Township of Easttown, PA
Chester County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of this article is to maintain woodland areas and protect mature trees, mitigate the impacts of development by encouraging the establishment of trees and other vegetation, protect natural habitats, control soil erosion and contribute to visual amenities and the character of the community.
[Amended 9-21-2009 by Ord. No. 391-09]
A. 
All tree masses, hedgerows, and individual freestanding trees over six inches dbh shall be inventoried on the conservation plan as follows:
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 422-14]
(1) 
The outermost edge of the canopy (dripline) shall be shown for woodlands, tree masses and hedgerows.
(2) 
The canopy, trunk location, trunk diameter and species shall be noted for all other individual freestanding trees and for all trees on a wooded lot.
(3) 
A calculation shall be provided on the plan indicating whether or not the proposed building lot is a wooded lot and the basis for the calculation (i.e., individual tree counts or the average density of a woodland based upon a one-hundred-foot-by-one-hundred-foot sample area).
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
B. 
Parcels or building lots up to two acres in area, exclusive of existing right-of-way, shall be subject to the regulations pertaining to wooded lots.
C. 
Parcels that are two acres in area and over, exclusive of existing right-of-way, shall be subject to the regulations pertaining to woodlands; however, tree removal percentage may be calculated individually, as on a wooded lot.
D. 
Wooded lots and woodlands shall be so designated regardless of future subdivision or land development, and the requirements of this article shall apply to future tree or woodland disturbance.
[Amended 9-21-2009 by Ord. No. 391-09]
Woodland disturbance and the disturbance of trees on wooded lots, including alteration or removal of any hedgerows and clear-cutting, shall be performed in accordance with the standards of this section. Regulations regarding tree protection shall not extend to deadwood, diseased trees or forestry operations conducted in compliance with a timber harvesting plan or to trees within a public right-of-way being removed for public purposes.
A. 
Establishment of tree protection zone. All trees, tree masses and their associated vegetation layers located 25 feet away from a building, parking area, swimming pool, stormwater management system or other proposed improvement, and all specimen trees located anywhere on the site, shall be considered within a tree protection zone. These trees shall be protected from damage during construction activities with approved fencing, or other barrier, to the limits of the tree protection zone.
(1) 
The limits of tree protection fencing shall be clearly delineated on the soil erosion and sedimentation control plans. Its installation, prior to earth movement, and its removal, following construction activities, shall be listed in the sequence of construction notes. Details noting placement and materials shall be provided on the plans.
(2) 
There shall be no encroachment and/or compaction of soil and roots within the tree protection zone by excavation or trenching, change of grade, or storage of materials, soil, debris or vehicles. Feeder roots shall not be cut closer than 25 feet from tree trunks. The use of geotextiles or boards over a layer of mulch or straw shall be required to protect tree roots from compaction when machinery cannot avoid passing under trees, subject to approval by the Township Engineer or landscape architect.
(3) 
Tree protection zone fencing is subject to periodic monitoring by the Township. Any downed fencing shall be replaced immediately.
(4) 
Where possible, the applicant is encouraged to retain additional trees that are approved for removal outside of the tree protection zone as "living barriers" to construction vehicles. These trees would be removed after major construction activity has ceased, but before fine grading and finishing.
B. 
Clearing of trees for any purpose shall not result in the removal of more than 25% of any existing tree mass, hedgerow or individual freestanding trees, without approval from the Board of Supervisors.
(1) 
This twenty-five-percent cap is a maximum amount that applies to any current or future tree or woodland removal. Wooded lots shall remain so designated until such time as the area of the lot is changed. Subject to the requirements of this article, the lot may then be reclassified.
(2) 
Where the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors that additional tree or woodland removal beyond the permitted twenty-five-percent disturbance allowance is necessary to permit development in accordance with Chapter 455, Zoning, tree replacement shall be provided in accordance with Article IX of this chapter, for the portion of tree removal beyond the twenty-five-percent allowance.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
C. 
Disturbance to woodlands and existing vegetation shall be minimized as follows:
(1) 
When disturbance or tree-cutting is to occur in a woodland, an effort shall be made, with consultation from a forester or another qualified professional and the Township Engineer, to retain as much of the woodland as possible, of a size and configuration which would promote its growth and natural regeneration. Where possible, undisturbed woodlands to remain shall interconnect with existing woodlands or wooded areas of adjacent properties to preserve continuous woodland corridors and allow for the natural movement and migration of wildlife and the dispersion of native vegetation.
(2) 
Disturbance or removal of vegetation occupying riparian buffer zones, areas of natural resources, and steep slopes shall be undertaken only when necessary and on a limited, selective basis to minimize the adverse impacts of such actions. Such vegetation removal may include removal of diseased, hazardous or invasive plant materials, and minimal disturbance necessary to construct improvements permitted in these sensitive areas.
(3) 
All cartways, buildings, driveways and utility easements shall be located in such a manner so as to minimize disturbances to existing vegetation. Developers shall harmonize their plans with the preservation of existing trees. Clearing of woodland to provide for construction access shall be minimized by locating access clearings so as to coincide with ultimate cartway and driveway locations. Otherwise, access clearings should be located such that each clearing serves two or more adjacent lots.
(4) 
The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Township that the removal of specimen vegetation, 36 inches or greater dbh, is essential to permit development in accordance with Chapter 455, Zoning. Where permitted, removal of specimen vegetation shall be kept to a minimum. Replacement shall be in accordance with Article IX.
D. 
The following tree protection standards are applicable to all types of development and land disturbance activities:
(1) 
Grade changes to occur at any location on the property shall not result in an alteration to soil or drainage conditions which would adversely affect existing vegetation to be retained following site disturbance, unless adequate provisions are made to protect such vegetation and its root systems.
(2) 
There shall be no storage of toxic materials, including petroleum-based products, within 75 feet of a tree protection zone.
(3) 
Trees shall not be used for roping, cables, signs or fencing. Nails and spikes shall not be driven into trees.
(4) 
Trees that are to be removed shall not be felled, pushed or pulled into a tree protection zone.
(5) 
Tree limbs damaged during construction shall be properly pruned and treated immediately.