[Ord. No. 29-89; Code § 77AA-1]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Long Hill Township Shade Tree Regulations.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-2; Ord. No. 29-95 § 1]
As used in this chapter:
- APPROVED BUILDING
- Shall mean any proposed building or building addition for which subdivision or site plan approval has been obtained, or for which a building permit has been issued.
- BIG TREE
- Shall mean those identified as "big trees" on Schedule "A" attached to this chapter and incorporated herein by reference. (Schedule A, referred to herein, may be found on file in the office of the Township Clerk.)
- MUNICIPAL LAND
- Shall mean any property owned by the Township, including any lot or easement or right-of-way for streets, sidewalks or municipal utilities such as sanitary sewers and storm sewers. For the purposes of this chapter, an easement or right-of-way for a street, sidewalk, walk-way or municipal utility which is dedicated for public use on a subdivision plat approved by the Planning Board shall be deemed to be property owned by the Township only upon and after the formal acceptance of such easement or right-of-way by the Township.
- Shall mean any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association or other legal entity, including any trustee, receiver, assignee or other similar representative.
- PRIVATE LAND
- Shall mean any property that is not considered municipal land. It shall not include any land owned by County, State or Federal governmental agencies.
- Shall mean any woody perennial plant with a main stem or trunk exceeding five inches in diameter measured at a point four feet above the existing or normal ground level for such plant.
- TREE REMOVAL PERMIT
- Shall mean a permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance authorizing the removal of a tree or trees located upon municipal land.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-3; Ord. No. 295-12]
A tree shall be considered as being located upon municipal land if any part of the trunk or main stem of the tree is located upon such municipal land.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-4]
Prohibited Activities. No person shall:
Remove, injure, break, deface, poison or damage any tree or shrub located upon any municipal land;
Nail or otherwise attach anything to any tree or shrub upon any municipal land;
Operate, place or maintain within six feet of the stem or trunk of any tree or shrub located upon any municipal land any machinery, equipment, heavy object, stone, rocks, cement, earth, soil or other substance which may harm such tree or shrub by unduly compressing the earth or otherwise impeding or preventing the access of water or air to the roots of such tree or shrub;
Excavate around or remove earth or soil from or cause any water to flow upon the roots of any tree or shrub located on any municipal land in any manner which may harmfully affect such tree or shrub; or
Interfere with, damage, destroy or attach anything to any posts, supports or guards for any tree or shrub upon any municipal land.
Exempt Activities. Nothing contained in paragraph a shall apply to the performance by the Township, its employees, agents or contractors of any authorized work upon any municipal land.
[Ord. No. 29-95 § 2]
Permit Required. The removal of any tree or tree on private land is prohibited unless a tree removal permit is first obtained from the Township.
Prohibited Activities. The clear cutting of trees on private land either before or after subdivision or site plan approvals or building permits have been issued is prohibited.
Exempt Activities. The removal of the following trees from private land shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter.
Trees on properties with existing one or two family dwellings.
Trees within the JCP&L high tension line easement.
Trees specifically permitted to be removed by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment as part of an approved subdivision or site plan.
Trees on land classified as a tree farm under State statutes.
[Ord. No. 29-89; Code § 77AA-5; Ord. No. 29-95 § 3]
If a person wishes to remove a tree from any municipal or private land, he shall first obtain a permit from the Township Shade Tree Committee. Every application for a tree removal permit shall be made in five copies on forms provided, which may be obtained at the office of the Township Clerk. Each application shall state the name, address and telephone number of the applicant; if the applicant is not an individual, the name, address and telephone number of the person in charge of the proposed removal shall be given; the name and address of the person who will actually perform the proposed removal; and a detailed description of the municipal land upon which the tree proposed to be removed is located. Each application shall include a brief statement of the particular circumstances, conditions or reasons necessitating the removal of the tree or trees.
Unless the tree or trees can be identified and located by description, the application shall be accompanied by a detailed diagram with a scale of not less than one inch equals 30 feet showing the location of the tree or trees proposed to be removed.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-6; Ord. No. 29-95 § 4]
Tree permit fees shall be set by resolution of the Township Committee. There shall be no fee for a permit to remove a dead or dying tree. The required fee shall be paid to the Township at the time of the filing of each application for a tree removal permit. The fee required by this subsection is to cover municipal expenses arising out of the review of applications and inspections. No fee shall be refunded to any person due to the disapproval in whole or in part of any application.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-7; Ord. No. 29-95 §§ 5, 6]
Consideration of Application for Tree Removal Permit. Upon filing of an application for a tree removal permit, the Township Clerk shall forward copies to all members of the Shade Tree Committee for consideration and review.
Factors To Be Considered in Review of Application. The Shade Tree Committee shall consider the following objectives in reviewing applications for tree removal permits:
Mature, healthy trees on municipal land shall be removed only when necessary to provide suitable site access and sight distance to existing or approved buildings, or to permit the installation of underground utilities or any other activity deemed necessary by the Shade Tree Committee.
Trees infected with contagious disease and other dying or dead trees on municipal land should generally be removed.
Trees that are likely to adversely affect other more desirable trees may be removed from both municipal and private land.
Trees on private land which serve buffer, shade, landscaping or other functions as required by an approved subdivision or site plan shall not be removed unless considered a public safety hazard by the Shade Tree Committee.
The removal of any "big tree" as defined in Section 23-2 hereinabove shall be prohibited unless said tree poses a public safety hazard in the opinion of the Shade Tree Committee.
The Shade Tree Committee may weigh hardship or difficulty that would be caused to an applicant by the retention of a tree against the value of such retention.
Acting Upon Application Within 30 Days. The Shade Tree Committee shall act upon every application for a tree removal permit within 30 days after it is filed. Upon failure of the Shade Tree Committee to act upon an application within such period of time, the application shall be deemed to have been approved as submitted for all purposes of this chapter.
Reasons for Disapproval. In the event that the Shade Tree Committee shall disapprove any application in whole or in part, the reasons for such disapproval shall be endorsed upon the application.
Conditioned Approval. The Shade Tree Committee may approve an application in whole or in part upon terms and conditions which shall be endorsed upon the application. Such terms and conditions may include requirements for the installation of wells or wells of specified dimensions for a particular tree or trees not to be removed. The Shade Tree Committee may also require that a specific tree or trees shall be protected from damage during building or other construction work carried on in close proximity thereto by the erection and maintenance of suitable guards or barriers. The removal of diseased trees and the pruning or trimming of trees that are not to be removed may be required, as may any other reasonable action necessary to preserve and protect trees in the opinion of the Shade Tree Committee.
Issuance of Tree Removal Permit. Whenever the Shade Tree Committee shall approve an application for a tree removal permit in whole or in part, the Township Clerk shall issue a tree removal permit in accordance with the terms of the approval together with a copy of the application bearing the endorsement of the Shade Tree Committee. In the event that the Shade Tree Committee shall disapprove an application in its entirety, the Township Clerk shall issue to the applicant a copy of the application bearing the endorsement of the Shade Tree Committee with the reasons for disapproval. If the Shade Tree Committee shall fail to take any action with respect to an application for a tree removal permit within 30 days after the filing of the application, the Township Clerk shall issue a tree removal permit as though the application had been approved in its entirety.
[Ord. No. 29-95 § 7]
Consideration of Mitigation Efforts. Pursuant to its conditional approval powers under subsection 23-4.3e of this chapter, the Shade Tree Committee may require certain mitigation efforts for any permitted tree removal. In establishing such mitigation requirements, the Shade Tree Committee shall consider the following factors:
The number, size and type of trees proposed to be removed.
The stated reasons of the tree removal.
The number, size and type of trees to remain on the property after the tree removal is completed.
The overall scenic value of the municipal land or private land on which the tree removal is proposed.
Mitigation Efforts for Replacement of Destroyed Trees. Pursuant to its tree replacement powers under subsection 23-5.2b of this chapter, the Shade Tree Committee may also require certain mitigating efforts for any tree destruction outlined in said subsection. Such mitigation shall be established pursuant to subsection 23-4.4a of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-8]
The Township Construction Official or the Code Enforcement Officer or Director of Public Works may order any tree work or other activity which is carried on in violation of any tree removal permit or any provision of this chapter to be stopped. The order shall be issued in writing and a copy served upon any person engaged in tree work upon the subject property. If no such person is present upon the property then the order shall be served upon the applicant, but if no permit has been issued as to such property, then the order shall be served upon the owner of the lot contiguous to the tree being removed from the Township right-of-way. Thereafter, except for such work as is necessary to remedy the violation, any further work shall comply with the terms and conditions of any permit and the provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-9; Ord. No. 29-95 § 8]
Treatment of Injured Trees. In the event that any tree which is not permitted to be removed pursuant to a tree removal permit is injured during work under such a permit or during building or other construction work on any undeveloped lot within the Township, such tree shall be promptly treated in a manner approved by the Shade Tree Committee in accordance with accepted tree care practices.
Replacement of Destroyed Trees. In the event that any tree which is not permitted to be removed pursuant to a tree removal permit is fatally injured, felled, destroyed or removed on any municipal or private land, the Shade Tree Committee may issue an order in writing to the responsible party directing that such tree, including its stump, shall be entirely removed and that such tree shall be replaced by a tree or trees of equivalent value as determined by the Shade Tree Committee in accordance with the current International Shade Tree Evaluation Chart, a copy of which is on file in the Office of the Township Clerk. The order of the Shade Tree Committee shall specify a reasonable time within which such removal and any replacement, if required, shall be accomplished by the responsible party.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-10]
Any person aggrieved by any action of the Shade Tree Committee pursuant to any of the provisions of subsections 23-4.3, 23-5.1 or 23-5.2 of this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Township Committee within 15 days after the action complained of. The appeal shall be made by filing with the Township Clerk a written statement setting forth the action complained of and the grounds for the appeal. The Township Committee shall set a time and place for the hearing of the appeal, which hearing shall be held within 30 days after the filing of the appeal, and notice of the hearing shall be given to the appellant by the Township Clerk. At the hearing, the appellant and his or its attorney may present evidence, including the testimony of witnesses. The Township Clerk shall keep minutes of the hearing and copies of the documents or exhibits referred to, if any.
Within 30 days after the completion of the hearing, the action taken by the Shade Tree Commission shall be affirmed, modified or reversed by the Township Committee. The findings and reasons for the disposition of the appeal shall be stated on the records of the Township Committee and a copy shall be given to the appellant by the Township Clerk.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77AA-11]
Whenever under the provisions of this chapter any notice or order is required to be given to or served upon any person, such notice or order may be given or served by certified mail addressed to the person to be notified at the address set forth in an application filed by such person. Any notice to the Township shall be served by personal service upon the Township Clerk or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Township Clerk at the Township Hall.
[Ord. No. 29-89; 1967 Code § 77A-12; Ord. No. 29-95 § 9; Ord. No. 295-12 § 2]
Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter or the terms and conditions of any tree removal permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-5. The minimum fine for a violation of this section shall be $100. Each tree or shrub that is damaged or destroyed shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
In addition, any person who removes, injures, breaks, defaces, poisons or damages any tree or shrub located upon any municipal land, or otherwise violates the provisions of subsection 23-3.2 of this chapter, shall be required to replace the damaged or destroyed tree or shrub with a tree or shrub which has an appraised value equal to the appraised value of the tree or shrub that was damaged or destroyed, using specimens designated by the Township Shade Tree Commission.