[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Westtown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-2-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-2]
It is hereby declared that obstruction of the public rights-of-way of the Township by trees and parts thereof falling and encroaching into said rights-of-way from private property located outside said rights-of-way poses a substantial and imminent threat to the health, safety and welfare of the Township, its inhabitants and persons using the public rights-of-way of the Township.
Under the authority of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq., including §§ 66506, 67325, 67326 and 67907 thereof, the Township shall have exclusive custody and control of those trees or parts thereof that are located within the area of any Township street right-of-way and/or Township-owned property and is authorized to plant, remove and protect such trees.
In furtherance of the protection of the Township, its inhabitants and persons using the public rights-of-way of the Township, any owner of property located outside said rights-of-way shall be responsible for the immediate clearing and removal of any tree or parts thereof if the condition of the tree or parts thereof, through disease or otherwise, unreasonably affects or interferes with the health, safety or welfare of the public or the right of the public to the unobstructed use of public roads or property.
If within 30 days after the date of notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to remove the trees or parts thereof the property owner has not complied with that order, the Board of Supervisors or Township Manager may direct the appropriate Township personnel or authorized Township contractor to enter the premises and remove the trees or parts thereof.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the Township shall have the right, without prior notice to any property owner, to perform any act/acts necessary to abate clear, present and immediate threats to the public health, safety or welfare caused by the condition of trees or parts thereof that are located on private property outside of the right-of-way of any Township street.
In the event of Township action as described in § 158-4 above, the cost incurred by the Township pursuant thereto shall be collected by the Township Treasurer by the assessment of such costs against the responsible property owner as provided by 53 P.S. § 68302, including the filing of a municipal lien, if necessary.
Any person who violates or permits the violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a District Justice, pay a fine for each such violation in an amount not less than $100 and not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Township. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure.