[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Springville 7-13-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Brush, grass, trees and weeds — See Ch. 70.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 150.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 155.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 170, Trees, which comprised Art. I, Tree Replacement, adopted 1-2-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990; and Art. II, Planting of Trees, adopted 12-1-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997, as amended.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tree Law of the Village of Springville, Erie County, New York."
The purpose of this chapter is to manage the trees within the public right-of-way, in parks, and on public property in the Village; assure the proper planting of new trees in these public spaces, maintain the health of existing trees in these public spaces; aid in maintaining property values in the Village; implement the design and environmental goals of the Village Comprehensive Plan, and promote the general health and welfare of the Village residents.
This chapter will:
Create a Tree Committee to establish regulations governing the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees and shrubs in the public streets, rights-of-way, parks and other municipally owned or controlled property in the Village;
Preserve green foliage on Village streets and public property;
Replace trees that must be removed from public property because of disease, lack of treatment or interference with Village utilities;
Prevent interference with Village utility pipes, wires, sidewalks, or streets.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNER
- The person, firm, entity, or corporation owning property bordering a Village street. The adjacent property owner to a public tree shall be the owner of property located within the street right-of-way, on a perpendicular with the street line through the center of the tree four feet above the edge of pavement of a roadway.
- DIAMETER BREAST HEIGHT (DBH)
- Tree trunk diameter measured in inches with a calipers at six inches from grade in the case of trees measuring four inches or less in diameter; and at a height of 4 1/2 feet above grade when the tree trunk is larger than four inches.
- A vertical line extending from the outermost edge of the tree canopy or shrub branch to the ground.
- Any thing or act that annoys or disturbs unreasonably, hurts a person's use of his or her property, or violates the public safety and welfare.
- ORNAMENTAL TREE (SMALL TREE)
- Small to medium trees that grow 15 feet to 20 feet in height at maturity, and that are planted for aesthetic purposes such as colorful flowers, interesting or fall foliage.
- Includes land designated as a park pursuant to New York State statutes as well as areas such as playgrounds, pools, rail trail, or other recreational facilities within the Village under the jurisdiction of the Village Board of Trustees pursuant to the Village of Springville Code.
- PUBLIC PLACES
- Includes all grounds owned, leased, or controlled by the Village for public use.
- PUBLIC TREE
- Any woody plant, located on municipal property or within the municipal right-of-way, having at least one well-defined trunk and at least 2 1/2 inches in diameter measured at a height of six inches above the natural grade and having a clearly defined crown.
- SEVERE ROOT PRUNING
- Cutting back the underground tree roots inside 1.5 times the dripline of the tree that will be detrimental to the life of the tree.
- SHADE TREES (LARGE TREES)
- A large tree growing over 40 feet in height at maturity, usually deciduous, that is planted to provide canopy cover shade.
- A highway, road, avenue, lane, alley, culvert, embankment, or sidewalk which the public has a right to use. Village, county and state roads in the Village limits are included as a street.
- STREET TREE
- Any tree, shrub, bush, or other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues, or roads, such as the municipal right-of-way.
- Severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger that three inches in diameter within the tree crown to such degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.
- TREE MEASUREMENT
- Also known as "diameter breast height."
- TREE WORK
- Includes but not limited to, pruning, shaping, thinning, cabling, stump removal, root pruning, topping, fertilizing, removing, planting, and spraying for insect and disease control, of a tree.
- The green space adjacent to a street or highway, not covered by sidewalk or other paving, lying within the right-of-way of the street.
- Those entities that provide electricity, gas, sewer, water, telecommunication services to properties within the Village. The Village of Springville provides municipal water, sewer, and electric services to residents of the Village.
Establishment; membership; terms.
The Village Board of Trustees shall create an advisory committee known as the "Village of Springville Tree Committee." The Committee shall consist of the Administrator, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Superintendent of Public Works, a member of the Planning Board, and a member of the Board of Trustees. Appointments to the Tree Committee are made at the annual organizational meeting and approved by the Board of Trustees.
A licensed arborist or tree nursery manager shall consult the Tree Committee members in the management of the Village community forest, development of the Tree Plan, and permitting of tree care.
If a Committee member does not serve the full term for reasons other than the expiration of the term, the Mayor shall appoint a successor to serve for the unexpired term.
If a Committee member misses three consecutive meetings, the position will be deemed vacant.
Tree committee duties. The Tree Committee shall have the following duties that include, but are not limited to:
The Tree Committee advises the Village Board of Trustees, the Planning Board, and the Department of Public Works by studying, investigating, developing and/or updating the Village's written plan for caring for, preserving, pruning, topping, replanting, removing, or disposing of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets, and in other public areas.
The Tree Committee maintains reference materials relating to trees and shrubs.
The Tree Committee provides an inventory of the location of street trees and determining areas where such trees could exist but are absent.
The Tree Committee establishes a suggested species list for the Village and recommends to the Village the types and kinds of trees to be planted upon Village property.
The Tree Committee identifies trees for immediate removal.
The Tree Committee provides a long-range Tree Plan every five years for the Village relating to street trees and shrubs.
The Tree Committee provides the Village Board of Trustees with a yearly estimate and Tree Plan of cost of labor and nursery stock to be used. This estimate shall be presented annually to the Board of Trustees as part of its budget deliberations.
The Village or its agent shall perform necessary maintenance to preserve and protect street trees in a safe and healthy condition, including trimming, spraying, fertilizing, watering, staking, topping, root pruning, mulching, treating for disease or injury, and removal, if necessary.
The Village shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees, plants, and shrubs within the lines of streets and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety, assure safe public utilities, or preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The Village shall provide prior notification to adjacent landowners of such actions.
The Village Tree Committee may recommend a tree or part of a tree be removed if the tree or tree part:
Adjacent property owners shall perform maintenance of the treelawn, including mowing and raking.
No property owner shall be permitted to allow a tree, shrub, or other plant growing on his or her property to obstruct or interfere with the view of drivers of vehicles or pedestrians on the sidewalk to create a traffic hazard. If such tree, shrub, or other plant does overhang or does otherwise adversely affect any street, sidewalk, or right-of-way within the Village, the property owner shall, at the owner's expense, prune the tree, shrub or plant so that it shall not obstruct the view of any street intersection or obstruct or hinder passage on any street or sidewalk. If an owner must trim a tree, shrub, or other plant, the owner must provide for a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the sidewalk and up to 14 feet above the surface of the street after consultation with a certified arborist.
If an obstruction persists, the Code Enforcement Officer shall mail a written notice to the property owner to prune or remove the tree, shrub, or plant within 10 days. If the owner fails to comply with the notice, the Village may undertake the necessary work and charge the cost for such work to the property owner. If such charge remains unpaid for 60 days, the expense shall be added to the next real estate tax bill of the property owner.
No person or utility shall plant, spray, fertilize, treat, prune, remove, cut above ground, disturb the root system of or otherwise disturb any public tree or shrub on any street, park, or public place without a permit.
Further, no person shall fasten or attach to any tree any sign, poster, bill, notice or advertisement of any kind.
No person or utility shall cause or permit any brine, oil, gasoline, liquid dye, or other substance deleterious to tree life to leak, pour, flow or drip on or into the soil about the base of a tree which could injure such tree.
No person shall fasten or cause to be fastened any animal to a tree in any street or public place or permit any animal owned by him or her in his or her charge to stand so near any such tree that the tree many be gnawed or otherwise injured by the animal.
No trees shall be planted or allowed to grow on private or public lands within the limits of, or which will interfere, with, any drainage, sewer, water, or utility easement.
Application to plant. No one, except the Village or its agents acting in the Village's behalf, shall plant a tree or shrub upon Village property or upon a Village treelawn without first submitting an application to the Tree Committee on forms provided by the Committee.
Information required. Anyone submitting an application shall state the number of trees to be set out; the location; the species or variety of each tree to be planted; the method of planting; and any other information as the Tree Committee shall find reasonably necessary for its recommendation to the Code Enforcement Officer to issue the appropriate permit.
Removal; replanting; replacement. No one except the Village or its agents acting on the Village's behalf shall remove, replant, or replace a tree from Village property or the treelawn for any reason without first applying to the Tree Committee on forms provided by it and receiving a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer. Such replacement shall meet the standards of size, species, and placement as set by the Tree Committee according to specifications set forth by this chapter in § 170-12.
Notice of completion. Notice of completion from the Village or its agents shall be given to the Code Enforcement Officer so a final inspection may be made.
The costs initiated by the adjacent property owner for tree planting, tree removals, or tree replacements shall be borne by such adjacent property owner. The Tree Committee may suggest to the Village that the Village share in the expense of this work or may perform this work wholly at the Village's expense as long as such expenses are within budget limitations established annually by the Board of Trustees.
The costs for work performed by or for utilities shall be borne by the respective utility, including the Village Electric Division.
Private property owners have the duty, at their own expense, to cut down and remove any trees upon their property which are dead, harbor insects or disease, or which are so damaged as to be a public nuisance and in danger of falling, thereby causing damage to person or property of others. The Village Tree Committee shall recommend to the Code Enforcement Officer to provide the property owner with written notification that a tree or shrub should be removed for the reasons stated above. Owners shall, at their own expense, remove such trees. Owners shall have 15 days after the date of service of the notice to inform the Code Officer as to when the tree shall be removed. Owners shall have no more than 30 days after informing the Code Enforcement Officer to remove such trees unless the Code Officer indicates otherwise in writing. If owners fail to comply with such provisions, the Village shall remove such trees and charge the cost of removal to the property owner upon notice. If the cost of such removal remains unpaid for 60 days, the cost of removal shall be added to the next real estate tax bill of the property owner.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, entity, corporation, or utility to top any street tree or shrub, or to engage in severe root pruning. Trees severely damaged by storms or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions, where other pruning practices are impractical, may be exempted from this chapter upon the recommendation of the Tree Committee.
No person or utility shall excavate any ditch, tunnels or trenches, or lay any drive within the dripline of a public tree without first obtaining a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
No person or utility shall remove a tree or shrub from the treelawn for the purpose of construction or for any other reason without first filing an application and receiving a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
All trees on any street or other publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building, structure, or street work shall be guarded with a substantial fence, frame, or box not less than four feet high. Whenever possible, the diameter of such fence, frame or box should be at least 1 1/2 times the dripline. At no time shall the fence, frame, or box extend beyond the sidewalk into the street, nor shall such fence, frame or box cause a hardship for those using the sidewalk.
When construction, excavation, and/or material deposits result in the destruction and/or removal of a street tree, the person or utility responsible for that damage shall replace the street tree with either a tree or trees of equivalent dollar value in the vicinity of the removed street tree.
No one shall hinder, prevent, delay, or interfere with the Village or its agents, including the Tree Committee, or any of its assistants, or any contractors while engaged in carrying out the enforcement of this chapter or duly adopted regulations.
The Village hereby adopts the Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice of the International Society of Arboriculture as published under the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations' most recent edition (a copy of which is available for review).
All tree work done by or in the Village shall conform to these specifications and standards.
Any person, firm, entity or corporation may appeal to the Board of Trustees the recommendation of the Tree Committee or the decision of the Code Enforcement Officer in matters regarding the permitting of tree care, maintenance, removal, or replacement as provided for in this chapter.
Any resident of the Village may comment on the recommendations of the Tree Plan presented to the Board of Trustees at a Board of Trustees Meeting.
Any person, firm, entity, or corporation violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined no more than $250 or may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both.
If a violation of a provision of this chapter results in the loss of a tree on public space, then the person, firm, entity, or corporation violating this chapter must replace the tree or trees with tree or trees of similar value in a vicinity near the violation as approved by the Tree Committee.
If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter is found to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining portions of this chapter.
This chapter shall become effective immediately upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State.