Borough of Doylestown, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2/28/1929, § 1]
The said Borough accept the provisions of Article 11, Chapter IX of the General Borough Act of 1915, P.L. 312, and hereby establishes a Commission to be known as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Doylestown."
[Ord. 2/28/1929, § 2; as amended by Ord. 1959-13, 5/25/1959, § 1; by Ord. 1988-3, 1/18/1988, § 1; by Ord. 2007-10, 10/15/2007, § 3; and by Ord. 2009-5, 11/16/2009]
The Shade Tree Commission shall consist of five regular members and one student member appointed by resolution of the Borough Council. Each regular member so appointed shall serve for a term of five years; provided however, that the terms of such regular members shall be staggered in such manner that at least one expires annually, and provided further that nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect the terms of existing regular members of the Shade Tree Commission heretofore lawfully appointed by Borough Council. All members of the Shade Tree Commission, including the student member, shall be residents of the Borough of Doylestown. All vacancies in the membership of the Shade Tree Commission shall be filled by resolution of Borough Council for an unexpired term.
The student member so appointed shall, at the time of appointment, be between 15 and 18 years old and shall at all times be a resident of the Borough of Doylestown and be enrolled in and actively attending an accredited high school program and be in his/her freshman, sophomore or junior year in such high school program. The student member so appointed shall serve for a term of one year extending, if appointed as a freshman from the month of May in his/her freshman year through the month of April in his/her sophomore year, if appointed as a sophomore, from the month of May in his/her sophomore year through the month of April in his/her junior year or, if appointed as a junior, from the month of May in his/her junior year through the month of April in his/her senior year. The student member shall be permitted to attend all meetings of the Commission and shall be permitted to participate fully in those proceedings, except that he/she shall not be afforded the right to vote or be permitted to attend executive sessions of the Shade Tree Commission.
[Added by Ord. No. 2018-4, 3/19/2018[1]]
1. 
The singular number includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter and words of the feminine gender include the masculine gender.
2. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICANT
A landowner or developer as hereinafter defined who has filed an application for a subdivision or land development, or an application for a grading or clearing permit, or permit for hazard or other tree removal within the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission.
BOROUGH ARBORIST
The duly appointed arborist of the Borough or his/her designee.
COUNCIL
The Borough Council of Doylestown Borough.
DBH OR DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT
Standard measurement of a tree's diameter taken at breast height (4 1/2 feet above the ground or 1.5 meters).
DEAD TREE
A tree that is no longer alive, has been removed beyond repair, or is in an advanced state of decline (where an insufficient amount of live tissue, green leaves, limbs or branches exists to sustain life) and has been determined to be in such a state by a certified arborist during a nondormant or other natural stage of the tree that would minimize the likelihood that the tree would be mistakenly identified as being in such a dead state.
DEVELOPER
Any landowner, agent of such landowner, or tenant with the permission of such landowner who makes, or causes to be made, a subdivision of land or a land development, or who has applied for a permit within the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission.
EMERGENCY TREE
A tree that is currently failing or has failed.
HAZARD TREE
A tree that may fail due to mortality or a structural defect or changed stand conditions and, as a result, may cause property damage or personal injury.
HERITAGE TREES
Any tree with a thirty-inch or greater DBH.
MANAGER
The duly appointed Manager of the Borough or his/her designee.
PERMIT
A permit, in writing, as issued by the Manager pursuant to application approval by the Shade Tree Commission.
PUBLIC GROUNDS
Includes:
A. 
Parks, playgrounds, trails, paths and other recreational areas and other public areas;
B. 
Sites for schools, sewage treatment, refuse disposal and other publicly owned or operated facilities; and
C. 
Publicly owned or operated scenic and historic sites.
RIGHT-OF-WAY or ROW
The surface of and space above and below any real property in the Borough in which the Borough, county or commonwealth has a regulatory interest, or interest as a trustee for the public as such interests now or hereafter exist, including, but not limited to, all streets, highways, avenues, roads, alleys, sidewalks, tunnels, viaducts, bridges, skyways, or any other public place, area or property under the control of the Borough, county or commonwealth, and any unrestricted public or utility easements established, dedicated, platted, improved or devoted for utility purposes, but excluding lands other than streets that are owned by the Borough, county or commonwealth. The phrase "in the right(s)-of-way" means in, on, over, along, above and/or under the right(s)-of-way. The phrase "existing right-of-way" is the legal right-of-way as established by the commonwealth or other appropriate governing authority and which is currently in existence. The phrase "future right-of-way" is the right-of-way deemed necessary to provide adequate width for future street improvements.
SHADE TREE
Any protected tree subject to review and/or approval by the Shade Tree Commission under any section of this chapter, including: a) a deciduous or evergreen tree with a six-inch or greater DBH; and b) an ornamental, specimen or unique quality tree, including, but not limited to, a cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple (cryptomeria), larch, Metasequoia, cedar of Lebanon, holly, or birch tree with a five-inch or greater trunk diameter, measured as six inches above the surrounding site ground surface. The following weed or nuisance trees are not subject to approval for removal by the Shade Tree Commission: sumac, box elder, sassafras, and Ailanthus.
STREET TREE
A shade tree in the ROW in the Borough that meets one of the following criteria:
A. 
Its trunk is located on the tree lawn between an existing public sidewalk and the cartway pavement edge and/or curb; or
B. 
If no sidewalk is present, and its trunk is located between a private fence, wall, or landscaped bed, and the cartway road edge and/or curb, and entirely within the road right-of-way; or
C. 
If no sidewalk, fence, wall, or landscaped bed is present, then the tree trunk is located entirely within the ROW.
TOPPING
Removal of branches from mature trees leaving stubs and large wounds on such trees.
TREE
A woody perennial plant, typically having a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height and bearing lateral branches at some distance from the ground.
TREE CONTRACTOR
Any individual, partnership or corporation performing tree-related pruning, trimming, removal, cabling, fertilizing or similar work on any tree within the Borough of Doylestown.
TREE REPLACEMENT FORMULA
The formula in the subdivision/land development ordinance[2] used to calculate the number of trees to be installed as mitigation for trees destroyed by development.
TREE SPECIES
Includes both the common name and botanical name (e.g., red maple, Acer rubrum).
[2]
Editor's Note: Subdivision and land development provisions are on file in the office of the Borough Secretary.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 103 was repealed 1/18/1988 by Ord. No. 1988-3.
[Ord. 2/28/1929, § 4]
The said Commissioners shall serve without compensation.
[Ord. 2/28/1929, § 5; as amended by Ord. No. 2018-4, 3/19/2018]
1. 
General. The Commission shall advise the Borough Manager and the Borough Arborist on the planning, maintenance and removal of trees. This activity includes, but is not limited to, the following:
A. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall advise the Borough when necessary on recommended locations for new street trees and/or the removal of unsuitable trees on all streets within the Borough.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall recommend and publish on the Borough website suitable species of trees for planting and replanting pursuant to the tree replacement formula along streets, public grounds, and in other areas, as well as appropriate size, spacing, planting, bracing, fertilization, maintenance and pruning of trees.
C. 
The Shade Tree Commission may advise on suitable species or trees, their planting, durability, rate of growth, litter tendencies, care, protection and treatment, tolerance to impervious coverage and traffic, and other such advice that may be useful or appropriate to the duties and responsibilities of the Shade Tree Commission.
D. 
The Shade Tree Commission may periodically conduct a survey of heritage trees within the Borough and shall encourage the protection of all such trees. No entry on private property shall be made without written or verbal permission from the landowner.
E. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall hold public meetings on a regular basis, but not less frequently than eight times a year, and shall publish its schedule. Meeting and notices thereof, as well as a written record of meetings, shall be governed by the appropriate state law.
2. 
When requested by the Zoning and Planning Department, the Shade Tree Commission may provide comment and suggestions on street tree locations and species for subdivisions and land development applications.
[Ord. No. 2018-4, 3/19/2018]
1. 
In case of immediate necessity for the protection of life or property, any hazard tree described in this chapter may be removed without first obtaining a permit. The property owner or designee shall report the emergency removal to the Borough within 10 days of removal. The relevant documentation and any photographs shall be submitted by a certified arborist.
2. 
Emergency tree removals shall not require Shade Tree Commission approval prior to the tree being removed, provided that the property owners have notified the Borough.
3. 
Hazard Tree Removal.
A. 
The property owner shall apply to the Borough and fill out a permit application before removing the tree. When the application has been approved by the Borough, the hazard tree may be removed.
B. 
If, upon determination by the Borough Manager, Director of Public Works, or his/her designee, that a tree or trees on private property are considered hazard trees, or such trees are in imminent danger of falling or creating property damage or personal injury, the applicable property owner shall be notified of the hazard tree. The property owner shall then remove, in part or in whole, the tree or trees to correct the hazardous condition within five days of notification by the Borough.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former §§ 106 and 107, adopted by Shade Tree Commission regulation and dealing with sidewalk location, were repealed 3/19/2018 by Ord. No. 2018-4.