Township of Haverford, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Haverford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Department of Code Enforcement — See Ch. 4, Part 4, Art. VI.
Department of Public Works — See Ch. 4, Part 4, Art. XIV.
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 4, Part 5, Art. XIX.
Erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 78.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 157.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 160.
Zoning — See Ch. 182.
[Adopted 3-12-1973 by Ord. No. 1510; amended in its entirety 9-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2508]
The following words and phrases, when used in these regulations, shall have the meanings ascribed to them, except in those instances when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
PERMIT
Any permit in writing as issued by the Director of Public Works of the Township of Haverford.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, company or organization of any kind.
PRUNING
The removal of that part of the plant that is undesirable or superfluous.
PUBLIC STREET, HIGHWAY OR AVENUE
Any street, sidewalk or alley open to the public within the right-of-way lines thereof.
SHADE TREE
Any tree, shrub or woody plant in or upon any public street, highway and/or avenue in the Township of Haverford, or that part of any tree, shrub or woody plant which extends within the lines of any public street, highway and/or avenue in the Township of Haverford.
A. 
No shade tree shall be planted, pruned, removed or sprayed in or upon any public street, highway and/or avenue without a written permit from the Director of Public Works or his delegated authorities, such permit to designate the type of tree and place where such shade tree is to be planted, pruned, sprayed and/or removed. The Director of Public Works shall have the authority to designate the type of shade tree suitable and may refuse a permit to plant any type of tree which, in his opinion, is not suitable to the location. The Director of Public Works may be guided by standards laid down by the International Shade Tree Conference or any other similar organization which promulgates standards which would carry out the intent of these regulations.
B. 
No person shall, without first obtaining a permit therefor, cut, break, climb with spurs, injure in any manner or remove any shade tree; or cut down or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree; or spray any shade tree with any chemical or insecticide; or place any rope, guy wire, cable, sign, poster or any other fixture on any shade tree or guard for any shade tree; or injure, misuse or remove any device placed to protect any tree except in case of immediate necessity for the protection of life and/or property.
C. 
No person shall, without first obtaining a permit, place or hereafter maintain any stone, cement or any other impervious surface such as blacktop which shall impede the passage of water and air to the roots of any shade tree unless such person shall have an open space of ground surrounding the trunk of such tree, such space to be not less than four feet square.
D. 
No shade tree shall be planted in or upon the public streets, highways and/or avenues within five feet from the edge of any driveway. No shade tree shall be planted nearer to the intersection of any two or more streets than 25 feet from the point of intersection of any two public-right-of-way lines. A distance of 30 feet shall be maintained on streets which are state highways.
E. 
No person shall pour saltwater, oil or any other deleterious material at any place in such manner that injury might result to any shade tree.
F. 
All trees standing on private property and having branches projecting into the public right-of-way shall be kept trimmed by the owner of the property on or in front of which they are located so that the minimum clearance when they overhang any public walks shall be 12 feet for mature trees and nine feet for newly planted, and the minimum clearance where they overhang any public street, highway and/or avenue shall be 14 feet.
G. 
The Director of Public Works shall order the removal of any tree on private property if said tree is diseased, dead or creating any hazard to the public.
H. 
On all new building sites, the owner or contractor shall plant on said building site abutting the public right-of-way at least one shade tree for every 30 feet of street frontage or fraction thereof.
I. 
The application for any permit required hereunder shall be made in writing to the Director of Public Works. It shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and shall state the exact location and the species of any tree affected. It shall be the duty of the Director of Public Works to promptly submit every such application to the Shade Tree Commission for an advisory opinion as to approval or disapproval. The permit may be revoked at any time upon satisfactory proof that any of the terms or conditions upon which the permit was issued have been violated. The Director of Public Works, at his discretion, may, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit, require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Director of Public Works or to deposit security satisfactory to him to guarantee the compliance by the applicant within the terms and conditions upon which the permit is issued.
J. 
These regulations shall be enforced by the Director of Public Works in conjunction with the Township Police Department and Code Enforcement Department. All work required to be done under any permit shall be completed within a period of nine months by the new building contractor or 60 days by the owner of the property from the date of issuance of the permit, unless such completion date is extended by the Director of Public Works or if the permit shall have been previously revoked for cause by the Director of Public Works.
K. 
If any property owner shall neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of any order of the Director of Public Works as required by notice in writing by the Director of Public Works within the time limit specified in such notice, the Director of Public Works may cause such violation to be abated at the expense of the owner, and the entire cost of the work shall be a lien upon said premises, and a claim therefor shall be filed and collected by the Township Solicitor in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.
L. 
A permit fee shall be paid by the applicant at or before the issuance of the permit, said fees to be set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners as amended from time to time.
[Amended 3-12-2012 by Ord. No. 2660]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall, upon summary conviction before any District Justice of the Peace, pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs of prosecution; and in default of one payment of the fine and costs, the violator may be sentenced to the county jail for a term of not more than 30 days. Each and every day in which any person, firm or corporation shall be in violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
[Adopted 11-14-1977 by Ord. No. 1680; amended in its entirety 9-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2508]
A. 
The purpose of this article is to establish protective regulations for trees within Haverford Township in order to control problems of flooding, soil erosion, air and noise pollution and make Haverford Township a healthier and safer place in which to live.
B. 
The intent of this article is to encourage the protection of the maximum number of healthy trees within the tree protection zone and of large specimen trees throughout the Township, regardless of location. The intent is not punitive nor intended to cause hardship to any individual or private or public company which uses reasonable care and diligence to protect trees within Haverford Township.
A. 
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CROWN
The branches and foliage of a tree; the upper portion of a tree.
PERMITS
Any permit, in writing, as issued by a Township official.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, company or organization of any kind.
QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
A person who has a B.S. degree from a four-year school of forestry accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
TREE
Any woody perennial plant usually having but one main stem or trunk and a more or less definitely formed crown and growing to a height of 10 feet or more.
TREE DIAMETER
The width of a tree measured 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
TREE DRIPLINE
The line marking where the outer edges of a tree's branches overhang the ground.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE
That portion of the lot not covered by the proposed building or improvement or within a distance of 16 feet around the perimeter of the building and not within one foot on either side of the proposed cartway, the sidewalk portion of a street right-of-way, a utility easement or a parking area.
TREE REMOVAL
The cutting down of a tree, the transplanting of a tree to a site other than that under development or the infliction of damage to a tree which is of such severity as to show evidence within a period of two years of irreparable harm leading to the ultimate death of the tree. Examples of said serious damage include but are not limited to damage inflicted upon the root system by machinery, storage of materials and soil compaction; changing the natural grade above and below the root system or around the trunk; damage inflicted on the tree permitting fungus infection or pest infestation; excessive pruning; excessive thinning; and paving with concrete, asphalt or other impervious material within such proximity as to be harmful to the tree.
TREE ROOT AREA
The area under a tree extending from the trunk to the dripline.
B. 
The singular number shall include the plural, and the plural number shall include the singular, unless the context clearly denotes otherwise.
C. 
The masculine gender of a word shall include the feminine and neuter, unless the context clearly denotes otherwise.
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
No person, directly or indirectly, shall, without first obtaining a permit as herein provided, remove or relocate to another site any tree within a tree protection zone or remove any tree having a diameter of 24 inches or greater, regardless of location.
(2) 
The standards contained herein shall apply to the following activities:
(a) 
Land development;
(b) 
Subdivision;
(c) 
Grading in excess of 300 cubic yards;
(d) 
Grading for parking lots of five or more cars;
(e) 
Clearing on any building lot of six or more trees, each having a caliper of six inches or greater;
(f) 
Demolition of a structure;
(g) 
Removal of a tree with a diameter of 24 inches or greater associated with the activities identified in § 170-6A(2)(a) through (f) above.
(3) 
The standards contained herein shall be the minimum standards to be met and maintained. Standards established by other Township ordinances or by state and federal rules and regulations shall apply where those standards are more restrictive than the standards set forth herein.
B. 
Permit procedure.
(1) 
Any person desiring to remove or relocate a tree, as herein defined, and not otherwise exempted from the provisions of this article, must first apply to the Code Enforcement Officer for a tree removal permit. The application shall be accompanied by a written statement indicating the reasons for removal or relocation of a tree and a description of the species, size and condition of the tree to be removed.
(2) 
Before a building permit, demolition permit or grading permit is issued or, in the case of a subdivision or land development, at the time of application for preliminary plan approval, the applicant shall submit site plans showing the location of all existing trees having a diameter of six inches or greater by species, size and condition. In addition, the following information shall also be included:
(a) 
Trees to be removed and trees to be maintained.
(b) 
Specifications for removal of existing trees and protection of existing trees during construction.
(c) 
Grade changes or other work adjacent to the tree which would affect it adversely, with specifications on how the grade, drainage and aeration will be maintained around the tree.
(d) 
Approximate location of trees on adjoining properties that are located within 20 feet of the properly line.
(e) 
The proposed location, size, and species of replacement trees proposed by way of compensatory planting.
(f) 
All trees to be removed and all trees to remain on the subject property shall, prior to the issuance of such permit, be marked with a permanent marking, clearly visible at the base of the tree, indicating whether the tree is to be removed or to remain.
(3) 
All applications for tree removal or relocation shall be referred by the Code Enforcement Officer to the Haverford Township Shade Tree Commission for its recommendation of approval or disapproval. The Shade Tree Commission shall conduct an on-site inspection to determine whether or not such removal or relocation conforms to the requirements of this article. Failure on the part of the Shade Tree Commission to reply within 30 days shall be deemed a recommendation of approval. In the event that the Shade Tree Commission recommends denial of an application, it shall specify to the applicant, in writing, the reason for this action. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a tree removal permit only upon recommendation of approval by the Shade Tree Commission.
(4) 
The Shade Tree Commission shall recommend approval of the permit if one or more of the following conditions is present:
(a) 
Necessity to remove trees which pose a safety hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or threaten to cause disruption of public services.
(b) 
Necessity to remove trees which pose a safety hazard to buildings.
(c) 
Necessity to remove diseased trees, trees infested with destructive insects liable to infect the healthy trees on adjacent property or trees weakened by age, storm, fire or other injury.
(d) 
Necessity to observe good forestry practices, i.e., the number of healthy trees that a given parcel of land will support when documented by a report prepared on behalf of the developer by a qualified professional forester or a registered landscape architect.
(e) 
Necessity for compliance with other Haverford Township codes, such as building, zoning and subdivision regulations, health provisions and other environmental ordinances.
(f) 
Other conditions which, in the judgment of the Shade Tree Commission, warrant the removal of the tree.
(5) 
In the event that any tree shall be determined to be in a hazardous or dangerous condition so as to endanger the public health, welfare or safety and requires immediate removal without delay, verbal authorization by telephone after an on-site inspection may be given by the Director of Code Enforcement without first obtaining a written permit as is otherwise herein required. A written permit shall be required immediately upon the abatement of the hazardous condition.
(6) 
A permit fee shall be paid by the applicant at or before the issuance of the permit, said fees to be set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners as amended from time to time.
Developers shall exercise care to protect trees which are to be retained from damage during construction. The following procedures shall be observed in order to protect remaining trees:
A. 
Protection from mechanical injury.
(1) 
All trees to be retained within 25 feet of a building site and lining ingress or egress roads, parking areas and utility easements shall be protected from equipment damage by placing sections of acceptable fencing around the dripline of any tree which is to be preserved during construction operations, inside of which no grading, storing, dumping of any material or any disturbance whatsoever may occur. Groups of trees may be protected by fencing the entire area where they are located.
(2) 
Heavy-equipment operators shall be careful not to damage existing tree trunks and roots. Feeder roots shall not be cut closer than 25 feet to tree trunks.
(3) 
Tree trunks and exposed roots damaged during construction shall be protected from further damage by being treated immediately with tree-wound dressing or asphalt-based tree paint.
(4) 
Tree limbs damaged during construction shall be pruned in accordance with the standards outlined in ANSI A300, Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance.
(5) 
The operation of heavy equipment within driplines shall be minimized in order to prevent soil compaction.
(6) 
Deciduous trees shall be given an application of a slow-release, low nitrogen, all-purpose fertilizer to aid in their recovery from possible damage caused by construction operations. Such application shall be made on the basis of two pounds of fertilizer for every inch of tree diameter.
(7) 
Trees shall not be used for roping, cables, signs or fencing. Nails and spikes shall not be driven into trees.
(8) 
The area around the base of existing trees shall be left open to provide access for water and nutrients. Therefore, no impervious cover nor storage of equipment, materials, debris or fill shall be allowed within the dripline of any existing tree, except as may be necessary for a maximum of three months if no other storage space is available.
B. 
Protection from grade change.
(1) 
Raising the grade. If an increase in the grade of the land is proposed, the developer shall install either of the following:
(a) 
A system of gravel and drain tiles at the old soil level opening into a dry well built around the trunk and designed for each tree, individually fitting the contour of the land so that it drains water away from the tree trunk.
(b) 
A retaining wall between the existing grade and the higher grade.
(2) 
Lowering the grade. If a lowering of the grade is proposed, the developer shall initiate one of the following methods to protect the trees:
(a) 
Terracing the grade.
(b) 
A retaining wall between the existing grade and the lower grade.
(3) 
If the proposed grade change, in the opinion of the Shade Tree Commission, is too excessive to allow retention of existing trees, the developer shall be required to replace the trees he removes on a 1:4 basis, which means one inch of new tree diameter for every four inches of tree diameter removed.
C. 
Protection from excavations. When digging trenches for utility lines and other similar uses, the developer shall adhere to the following, listed in the order of their preference:
(1) 
If possible, trenches should bypass the root area.
(2) 
If this is not feasible, trenches should be tunneled under the tree's tree root area.
(3) 
If trenches must be dug in the tree root area, the following precautions shall be observed:
(a) 
Trenches shall be no closer to the trunk than half the distance from the dripline.
(b) 
Cut as few roots as possible.
(c) 
If roots have to be cut, cut them as cleanly as possible.
(d) 
Exposed roots must not be allowed to dry out before permanent backfill is placed; provide temporary earth cover or pack with peat moss and wrap with burlap.
(e) 
Backfill the trench as soon as possible avoiding soil compaction.
D. 
Protection during cleanup.
(1) 
All construction debris shall be hauled away and shall not be burned or buried on site.
(2) 
Fences and barriers around trees shall be the last thing to be removed from the site.
A. 
Replacement of trees lost during construction.
(1) 
Where the developer finds it impossible to retain existing trees in the tree protection zone due to cutting, filling or other construction activity, he shall replant one inch of new tree diameter for every four inches of existing tree diameter removed.
(2) 
A permit shall be required for the removal of any tree with a twenty-four-inch caliper or greater. The Shade Tree Commission shall recommend to the Code Enforcement Officer whether the permit should be approved or denied, and the Commission shall have the authority to require that such tree be replaced caliper for caliper. The Shade Tree Commission shall provide a written basis for its findings.
(3) 
New trees shall have a minimum diameter of two inches, measured 4 1/2 feet above the ground. Replanting shall be done according to the specifications of the Shade Tree Commission and the standards specified by the American Nurserymen's Association. The Code Enforcement Officer and the Shade Tree Commission shall be consulted before any replacement trees are planted.
B. 
Criteria for selection of new trees. When a developer is required to replace trees that he has removed, he shall be guided by the following criteria in selecting replacement trees. These guidelines shall also be followed when it is necessary for a developer to choose certain trees for retention and others for clearing:
(1) 
Species longevity.
(2) 
Hardiness, including wind firmness, climate requirements and characteristics of soil to hold tree.
(3) 
Susceptibility to insect and disease attack and to pollution.
(4) 
Aesthetic values, including autumn coloration, type of flowers or fruit and form characteristics.
(5) 
Maintenance and care, such as pruning, etc.
(6) 
Wildlife values.
(7) 
Comfort to surroundings, such as summer shade.
(8) 
Existence of disease, rot or other damage to tree.
(9) 
Protection of buildings, vehicles and pedestrians.
(10) 
Size at maturity.
(11) 
Effect on soil retention and erosion control.
(12) 
Value as a noise buffer.
(13) 
Undesirable characteristics.
A. 
Any person who shall deem that he suffered damages by reason of the enforcement of this article may appeal, in writing, to the Board of Commissioners within 10 days after the date of such action. The Board of Commissioners shall fix and notify the appellant of a time and place for a public hearing on said appeal, and the appellant shall cause notice of such hearing to be published in a newspaper circulating in the Township at least 10 days prior to the hearing. All parties in interest shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard thereat. After such hearing, the Board of Commissioners shall affirm or reverse the action of the Shade Tree Commission and/or Code Enforcement Officer, stating its findings and reasons for its actions, and a written copy of such action shall be given to the appellant.
B. 
The fee for such a hearing shall be $500.
[Amended 3-12-2012 by Ord. No. 2660]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall, upon summary conviction before any District Justice of the Peace, pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs of prosecution; and in default of one payment of the fine and costs, the violator may be sentenced to the county jail for a term of not more than 30 days. Each and every day in which any person, firm or corporation shall be in violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense. Such fines or penalties shall be collected in the manner provided by the First Class Township Code.