[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lacey 10-24-1991 as part of Ord. No. 61-91 (Ch. 40 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee of the Township of Lacey recognizes the physical, aesthetic and economic value of trees, shrubs and other plants within the township to its existing and future residents and further recognizes that the protection, preservation, regulation and control of such trees, shrubs and plants is essential to the health, safety, economy and general welfare of the township. This chapter is enacted for the following purposes and intents:
To provide for the regulation of the planting, care and removal of shade and ornamental trees, shrubbery and other plants now located or which may hereafter be planted in or on any street, highway, public place, park or parkway, except for state parks and parkways or county parks and parkways, of the Township of Lacey.
To regulate and control the use of the ground surrounding such trees, shrubbery and plants so far as may be necessary for their proper growth, care and protection.
To provide for the control of such streets, highways, public places, easements, parks and parkways and to encourage arboriculture within the Township of Lacey.
To provide for a positive role by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee in relation to all of the foregoing premises and to assist other township bodies, including but not limited to the Administrator and his staff, the Planning Board and Zoning Board, in the details necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
To provide for review and recommendations by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee of site plans and major subdivision applications before the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the township and for cooperation between the Shade Tree Advisory Committee and the Environmental Commission in all cases within the terms of this chapter when undeveloped lands or lands in the process of development are involved.
To subject all trees identifiable as being within the above purposes to the jurisdiction of this chapter to the limit of the lawful power of the township to do so.
Regular members. The Mayor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Township Committee, five (5) residents of the Township of Lacey to serve, without compensation, as Committee members. The first Committee members shall be appointed within sixty (60) days after the final adoption of this chapter. The terms of office shall commence upon the days of their appointments and shall be for the respective periods of one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4) and five (5) years, to take effect on January 1 next succeeding such appointments. The term of each appointee shall be designated in the resolution of appointment. All subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for the full term of five (5) years, to take effect on January 1. The members of the Shade Tree Advisory Committee shall designate one (1) of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer during the first meeting and on January 1 of each year.
Alternates. The Committee may include two (2) alternate members who shall be appointed as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." Alternates shall serve during the absence of any regular member or members. The term of the alternates' membership shall be for four (4) and five (5) years respectively, beginning on January 1 of the year of appointment and expiring on the fourth December 31, for Alternate No. 1, and the fifth December 31, for Alternate No. 2, next following the date of their appointments. Alternates may only vote in the absence or disqualification of regular members, and no vote shall be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate.
[Added 7-11-1996 by Ord. No. 96-36]
Removal of members. The Mayor and governing body of the township may remove any member of the Shade Tree Advisory Committee for cause, on written charges served upon a member. The member shall be entitled to a hearing and shall be entitled to be represented by counsel.
Functions and duties. The Shade Tree Advisory Committee shall:
Formulate such recommendations to the Township Committee concerning shade trees, soil and landscaping protection and environmental appearance.
Interact with the Ocean County Shade Tree Commission to assure compliance with Ocean County shade tree regulations and to foster interaction with the County of Ocean for the preservation of trees.
Increase the awareness and need for shade trees.
Provide technical assistance to township organizations and interest groups.
Plan and enhance Arbor Day programs and create other programs directed at schools for tree awareness and be responsible for the application to the "Tree City U.S.A." award program.
Provide an annual report to the Township Committee detailing a comprehensive planting and maintenance program to enhance the appearance of township roads, buildings, parks and other township properties.
Provide guidance to property owners of the Township of Lacey in matters of tree maintenance, tree selection and planting and protection of trees.
Make recommendations for the protection of trees, including but not limited to gypsy moth and other destructive organisms.
Identify historical, specimen and other significant trees within the township.
It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any of the following acts to shade or ornamental trees and shrubbery on streets, highways, parkways, easements, parks and other lands owned by or dedicated to the township:
To remove, cut, break or injure any such tree, shrub or part thereof unless approved, in writing, by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee.
To place any rope, wire, sign, poster or other fixture on a tree or tree guard unless approved, in writing, by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee.
To plant, set out, take down or remove any tree or shrub unless approved, in writing, by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee.
Written approval by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee under Subsection A(1) through (3) preceding shall be given only in response to a request in writing showing good cause and shall be given on clearly stated terms and conditions satisfying the purposes of this chapter. A copy of all such approvals shall be forwarded to the Township Administrator.
It shall be unlawful, with respect to shade or ornamental trees and shrubbery on streets, highways, parkways, easements, parks and other lands owned by the township, for any person:
To damage, misuse or remove any device placed to protect any such tree or shrubbery.
To pour any saltwater or other chemical near or upon any tree or to permit any fire, tar kettle, road roller or other engine to stand in such manner as to injure a tree.
To interfere or cause any interference with the Shade Tree Advisory Committee and Department of Public Works in the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any tree.
Immediate action may be taken by any utility company, state, county or municipal agency or authority in the event of an emergency which requires immediate removal of any tree or shrub or part thereof.
The Shade Tree Advisory Committee shall approve of a list (preferred species list) of shade trees, ornamental trees and shrubs to be planted by applicants to the extent possible. All such trees must be Grade A nursery stock. The preferred species list of shade trees, ornamental trees and shrubs may be obtained from the Shade Tree Advisory Committee, Zoning Officer or Township Clerk.
The varieties or species of shade trees, ornamental trees, shrubbery and other plants selected for landscaping and screening shall be subject to the approval of the Shade Tree Advisory Committee. The Shade Tree Advisory Committee shall update the list of preferred species on an annual basis.
[Amended 7-11-1996 by Ord. No. 96-36]
The owner or agent of premises where a violation of any provision of this chapter shall have been committed or shall exist or the lessee or tenant of any part of the premises in which such violation shall have been committed or shall exist or any other person who shall maintain any premises in which any violation of this chapter shall exist or any person who shall commit a violation of § 113-3 of this chapter, for each and every violation upon conviction in the Lacey Township Municipal Court, shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.), be imprisoned for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days and/or serve a period of community service not exceeding ninety (90) days. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
[Added 7-11-1996 by Ord. No. 96-36]
Any public utility or cable television company that clears, moves, cuts or destroys any trees, shrubs or plants for the purpose of erecting, installing, moving, removing, altering or maintaining any structures or fixtures which are necessary for the supply of electric light, heat or power, communication or cable television services upon lands for which it has acquired an easement or right-of-way shall not be subject to § 113-5, Violations and penalties; replacement assessment. Public utility and cable television companies are not exempt from § 113-5, Violations and penalties; replacement assessment, imposed for negligent actions.