Regular committees — See Ch. 17.
§ 81-1Committee established; membership and terms; responsibilities.
§ 81-2Unlawful acts.
§ 81-3Charges to property owners; liens; exceptions.
§ 81-4Violations and penalties.
§ 81-5Disclaimer of liability.
§ 81-6Effect on previous provisions.
A Committee on Shade Trees is hereby established in the Township of Riverside. The Committee shall consist of five members, appointed by the Mayor, who shall be residents of the Township of Riverside and shall serve without compensation. The terms of the members of the Committee shall be for a period of five years. However, initial appointments of members of the Committee shall be made promptly upon the enactment of this chapter for terms to expire on December 31, 1993, December 31, 1994, December 31, 1995, December 31, 1996, and December 31, 1997, respectively. Upon the expiration of any such term, appointments or reappointments shall be made for a period effective January 1 of each year and continuing for five years thereafter.
A vacancy shall be deemed to have occurred during the term of a Committee member upon the resignation of said member or upon the failure of said member to attend any three consecutive meetings of the Committee, unless said absences are excused by a majority vote of the Committee. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term of the Committee member being replaced.
The Shade Tree Committee shall select one of its members as Chairperson and appoint a Secretary who need not be a member. No salary shall be paid to any member of the Committee.
The Shade Tree Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
Review any and all matters relating to shade trees, ornamental trees and shrubbery within the Township of Riverside now located or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway, park or parkway, except for those under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Highway Department or the County of Burlington, including reviewing requests to plant or remove such trees. Such requests may be brought to the Committee by citizens of the Township, by the Department of Public Works or by any Township employee. The Committee may make recommendations regarding planting or removal, the use of the ground surrounding the trees, the care and control of the parks and parkways surrounding said trees and any other matters relating to said trees to the Director of the Department of Public Works of the Township of Riverside.
Review and make recommendations regarding the care and use of ground surrounding shade trees and related vegetation as previously described, to assist in their proper growth, care and protection.
Recommend to the Department of Public Works that any tree or part thereof which is dangerous to public safety be moved or removed.
Make recommendations to the Department of Public Works for the care and control of such parks and parkways.
Take direct action to encourage arboriculture within the Township and make recommendations to the Department of Public Works and/or the Township Committee for that purpose.
Review and recommend to the Department of Public Works the administration of treatment to or removal of any trees situated on private property which are believed to harbor a disease or insects which may be communicable to neighboring healthy trees in the care of the Township. In the event that such recommendations are made, the Department of Public Works may, with the consent of the owner thereof and with confirmation by certificate issued by or on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture of the suspected condition, enter upon private property for the purpose of providing treatment or removing such trees.
It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any of the following acts to shade or ornamental trees and shrubberies on streets, highways, parkways, easements and parks or other lands owned by the Township: to plant, set out, remove, take down, break or injure any such trees, shrubs or parts thereof unless recommended by the Committee and approved by the Director of the Department of Public Works, which approval shall be set forth in writing.
Upon the recommendation of the Committee, the Director of the Department of Public Works may determine to charge real estate in front of which trees are planted, treated or removed, as an improvement thereof. If it is determined that such cost is to be paid by the owner, it shall be certified by the Collector of Taxes in the municipality and shall thereupon become and be a lien upon said real estate and shall be included in the next tax bill rendered to the owner or owners thereof and be collected in the same manner as other taxes against that property. No such lien shall be applied to any planting to replace any tree or trees theretofore planted by the former Shade Tree Commission or by the Department of Public Works or to remove or treat any such tree, nor to any planting in connection with Arbor Day exercises or other educational demonstration. In any case where the Director of the Department of Public Works determines to apply such cost to the adjacent property, notice of such intent shall be given to any owner or owners to be charged prior to incurring any expense, unless the same shall be deemed an emergency.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter involving the unauthorized destruction of any trees as described herein shall be deemed an offense, and upon complaint of the Director of the Department of Public Works or any other authorized official of the Township, may be enforced before the Municipal Court of Riverside Township. Each violation thereof shall be subject to one or more of the following: a fine not exceeding $1,000; a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days; or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to make the Committee, the Township or any employee thereof responsible for the death or injury of any person or for damage to any property or highway caused by or related to any tree or shrub covered by the terms of this chapter.
All ordinances duly enacted by the prior Shade Tree Commission shall remain in full force and effect, except that references therein to the former Commission shall be deemed to apply to the Riverside Township Committee, the Committee on Shade Trees created hereby or to the Director of Public Works, as may appear practical in each case.