Part 1 Trees on Public Grounds
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 1]
There is hereby created a shade tree commission to be known as the "Shade Tree Commission of Lower Southampton Township," which shall have the authority to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the intent of this part. Such regulations for the planting, care, trimming and removal of trees shall not only be aimed at the elimination of economic waste by reason of damage to public property and/or the property of others and the public health, safety and welfare, but also the beautification of the streets, highways, avenues, parks, parkways and other public areas of the Township. In carrying out the provisions of this part, it may be guided by the standards laid down by the National Shade Tree Conference or any other similar organization which promulgates standards which would carry out the intent of this part. The Commission shall have the authority to prepare and adopt a street tree plan for all trees in or upon the public streets, highways, avenues, parks, parkways and other public areas, which in its opinion shall effectuate the provisions of this part, provided that such plan shall not become effective until approved by the Township Supervisors.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 2]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to plant any tree or shrub on any public highway or park within the Township of Lower Southampton without first obtaining from the Shade Tree Commission a written permit and complying in all respects with the conditions set forth in the same.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 3]
In order to obtain a uniform effect, it shall be necessary for any person, firm or corporation desiring to plant trees or shrubs on any public highway or park in the Township of Lower Southampton to use only such varieties as may be specified by the Shade Tree Commission. The location of all trees and shrubs on any public highway or park of the Township of Lower Southampton shall be determined by the Shade Tree Commission working in conjunction with the Planning Commission of the Township. Street trees may be located on either side of the sidewalk, whichever position may be best for tree growth and for the appearance of the street, but must be planted on public property within the specified width of the public highway on which they are located.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 4]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation without a written permit of the Shade Tree Commission to cut, break, climb or injure any tree or shrub planted or growing in any public highway or public park of the Township of Lower Southampton or cause, authorize, or procure any person to cut, break, climb, or injure any such tree or portion thereof; or to injure, misuse, or remove or cause, authorize or procure any person to injure, misuse or remove any device set for the protection of any tree or plant in any public highway or park in the Township of Lower Southampton. Any person, firm or corporation desiring to cut, prune or spray any tree or plant in any public highway or public park of the Township of Lower Southampton may apply to the Shade Tree Commission and if, in the judgment of said Commission, the desired cutting, pruning or spraying shall appear necessary and the proposed method and workmanship thereof is such as said Commission approves, the Shade Tree Commission thereupon shall issues a written permit for such work. Any work done under such written permit must be performed in strict accordance with the terms thereof.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 5]
The application for any permit required hereunder shall be made in writing to the Secretary of the Shade Tree Commission upon forms furnished by him and shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and shall state the exact location and species of any tree or trees affected. The permit shall be effective for such length of time as the Commission shall in each case determine, which shall be indicated on the permit, and such permit may be revoked at any time at the direction of the Commission upon proof satisfactory to the Commission that the terms and conditions upon which the permit has been issued are or have been violated.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, §§ 6 through 13]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation owning or using or having control or charge of gas, hot water, steam or other substance to come into contact with the soil surrounding the roots of any tree in any public highway or any tree or plant in any public park in the Township of Lower Southampton in such manner as may injure such tree or plant.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to cause, authorize or procure any brine water, oil, liquid dye or other substance deleterious to tree life; to lie, leak, pour or drip onto or into the soil about the base of a tree in any public highway or public park of the Township of Lower Southampton or on any sidewalk, road or pavement herein at a point whence such substance may be lying or be flowing, dripping or seeping into such soil, or in any other manner whatever to injure such tree; or to cause or procure such lying, leaking, flowing, dripping, seeping or injury.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, except with the written permit of the Shade Tree Commission, to place or maintain upon the ground of any public highway or park within the Township of Lower Southampton any stone, cement or other material or substance in such manner as may obstruct the free access of air and water to the roots of any tree in any such highway or park; space around tree to be at least 24 inches.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to cause, authorize or procure a wire or other conductor charged with electricity to come into contact with any tree in a public highway or with any tree or plant in the city park in Lower Southampton Township in such manner as may injure or kill such tree or plant.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, without a written permit of the Shade Tree Commission, to attach or keep attached to any tree in any public highway or park in the Township or to the guard or stake intended for the protection of such tree any rope, wire, sign or any other device whatsoever.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, to scar, injure or destroy any tree or shrub on any public highway or park of the Township either by animals or motor vehicles.
During the erection, repair, alteration or removal of any building or structure within the Township, it shall be unlawful for any person or persons in charge of such erection, repair, alteration or removal to leave any street tree in the vicinity of such building or structure without such good and sufficient guards or protectors as shall prevent injury to said tree arising out of or by reason of said erection, repair, alteration or removal.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to interfere or cause or authorize an interference with the Shade Tree Commission or any of its agents or employees while he or it is engaged in planting, maintaining or removing any trees or shrubs from any public highway or park in the Township.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 14]
All trees shall be kept trimmed so that the minimum clearance where they overhang any public walk shall be nine feet and the minimum clearance where they overhang any public street or highway shall be 11 feet. However, the Shade Tree Commission reserves the right to designate a higher clearance on certain highways where heavy traffic or other conditions make it expedient. All trees standing on private property and having branches projecting over a public highway shall be kept trimmed by the owner of such private property so that the lowest branches shall have the minimum clearance specified above or such other clearance as may be specified by the Commission. In case the owner of such property shall neglect or refuse so to trim such trees upon being notified in writing by the Commission to do so, the Commission may, after the expiration of the date specified in said notice, cause such trimming to be done at the expense of the owner, and the entire cost thereof shall be a lien upon said premises and shall be filed and collected by Lower Southampton Township in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 15]
The Shade Tree Commission may, upon giving to the owner or occupant of the premises upon which such tree is located 10 days' written notice or, in the event that said premises is unoccupied, by leaving written notice publicly displayed upon such premises and by sending the same to the last known address of the owner or reputed owner, require such owner or occupant of the property to cut and remove trees afflicted with Dutch elm disease or other disease which threatens to injure or destroy said trees in the Township. Upon failure of such owner or occupant to comply with such notice, the Township may cause such tree to be removed and to collect the cost of such removal in the manner provided by law.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 16]
The Shade Tree Commission shall be empowered to promulgate and adopt a tree planting plan establishing the types and varieties of trees which may be planted along certain streets or in certain developments. The purpose of such comprehensive plan shall be to regulate and require the variety of trees which may be planted along the public highways and the beauty thereof and to establish uniformity. Whenever the Shade Tree Commission shall have adopted a comprehensive tree planting plan, or shall have adopted a tree planting plan for a particular street, development or section of the Township, then every developer, owner, builder and other person approving a lot or parcel of ground shall plant the public highway areas or the public walkway areas with the variety of trees in such locations and in such proximity as is required by the shade tree plan as promulgated by the Shade Tree Commission. Planting shall be done within a period of six months after the date of the initial occupancy of the dwelling house or building erected upon such lot.
[Ord. 90, 2/19/1962, § 17; as amended by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and Ord. 532, 9/10/2008]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this part continues or each section of this part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.