Village of Spring Valley, NY
Rockland County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley as indiated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 82.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 192.
Solid waste — See Ch. 226.
[Adopted 12-7-1970 as Ch. 8, Art. II, of the 1970 Code; amended in its entirety 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]]

§ 79-1 Liability of owner or occupant.

A. 
All owners, tenants, occupants, superintendents, agents/managing agents or principals of any corporate owner of lands fronting or abutting on any street in the Village of Spring Valley shall be required to maintain and prune all trees, shrubs, hedges, grass and foliage lying between their property lines and the curb of the street fronting or abutting their property.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 82, Building Construction and Fire Prevention, § 82-20, Accumulation of paper, hay, grass and weeds.
B. 
Such owner, tenant, occupant, superintendent, agent/managing agent or principals of any corporate owner shall be liable for any injury by reason of omission, failure or negligence to make, maintain or prune said trees, shrubs, hedges, grass and foliage, if said omission, failure or negligence to make, maintain or prune shall cause injury to another individual..

§ 79-2 Removal required upon notice.

[Amended 3-22-2005 by L.L. No. 14-2005]
Whenever the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Inspector or the Department of Public Works shall determine that it is necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare or to eliminate a fire hazard to require the removal from any lands within the limits of the Village of brush, grass, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, tree limbs, shrubs, hedges or foliage, the owners, occupants, tenants, superintendents, agents/managing agents or principals of any corporate owner of lands shall, within five days or, if an emergency situation exists, within any shorter time period set by the appropriate authority and after notice from the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Inspector or the Department of Public Works remove from such lands all brush, grass, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, tree limbs, shrubs, hedges or foliage thereon.

§ 79-3 Failure to comply with notice; removal by village; assessment and collection of costs.

In all instances where owners, tenants, superintendents, agents/managing agents or principals of any corporate owner of lands within the Village to whom notice has been given, as provided in § 79-2, shall, nevertheless, refuse or neglect to remove from such lands, within the time herein provided, all brush, grass, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, tree limbs, shrubs, hedges or foliage, the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works shall cause same to be removed, and the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works shall certify the cost thereof to the Board of Trustees, which shall examine the certificate and, if correct, cause the cost, as shown thereon, to be charged against such lands. The amount so charged shall become a lien on such lands and shall be added to and become part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes and to be collected and enforced in the same manner.

§ 79-4 Height of brush, hedges and plant life; notice to cut.

[Amended 3-22-2005 by L.L. No. 14-2005]
All owners, tenants, superintendents, agents/managing agents or principals of any corporate owner of lands lying within the Village shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any public street or right-of-way and within 25 feet of the intersection of two public streets or rights-of-way cut to a height of no more than 2 1/2 feet. Failure to cut back brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any public street or right-of-way and within 25 feet of the intersection of two public streets or rights-of-way within five days after having been served with a notice to do so by the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Department of Public Works shall constitute a violation of this article.

§ 79-5 Height of grass.

All owners, tenants, superintendents, agents/managing agents or principals of any corporate owner of lands lying within the Village shall keep grass cut at a height of six inches or less.

§ 79-6 Failure to comply with notice to cut.

[Amended 3-22-2005 by L.L. No. 14-2005]
In the event that an owner, tenant, superintendent, agent/managing agent or principals of any corporate owner shall refuse or neglect to cut the brush, grass, hedges or other plant life within five days, or in an emergency situation such shorter period directed by the appropriate authority, after notice to said owner, tenant, superintendent, agent/managing agent or principals of any corporate owner, as provided in § 79-2, such brush, grass, hedges or other plant life may be cut under the direction of the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Department of Public Works of the Village. The costs of cutting by or under the direction of the Village shall be a lien upon the land and shall be added to the village taxes after the costs of cutting are presented to the Village Board of Trustees and approved by them.

§ 79-7 Cutting by Village; assessment and collection of costs.

The cost of cutting brush, grass, hedges or other plant life by the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Department of Public Works shall be certified by the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works to the Board of Trustees, which shall examine the certificate and, if correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon, to be charges against said lands. The amount so charged shall become a lien upon said lands and shall be added to and become part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied against such lands, and shall bear interest at the rate asother taxes and to be collected and enforced in the same manner.

§ 79-8 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
A person who shall refuse or neglect to comply with the conditions of any notice provided for by this article shall be guilty of a violation of this article. In addition to any other penalty or remedy herein provided, each and every violation of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 for a first violation in any consecutive twelve-month period; not less than $100 nor more than $300 for a second violation within any consecutive twelve-month period; and not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each additional violation within any consecutive twelve-month period. Each day after the expiration of the notice period shall constitute a separate violation.
[Amended 3-22-2005 by L.L. No. 14-2005]
B. 
In addition to all other remedies provided for herein, the Board of Trustees may also enforce obedience to this article by injunction or by any other remedy available to it by virtue of the judicial process.
[Adopted 3-8-1994 as L.L. No. 6-1994 (Ch. 17, Art. II, of the 1970 Code)]

§ 79-9 Title.

This Article shall be known and may be cited hereinafter as the "Community Forestry Law of the Village of Spring Valley."

§ 79-10 Legislative intent.

It is the intention of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley, by adoption of this Article, to regulate the planting of trees, shrubs and bushes where it will not interfere with easements or power lines, where it will preserve the physical appearance of the village and where it will protect the public health, safety and welfare of its residents and aesthetics by developing a program for the care, preservation, pruning, removal or disposition of trees, shrubs and bushes in parks, along streets and in other public areas of the village.

§ 79-11 Definitions.

As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PARK TREES
Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names and all other areas owned by the Village of Spring Valley or to which the public has free access as a park.
STREET TREES
Trees, shrubs and bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the Village of Spring Valley.

§ 79-12 Community Forestry Commission.

There is hereby created and established a Community Forestry Commission for the Village of Spring Valley which shall consist of three (3) members: two (2) Trustees and one (1) resident of the Village of Spring Valley.

§ 79-13 Term of office.

The terms of the three (3) persons to be appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley shall be made annually at the reorganization meeting. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his/her successor shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term.

§ 79-14 Compensation.

Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.

§ 79-15 Duties and responsibilities.

A. 
It shall be the responsibility of the Commission to study, investigate, counsel, develop and/or update annually a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas, including easements.
B. 
Such plan will be presented annually to the Village Board, and its acceptance and approval shall constitute the Official Comprehensive Village Tree Plan for the Village of Spring Valley.
C. 
The Commission, when requested by the Village Board, shall also consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work.

§ 79-16 Operation.

The Commission shall choose its own officers, and an appointed Trustee shall be the Chair. It shall keep a record of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.

§ 79-17 Tree species to be planted.

The Community Forestry Commission shall develop and maintain a list of desirable trees for planting along streets in three (3) size classes based on mature height: small, under twenty-five (25) feet; medium, twenty-five (25) to forty (40) feet; and large, over forty (40) feet. Lists of trees not suitable for planting will also be created by the Community Forestry Commission.

§ 79-18 Spacing.

The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the three (3) species size classes listed in § 79-17 of this Article, and no trees may be planted closer together than the following: small trees, thirty (30) feet; medium trees, forty (40) feet; and large trees, fifty (50) feet; except in special plantings approved by the Commission.

§ 79-19 Distance from curb and sidewalk.

When practicable, the distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three (3) species size classes listed in § 79-17 of this Article, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following: small trees, two (2) feet; medium trees, three (3) feet; and large trees, four (4) feet.

§ 79-20 Distance from street corners and fire hydrants.

No street tree shall be planted within thirty-five (35) feet of any street corner, measured from the point of the nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted within ten (10) feet of any fire hydrant.

§ 79-21 Utilities.

No street trees other than those species listed as small trees [mature height under twenty-five (25) feet] in § 79-17 of this Article may be planted closer than fifteen (15) feet to the vertical plane of an existing power line, excluding service wires.

§ 79-22 Public tree care.

A. 
The Village of Spring Valley shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the line of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares, easements and rights-of-way and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds or areas.
B. 
The Community Forestry Commission will refer to the village notice of order to be removed, any tree or part thereof, on public lands, which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, waterlines or other public improvements or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. This section does not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners, and this Article is designed to provide a resource for village residents to learn of the appropriate species and planting practices.

§ 79-23 Tree topping.

It shall be unlawful, as a normal practice, for any person, firm or village department to top any street tree, park tree or other tree on public property. "Topping" is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three (3) inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions, where other pruning practices are impractical or posing a danger to the public welfare, may be exempted from this requirement at the determination of the Community Forestry Commission.

§ 79-24 Pruning; corner clearance.

A. 
The village shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign or sight triangle at intersections or is otherwise a danger to the public safety and welfare.
B. 
Tree limbs that grow near high-voltage electrical conductors shall be maintained clear of such conductors by the utility company in compliance with any applicable franchise agreements. Public utility tree trimming shall be carried out in accordance with accepted electrical aboricultural standards. Utility tree-trimming policies and standards will be reviewed with the Commission on a regular basis.

§ 79-25 Planting of trees in subdivisions.

A. 
Required. Any person, firm or corporation applying for subdivision approval from the Planning Board of the village shall plant trees as required by the Planning Board, who may refer the same to the Community Forestry Commission.
B. 
The Planning Board or Commission may require that, where the planting of trees is inappropriate, that moneys be deposited in a sum sufficient to cover the full cost of planting trees that would otherwise be required in accordance with this Article at an alternative appropriate site.

§ 79-26 Planting of trees where buildings constructed.

A. 
Required. Any person, firm or corporation applying for site plan approval from the Planning Board for the construction of a multiple dwelling, commercial, office, school, house of worship, fraternal, benevolent or industrial building shall plant trees as required by the Planning Board, who may refer the same to the Community Forestry Commission.
B. 
The Planning Board or Commission may require that where the planting of trees is inappropriate, that moneys be deposited in a sum sufficient to cover the full cost of planting the trees that would otherwise be required in accordance with this Article at an alternative required at the site in accordance with this Article at an alternative appropriate site.

§ 79-27 Review by Village Board.

The Village Board shall have the right to review and approve the conduct, acts and decisions of the Community Forestry Commission. Any person may appeal from any ruling or order of the Community Forestry Commission to the Village Board, which shall hear the matter and make the final decision.

§ 79-28 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 4-11-1995 by L.L. No. 1-1995]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. In the case of a continuing violation of this article, each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.