[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of East Stroudsburg 1-6-1948 by Ord. No. 370, approved 1-12-1948; amended in its entirety 9-15-1970 by Ord. No. 671, approved 9-15-1970. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 1-19-1988 by Ord. No. 878, approved 1-19-1988]
A commission to be known as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of East Stroudsburg" is hereby established.
[Amended 11-5-2002 by Ord. No. 1133, approved 11-5-2002]
Pursuant to the Borough Code as amended, the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of East Stroudsburg shall be comprised of five residents of the Borough of East Stroudsburg, who shall be appointed by the Council and who shall serve without compensation.
The terms of office of a five-member Commission shall be five years and shall be so fixed that the term of office of one member shall expire each year.
The Commission shall promptly notify Borough Council of any vacancy which occurs on the Commission. Council shall make an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Commission only for the unexpired portion of the term.
The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in the Borough, and it is authorized to plant, remove, maintain and protect shade trees on the streets and highways in the Borough. The Commission may employ and pay superintendents, engineers, foresters, tree wardens or other assistants as the proper performance of the duties devolving upon it shall require.
The Shade Tree Commission shall annually report in full to the Council its transactions and expenses for the last fiscal year of the Borough [1966, Feb. 1, P.L. (1965), No. 581, § 2725].
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 47725. For further provisions regarding Shade Tree Commissions in boroughs, See 53 P.S. § 47721 et seq.
The cost of furnishing, planting, transplanting or removing any shade trees in and along the streets and highways in the Borough: of the necessary and suitable guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof; and of the replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the execution of such work shall be paid by the owner of the real estate abutting that on which the work is done. The amount each owner is to pay shall be ascertained and certified by the Commission or Council and to the Borough Treasurer.
Upon the filing of the certificate with the Council, the Borough Secretary shall cause 30 days' written notice to be given to every person against whose property an assessment has been made. The notice shall state the amount of the assessment and the time and place of payment and shall be accompanied by a copy of the certificate. The amount assessed against the real estate shall be a lien from the time of the filing of the certificate with the Council, and if not paid within the time designated in the notice, a claim may be filed and collected by the Borough Solicitor in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.
The cost and expenses of caring for such trees after having been planted and the expense of publishing the notice hereinbefore provided for shall be paid by the Borough. The needed amount shall be certified each year by the Commission to the Council and shall be drawn against, as required by the Commission, in the same manner as money appropriated for Borough purposes. The Council may levy a general tax, not to exceed the sum of 1/10 of one mill on the dollar on the assessed valuation of the property in said Borough taxable for county purposes, for the purpose of defraying the cost and expenses of caring for such shade trees and the expense of publishing the notice, or it may provide for the expense of the caring for trees already planted and of publishing the notice by appropriations equal to the amount certified to be required by the Commission.
No person shall plant, cut, prune, trim or remove any shade tree under the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission; or fasten any sign, wire, rope or other materials to, around or through any such shade tree; or deposit, place, store or maintain any stone, brick, sand, concrete or passage of water, air or proper fertilizer to the roots of any such shade tree unless he shall first obtain a permit from the Shade Tree Commission so to do. No person shall move any building or other object on or over any public street within the city in such a manner as to damage or injure any shade tree or shrub in such street unless he first obtains a permit from the Shade Tree Commission so to do. As a condition to any permit to move any building or object on or over any public street, the Shade Tree Commission may require the applicant to furnish a bond in the amount sufficient to cover any damage or injury to any shade trees or shrubs in such street, and it may direct the route of any such moving so as to minimize damage or injury to shade trees and shrubs.
As a condition to any permit to remove any shade tree, the Shade Tree Commission may require that the applicant plant, at his expense, another tree in place of the one removed. In the event of planting any shade tree, the Shade Tree Commission in such case shall direct the type, size and location of the tree to be planted and the time within which the work shall be done.
In the event of a shade tree being damaged by any person, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge of repairs to the tree, plus the devaluation of the tree, against the person causing the damage to said tree. In the event of a shade tree being destroyed by any person, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge for the appraised value of the tree, plus the cost of removal and replacement thereof, against the person causing the destruction of said tree. Pruning shall be in the best interest of the trees being pruned.
In the event that any shade tree or trees are felled by storm or other casualty, said trees, branches or stumps thereof shall be removed from the cartway by the Borough without charge. Replacement of such trees will be made at the discretion of the Shade Tree Commission and at the expense of the property owner.
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, kill or destroy any shade tree or set fire or permit any fire to burn where such fire or the heat thereof will injure any shade tree, and no person shall knowingly permit any leak to exist in any gas or steam pipe or main within the root zone of any such shade tree or permit any toxic chemical, either solid or liquid, to seep, drain or be emptied on or about any such shade tree or permit any wire designed to carry electric current to come in contact with any shade tree unless protected by a method to be approved by the Shade Tree Commission. No person shall attach any electric installation to any tree or excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or lay any driveway within a radius of 10 feet of any tree without first obtaining a written permit, as herein provided, from the Shade Tree Commission.
Whenever the Shade Tree Commission determines it to be necessary in order to prune or remove any tree or for any other reason to temporarily protect, move or cut off the electricity from any service wire, it shall serve written notice on the owner of such wire, and said owner shall comply with such notice within 24 hours. Any tree that constitutes a hazard to public safety by reason of the failure by the public utility company to prune properly in the case of wires shall be declared a public nuisance and shall be abated by the utility company forthwith and no later than within 24 hours after the receipt of notice from the Shade Tree Commission.
All permits issued for the installation of public utility facilities shall have a prior approval by the Shade Tree Commission.
The Shade Tree Commission may trim branches from any shade trees overhanging the streets and highways of the Borough so that they shall not obstruct the light from any street light and so that there shall be a clear height of 15 feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk.
Any tree along the streets or highways of the Borough or growing on private property but overhanging any street or highway that, in the opinion of the Shade Tree Commission, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public or which is affected by any contagious disease or insect infestation shall be declared a public nuisance. The owner of the property shall be notified, in writing, of the existence of the nuisance and given reasonable time for its correction or removal. If not corrected or removed within the allotted time, the Shade Tree Commission shall cause the nuisance to be corrected or removed, and the cost thereof shall be assessed to the owner as provided by law.
[Amended 4-18-2000 by Ord. No. 1101, approved 4-18-2000]
There shall be close cooperation between the Shade Tree Commission and the other Borough departments when their work affects trees on or along Borough streets or highways. The Shade Tree Commission shall approve all building permits that may affect Borough trees. All sewer, lighting and paving plans shall be cleared with the Shade Tree Commission. The Borough Planning Commission and the Shade Tree Commission shall work together planning for the present and future welfare of the Borough. The Shade Tree Commission shall work closely with the Fire Department, Water Department and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department in the interest of the shade tree system and public safety.
Whenever the Commission proposes to plant, transplant or remove shade trees on any street or highway, notice of the time and place of the meeting at which such work is to be considered shall be given:
In not more than two newspapers published in the Borough, once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the time of the meeting, as provided by law. Said notice shall specify in detail the streets or highways or portions thereof upon which trees are proposed to be so planted, replanted or removed:
By personal service of 10 days' written notice thereof to the owner or owners; or
By leaving 10 days' written notice thereof at the place of business of the owner or, if the owner is not found in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, then by sending 10 days' written notice thereof by United States mail with the return address thereon to the last known address of said owner or by posting a copy of said written notice thereof in a conspicuous place on the property affected.
[Amended 1-19-1988 by Ord. No. 878, approved 1-19-1988; 10-3-1989 by Ord. No. 921, approved 10-3-1989]
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $600 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.