[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Oakmont as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 1-13-1969 as Ch. 66, Art. I, of the 1969 Code]
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. O9-2000]
In accordance with the provisions of Section 2730 of the Act of May 4, 1927, P.L. 519, as amended and revised by the Acts of July 10, 1947, P.L. 1621, and 1966, Feb. 1, P.L. (1965) 1656, No. 581, Section 2722, 53 P.S. § 47721, commonly known as the "Borough Code," the Borough of Oakmont doth hereby establish a Commission to be known as the "Shade Tree Commission," which Commission shall have all the powers and duties as conferred by said Borough Code as the same is now in effect or may be hereafter amended and supplemented.
Editor's Note: The Borough Code was moved and renumbered pursuant to Act 37 of 2014. For current provisions, see 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 2722.
[Amended 5-12-2014 by Ord. No. O28-2014]
In accordance with § 2722 of the Pennsylvania Borough Code, the Commission shall be composed of five members who shall be residents of the Borough, shall be appointed by Council and shall serve without compensation. Council shall appoint members to staggered terms so that one term expires every year. On the expiration of the term of any Commissioner, a successor shall be appointed by the Council to serve for a term of five years. Vacancies in the office of Commissioner shall be filled by the Council for the unexpired term.
Editor's Note: See 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 2722.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with the provisions of this article be and the same are hereby repealed insofar as they affect the provisions of this article, provided that the provisions of this article shall not affect any act done, liability incurred or right accrued or vested by reason of the creation or existence of any prior Shade Tree Commission of said Borough.
[Adopted 1-13-1969 as Ch. 66, Art. II, of the 1969 Code]
The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Oakmont shall have full custody and control of the shade trees and other plant materials (grass excepted) within the rights-of-way of public streets and highways and in all public areas within the corporate limits of the Borough of Oakmont, including trees and shrubs on private properties insofar as their limbs and branches may overhang public streets, highways and other public areas.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. O9-2000]
The aforesaid Commission, with the approval of Council, shall have the power to amend any of the rules and regulations as set forth in this article if, in the opinion of the Commission, public policy or arboricultural requirements shall indicate the advisability of making a change or changes from these established rules. Said changes to the rules and regulations must be enacted by ordinance.
It shall be the policy of said Shade Tree Commission to cooperate with the public and property owners insofar as possible at all times, and no planting or removal of any plant materials of a public nature shall be undertaken without notifying the property owner or owners in advance. This shall not include such minor items of work as pruning, bracing, bolting or spraying which may be of a seasonal nature or which may be done by reason of immediate danger to the safety of the public or for proper protection of the trees or shrubs.
No person, firm or corporation shall, without a permit duly issued by the Secretary of the Borough of Oakmont, prune, bolt, spray, brace or paint or remove any tree, shrub or evergreen from within the limits of any public right-of-way, street, highway, park, parkway or public playground within the corporate limits of the Borough of Oakmont, nor shall they interfere with the main roots in any way nor place or affix any poster or any other fixture on any tree or tree guard, shrub or evergreen so located, nor remove any device placed to protect the same, nor shall they park an automobile nor pile any harsh or heavy materials against, nor shall they hang anything from, any tree, shrub or evergreen within the limits of any public right-of-way, street, highway, park, parkway or public playground within the corporate limits of the Borough of Oakmont.
No person, firm or corporation shall place or hereafter maintain upon the ground within the right-of-way of any public street, lane, alley, park or public playground any stone, concrete, brick, mastic paving, gravel or any other substance which might impede the free passage of air and water to the roots of any tree, shrub or evergreen, without leaving a clear space of at least eight square feet surrounding the trunk of the tree or evergreen or the base of any shrub.
Any person, firm or corporation or his, her, their or its agents or representatives, in charge of the erection, repair or demolition of any structure or the excavation for the same, where trees, shrubs or evergreens within the public rights-of-way, streets, highways, parks, parkways or public playgrounds within the corporate limits of the Borough of Oakmont might be affected, shall not proceed with said work until they have placed adequate guards around all of said trees, shrubs or evergreens that may be so affected.
Any person, firm or employee of any corporation who shall injure in any manner any living tree, shrub or evergreen or ground cover (grass excepted) within the public rights-of-way, streets, highways or any public property within the corporate limits of the Borough of Oakmont shall be liable for damages and penalties as set forth in § 160-23 of this article.
No person, firm or corporation or his, her, their or its agents or representatives shall maintain any trees, shrubs or evergreens overhanging the traveled or used portion of any public rights-of-way, streets or highways, unless the same shall have an adequate clearance, wet or dry, to permit of pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. The Oakmont Shade Tree Commission shall have the right to designate, from time to time, what shall constitute an adequate clearance wherever the condition of the site shall warrant a specific clearance for public safety or convenience.
The Mayor or Borough Secretary, when so authorized by the Council, may, upon receipt, of complaint from the Oakmont Shade Tree Commission, require of any owner or occupier of property having any shade trees, shrubs or evergreens within or overhanging the limits of any public right-of-way, street, highway, park, parkway or public playground within the corporate limits of the Borough, which may be or appear or threaten to be a public nuisance or dangerous to children, traffic or the public, or threaten or appear so to be, to remove or prune the same so as to abate the actual or threatened nuisance or dangerous condition, and on failure of the property owner or owners or occupiers so to do, after reasonable notice, the Mayor or Borough Secretary may cause the same to be done, with percentage and costs added as hereinafter provided.
Only such trees or other items of plant material shall be removed from the public rights-of-way, streets, highways or from public property as shall be considered by the Shade Tree Commission to constitute a definite hazard to life or property, a public nuisance or a definite threat to the uninterrupted service of the public utilities within the Borough or because of a change or revision in the planting plans for the Borough trees.
Only such trees shall be planted as shall meet with the approval of the Shade Tree Commission from the standpoints of good appearance, longevity, freedom from insect and other diseases or trees of exceptional value in particular locations within the Borough. Where entire street blocks are to be planted, only one species shall be planted in any one given block unless the Shade Tree Commission shall have reason to grant a variance from this rule. No Carolina poplars, willows or catalpas shall be planted in the right-of-way of any street or highway in the Borough of Oakmont.
All trees to be planted within the public rights-of-way, streets, highways or upon public property within the Borough shall not be less than 11/2 inches in diameter, six inches above the ground and at least 10 feet in height, unless specifically specified otherwise by the Shade Tree Commission for use in some particular location where a smaller or balled type of tree may be advisable.
All such trees shall have straight trunks, well developed leaders, tops and roots characteristic of the species or variety to be planted; and all stock shall have been grown north of Washington, D.C., free from all diseases and insect pests or mechanical injuries and any other objectionable features. Bottom branches shall be seven feet above the ground, unless otherwise specified by the Commission.
All trees in public streets and highways of the Borough shall be planted in the center of the strip between the curb and the sidewalk unless otherwise specified or allowed by the Commission and shall be spaced at least 30 feet apart for such trees as hawthorns, dogwoods, flowering apples or cherries or other trees which do not grow to a normal height of over 30 feet. All trees growing to a normal height of 40 feet or over shall have a minimum spacing of at least 40 feet and preferably 60 feet if conditions will allow.
All trees (unless directed otherwise by the Commission) shall be planted in holes at least four feet in diameter (whenever space will allow), and the holes shall have a minimum depth of three feet with extra side drainage from the bottom in the case of poorly drained or very hard soil areas. At least 1/2 new topsoil shall be provided, together with three shovelfuls of peat moss. Trees shall be triple guyed (unless otherwise ordered by the Commission) with upright stakes at least 21/2 inches in diameter set four feet in the ground and secured to the tree with rubber hose and wire at least five feet above the ground.
All work in connection with planting, pruning, spraying, bolting or painting shall be done and performed in accordance with best accepted arboricultural or horticultural practice, including sterilization of shears, pruning saws, etc., after being used on diseased trees.
When trees are removed, they shall be cut as close to the ground as conditions will permit with a power saw, and all stumps shall be treated immediately with an approved root and stump destroyer.
The foregoing provisions of this article shall not apply where they materially interfere with lawful and public improvements, maintenance or repair of public streets and highways, public parks and public playgrounds, by the Borough of Oakmont, its duly authorized agents and employees or by the county, state and federal governments.
No person, firm or corporation nor employee thereof shall be employed by the Borough of Oakmont or its Shade Tree Commission in connection with any of the work covered or contemplated under the provisions of this article unless and until he, she, it or they have furnished to the Oakmont Borough Manager proof of carriage of satisfactory workers compensation insurance so as to afford proper protection to the Borough and the Commission.
Any person, firm or corporation or employee thereof granted a permit to remove, spray, bolt, brace or prune any tree, shrub, evergreen or ground cover (grass excepted) within the public rights-of-way or on public property within the Borough of Oakmont shall post a bond or furnish evidence of the same to the Borough Manager in an amount and form to be approved by him or the Mayor of the Borough or shall have taken out or take out and maintain satisfactory public liability and property damage insurance as follows:
Public liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 for injuries, including accidental death to any one person and subject to the same limit for each person in the amount of not less than $300,000 on account of one accident.
Property damage insurance in an amount of not less than $25,000 to any one property and subject to the same limit for each property in an amount of not less than $50,000 aggregate for one accident.
This provision of this article may be waived by the Borough Manager as far as the bond and insurance are concerned, if and when the Borough Manager shall decide that the work to be performed is not likely to be of any foreseeable injury of a bodily nature to the public or to public or private property, but any person operating under such waiver must furnish evidence to the Borough Manager that he or she carries full public and comprehensive liability of a reasonable nature, as well as workers compensation, and he or she shall waive all rights for compensation or damages by the Borough of Oakmont.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such fine and costs by imprisonment for not more than 30 days for any single violation of this article, or the Borough may elect to collect such judgments and costs by execution or other process as provided by law.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. O9-2000]
In lieu of or in addition to the penalty hereinabove provided, the Borough of Oakmont, at its option, may require the person, firm or corporation so injuring or removing any trees, shrubs or evergreens in violation of this article to cause the same to be replaced or the damage caused thereby corrected and, in default thereof, may cause the replacement or correction to be made or done and all costs thereof to be collected by suit in assumpsit or the filing of lien with record costs and percentage added as provided by law.