Part 1 TREE REMOVAL
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 1]
It is the intent of this Part to promote the welfare of the people of the Township of Leet by providing for regulation of the removal of trees in such a way as to protect and preserve the environment, roads and quality of the community in general. Trees are a natural resource and an integral part of the natural landscape of the town, providing soil erosion control, surface water flow barriers and scenic beauty and fostering myriad plant and wildlife species. The removal or harvest of trees is therefore of prime concern to the people of the Township of Leet and shall not be permitted except as hereinafter provided.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 2]
No provision of this Part shall be construed to repeal, modify or constitute an alternative to any lawful zoning, building construction, mining, land subdivision or environmental quality review law or any applicable state or federal regulation. Where the provisions of any such other law or regulation impose more stringent restrictions than are required by this Part, the provisions of such law or regulation shall govern.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 3; as amended by Ord. 256, 9/11/1995, § 1]
General Construction of Language. All words used in the present tense include the future tense; all words in the plural number include the singular number; and all words in the singular number include the plural number, unless the natural construction of the wording indicates otherwise. Unless otherwise specified, all distances shall be measured horizontally. The word "Township" means the Township of Leet; the term "Township Board" means the Board of Commissioners of said Township; the term "Zoning Inspector" means the inspector designated by the Township to administer this chapter and shall include the term "Building Inspector." The word "shall" is mandatory and not directory." The term "Zoning Inspector" and the term "Building Inspector" may and shall also include and be used and interpreted interchangeably with the term "Township Forester/Consultant." An applicant for a timber harvesting permit may be the owner of the said property upon which timber harvesting shall occur.
Definitions. As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A measure of lumber 12 inches by 12 inches by one inches as measured by International 1/4 Log Rule.
- COMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING
- The cutting or removal of live healthy trees for sale or exchange of goods, commodities or services when it is not performed in connection with legally permitted soil mining, building construction or building site development.
- NONCOMMERCIAL TIMBER HARVESTING
- The cutting or removal of trees when it is not performed as commercial timber harvesting.
- PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
- A person who has a minimum of a bachelor of science degree in forestry from a four-year college accredited by the Society of American Foresters and acceptable to the Board of Commissioners.
- STANDARD CORD
- A cut stack of wood measuring four feet by four feet by eight feet or 128 cubic feet.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 4]
There shall be no cutting or removal of trees from any property in the Township of Leet except as provided herein. These provisions shall not be construed as prohibiting or limiting the normal maintenance of trees or property through the selective removal of tree limbs, dead or diseased trees or brush.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 5]
No person, firm or corporation shall conduct any commercial timber harvesting operation in the Township without first obtaining a timber harvesting permit from the Board of Commissioners.
No person, firm or corporation shall conduct noncommercial timber harvesting in the town where the total harvest is to equal or exceed 15 standard cords of wood or 1,920 cubic feet of wood or 7,500 board-feet of timber in a twelve-month period without first obtaining a timber harvesting permit from the Board of Commissioners, except where such harvest is performed in connection with legally permitted soil mining, building construction or building site development. For those uses, a plan should be submitted to the Conservation Board for review under State Environmental Quality Review statutes. All other noncommercial timber harvesting shall be exempt from permit requirements but must still adhere to the Township's timber harvesting standards.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 6; as amended by Ord. 256, 9/11/1995; and by Ord. 260, 3/11/1996, § 13-406]
Application. In all cases where a timber harvesting permit is required the applicant shall file with the Township Secretary an application, in triplicate, for such permit, which shall include:
A letter of application stating a description of the proposed operation, the name and current address of the owner of the property to be harvested and the name and current address of the professional forester to be consulted in the operation. This letter shall bear the signature of the applicant and the property owner.
A site map which shall show:
The location and boundaries of the property to be harvested.
Existing topography at a contour interval of 10 feet.
The location and status of any previous timber harvesting operations on the property within the last five years.
All public roads within 500 feet of the property and roads that are to be used for access or removal of the harvest.
The location and bounds of areas to be harvested.
The intended location of storage piles, loading areas and skidding roads.
Road access to the property.
All existing or intermittent streams or standing bodies of water in or within 500 feet of harvest site.
Details of existing and proposed drainage and proposed erosion control measures.
All buildings within 500 feet of the harvest site.
Sufficient data to determine whether the timber harvest will be controlled to prevent permanent environmental damage to the site or surrounding area.
A data sheet summarizing cutting operations which shall include:
The total area involved in cutting operations.
The number of trees of each species to be cut.
The percentage of trees which have been cut in previous harvesting within the last five years.
The range, in inches, of diameter at breast height 4 1/2 feet above the ground) of the trees to be cut.
The total board-foot volume for each species to be cut.
The total volume to be removed from the cutting area.
The average number of board-feet per acre to be cut.
For harvesting of trees for products such as fence posts, poles, pilings and firewood, the number of units to be removed (expressed in the applicable unit of measurement, e.g., cords of firewood) may be shown in lieu of the terms in subparagraphs (3), (4) and (6).
An application fee in an amount as established, from time to time, by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
Proof of workers' compensation insurance. The proof of said insurance or lawful exemption thereof shall be supplied at the time of consummation of the sale of timber.
A performance bond shall be posted with the Township Board in the amount of 10% of the contract price at the time of consummation of sale to insure conformance to the approved plans, contract and erosion and sedimentation control plan. The Township Board shall set a reasonable time limit for such bond which will be two years unless otherwise designated. Said bond shall remain in full force and effect until a certificate of completion has been issued indicating compliance with the provisions of this Part. In lieu of such a bond, the applicant may post a cash deposit or certified check with the Township.
The bonding requirement hereinabove described is separate and apart from any and all bonding requirements relevant and applicable to roads and vehicular travel thereon.
Owner's Protective Insurance Policy. An owner's protective insurance policy shall be posted with the Board of Commissioners in an amount and form to be determined by the Board of Commissioners, but not to exceed $1,000,000, naming the Township of Leet as a party insured, to insure the protection of the Township of Leet against any liability arising from the logging operations. The said insurance shall be posted at the time of consummation of sale.
Televised Screening of Sewer Lines. As a condition of the issuance of a timber harvesting permit, each applicant agrees to pay the cost of televised screening of sewer lines, following completion of the timber harvesting procedure, which may have been affected by the timber harvesting procedure. Said cost shall be due and payable immediately upon invoice to the applicant by the Township.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 7; as amended by Ord. 256, 9/11/1995, § 6]
Each application for a timber harvesting permit, together with the required information described in § 25-106, shall be referred to the Board of Commissioners by the Township Secretary within five days of the date of application for preliminary review. Within 45 days of the date the application is determined to be complete, the Board of Commissioners shall call a public hearing on the application. Within 45 days after the close of the public hearing the Board of Commissioners shall forward its findings to the applicant and the Zoning Inspector indicating that the application has been approved, disapproved with modifications or conditions. A copy of the Board of Commissioner's findings shall also be maintained in the Office of the Township Secretary.
Applicants for a permit shall reimburse the Township the actual costs and fees incurred by the Township for the following items and services:
Newspaper advertising costs (for publication of notices of public hearing).
Fair and reasonable fees associated with the services of a Township forester/consultant who renders services to the Township pursuant to authority and duties herein set forth.
Fair and reasonable fees associated with the services of a Township professional engineer who renders services to the Township for project services directly related to the applicant's logging activity.
Should the Board of Commissioners determine that a consultant should be retained to review the application, the applicant shall bear the cost of the consultant.
Permits issued under this section shall expire two years from the date of issuance except that, after a public hearing and upon a finding of the Board of Commissioners that all terms and provisions of this Part have been complied with, the Board of Commissioners may extend permits for one-year periods.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 8]
Review by a Professional Forester. Where an applicant wishes to conduct timber harvesting under permit, the area to be harvested shall first be reviewed by a consulting professional forester who shall be retained by the applicant. Said forester shall mark each tree to be removed with paint or other distinctive means at two points so as to be readily visible for inspection. One paint marking shall be low enough on the tree so as to be visible on the stump after the tree is removed.
No cutting or loading shall take place between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or on Sundays, New Year's Day or Christmas Day.
Timber harvesting shall be conducted in accordance with the operational standard entitled "Timber Harvesting Standards," which shall be maintained on file in the office of the Township Secretary.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 9]
This Part shall be enforced by the Township Zoning Inspector. The Zoning Inspector may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of the police and all other municipal officials exercising jurisdiction over property being harvested or harvesting operations.
The Zoning Inspector and assistants described above, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of their duties, may enter upon any property at any reasonable hour, where timber harvesting is reported, proposed or being conducted and no person shall interfere with such entry.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 10]
The Board of Commissioners may revoke a timber harvesting permit theretofore issued in the following instances:
Where it finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plan or information on which issuance of the permit was based.
Where it finds that the permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with applicable law.
Where the permittee fails or refuses to comply with a written order issued by the Zoning Inspector within the time fixed for compliance therewith.
[Ord. 247, 9/22/1993, § 11; as amended by Ord. 260, 3/11/1996, § 13-411; and by Ord. 2016-01, 3/14/2016]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate or fail to comply with a written order or notice of violation issued by the Zoning Inspector, or with any of the provisions of this Part or conditions of the timber harvesting permit, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues shall constitute a separate offense.