and timbering of trees would encourage the development of prime specimen trees. The selection of trees to be preserved shall be based on the recommendation of the Building Inspector.
Trees removed pursuant to Subsection A(4) above shall be replaced on any lot from which they are removed as the Building Inspector shall require. In no event shall a building permit be issued on any lot or parcel unless provision shall be made for at least four trees, of which 50% of said trees shall be evergreens.
For purposes of this section, the diameter of a tree shall be measured at a height of six feet above the surface of the ground at the base of the trunk.
Any person aggrieved by the provisions of this chapter shall have the right within 20 days from the decision of the Building Inspector to appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which shall review the decision of the Building Inspector. Unless the decision is revoked or modified, it shall remain in full force and effect.
Any person who obtains final subdivision approval from the Planning Board of the Village of Warwick, County of Orange, State of New York, shall plant shade trees on the property on which such construction is located. Such trees are to be planted within five feet of the right-of-way of the road or roads abutting said property. One tree shall be planted for every 40 feet of frontage of said property unless the Superintendent of Public Works or his agent shall grant a waiver of such planting, which waiver shall be in writing.
The Superintendent of Public Works or his agent shall grant such waiver only if there are trees growing along such right-of-way or on the abutting property near the street property line which in the opinion of the Superintendent of Public Works comply with the intent of this chapter.
New trees provided pursuant to this chapter shall be approved by the Superintendent of Public Works or his agent, and shall be planted in accordance with specifications, rules and regulations promulgated by the office of the Superintendent of Public Works. The Superintendent of Public Works is hereby authorized to promulgate such specifications, rules and regulations.
In lieu of planting trees in accordance with this chapter, a person may deposit with the Superintendent of Public Works, in cash or by good certified check, such sum per tree as the Board of Trustees may establish from time to time, by resolution to be filed with the Village Clerk, which moneys shall be held by the Village of Warwick to be used for the sole purpose of planting and maintaining shade trees as required by this chapter. No street, after the effective date of this chapter, shall be accepted for dedication until the Superintendent of Public Works shall duly inform the Board of Trustees that compliance, where necessary, has been had with the provisions of this chapter.
Any person or persons obtaining a building permit from the Building Inspector of the Village of Warwick for the construction of a commercial office, school, church or fraternal, benevolent or industrial building whose parking space, according to the Zoning Ordinance requirements, must be designed for 10 or more vehicles shall plant trees in accordance with the rules, regulations and specifications of the Superintendent of Public Works, prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. In lieu of the planting of these trees, the Building Inspector may accept a waiver from the Superintendent of Public Works or a certificate from the Superintendent of Public Works attesting to the posting of cash or a bond stating that compliance will be had with the rules, regulations and specifications of the Superintendent of Public Works relating to the planting of trees.
The Board of Trustees, by majority vote, shall appoint a three-member Shade Tree Commission to provide for the establishment and enforcement of shade tree planting and removal regulations of the Village of Warwick and to provide plans for the encouragement of tree plantings with the approval of the Board of Trustees. At inception, each Commissioner shall be appointed for staggered terms of one, two and three years. Thereafter, the term of office shall be three years. Among the Commissioners there shall be annually appointed one to act as Chairman. All appointments shall be made by the Board of Trustees.
Any person who obtains final subdivision approval from the Village of Warwick shall deposit in escrow with the Village Clerk in cash, certified check or by a bond a sum equivalent to the number of trees required by the provisions of this chapter multiplied by the sum as shall be set by the Board of Trustees in § 131-10. Said escrow is to be held by the village for a period of one year next ensuing final completion of the subdivision and is to be used to replace, at any amount per tree not greater than as provided for in § 131-10, all trees which die within the said one-year period.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.