Borough of Shillington, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 1]
For the purpose of this Part, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
The Borough of Shillington.
The person designated by the Council.
The Tree Committee of the Borough of Shillington.
The Council of the Borough of Shillington.
Clipping, trimming, fertilizing, spraying, treating for disease or injury, and similar acts to promote health, growth, or beauty of trees.
Any person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation, or their servants, agents or employees.
Written permission issued by the Borough.
Any public right-of-way, park easement or other area under the control of the Borough.
Any tree, shrub, or other woody plant.
The severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 2]
Authority to administer the provisions of this Part shall be the responsibility of Council. Council, at its discretion, may seek the advice and expertise of the committee formed by resolution and/or the designated Borough Forester or Tree Care Manager.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 3]
For the purpose of beautifying and encouraging the planting of shade trees within the public areas, and in some cases on private property of the Borough of Shillington, Council is hereby authorized to provide some shade trees annually, as provided for in the annual budget, for free distribution to property owners upon the written request of the owner to the Borough.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 4]
All shade trees permitted by this Part shall be at least eight feet in height and have a trunk with a minimum diameter of at least 1 1/4 inches measured at a height of three feet above ground level before planting. Trees shall be of standard quality or better, true to name and type of their species or variety. Trees shall have normal, well-developed branches and root systems. They shall be healthy, vigorous trees free from defects, decay, abrasions of the bark, insect pests, and all forms of infestations. Balled trees shall have adequate size solid balls securely wrapped with burlap, and tightly bound with rope or twine. Plastic twine or wrapping material is not permitted.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 5; as amended by Ord. 1025, 10/14/2004]
No tree shall be planted, pruned, treated, or removed from any public area of the Borough without a written permit from the Borough. A certificate of insurance for any third party performing tree maintenance must be provided at the time of application for a permit. The type and limits of said insurance shall be as follows:
Property $50,000
1 Claim
$100,000 Total
Liability $100,000
1 Claim
$300,000 Total
Application for permits must be made at the Shillington Town Hall during regular business hours prior to the time the work is to be done. The permit fee shall be in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of Borough Council. Issued permits shall be valid for a period of three months from the issue date unless otherwise extended by the Borough.
Notice of completion of the work referenced on the permit shall be given to the Borough within five working days after completion of the same to allow for the inspection of said work.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 6]
All shade trees, including those purchased by the Borough for distribution, as defined in this Part shall be planted as follows:
At the expense of the owner in the center of the grass plot lying between the curb and paved pedestrian walk; provided, that said tree shall not be planted closer than 25 feet from a curb intersection of any alley or street and not closer than 40 feet apart and shall in no case be planted within five feet of a sewer line or lateral, water, gas, electric or other line or conduit, except as otherwise permitted by Council. All locations for the planting of trees in the above-mentioned grass plot shall be approved by the Tree Care Manager or his designee.
At the expense of the owner in the front or side yard area of the owners property as long as said front or side yard areas are adjacent to Borough streets or state roads. Owners are reminded that trees should not be planted in proximity to sewer laterals, water, gas, electric or other line or conduit as damage from roots or limbs may occur. Further, the Borough reserves the right to approve any planting site on the owner's property.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 7]
The ownership of shade trees shall be vested in the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk in which the shade trees are planted. It shall be the sole responsibility of the owner to care for, maintain, and remove shade trees at their expense; and to periodically inspect, trim, and remove dead portions of shade trees to remove the hazards of falling limbs and the possible resulting damage to persons and property.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 8]
All trees covered by this Part may be removed at the expense of the owner only after securing a permit as described in § 25-105 of this Part. All dead or completely damaged trees shall be neatly cut to the grade of sidewalk and removed by and at the expense of the owner. Further, the owner shall remove or have removed at their expense, all shade tree stumps from the sidewalk area fronting, abutting, or on their property (for trees purchased by the Borough), within 1 year of the cutting and removal of the trunk and branches of such tree or trees, to a depth of four inches to six inches below the grade of the sidewalk.
The Borough, however, providing that after any or all interested owners execute an agreement or agreements with said Borough, saving it harmless from any damage that may be caused to the curb or sidewalk of said owners, may remove said stump or stumps at the entire expense of the Borough, eliminating the expense to the owner.
Upon the neglect or refusal of any owners to comply with either of the alternatives in Subsection 1 or 2 of this section, the Borough may, after 10 days' written notice, cause the stump or stumps to be removed at the cost of such owner and collect the cost thereof plus 25% additional together with all charges and expenses, from said owner, and collect the same according to law.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 9]
Council or its authorized agent or agents shall make periodic inspection, at least once every year, of all shade trees covered by this Part. After each inspection, a notice shall be sent to each owner, whose tree or trees were found not to conform to the provisions of this Part or any other ordinance or resolution of Council regulating shade trees, informing him of the manner in which his tree or trees are to be cut, trimmed, or removed in conformity with the tree regulations within the time allowed and stated in the notice. Upon failure of the owner to comply within the stated time, such tree or trees will be cut, trimmed, or removed, as the case may be, by Borough employees or persons contracted by the Borough and the cost of such work of cutting, trimming, or removing, together with an additional penalty of 25% on said costs, shall be charged to and shall be paid by said owner.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 10]
The Borough reserves the right to permit the trimming of shade trees at the expense of the owner for the purpose of clearance for street lights, fire department access, and other utility wires, poles or other structures and appurtenant equipment.
Owners of shade trees covered by this Part and likewise the owner of any tree or trees including all shrubs or woody plants lying near a street or alley; the branches of which extend into the cartway of any street or alley, shall at his own expense trim said tree or trees in such a manner that there shall be maintained at all times a clearance of no less than nine feet over the grade of the sidewalk and 12 feet from the grade of the street measured at the curb line, except as otherwise permitted by Council.
Tree topping shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any owner of a shade tree covered by this Part.
Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from the requirements of this Part at the determination of Council.
Emergencies. Trees that are severely damaged by storms or winds may be declared an emergency by the Emergency Management Coordinator and, as such, may be moved or removed from their location for purposes of traffic flow, pedestrian walkway usage or other forms of public use which, in the sole opinion of the Emergency Management Coordinator, are deemed forms of public obstructions or hazards, as an exemption from the requirements of this Part.
[Added by Ord. 1122, 8/11/2011]
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 11]
All trees covered by this Part located near any excavation or construction of any building, structure or street work shall be protected with a good substantial fence, frame or box not less than four feet high and eight feet square or at a distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk in inches (at breast high), whichever is greater, and all building material, dirt or other debris shall be kept outside the barrier.
No person shall excavate any ditches tunnels, trenches, or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any tree covered by this Part without first obtaining a written permit from the Borough. No person shall excavate or damage the major root structure of any tree covered by this Part. Where sidewalks are being repaired or replaced due to conflict with trees, the owner shall attempt alternate means to resolve the conflict prior to cutting the root structure of the tree.
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain upon the public place or street of the Borough, any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other materials within a radius of 10 feet from any tree covered by this Part or at a distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk in inches (at breast height) or within a distance which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing therein, whichever distance may be greater.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 12]
No person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree covered by this Part; attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters or other such contrivance to any such tree, allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with them, or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any such tree.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 13]
Any person using or traveling upon any public street who damages any shade tree meeting the minimum clearance requirement stipulated in this Part shall be liable to the owner for damage to the tree resulting from such person's use or traveling upon the street.
[Ord. 1013, 10/9/2003, § 14; as amended by Ord. 1025, 10/14/2004]
Any person violating the provisions of this Part shall, upon conviction before a District Justice of appropriate jurisdiction, be liable to pay costs of prosecution and a fine as follows:
For willfully injuring or killing a living shade tree by cutting, debarking, breaking, by the use of herbicides, use of a vehicle or in any other manner wherein it is determined by the District Justice that such damage or destruction was intentionally inflicted, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus the cost of repairing or replacing each damaged tree shall be levied.
For failure of a property owner to remove, partially remove or treat a tree as ordered in accordance with this Part, the guilty person shall be fined not more than $100 per day. Each day the property owner remains in violation shall constitute a separate offense.