[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Woodbury 8-12-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent of this chapter to promote the general welfare of the people of the Village of Woodbury by providing for the protection, regulation, planting and cutting of trees in such a way as to protect and preserve the environment by controlling the tree life in the Village of Woodbury. Shade and ornamental trees must be protected in this rapidly growing area since they provide shade and beauty and grace to our Village. Trees also act as barriers to surface water flow and soil erosion which without the proper control could become a serious problem in the Village, which is predominantly mountainous.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Village of Woodbury to conserve, protect and regulate the planting and cutting of trees which are an integral part of the natural resources and environment of the Village of Woodbury in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people and their overall economic and social well-being.
It shall further be the policy of the Village to improve and coordinate the plans for the protection, regulation and planting of trees and forest management with the overall environmental plans of the Village in cooperation with the federal and state government.
It shall further be the policy of the Village in implementing this chapter for the protection, regulation, planting and cutting of trees to foster, promote, create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can thrive in harmony with each other and achieve social, economic and technical progress for present and future generations for the citizens of Woodbury.
With an ever-growing population in the Village of Woodbury, it is absolutely essential to our citizens to remove pollution from our air. It takes approximately 20 mature trees to clean the air of gases produced from vehicular traffic consuming five gallons of gasoline. Healthy trees greatly assist in this battle against air pollution since moist tree foliage traps dust and soot particles until the rain washes it away.
Properly planted and nurtured trees are also needed to create sound barriers to reduce the noise level made by vehicular traffic, trains and ultimately the noise which will be created by the air traffic in and about Stewart Field.
The Board has also determined that, due to the increase of assessments within the Village of Woodbury, it has become increasingly difficult for many owners of large tracts of land to meet the financial demands imposed upon them by increased state, county, town, Village and school taxes. The result has been that many people have instituted commercial logging operations which is in violation of the Woodbury ordinance even though such operations completely comply with the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. The Village Board is anxious to cooperate with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in implementing a plan of forest management and timber harvesting in such a way as to protect the environmental advantages that the Village has throughout the wooded sections of the Village.
Whenever used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context or unless a different meaning is stated in a definition applicable to only a portion of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING
- An operation in which a landowner is paid for trees to be cut down and taken away on more than one acre.
- The Village of Woodbury Environmental Conservation Commission.
- A city, village, town or consolidated health district.
- NONCOMMERCIAL OPERATION
- An operation which involves the removal of undesirable stems, for which there is no value, from the stand to improve growth and vigor of remaining stems on more than two acres. The removal of a diseased or dangerous tree shall not fall within this definition.
- Any individual, firm, copartnership, association or corporation other than the Village and public corporation.
- PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
- One who has a minimum of a bachelor of science degree in forestry from a four-year college accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
- RESIDENTIAL BUILDING and A MULTIPLE RESIDENCE CONTAINING THREE OR MORE DWELLING UNITS
- Any building designed or occupied in whole or in part as a dwelling for one or two families, multiple residence or planned unit developments.
- Any tract of land which is hereafter subdivided into two or more parcels along an existing or proposed street, highway, easement or right-of-way, for sale or for rent as residential lots or residential building plots regardless of whether or not the lots or plots to be sold or offered for sale or leased for any period of time are described by metes and bounds or by reference to a map or survey of the property or by any other method of description.
No person shall do or cause to be done upon trees in any right-of-way, public street, road or highway within the Village of Woodbury, without first obtaining written permission from the Commission or Superintendent of Highways or other highway agency as hereinafter provided, nor shall any person do or cause to be done on Village property, including any parkland, open space and conservation easements acquired by the Village after August 28, 2006, without prior written approval of the Commission, any of the following acts:
Cut, trim, break, climb with spikes, disturb the roots or otherwise intentionally injure, misuse or spray with harmful chemicals or remove any living tree five inches or more or remove any device installed to support or protect such trees.
Plant any tree.
Fasten any rope, wire, electrical equipment, sign or other device to a tree or any guard about such a tree or shrub.
Close or obstruct any open space provided at the base of a tree which open space is necessary to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree.
Pile, heap or store any building material, soil, debris or any other matter or make any mortar or cement within a distance of six feet of a tree.
Any utility company having control over transmission wires which abut a public highway, street or road shall at all times protect trees through which or near which such transmission lines pass against any injury from the transmission lines or from the current carried by them.
During the period of construction or repair of any building or structure or in the construction or repair of a street, road and highway not yet dedicated to the Village, the owner thereof and/or the contractor shall take every precaution to place guards around all nearby trees on Village land or within public roads or rights-of-way so as to effectively prevent injury to such trees. The owner and/or contractor shall each be responsible for the placement of such guards or guardrail, and failure to make adequate provision for the protection of the trees shall subject the owner and builder to a penalty as hereinafter provided.
No person shall permit any brine, gas or any other injurious chemical to come into contact with the stem or roots of any tree or shrub upon any public highway, street or road or Village property.
Where a person desires to control the growth of trees on a public highway, street or road or right-of-way by removing them or pruning the trees, then the person shall apply for approval to the Commission and shall outline the work to be performed. If the applicant fails to comply with the order of the Commission, the applicant shall be subject to the penalties as hereinafter provided.
Where an owner of real property plans to develop his property as a subdivision, planned unit development, multiple residential development or an undeveloped building lot on which a house is to be constructed, he shall not remove any live trees until the Commission has reviewed the plans and made recommendations pursuant to § 286-7 of this chapter and only under the following circumstances:
Any tree protected by this chapter that is seriously damaged or removed by the developer shall be replaced prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
Where a person develops his property as a subdivision, planned unit development or multiple residential development which requires the approval of the Woodbury Planning Board, then the developer shall be required to submit to the Commission, for its recommendations, his plans at the following stages of development:
Rough stage plan. Simultaneously with the submission of his rough plans to the Woodbury Planning Board, the developer shall submit to the Commission for its review three sets of the plans showing the proposed location of roads and lots to enable the Commission to physically inspect the area and to make preliminary recommendations to the Planning Board.
Preliminary approval. Simultaneously with the submission to the Planning Board of maps for preliminary approval, the developer shall submit three sets of his preliminary maps to the Commission to enable the Commission to recommend and to designate trees to be saved by the developer along the proposed roads. The Commission shall physically inspect the area and shall submit a written report to the Planning Board making recommendations of trees to be saved. In addition to the written report, the Commission shall preliminarily mark the trees which it has recommended to the Planning Board for preservation in order to give the developer sufficient information concerning the trees to be saved. In granting preliminary approval, the Planning Board may consider the recommendations of the Commission as a condition to the granting of such preliminary approval. At any time after receiving preliminary approval, if the developer changes his road pattern and lot layout, then he shall submit to the Commission, as above provided, copies of his new map so that the Commission may revise, if necessary, its preliminary report to the Planning Board.
Final approval. In considering the application for final approval, the Planning Board may require that the developer, as a condition to such approval, follow the recommendations of the Commission or follow those recommendations which the Planning Board deems advisable under the circumstances. The manner of designating the trees to be saved shall be left to the discretion of the Commission.
Building permits. Prior to the issuance of a building permit by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Commission shall designate on a given lot the trees to be retained by the developer, which designation shall be based on the proposed location of the house, driveway, septic system and other accessory uses and structures, it being understood that in that area the Commission shall not designate any tree for preservation.
Certificate of occupancy. Prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the premises to make certain that all trees designated by the Commission for preservation shall in fact be in existence. In the event that the developer has removed any trees designated by the Commission without the Commission's prior approval, then the developer shall replace the trees with trees of equal kind to the satisfaction of the Commission.
Where the Woodbury Planning Board has given final approval to a subdivision, unless the Planning Board determines to grant a waiver for specific circumstances relating to the planting of trees, the developer shall comply with the recommendations of the Commission for the preservation of designated trees and the planting of trees within the right-of-way to be dedicated to the Village. Any of the trees that have been approved by the Commission which are inadvertently felled during construction are to be replaced by the developer. In the event that there are no sidewalks or curbs required by the Planning Board, the developer shall plant shade trees within five feet of the improved portion of the right-of-way. The developer shall plant one shade tree for every 40 feet of frontage on the proposed right-of-way or within a reasonable distance from the proposed improved section of the right-of-way; then the Commission shall waive applicable sections of this chapter concerning the planting of new trees by the developer. All types and locations of shade trees to be planted shall be shown in the written recommendations submitted to the Planning Board and shall be planted in accordance with the specifications for planting shade trees as hereinafter provided.
Where a building permit has been requested from the Woodbury Code Enforcement Officer for the construction of a building requiring off-street parking for 10 or more vehicles, then the owner or builder shall be required to plant shade trees around the perimeter of such parking space in accordance with this chapter. Where the season or weather prevents such planting, the owner or builder may deposit with the Village Clerk a sum sufficient to guarantee the planting of such trees.
Specifications and requirements.
Trees shall be balled and burlapped and shall not be less than two to 2 1/2 inches caliper measured six inches above the top of the ball nor less than 10 feet high. They must be well-branched, the branches to start not less than six feet from the crown of the root system. Trees should be nursery-grown, and a nursery inspection certificate should be available covering all trees.
In the event that there are no sidewalks or curbs existing or proposed, the person or party shall plant shade trees in the right-of-way line. Trees should start 15 feet from the point of curvature of the curb, located on the tangent side of the curb and shall be approximately 40 feet apart. Trees should be staggered when planted on opposite sides of the same street. No tree shall be located in such a manner as to limit the sight distance along the road below the specified minimum in the highway specifications.
In general, excavations for planting shall be large enough to accommodate the natural spread of the root system and at least one foot deeper and two feet wider than the ball of earth supplied with the tree. The pit shall be rock free and refilled with seven parts topsoil and one part humus and the parent soil discarded. Hardpan shall be loosened an additional 12 inches from the bottom and side of the pit. Trees shall be adequately fertilized and watered at the time of planting and mulched with three inches of approved mulch immediately after planting.
Trees shall be staked and guyed immediately after planting. Stakes shall be of cedar or oak eight feet long, no less than two inches in diameter and driven into the tree's root system. Trees shall be guyed to the stakes using No. 10 wire covered with rubber hose or equal. The wire shall be stapled to the stake in such a manner that it will not slip or come into contact with the tree trunk. The trunk of the tree may be protected with tree wrapping paper.
Removal of debris is required. The property must be left in a neat and orderly condition in accordance with good and accepted planting and tree surgery practice.
Trees shall not be planted between May 15 and September 15 without specific authorization of the Commission.
Notice must be given to the Commission 30 days prior to the start of planting in order that the plants and trees may be inspected and approved for tree variety, condition, size and quality. All work shall be subject to the general supervision and approval of the Commission.
Any tree improperly planted or not meeting these specifications will be subject to removal. Any tree that does not survive or is in an unhealthy condition at the end of one year shall be replaced at no cost to the Village of Woodbury. Said replacement shall be made within 60 days following written demand for such replacement or within a more extended period as may be specified.
Review by professional forester. Where a property owner or logger wishes to conduct either a commercial or noncommercial timber operation, the area to be timbered shall first be reviewed by a consulting forester who shall be retained by the Village Board to advise it concerning the proposed operation. All moneys expended by the Village in retaining the consulting forester shall be reimbursed to the Village prior to the issuance of a special permit by the Woodbury Village Board.
Permit procedures. The Village Board of the Village of Woodbury shall be responsible for the issuance of a special permit where a commercial or noncommercial timber harvesting operation is contemplated. Before granting such special permit, the following information shall be submitted at the time the Village Board holds a public hearing:
A summary of cutting operations to include:
Total land area involved in cutting operations.
The number of trees of each species to be cut.
The range, in inches, of diameter, measured at the standard breast height (4 1/2 feet above the ground) of the trees to be cut.
The total board foot volume for each species to be cut.
The total volume to be removed from the cutting area.
The average number of trees per acre to be removed.
The average number of board feet per acre to be cut.
A statement from the landowner that each tree to be removed has been designated by a professional forester, with paint or other distinctive means, at two points so as to be readily visible by the buyer. One point shall be low enough on the tree so as to be visible on the stump after the tree is removed. Trees being removed for other than sawtimber need not be marked on the stump.
In issuing a special permit for a commercial or noncommercial timber harvesting operation, the Village Board may require the owner or harvester to fulfill the following conditions:
Cut trees to leave a low stump. The felling cut should be above the stump paint mark, but no higher than the diameter of the tree being cut.
Utilize all sound trees to a top diameter inside the bark of 10 inches for hardwoods and eight inches for softwoods.
Cut all marked cull trees and salvage the usable portions.
The tops of all trees harvested shall be of a height not exceeding four feet from the ground when measured vertically, and no trees shall be cut in such a way that the tops hang from remaining trees or that they lean against such trees.
Protect all young trees against all unnecessary injury.
Use only dead or cull trees for any construction necessary for the timbering operation.
Keep all existing roads clear of logs, tops, brush or any other obstructions.
Construct skid trails and roads on the land covered by this permit only at locations approved by the Village's consulting forester.
Repair any damage to access and other roads, bridges, fences, ditches, trails or other improvements that have been damaged in excess of the reasonable wear and tear of the harvesting operation.
Remove all material and refuse from loading yards and other assembly areas at the completion of the harvesting and, where possible, seed said areas with a perennial grass at a rate of not less than one pound per 225 square feet.
Use due care throughout harvesting operation to prevent fires and require the extinguishing of all fires endangering the woodland which is the subject of this permit.
Provide a performance bond or money security deposit, in an amount to be determined by the Village Board, to be posted with the Village Clerk to guarantee the satisfactory compliance with all of the conditions specified in the permit. In the event that the conditions have not been complied with by the owner or harvester, then the Village Board may apply such amount of the security deposit as is necessary to complete the work required to attain proper certification by the Village's consulting forester. Any balance of the security deposit remaining unused will be returned to the owner or harvester.
The Village Board may impose any additional conditions to the issuance of the special permit which it believes are required under a particular set of circumstances.
Noncommercial forest stand improvement operations. Thinning and cull removal are forestry operations in noncommercial stands of trees and are designed to provide more growing room for better trees. Involved is the removal of poor-quality, low-vigor, injured, diseased or excessively crowded trees. The material involved is rarely usable, and the operation, therefore, is not one for which the landowner receives an income. However, the benefits to the total environment, the forest, the wildlife habitat, the owner and the Village itself are such that people should be encouraged to undertake these activities.
Commercial and noncommercial forest stand improvement standards.
Trees falling on adjacent properties as a result of an improvement operation shall immediately be returned to the permittee's property.
Loading areas shall be smoothed to remove all ruts and debris. Waste materials shall be buried or shall be removed to a point out of sight of any Village road.
No harvesting or cutting operations or removal of products shall take place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
The term of this permit shall be for one year. However, since forest stand improvement operations may be adversely affected or delayed by unusual circumstances of weather or other occurrences, an extension of one year shall be available on the recommendation of the Environmental Conservation Commission when requested by the landowner.
The Environmental Conservation Commission shall recommend the following standards be invoked where necessary:
Top lopping or removal of debris within 100 feet of any Village road, or leaving an uncut screen along such roads.
Construction of water bars and the seeding of logging skid roads to prevent or reduce erosion.
To ensure the compliance of the permittee to the standards of this chapter, a performance bond, in suitable amount, may be required.
Approval by Village Board. There shall be no commercial or noncommercial timber operations in the Village of Woodbury unless the owner or logger receives prior approval from the Village Board.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Environmental Conservation Commission of the Village of Woodbury. It shall be the duty of the Environmental Conservation Commission to issue notices of violation of this chapter or any rules and regulations of the Commission and, with the approval of the Village Board, to take all necessary legal steps to enforce this chapter, to keep the Village Board advised of all materials pertaining to the enforcement of this chapter and to file all necessary records in the office of the Village Clerk.
However, the provisions of this chapter for commercial and noncommercial forest improvement operations shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer or the Woodbury Police. It shall be their duty, as to violations of these sections, to issue notices of violation and to take all necessary legal steps for its enforcement.
Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any conditions of a special permit issued by the Village Board shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $500 for such violation and an additional penalty not to exceed $25 for each day during which such violation continues, and, in addition hereto, such person may be enjoined from continuing such violation.
In addition to the above penalties, the court may impose an additional penalty equal to 25% of the value of the timber taken in violation of this chapter. In making such determination, the court might retain the services of the Village's consulting forester to determine the number of trees that were taken and its market value. In the event that the court does retain the services of a consulting forester, then any fee that may be charged by the consulting forester shall be part of the penalty imposed pursuant to the terms of this section.