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Borough of Woodland Park, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[New]
This chapter shall be known as "Tree Removal and Protection Regulations of the Borough of Woodland Park."
[New]
The Borough Council of the Borough of Woodland Park finds that the preservation, protection and planting of trees aids in the stabilization of soil by the prevention of erosion and sedimentation; reduces stormwater runoff and the potential damage it may create; aids in removal of pollutants from the air and assists in the generation of oxygen; provides a buffer and screen against severe weather; aids in the control of drainage and restoration of denuded soil subsequent to construction or grading; provides a haven for birds and other wildlife and otherwise enhances the environment; protects and increases property values; conserves and enhances the Borough's physical and aesthetic appearances and generally protects the public health and safety as well as the general welfare.
[New]
No person shall do or cause to be done any of the following acts affecting the trees, shrubbery or ornamental material planted or growing naturally within the highways or public places under the jurisdiction of the municipality, except with a written permit first obtained from the Department of Public Works;
Cut, trim, break, disturb the roots of, or spray with chemicals any living tree or shrub; or injure, misuse, or remove any structure or device placed to support or protect any tree or shrub;
Plant or remove any living tree or shrub, or climb with spikes any living tree or shrub;
Fasten any rope, wire, electric attachments, sign or other device to a tree or shrub, or to any guard about such tree or shrub;
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree or shrub to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree or shrub;
Pile any building material, or make any mortar or cement within six (6) feet of a tree or shrub;
Change the grade of the soil within the limits of the lateral spread of the branches of any such tree.
[New]
The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
MAJOR TREE
shall mean a deciduous tree with a mature height of at least fifty (50) feet which shall be a caliper of at least two (2) and one-half (2 1/2) inches measured four and one-half (4 1/2) feet about the ground when planted (e.g. red, Norway, silver or sugar maple; sweetgum; London plane tree; American sycamore; white, red or pin oak; American elm; yellow or white poplar; or copper beech).
MINOR TREE
shall mean an evergreen tree, ornamental tree or other small tree at least six (6) feet in height at time of planting (e.g. birch, dogwood, Japanese maple, cherry, crabapple, magnolia, Bradford pear, willow, cedar, spruce, pine, fire or hemlock).
PERSON
shall mean the owner of a parcel of real estate or any other individual, group, company, firm, corporation, partnership, association, society or other legal entity.
SPECIES
shall mean for purposes of this chapter, the common name of the tree.
STRUCTURE
shall mean a combination of materials to form a construction for occupancy, use or ornamentation, whether installed on, above or below the surface of a parcel of land.
[New]
Every person having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current along a public highway shall at all times guard all trees through, or near, which such wire passes against any injury from the wire or cable or from the electric current carried by it. The device or means used shall in every case be subject to approval by the Department of Public Works.
[New]
No person shall cut down or remove any tree of a caliper of four (4) inches or greater measured at a height of four and one-half (4 1/2) feet above the ground or engage in any site clearing without a tree removal permit, except on a lot used for one- or two family use where a certificate of occupancy has been issued at least two (2) years before the date of the tree removal and where the removal does not exceed two (2) trees in any twenty-four (24) month period.
[New]
No person shall place any guy wire, brace or tree device on any such tree in such a manner as to injure it.
[New]
No person shall hitch or fasten an animal to any tree or shrub upon a public highway or to any guard or support provided for the same, or permit an animal to bite or otherwise injure any tree or shrub.
[New]
No person shall permit any brine, gas or injurious chemical or liquid to come in contact with the stump or roots of any tree or shrub upon a public highway.
[New]
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with any lawful work undertaken by the Department of Public Works or its authorized agent.
[New]
In case any tree or shrub, or any part thereof, along the public highway shall become dangerous to the public safety, the owner of the property in front of which such tree or shrub shall be, shall remove the same, or the required part thereof, forthwith upon service of written directive to that effect from the Department of Public Works. The notice shall be sufficient if served in the same manner as a summons may be served in accordance with the New Jersey Rules of Court.
[New]
The owner or tenant of any lands lying within the municipality shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life, growing within ten (10) feet of any roadway and within twenty-five (25) feet of the intersection of two (2) roadways, cut to the height of not more than two and one-half (2 1/2) feet. This shall not require the cutting down of any trees where there is vision through the trees at a height of between two and one-half (2 1/2) feet and eight (8) feet above the ground.
[New]
If the owner fails to remove the tree or shrub or portion thereof within two (2) weeks after the service of written notice to do so, the work shall be performed by the municipality under the supervision of the Director of Public Works, who shall certify the cost thereof to the Council.
[New]
Upon receipt of the certified costs, the Council shall examine same and if found correct shall cause the costs to be charged against the lands, or if the Council deems the costs to be excessive, shall cause the reasonable cost to be charged against the lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as other taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes.
[New]
a. 
Application for a tree removal permit shall be made by submission of the following:
1. 
An original and two (2) copies of an application on forms provided by the Borough containing the following information: the names and addresses of the applicant; the street address and tax lot and block of the property in question; the number of trees to be removed; and such other information as may be required.
2. 
An original and two (2) copies of a tree removal plan consisting of a map drawn to scale showing the location of all trees to be removed, the species of such trees and their caliper. In the event that the application is for the removal of more than five (5) trees, the tree removal plan must be prepared, signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer and land surveyor, and must show the location of all existing and proposed structures on the property, together with the distance, up to fifteen (15) feet that the trees proposed to be removed are located from such structures and from property lines.
[New]
The fees for tree removal permits shall be the following:
Number of Trees
Fees
1 to 5
$50.00
6 to 10
100.00
11 to 20
200.00
21 to 50
300.00
51 and over
400.00, plus an additional 100.00 for each additional fifty (50) trees or part thereof
[New]
The following standards for review of applications shall apply:
a. 
Permitted Removal. No tree shall be permitted to be removed unless the tree is:
1. 
Located within the building footprint of a proposed principal building.
2. 
Located between the curblines of a proposed roadway approved pursuant to the subdivision ordinance.
3. 
Located within the roadway right-of-way but outside the curbline of a proposed roadway approved pursuant to the subdivision ordinance, subject to the provisions of paragraph d8 of this section.
4. 
Dead or poses a safety hazard.
5. 
Located within fifteen (15) feet of any building.
6. 
Located within the area of a proposed driveway, walkway, utility line, accessory building or any other structure.
7. 
Located in a front yard area proposed to be landscaped.
8. 
Located in a recreation area which shall not exceed an area of land equal to fifty (50%) percent of the rear yard of a lot on which a building lies, less area in the side yards and rear yard where trees are to be removed pursuant to other provisions of this subsection.
9. 
Specifically permitted to be removed in a site plan approved pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
b. 
Conflict with Other Laws. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, no tree removal shall be permitted where prohibited by Zoning Ordinance (e.g. buffer zones and crestline provisions) or any other municipal, State or Federal Statute, ordinance or regulation.
c. 
Hardship Appeal. In the event that an applicant believes the standards set forth in paragraph a. above constitute a hardship which prohibits a reasonable use of all or substantially all of the property in question, an applicant may seek relief from the Governing Body of the Borough of Woodland Park in the event that such relief is sought, the applicant shall submit an additional eight (8) copies of the documents required to be submitted as to the reasons for the claimed hardship. In addition, the applicant shall submit a fee for the hearing of the matter in the amount of three hundred ($300.00) dollars. The Governing Body, upon submission of a complete application to the Borough Clerk, shall schedule a public hearing in connection with the requested relief. The applicant shall cause to be published in an official newspaper of the municipality a notice setting forth the time, date and place of the hearing to be so held, together with a brief statement of the relief requested. Such notice must be published within ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing. Additionally, the applicant shall cause to be served upon all property owners within two hundred (200) feet of the property in question a similar notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service. Proof of publication and service of notice shall be required to be submitted prior to the hearing. At the hearing, the applicant shall present witnesses under oath, and any other interested parties may do the same. All witnesses shall be subjected to cross-examination. The decision of the Governing Body shall be binding upon the municipal official in charge of enforcement and administration of this chapter.
d. 
Mitigation. Mitigation for tree removal shall be required as follows:
1. 
No mitigation shall be required in connection with tree removal conducted pursuant to a permit issued under paragraphs a1, 2 and 9 of this section.
2. 
Mitigation shall be required pursuant to paragraph d4 of this section in the event of tree removal pursuant to paragraphs a5 and 8 of this section.
3. 
In the event of tree removal pursuant to paragraph a4 no mitigation shall be required if the tree has been planted for at least five (5) years, there has been no damage to the tree by construction or otherwise by any person, and there has been no soil-removing within fifteen (15) feet of such tree within five (5) years; otherwise, mitigation shall be required pursuant to paragraph d4 of this section.
4. 
For each tree for which mitigation is required, pursuant to paragraphs c2 and 3 above, the following shall apply:
(a) 
For each tree removed pursuant to the standards of this chapter of a caliper of four (4) inches to no more than six (6) inches, the applicant shall plant a major or minor tree as defined in this chapter on the property in question, or in the event that the applicant asserts the planting would be inappropriate and the official in charge of enforcement and administration of this chapter agrees, the applicant may in lieu of such planting provide to the municipality a sum of money equal to the approximate cost of such planting as may be determined and changed, from time to time, by resolution of the Borough Council for each such tree for the purposes of planting shade trees elsewhere in the municipality.
(b) 
For each tree removed pursuant to the standards of this chapter of a caliper of more than six (6) inches, the applicant shall plant a major tree as defined in this chapter on the property in question, or in the event that the applicant asserts to the official in charge of enforcement and administration of this chapter that the planting would be inappropriate, the applicant would then provide to the municipality a sum of money equal to the approximate cost of such planting as may be determined and changed, from time to time, by resolution of the Borough Council for each such tree for purposes of planting shade trees elsewhere in the municipality.
5. 
In the event that tree removal occurs in an area otherwise than as permitted in paragraph a. of this section, mitigation shall be required at the rate of two (2) replacements for each one (1) removed.
6. 
In the event that it is unknown or in question in any given instance as to whether mitigation should be determined on the basis of a minor tree or major tree, mitigation shall be required on the basis of a major tree.
7. 
In the event that it is unknown how many trees were removed from any given site, and removal took place without a tree permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the number of trees requiring mitigation shall be computed by assuming trees over six (6) inches in caliper existed thirty (30) feet on center and plotting the maximum number of those trees as circles of a fifteen (15) foot radius without having the circles overlap or extend beyond the property lines or drip lines of existing trees.
8. 
In connection with tree removal pursuant to paragraph a3 of this section, it shall be required that the applicant plant major trees, on center a distance of thirty (30) feet, as street trees between the curbline and the edge of the right-of-way in a location determined by the Borough Engineer, Superintendent of Public Works and the Official administering this chapter.
9. 
Mitigation in any instance is not to be considered a penalty, but rather an implementation of the purposes of this chapter. Mitigation shall not be a substitute for, but shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of the provisions of this chapter.
[New]
Except in the event of a tree removal pursuant to an approved subdivision or site plan where a performance bond to assure tree planting was posted, as a precondition to the issuance of a permit where mitigation is required, the applicant shall post a cash bond to assure mitigation in an amount equal to the amount set forth in the resolution adopted by the Borough Council pursuant to subsection 27-17d4 for each minor and major tree to be planted. The bond shall be returned to the applicant upon completion of the required mitigation.
[New]
a. 
In connection with any construction subsequent to tree clearing but prior to the issuance of a building permit or start of construction, snow fencing or other protective barrier acceptable to the official charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter shall be placed around trees that are not to be removed. The protective barriers shall be placed at least ten (10) feet from the trunk of any tree and shall remain in place until all construction activity is terminated. No equipment, chemicals, soil deposits or construction materials shall be placed within any area protected by barriers. Any landscaping activities subsequent to the removal of the barriers shall be accomplished with light machinery or hand labor.
b. 
No person shall:
1. 
Cut down or remove any tree except as permitted by this chapter or allow or cause such cutting or removal.
2. 
Cause or allow any willful damage, injury or disfigurement of any tree growing within the Borough. For purposes of this subsection, the actions of any person shall be deemed willful if the damages, injury or disfigurement of any tree is caused as the result of but not limited to the following: cutting, gashing, or slitting of any tree; the pouring of any liquid or other material on any tree; or on the ground nearby; the construction or placement of any nonporous material on the ground around any tree so as to cut off the air, light or water from the roots; or placement or removal of any soil from within ten (10) feet of any tree.
3. 
Store or pile building material or debris or place construction equipment within ten (10) feet of any tree.
c. 
In the event that any tree to be saved in connection with construction as set forth above or any tree planting in mitigation shall die within two (2) years after planting, it shall be replaced by the applicant or the property owner within six (6) months.
[New]
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the official charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter shall have the right within ten (10) days of the issuance of any decision by such official to appeal to the Borough Council, which shall take action as it deems necessary in matter. In the event of such an appeal, the procedures set forth with reference to applications based on hardship continued in subsection 27-17(c) of this chapter shall apply.
[New]
If any person shall continue to violate any of three (3) provisions of this chapter, after being duly notified of the violation, or shall neglect to comply with any lawful order of the Department of Public Works, the failure to comply with a second or each of any subsequent notifications or orders, shall be constituted as an additional violation of this chapter, and each additional offense shall subject the offending party upon conviction to the same penalty as provided for the first offense. Violators shall be liable, upon conviction, to the penalty stated in Chapter I, Section 1-5.