Village of North Hills, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Hills 2-14-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979 (Ch. 164 of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Site development regulations — See Ch. 179.
The Board of Trustees finds that 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, offer a natural barrier to noise and provide a natural habitat for the wildlife in the area of the Village, and that the removal of trees causes deprivation of these benefits and disrupts fundamental ecological systems in which they are integrally involved. It is, therefore, the purpose of this chapter to prevent the loss of trees or shrubs within the boundaries of the Village of North Hills by controlling their indiscriminate or unnecessary destruction.
As used in this chapter, the following terms or phrases have the indicated meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
APPLICANT
The owner of real property or the duly authorized agent of such an owner.
DIAMETER BREAST HIGH
The diameter at a height of four feet six inches above the base of the trunk.
HABIT
The natural growing characteristics of any tree, and includes branch spread and distribution, branch height above ground and root spread and distribution.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, public agency, public utility or organization of any kind, or agent thereof.
REAL PROPERTY
All improved or unimproved real property, whether or not subject to subdivision and development.
SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
Any cutting, pruning, elevating or other alteration of the habit of a tree which impairs or endangers the life of such tree or destroys its natural symmetry; and includes but is not limited to heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches (topping), cutting of major lower limbs (sever elevating) and drastic pruning, but shall not include customarily accepted or ornamental procedures.
TREE
Any living woody plant, its root system and the environment within the area defined by the outermost limit of its branches, which is at least six inches in diameter breast high or, in the case of a flowering ornamental, which is at least three inches in diameter breast high.
[Amended 7-2-1996 by L.L. No. 11-1996]
VILLAGE
The Village of North Hills.
VILLAGE OFFICIAL
The Village Engineer, Village Code Enforcement Officer, Village Superintendent of Public Works or such other person designated by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Trustees.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, destroy or substantially alter the habit of one or more of the trees on any parcel of real property unless a permit has been obtained pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the alteration of habit of any tree made in accordance with customarily accepted ornamental procedures.
C. 
The prohibition of this section shall not be applicable to an emergency situation nor to the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of any tree made in accordance with an accepted landscape plan included in any part of a building permit or site plan hereafter approved pursuant to any applicable law.
This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Village Official.
A. 
Any person who intends, wishes or deems it necessary to remove, destroy or substantially alter one or more trees on any real property in the Village shall first apply for and receive a permit therefor. Applications shall be filed with the Village Clerk as set forth herein and shall be accompanied by the fee required by this chapter.
B. 
The application shall be made on such form as may be prescribed by the Village Clerk, which shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Name, address and qualifications of the person who shall remove, destroy or substantially alter the trees.
(3) 
The purpose of the proposed tree removal.
(4) 
A survey of the real property showing location of all structures.
(5) 
If less than five trees or less than 5% of the total trees on the real property are to be removed, destroyed or substantially altered, a sketch or plan of the area indicating:
(a) 
An outline of existing heavily wooded areas on the real property showing the tree type and size range.
(b) 
Location and size of trees to be removed.
(c) 
Location of any improvements on the real property.
(d) 
Any additional information that the Village Official may deem necessary for evaluation of the application.
(6) 
If six or more trees or more than 5% of the total trees on the real property are to be removed, destroyed or substantially altered:
(a) 
A sketch or plan of the area indicating:
[1] 
An outline of existing heavily wooded areas on the real property showing the tree type and size range.
[2] 
Location and size of trees to be removed.
[3] 
Location of any improvements on the real property.
[4] 
Any additional information that the Village Official may deem necessary for evaluation of the application.
(b) 
Unless waived by the Board of Trustees, a recent aerial photograph of the real property, at a scale no less than one inch equals 60 feet zero inches, mounted on a hard board, indicating the property lines. An acetate overlay shall be placed over the aerial photograph indicating:
[1] 
Location of all structures and additions.
[2] 
Location of all areas to be paved by roads, parking areas, driveways, sidewalks or other surface improvements.
[3] 
Location of all proposed dry wells, recharge basins, ponds, streams and subsurface improvements.
[4] 
Areas designated for regrading or excavation in excess of one foot of existing grade.
[5] 
All trees proposed to be removed, destroyed or substantially altered.
(7) 
A statement as to the type and caliper of all trees to be retained, and, in the case of an application subject to Subsection B(6) of this section, a landscaping plan in a form approved by the Village Official.
C. 
After completion of an application subject to Subsection B(6) of this section and payment of any required fees, the Village Official shall make a field inspection to verify the caliper, type, location and condition of trees. The Village Official shall mark with orange paint all trees which are diseased or which are to be removed or destroyed, and the applicant shall thereafter submit as part of the application an acetate overlay of the aerial photograph indicating the diseased trees or the trees to be removed or destroyed.
D. 
The determinations of the Village Official pursuant to this section shall be based upon the following criteria:
(1) 
The condition of the trees with respect to disease and hazardousness, danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
(2) 
Trees may be removed if located:
(a) 
Within 15 feet of a proposed foundation wall.
(b) 
Within three feet of a proposed sidewalk or driveway.
(c) 
Within 10 feet of a propose cesspool, dry well, septic tank or other subsurface improvement.
(d) 
Within five feet of a proposed roadway.
(e) 
Within proposed ponds or drainage systems, unless otherwise directed by the Village Official. The Village Official may require the reasonable moving of foundation walls, surface and subsurface improvements or drainage systems to preserve specific trees.
(3) 
The effect of the removal on ecological systems.
(4) 
The character established at the proposed site of removal with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
E. 
Upon the submission of a completed application and other required information and payment of all required fees and written approval of the Village Official, a permit may be granted.
A. 
Any tree which is located on real property in the Village and which, in the opinion of the Village Official, is endangering or constitutes danger to public streets or public places or which endangers the usefulness of a public sewer or public utility, shall be removed or trimmed by the owner of the property within 30 days after receipt of notice from the Village Official. In the event the property owner fails to remove or trim such tree or trees, the Village shall provide for the removal of such tree or trees and the cost thereof shall be a charge against the real property upon which the tree or trees were located and shall be a lien thereon until paid in full.
B. 
No tree shall be removed from any public street or property owned by or under the control of the Village without the prior written consent of the Village Official, which consent shall be granted only if the tree constitutes a hazard to property or persons using the adjoining streets, if its roots are causing excessive damage to the curb, gutters or sidewalks or if it unduly interferes with the sewer system and public utilities. Any tree being so removed for the benefit of a property owner shall be removed and replaced with an approved tree at the property owner's expense in the event the Village Official so directs.
The Village Official may require the planting of the same or agreed-upon alternate species of trees as are as nearly comparable in type and size as practical to the trees to be removed, when the individual character of the tree(s) or the ecological setting requires special consideration, as a condition for the issuance of a permit for tree removal. The location for planting of the replacement trees shall be agreed upon between the applicant and the Village Official prior to issuance of a permit for removal.
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, any public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the New York State Public Service Commission may trim, brace, remove or perform such acts with respect to trees growing adjacent to public streets in the Village or which grow upon private property and encroach upon such public streets as may be necessary to comply with the safety regulations of said Commission and as may be necessary to maintain the safe operation of its business; provided, however, that the Village Official must receive 72 hours' prior notice and be present when a tree is so removed unless an emergency condition exists.
Any person aggrieved by any determination of the Village Official in the exercise of the authority granted by this chapter shall have the right to appeal, in writing, to the Board of Trustees. Such appeal shall state the reasons for the appeal. The determination of the Board of Trustees on said appeal shall be final and conclusive.
A. 
Any application subject to the provisions of § 202-5B(5) of this chapter shall be accompanied by a fee as provided in Chapter 130, Fees.
B. 
Any application subject to the provisions of § 202-5B(6) of this chapter shall be accompanied by a fee as provided in Chapter 130, Fees.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[Amended 1-22-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
A. 
Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000 with respect to each violation involving a tree more than nine inches in diameter breast high or a flowering ornamental more than four inches in diameter breast high or a fine not to exceed $500 with respect to each violation involving any other tree. Each tree removed, destroyed or the habit of which is substantially altered in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.
[Amended 7-2-1996 by L.L. No. 11-1996]
B. 
In addition, this chapter may be enforced by civil action, including an injunction, and any owner of real property who has violated or permitted a violation of this chapter may be directed by the Village Official to replace with new trees (3 1/2 to four inches in diameter) any trees removed, destroyed or substantially altered in violation of this chapter, and where such direction has been made, no building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued for structures on said real property until such replacement has been completed.
Notwithstanding any portion of this chapter to the contrary, this chapter shall not be applicable to any person actually occupying as his or her residence the real property upon which an activity otherwise prohibited or regulated by this chapter would occur, nor to the duly authorized agent of such person, provided that the number of trees to be removed, destroyed or substantially altered on such property does not exceed five trees per acre in any period of six months.