Borough of Riverton, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverton 11-14-1974 by Ord. No. 312. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The Borough of Riverton Shade Tree Board is hereby established.
B. 
The Board shall consist of five members, appointed by the Mayor of the Borough of Riverton, who shall be residents of this municipality and shall serve without compensation.
A. 
The first members of the Board shall be appointed within 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, and their terms of office shall commence on January 1 next succeeding such appointment.
(1) 
Two members shall serve for a term of one year.
(2) 
Two members shall serve for a term of two years.
(3) 
One member shall serve for a term of three years.
B. 
The term of each appointee shall be designated in his appointment. All subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for the full term of three years, to take effect on January 1 next succeeding such appointment. In the event that the membership of any Board is increased, the new members shall be appointed in such manner that the terms shall expire in accordance with the foregoing.
The Shade Tree Board shall organize within 60 days after the appointment of its total membership for the remainder of the then calendar year, and thereafter annually by the election of one of its members as Chairman and the appointment of a Secretary, who need not be a member. The members of the Board and the Secretary shall serve without compensation.
Any vacancy occurring by reason of death, resignation or removal of any member of the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Mayor of the Borough of Riverton.
The scope and responsibilities of the Shade Tree Board shall be as follows:
A. 
To prepare programs and plans for consideration by the governing body with respect to the purchase, planting, care, rearing, trimming, preserving and control of the shade and ornamental trees of the Borough.
B. 
To meet with the governing body upon its request for discussion of programs and recommendations.
C. 
To consult regularly with the governing body concerning the shade tree program of the Borough.
D. 
Encourage arboriculture.
A. 
When application for a subdivision of land is first submitted to the Planning Board, the Planning Board will, within one week, advise the Shade Tree Board, of the desired subdivision, whereupon the Board shall inspect the property involved, noting the number, type and location of the various trees situate on the land proposed to be subdivided, their approximate age and density of growth, together with the topography, and taking into account the necessity for cutting or filling the land to meet subdivision requirements.
B. 
Within 10 days after receipt of such information, the Shade Tree Board shall make a written report of its findings to the Planning Board, together with any recommendation it might desire to make regarding the safeguarding of desirable trees during the course of the subdivision and the erection of buildings in such development.
[Amended 4-12-2017 by Ord. No. O-2017-03]
The Borough Council shall have the sole power and authority to enter into contracts and incur debts for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of this Chapter 35.
The Borough Council shall have the power to:
A. 
Regulate and control the use of the grounds surrounding the shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery on public land, so far as may be necessary for their proper growth, care and protection.
B. 
Move or require the removal of any tree or part thereof dangerous to public safety.
C. 
Administer treatment to or remove any tree situate upon private property which is believed to harbor a disease or insects readily communicable to neighboring healthy trees in the care of the municipality, and enter upon private property for that purpose, with the consent of the owner thereof, provided the suspected condition is first confirmed by a certificate of the Department of Agriculture.
A. 
The initial costs of all trees planted by the Borough, the cost of planting the same, the cost of the post and boxes or guards used for the protection of the trees and the cost of the removal of any tree or part thereof dangerous to public safety shall, if so determined by the Borough governing body, be a charge upon the real estate in front of which such tree or trees shall be planted or removed as an improvement thereof. No charge shall be made against the property or the owner thereof where a planting to replace a tree or trees previously planted by the Borough is done, or where a planting is made in connection with a commemorative ceremony instigated by the Borough, or where a planting is made in connection with any educational demonstration.
B. 
Any cost assessed as provided in this section shall be paid by the owner to the Borough Clerk. Upon failure of the owner to make payment to the Borough Clerk, said Borough Clerk shall certify the cost to the Tax Collector, and the cost assessed shall thereupon become 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.
The Borough Council shall annually appropriate such sum as it may deem necessary for the purchase of trees and shrubbery, the purchase of necessary equipment and materials and for the cost of services of the promotion of the work of the Shade Tree Board.
A member of the Borough Council shall be charged with the duty of overseeing the program of work undertaken by the Borough Council pursuant to this chapter. Said member shall make monthly reports to the Borough governing body on the work undertaken pursuant to the program provided for herein.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be held to take away or diminish any of the powers or authority of the Mayor and Council over the trees or shrubbery in the Borough of Riverton within its jurisdiction, or to give any other commission or board any power or authority with respect to such trees or shrubbery.
[Added 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 5-2012]
A. 
Definitions.
(1) 
As used in this chapter, the terms hereinafter set forth shall be defined and deemed to have the following meanings:
BOARD
The Shade Tree Board of the Borough of Riverton, including any of its duly appointed members and any of its duly authorized agents or employees.
PERMITS
Written permission of the Board pursuant to any provision of this section, the Board shall have occasion to pass upon an application for a permit. It shall, in determining whether or not to issue such permit, take into consideration the nature, species, size, age, and condition of any tree involved; the location thereof in the street or park; the planting, care, protection, maintenance, or removal procedures involved; the public safety and welfare; and the improvement and advancement of the shade tree plan or program of the Commission Board.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership or corporation, or any combination thereof. Where, in the proper context, it is so required, this term may be construed to designate the plural as well as the singular.
STREET
Any road, avenue, street, or highway dedicated to the public use for street purposes, regardless of whether or not it has been formally accepted by the Borough of Riverton. A street shall be deemed to include all portions lying between the dedicated or established right-of-way lines and/or planting easement thereof, said lines being identical with the front property lines of lands abutting the street.
TREE
Any tree, shrub or plant, or any root, branch, flower or other part thereof, that is located in or upon any Borough of Riverton property.
PLANTING EASEMENT
The area of private property for Borough planting of trees and shrubs within the Borough right-of-way as delineated on the Riverton Borough Tax Maps.
(2) 
Any term or provision of this section that contemplates, directs, regulates or prohibits the doing of any act may, in applicable cases and where the context so requires, be construed to include the causing, allowing, permitting or suffering of such act to be done by others under the direction, control or supervision of the person charged therewith. Every such act shall be deemed to be within the scope of this section, regardless of whether it is a deliberate, intentional or purposeful act, or a careless, negligent or unintentional act.
B. 
Permits. No person shall, without a permit, do any of the following acts upon Borough of Riverton property:
(1) 
Cut, prune, break, injure, remove, disturb, or interfere in any way with any tree;
(2) 
Spray with any chemical any tree or near a tree to cause injury or death to said tree;
(3) 
Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device to a tree or to any guard about such tree except as provided in § 128-71;
(4) 
Remove or injure any guard or device placed to protect any tree; or
(5) 
`Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree to permit the access of air, water and fertilizer to the roots of such tree.
C. 
Planting. No person shall plant any tree or shrub in any park, street or planting easement without a permit.
D. 
Obstructions.
(1) 
No person shall, without a permit, place or maintain in any street or park, any stone, cement or other sidewalk, or any stone, cement, mulch or other substance which shall impede the free access of air and water to the roots of any tree.
(2) 
No tree shall be surrounded by pavement of stone, cement, asphalt or any other substance tending to impede the free access of air and water to the roots of the tree as determined by the Shade Tree Board or the certified tree expert retained by the Borough.
E. 
Injury.
(1) 
No person shall place salt, brine, oil or any other substance injurious to plant growth in any street or park in such a manner as to injure any tree.
(2) 
No person shall build any fire or station any tar kettle, road roller, fuel oil dispensing truck, or other engine in any street or any other place in such a manner that the heat, vapors, fuel, or fumes therefrom may injure any tree.
(3) 
Every person, having or maintaining any underground utility lines, shall do so in such a manner as will safeguard the trees against any damage therefrom and shall make periodical adjustments whenever necessary to prevent damage to trees.
F. 
Protection.
(1) 
In the erection, alteration, or repair of any structure or building, the owner/contractor, or other person in charge thereof shall place such guards around all nearby trees as will effectually prevent injury to such trees.
(2) 
No person shall do any excavating within four feet of any tree without a permit.
(3) 
No person shall use or operate any power shovel, bulldozer or any other implement or tool in such a manner as to damage or destroy any tree.
G. 
Wires and utility trimming.
(1) 
No person shall string any wires in or through a public park or Borough trees without a permit.
(2) 
Every person having or maintaining any electric, telephone, telegraph, cable TV, or other wires running in or through a street or park shall securely fasten and maintain such wires in such a manner as will safeguard all trees against any damage therefrom and shall make periodical adjustments whenever necessary to prevent damage to all trees.
(3) 
Any public utility or its agents may upon receiving (written) permission from the Board at least 72 hours prior to the start of the work, prune or remove trees for line clearance of utility wires in nonemergency situations pursuant to a line clearance program, service or spot work to prevent interruption of electrical, telephone, telegraph, cable TV, or other wire services. In such event, the utility will notify the Board of said work within three business days prior to its beginning.
H. 
Hindrance. No person shall prevent, delay or in any manner interfere with the Board or its authorized agents in the performance of their lawful duties.
I. 
Penalties. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section or who fails to comply with the terms and provisions of any permit issued pursuant hereto shall upon conviction in Municipal Court therefor pay a fine of not less than $200 or not to exceed $1,500 at the discretion of the court. Each day that a violation shall continue, it shall constitute a separate offense.
J. 
Restitution. In addition to the penalties authorized by Subsection I of this chapter, the Borough Council may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of a municipal ordinance to pay a replacement assessment to the municipality. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree as determined by the appraisal of a trained forester or certified tree expert retained by the Board for that purpose. These specifics will be based on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers Guidebook.