Village of Cooperstown, NY
Otsego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown 5-16-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Streets and sidewalks, maintenance of trees — See Ch. 240, § 240-4.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.

§ 258-1 Purpose of tree regulations.

To promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare as well as the aesthetic beauty of the streetscapes by providing for the management of the planting, maintenance and removal of trees within the Village.

§ 258-2 History.

The interest in having and maintaining tree-lined streetscapes did not always exist in the Village. In the days before there was an appreciation of all the many benefits of growing trees, a good tree was considered one that had been cut and used for some worthwhile purpose, i.e., building or burning. In post-Civil War pictures of the Village, there are few trees in evidence along the streets. A change in attitude started in the 20th century. In the period 1929 to 1931 a joint effort of the Village government and the Clark Foundation brought about the planting of 3,000 trees in the Village. About 40 years later, through the efforts of Fran Cannon and others, the Village Trustees created a Conservation Advisory Committee to assist the Village in maintaining the beauty of the streetscapes. Recommendations were made by this committee on the type and location of trees to be planted and yearly evaluation of all trees for necessary pruning/removal. For many years this committee also campaigned for funds to support the purchase of new trees. This effort allowed between 15 and 25 trees to be planted each year. In 1984, the Village tree efforts were recognized by the National Arbor Day Association, and Cooperstown became a "Tree City USA." This recognition has continued every year since, along with a ceremonial planting of an Arbor Day tree. In 1998, a memorial tree program was initiated in which individuals/organizations could contribute to the purchase and planting of a tree in memory of an individual, including a plaque indicating this event placed in the Village Library.

§ 258-3 Tree Committee.

A. 
The Tree Committee is an advisory committee to the Village Board/Mayor on all items related to Village trees.
B. 
The Committee consists of a minimum of five members: a representative of the Department of Public Works, a Village Trustee and a minimum of three at-large members, preferably but not necessarily residents of the Village. One of the at-large members will be appointed as Chairperson. All appointments will be made by the Mayor, approved by the Board of Trustees and will be for a term of two years, with option for renewal.
C. 
The Tree Committee will conduct inventories of existing trees, decide which trees should be removed (and why), investigate possible diseases, establish the cultivars and locations for new tree plantings, and recommend an annual tree budget. In addition, it will plan yearly Arbor Day ceremonies, apply for Tree City status, and promote by educational means, including newspaper articles, the concept of the benefits of trees to the health and welfare of community residents and visitors.
D. 
In situations where removal requests are received from residents, the Tree Committee will investigate and recommend a course of action to the Trustees, who in such cases have final decision authority.

§ 258-4 Tree planting, maintenance and removal.

A. 
The Village, utilizing the Tree Committee and Department of Public Works, is committed to maintaining the treescape along the streets and in the parks. Unless otherwise stated in specific deeds, the Village right-of-way along streets is considered to be 25 feet from the center of the street or to the inside edge of the sidewalk, whichever is greater. Village planting and tree maintenance occurs within this right-of-way and is usually between the curb and the sidewalk. If due to adverse conditions a Village tree is to be planted on the resident's side of the sidewalk, agreement must be reached in advance with the landowner.
[Amended 4-27-2015 by L.L. No. 7-2015]
B. 
Plantings will be scheduled as a result of a yearly analysis of potential sites, budget constraints, memorial tree contributions and Department of Public Works availability. Tree species will be selected based on location, soil conditions, utilities and previous survival history. (See separate guidelines for specific tree management practices in the document "Urban Tree Risk Management.")
C. 
For the first year following planting, the Village Department of Public Works will provide irrigation for the new trees. Adjacent landowners will be encouraged to assist, as covered under § 258-5. The Village will also be responsible for trimming over streets and sidewalks of Village-planted trees as well as appropriate shaping of flowering trees.
D. 
Yearly monitoring of all public trees will be done to check for disease and problems affecting public safety. Any trees suspected of having problems will be documented for further investigation. Severe cases will be placed on a cutting list for professional removal.

§ 258-5 Adjacent landowner responsibilities.

A. 
Landowners will be encouraged to take an active interest in the care and maintenance of trees that are planted by the Village on Village property adjacent to their land.
B. 
Landowners, whenever possible, should supplement the watering done by Village crews, take special care when weed-eating and mowing around the trees, and be watchful for and monitor inappropriate behavior by pets and children around the trees. It is the landowners' responsibility to make sure that contractors doing construction work on their property take adequate measures to protect adjacent Village trees from harm, including the effects of soil compaction.
C. 
Landowners should notify the Village if they notice anything which seems to suggest that any tree on Village or private property is "ill" or in need of special care. The Tree Committee should notify landowners of plans for planting or removal of trees on rights-of-way adjacent to their properties.

§ 258-6 Enforcement. [1]

A. 
For rules and regulations covered in this chapter or in the referenced "Urban Tree Risk Management" document, the Superintendent of Public Works will have enforcement responsibility acting on behalf of the Village. Enforcement actions will be taken following discussion with the Tree Committee.
[Amended 2-22-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
B. 
In the case of a suspected problem with a tree located on private property, the Department of Public Works Superintendent is authorized by the Village to take the steps necessary to determine if a problem does exist and if it affects the public domain.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 258-6, Privately owned trees, was repealed 2-22-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016, which local law also renumbered former §§ 258-7 and 258-8 as §§ 258-6 and 258-7, respectively.

§ 258-7 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
"Violations" refer to the act of causing harm to or the death of any tree on Village property or rights-of-way. This includes but is not limited to cutting, signage placed on trees, lawn mowers or weedwhacker causing bark damage, excessive soil compaction or certain chemicals absorbed by the root structure.
B. 
Violations are punishable by a maximum fine of $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
[Amended 4-27-2015 by L.L. No. 7-2015]