[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park 2-23-1939 by Ord. No. 23; amended in its entirety 10-18-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016 Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Since it has been established that trees stabilize the soil and control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, absorb air pollution, provide oxygen, yield advantageous microclimatic effects, have an intrinsic aesthetic quality, protect and increase property values, offer a natural barrier to noise and provide a natural habitat for wildlife, and that the removal of trees deprives the residents of the Village of New Hyde Park of these benefits and disrupts fundamental ecological systems of which trees are an integral part, the purpose of this chapter is to prevent the indiscriminate destruction or removal of trees within the boundaries of the Village of New Hyde Park and to provide for the relocation or replacement of trees which may be removed or destroyed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person making an application pursuant to this chapter.
- DBH (diameter at breast height)/CALIPER
- The diameter (or caliper) of a tree measured at a point four feet above the base of the trunk or, in the case of a tree for planting, at least two inches in diameter at a height of six inches above the top of the ball.
- DESTRUCTION or REMOVAL
- Such practices as girdling, trenching near the roots, application of herbicides, or any other practice or action which may reasonably be expected to, either immediately or within the course of time, result in the death of a tree, but shall not include regular maintenance such as pruning or pollarding of a tree.
- The Superintendent of Buildings or such other enforcement officers as authorized by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
- Any living upright woody plant, together with its root system, which has at least one trunk of six inches or greater in diameter or 18 inches or greater in circumference at a height of four feet above the base of the trunk.
- TREE PERMIT
- A written authorization to plant and/or remove one or more trees pursuant to this chapter.
No applicant shall plant any tree or shrub between the curbline (either existing or proposed) and the property line of any street or highway shown on the Official Map of the Village unless such applicant shall first obtain a permit therefor signed by the Superintendent.
No such permit shall be issued unless the applicant seeking such permit shall file with the Superintendent a signed application, in writing, setting forth the location where each tree or shrub is to be planted and the approximate size and variety thereof. Before a permit shall be issued there shall be deposited with the Village, with each such application, a sum as determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees. Said deposit shall be held as security for the proper planting of each such tree or shrub, the removal of all debris and the proper restoration of any grassy areas, sidewalks and curbs. Upon the completion of such planting and compliance with the provisions of this chapter, such deposit or any balance remaining after deducting the cost of removing any debris or the restoration of any grass areas shall be refunded to the applicant.
No permit shall be issued by the Superintendent for any such planting unless the same shall be in accordance with the specifications (if any) authorized by the Board of Trustees therefor on file in the Department of Public Works and the permit appropriately defines the size and variety of the trees or shrubs to be planted and the location thereof.
No permit shall allow the planting of a tree with a DBH of less than two inches.
It shall be unlawful for any person to destroy or remove any tree or shrub on Village property, either between the curbline (either existing or proposed) and the adjacent property line along any street or highway shown on the Official Map of the Village of New Hyde Park or in a Village right-of-way, or any tree or shrub planted by the Village without first having obtained a valid tree removal permit.
It shall be unlawful for any person to destroy or remove any tree on non-Village-owned property within the Village without having first obtained a valid tree removal permit.
Any applicant desiring a tree removal permit, as required by this section, shall submit a written application to the Superintendent, together with a filing fee in such amount as shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees. The application shall include the following information:
The name and address of the applicant and status of legal entity, if any.
The status of the applicant with respect to the land.
Written consent of the owner or owners of the land, if the applicant is not the sole owner.
The name of the person or firm preparing any map, drawing or diagram submitted with the application.
The location of the property, including a street number and address.
A diagram or drawing of the parcel of land specifically designating the area or areas of proposed tree removal and the proposed use of such area.
The location of all proposed structures and driveways on the site.
Designation of all diseased, dead or damaged trees.
Designation of any trees endangering any roadways, pavement or utility lines.
Any proposed grade changes that might adversely affect or endanger any trees on the site and specifications for the maintenance thereof.
Designation of trees to be removed and trees to be maintained.
The purpose of tree removal.
The size. species and planting method of all replacement trees.
If the proposed tree removal is in connection with a subdivision or other land use application, the Superintendent may, in addition to the above-listed information, require the applicant to supply any or all of the following documentation:
A tree preservation plan specifying the methods to be used to preserve all remaining trees and their root systems and the means of providing water and nutrients to their root systems.
A topographical survey of the site if development or construction will result in a change in elevation of more than five feet or if the parcel of land is more than one acre in area.
In determining whether or not a permit should be granted, the Superintendent shall consider the following:
The condition of the tree or trees with respect to disease, insect attack, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
The necessity of removing the tree or trees in order to implement the stated purpose of the application.
The effect of the tree removal on erosion, soil moisture retention, flow of surface waters and drainage.
Whether any tree in question is a tree worthy of preservation due to unusual characteristics such as age, history, size, rarity, financial value or visual importance to the neighborhood.
Whether the removal plan will destroy more trees than are reasonably necessary to achieve the stated purpose of the application or is not consistent with the stated purposes of this chapter.
Whether the destruction or removal of the tree(s) shall leave a barren or vacant, exposed land area (thereby substantially altering the aesthetic composition of the land and surrounding area).
The Superintendent shall be authorized to exempt the following tree removals from the formal application process, provided that such removals shall conform to the purpose and intent of this chapter:
The removal of trees from horticultural properties such as nurseries and the like. This exception shall not be interpreted to include lumber harvesting incidental to imminent development of the land.
The removal of trees on public rights-of-way conducted by or on behalf of a federal, state, county, municipal or other governmental agency in pursuance of its lawful activities or functions in the construction or improvement of public rights-of-way.
The removal of diseased or dead or weed trees, as determined by the Superintendent.
The removal of any tree which has become or threatens to become a danger to human life or property, as determined by the Superintendent.
In the event that any tree is removed without a permit when required, such tree shall be required to be replaced by the planting of an appropriate replacement tree as determined by the Superintendent.
As a condition of receiving a tree removal permit, the permittee shall provide, with the permit application, a plan showing a one-for-one replacement of trees. Replacement trees shall have no less than a four-inch caliper measured four feet above the root crown. Alternately, the applicant may make a contribution to the Village Tree Fund in an amount set forth in the Village's fee schedule, which may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees. In cases where multiple trees are to be removed, the applicant may combine both options to achieve the intent of this section.
Any applicant aggrieved by a decision of the Superintendent may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees of the Village.
Any person, association, firm or corporation that violates any provision of this chapter or assists in the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter only and shall be punishable as follows:
By a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
By a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a second offense, provided the first and second offenses were committed within a period of five years of each other.
By a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offense or a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years.