[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler 4-14-1987 by Ord. No. 1612. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Logging Ordinance of the Township of Shaler."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The felling of substantially all trees on a tract of land or portion thereof.
- The diameter of a tree at breast height, usually measured 3.5 feet from the ground surface.
- Areas, groves or stands of mature or largely mature trees
(i.e., greater than six inches in dbh) covering an area greater than
1/4 acre, consisting of more than 10 individual trees.[Amended 5-14-1996 by Ord. No. 1739]
- FOREST, SECONDARY
- A community with an overall tree cover without dominant oaks, hickory, sugar maple, beech, black birch, hemlock, basswood and sycamore.
- The act of cutting live trees for cordwood, for timber, for pulp or for any commercial purpose, excepting therefrom a homeowner cutting on his own property for his own use, clearing for development of building sites or clearing for farming operations.
- UNIQUE TREE
- A very large, old, individual tree remaining from previous habitation of a site (sometimes referred to as a "grandfather tree").
- UNIQUE TREE STAND
- A particular stand of trees within one or more contiguous areas that is remarkable for its degree of diversity, productivity, rareness or other identifiable qualities.
Logging operations within the Township of Shaler on any parcel of property over one acre in size shall require a permit from the Township Zoning Officer, as well as a letter of compliance with 25 Pa. Code Ch. 102 from the Allegheny County Conservation District. The permit shall be valid for a maximum of 10 acres at any one time. Logging permits shall only be valid for a period of four months.
Trees, forests and secondary forests shall be protected as follows: No clear-cutting of a forest or secondary forest shall be permitted. Areas of unique tree stands and identified unique trees shall be preserved.
The application for a logging permit shall be accompanied by a survey of the property, with the area of trees to be cut down shown thereon, together with the exact location of any proposed roads to facilitate the logging operation. The survey shall define the locations and boundaries of the wooded areas of the tract and shall note the types of vegetation associations which exist in terms of their species, types and sizes.
Further, all trees of 12 inches' dbh or greater and all trees from six inches to 12 inches in dbh shall be located accurately on the survey, either as freestanding trees or as tree masses. Logging shall not be undertaken on any ground with a slope exceeding 25% or in landslide-prone areas of flood-prone areas. The only trees that may be cut down in a logging operation must have a minimum diameter of 12 inches' dbh and a maximum diameter of 36 inches' dbh. The diameter of the trees shall be measured at 3 1/2 feet above ground level.
All trees shall be removed in sections not exceeding 24 feet in length. When a logging operation has been completed, the property shall be replanted with trees of a similar nature, measuring a minimum of two feet in height, to replace each tree which was cut down. All logging debris, including small tree tops and branches, shall either be hauled from the site or properly mulched on the site and spread, and the property shall be completely restored to a prelogging condition. Any roads or grading to facilitate roads inherent with the logging operation shall be completely regraded and reseeded to restore the property to a prelogging condition and shall comply with Chapter 140, Grading, Excavating and Filling. Proper erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be taken on disturbed property to prevent accelerated water runoff. No commercial sales of wood or logs shall be permitted on the property unless the property is located in a commercial zone, provided that no tree may be cut which is the largest of its species in the state.
Prior to the commencement of a logging operation, the person who secures the logging permit from the Zoning Officer of Shaler Township shall post a bond written by a surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the Township as obligee, in the amount of $500 per acre, to guarantee restoration of the property. In lieu of the bond, other security acceptable to the Township (e.g., cash or irrevocable letter of credit issued by a bank or savings and loan) may be posted with the Township.
In case any land or parcel of property is or is proposed to be cleared, altered, logged, converted, maintained, not restored or used in violation of this chapter, the Board of Commissioners or, with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, an officer of Shaler Township, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Township any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such conduct or to prevent, in or about such property, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation.
[Amended 11-15-1988 by Ord. No. 1631]
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs. In default of payment of the fine, such person, the members of such partnership or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 90 days. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. All fines collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to this Township. The owner or owners of any land or parcel or part thereof violating this chapter, and any architect, building contractor, agent or person employed in connection therewith and who may have knowingly assisted in the commission of any such violation, shall each be guilty of a separate offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced as herein provided.