[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Clairton 8-14-1973 by Ord. No. 1249 as Ch. 145 of the 1973 Code; amended in its entirety 4-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1518. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 159.
Bushes, shrubs and hedges — See Ch. 169.
Nuisances and dangerous structures — See Ch. 247.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 255.
Poles and wires — See Ch. 271.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 274.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 303.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 307.
No tree, shrub or hedge shall be planted in or on or removed from any highway, park or other public property in the City of Clairton, nor shall any tree, shrub or hedge so situate be pruned, sprayed or its growth in any way interfered with, except by the authority of the City Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council, or with the written permission of said Council.
No tree shall be planted in or on any highway in the City of Clairton which is of the Carolina poplar, silver maple, willow, elm or other incongruous species; any tree of such species already planted in or on any highway of said City may be removed by the City Council and shall be replaced in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Branches of trees projecting over highways shall be kept at least 11 feet above the street level and at least eight above the sidewalk level, in dry weather, except on newly planted young trees.
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain upon any public area of the City of Clairton any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree or shrub growing therein, except by written permit of the Council.
No chemicals, salt water, oil, gasoline or other liquid injurious to plant life shall be poured upon or allowed to fall upon any highway in such a way as to injure any tree planted or growing thereon.
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, kill or destroy any tree or shrub or permit any fire to burn where such fire will injure any portion of any tree or shrub in any public area of the City of Clairton; no person shall knowingly permit any leak to exist in any gas pipe within the root zone of any public tree or shrub; no person shall permit any toxic chemical to seep, drain or be emptied on or about any public tree or shrub; no person shall knowingly permit electric wires to come in contact with any public trees or shrubs unless protected by approved methods; and no person shall attach any electrical insulation to any public tree or shall excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree or shrub, without first obtaining a written permit from the City. Whenever the director of a City department determines it is necessary to move, protect or cut off the electricity from service wires so that the department's work can safely and properly be done, he or she shall serve written notice on the owners of such wires and such owners shall comply with such orders within 24 hours after the service of said notice.
No stone, cement or other substance which will impede the passage of water and air to the roots of a tree in or on any highway, park or other public property shall be placed or maintained unless an open space of at least 12 square feet is left outside and around the trunk of the tree, except with the written permission of the City Council.
In the course of the erection or repair of any building and in the grading, paving, curbing, regrading, repaving and recurbing of streets or in the doing of any work on the surface or above or below the surface of the street, suitable guards shall be placed around all nearby trees in or on any highway, park or other public property so as to prevent injury to such trees, and such further precaution as may be required shall be taken to prevent damage to said trees by breaking, barking, scratching, burning or in any other manner.
No cables, ropes, signs, posters or other advertisements, with the exception of temporary official signs and notices approved by the City Council, shall be placed on any tree or tree guard in or on any highway, park or other public property.
In case of imminent danger to life or property, a tree in or on any highway, park or other public property may be cut or removed without permission of the Council, provided that such action must be reported to the Council within 48 hours after its occurrence; otherwise it shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter.
If any tree in or on a highway, park or other public property is being injuriously affected or is likely to be affected or if the public safety is being endangered by a tree on private property, the Council may, at the request of the owner of the private property, prune, spray, cut or remove the tree on his or her property at his or her expense. The Council shall also, if the owner of the private property does not request that the tree be pruned, sprayed, cut or removed at his or her expense, notify him or her to take the required action within 10 days, and, if he or she fails to comply, shall then do the work at his or her expense.
In the event of accidental damage to or destruction of a tree in or on any highway, park or other public property, report thereof shall be made within 48 hours to the Council. Repair or replanting necessitated by such damage or destruction shall be done by the Council. The Council shall collect the expense of such repairs or replanting from the person or persons responsible for the damage.
When street plans are submitted to the City Planning Commission showing trees or hedges or proposed tree or hedge plantings, the City Council shall be requested by said Commission to check the plans in order to make sure that the proposed tree planting is in accordance with the terms of this chapter, and no such street plan shall be approved by the City Planning Commission unless the Council has been so consulted and has given its approval.
Any tree or shrub or parts thereof growing upon private property but overhanging or interfering with the use of any street, park or public place of the City of Clairton that, in the opinion of the City Engineer, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, shall be declared a public nuisance. The owner shall be notified, in writing or by publication in a local newspaper, of the existence of the nuisance and given a reasonable time for its correction or removal. If not corrected or removed within the time allotted, the City Engineer shall cause the nuisance to be corrected or removed and the cost shall be assessed to the owner as provided by law.
All permits issued for the installation of public utilities that affect public trees or shrubs shall be certified by the City Engineer. When a permit is issued to a public utility to trim public trees or do other operations affecting public trees or shrubs, the work shall be limited to the actual necessities of the service of the company, and such work shall be done in a neat and workmanlike manner according to specifications outlined by the City Engineer who may, if necessary, assign an inspector to supervise the provisions of the permit, and the cost of such service shall be charged to the public utility at cost.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with the City Engineer or any of his or her assistants in the execution or enforcement of this chapter; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as an attempt to prohibit a public hearing or the permit of any remedy legal or equitable in any court of competent jurisdiction for the protection of property rights by the owner of any property within the City of Clairton, Pennsylvania.
The cost of planting, transplanting or removing any trees in any highway and of suitable guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof, when necessary, and of the proper replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the doing of such work shall be borne by the owner of the real estate in front of which such trees are planted, set out or removed; and the cost thereof as to each tract of real estate shall be certified to the City Council and also to the person having charge of the collection of taxes for the City; and upon filing of said certificates, the amount of the cost of such improvement, of which notice shall be given to each property owner involved, accompanied with a copy of the aforesaid certificate, together with a notice of the time and place for payment, shall be and become a lien upon said real estate in front of which said trees have been planted, set out or removed, said lien to be collectible, if not paid in accordance with notice as herein provided, in the same manner as other liens for taxes are now collectible against the property involved in accordance with the provisions of § 319-14.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before a District Justice, be subject to a fine not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days.
The Council shall have the power to make reasonable rules and regulations, consistent with the terms of this chapter, to carry out the provisions of this chapter.