[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverdale 8-7-1979 by Ord. No. 8-79. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the determination and finding of the Mayor and Council that the unregulated cutting or removal of trees has and will cause soil erosion, dust, flooding, loss of topsoil and a reduction in soil fertility resulting in an undue interference in the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Borough, environmental damage and the municipality ultimately absorbing the costs to rectify the aforesaid damage; the objective of this chapter is to remedy the aforesaid conditions.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, individual, association, partnership, corporation, proprietorship, or any other legal entity; including any agent, servant, or employee thereof.
- Remove, cut or destroy.
- Any woody perennial plant having a diameter of more than four inches at a point 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
No party shall remove any tree in the Borough of Riverdale except as provided herein.
Any party desiring to remove any tree shall file with the Municipal Clerk the following:
Tax lot and block number of subject premises.
Name and address of owners.
Location and type of each tree to be removed.
Reason for removal.
Location, type and reason for removal of any trees on the subject premises within three years of the filing of the application.
A map of the subject premises showing contour lines and grades at intervals of five feet, which map shall be prepared by a licensed surveyor or professional engineer.
An analysis, accompanied by all supporting data, prepared by a professional engineer or duly certified civil engineer, explaining the effects of the proposed removal of trees upon soil erosion, flooding and drainage, topsoil, soil fertility, dust and general aesthetic appearance. The aforesaid analysis shall extend to the subject premises and to all lands within 500 feet of the subject premises. Said analysis, accompanied by all supporting data, shall explain all steps and procedures to be taken by the party to prevent or rectify the aforestated effects.
All trees to be removed shall be tagged as of the date of the filing of the application.
Within 45 days of the receipt of the data and documents required as stated in § 157-4 hereof, the Planning Board shall hear the application. The applicant shall give notice, at least 10 days prior to the hearing, to all property owners within 200 feet of the subject premises by certified mail, return receipt requested. The names of property owners shall be supplied upon request by the applicant from the Tax Assessor.
In considering and reviewing the application, the Planning Board shall take into consideration the following criteria:
The sufficiency of the reason(s) for removal. Due consideration shall be given to the following:
The need to remove trees as part of a cut-and-fill operation.
Such other reasons as may be necessary for the ecological and/or environmental integrity of the subject premises and adjoining lands.
Remedial plan of applicant.
Excepted from the terms of this chapter are 10% of the number of trees on lots of three acres or less per year; 5% of the number of trees on lots of more than three acres per year; or one tree per year in the event the aforesaid lots have less then 10 trees. Also excepted herefrom are any trees growing on land used for a farm, orchard, nursery or garden center, and any diseased or dead tree, provided that the tree(s) is so certified by a duty qualified person to the Borough Engineer.
Within 30 days of the aforesaid hearing the Planning Board shall render its decision. The findings and reasons for determination shall be supplied to the applicant in writing. In the event permission to remove trees is granted, a permit to do so shall be issued by the Planning Board and contain the signature of the Chairperson and Secretary.
The applicant shall perform the tree removal in strict conformity to the terms of the Planning Board approval. The Planning Board Engineer shall regularly inspect the tree removal operation.
The following application fees shall be deposited with the Municipal Clerk with the application for removal:
A performance guaranty in cash or bond or a combination of both shall be submitted to the Planning Board and approved by the governing body prior to any tree removal in an amount sufficient to ensure the faithful performance of the tree removal operation. Before any of the cash or bond shall be released, the Planning Board Engineer shall certify to the faithful performance of the tree removal operation.
[Amended 9-21-1992 by Ord. No. 4-92]
Any party violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Each tree unlawfully removed shall be treated as a separate violation.