Village of Flower Hill, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Flower Hill as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 1-6-1976 as Art. I of Ch. 76 of the 1976 Code]

§ 219-1 Injuring trees prohibited.

No person shall in anywise mutilate, girdle, cut, injure or destroy any tree or shrub in or upon any street, highway, parkway or public place in the Village of Flower Hill.

§ 219-2 Defacing or damaging of trees by animals prohibited.

[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
No dog or other animal shall be permitted to stand, walk, vent or run in a manner or at a place where it may cut, deface, uproot or mutilate or commit a nuisance upon any shade or ornamental tree, shrub, grass or plants in or upon any public place or upon any private field, woodland or plot or parcel of land except by specific permission and consent of the owner of said property; and no building or other materials or debris of any kind shall be piled or maintained against any tree or shrub.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 76-3, Duty of owner to maintain property, which immediately followed this section, was deleted 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999. See Chapter 172, Property Maintenance.

§ 219-3 Planting and maintenance in public areas.

[Added 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
A. 
Planting, cutting and destruction of trees.
(1) 
No tree, shrub or plant shall be planted in or upon any road, street, parkway, highway or other public place in the Village of Flower Hill until a permit therefor has been issued by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk-Treasurer.
[Amended 11-6-2000 by L.L. No. 3-2000]
(2) 
No stem, branch, leaf, fruit, berry, flower or seed of any tree, shrub or flower on any such road, street, parkway, highway or public place shall be cut, broken or destroyed; nor shall the root of any such tree, shrub or plant be destroyed or interfered with in any way by any individual or by any officers, servants or employees of a public or private corporation until a permit shall have been issued therefor by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk-Treasurer.
(3) 
Permits under the provisions of this section of this chapter may be issued by the Village Clerk or Village Clerk-Treasurer without charge upon application being made therefor in writing.
B. 
On any corner lot, no wall, fence or other structure shall be erected or altered and no hedge, tree, shrub or other growth shall be maintained so as to obscure the view and create a dangerous traffic hazard. For the purpose of this chapter, a "traffic hazard" is deemed to be created by any fence, wall or other structure or any hedge, tree, shrub or other growth maintained on premises located at road intersections and which fence, wall or other structure, hedge, tree, shrub or other growth, in the opinion of the Village of Flower Hill Board of Trustees, so obstructs the view of operators of motor vehicles as to create traffic hazard. There shall be no planting greater than two feet high within 30 feet of a corner or greater than three feet high within 20 feet from the road. All infractions shall be removed; no grandfathering will be allowed. Trees shall be trimmed to a minimum of six feet high for visibility.
[Adopted 6-7-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]

§ 219-4 Definitions.

[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
DECIDUOUS TREE
Any tree that loses its leaves annually after the growing season, including but not limited to the following:
Beech
Birch
Chestnut
Crabapple
Dogwood
Elm
Fig
Hornbeam
Linden
Maiden Hair
Maple
Pear
Plum
Silverbell
Willow
EVERGREEN TREE
Any nondeciduous tree, including but not limited to the following:
Douglas Fir
Fir
Holly
Pine
Spruce
Cryptomeria
GIRTH
The circumference of a tree trunk, measured anywhere four inches to six inches above the ground-level base of the tree.
HABITAT
The natural growing characteristics of a tree, including branch spread and distribution, root spread and distribution and aboveground branch height.
SPECIMEN TREE
May be deciduous or evergreen. Usually grown in a prominent position to be viewed from all angles for the beauty of its flower, color or natural growth pattern.
SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
Any cutting or drastic pruning or altering the grade around the habitat of a tree or specimen tree which impairs, destroys or endangers the life of such tree or specimen tree or destroys its natural symmetry, including but not limited to heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches or of major lower limbs of a tree or specimen tree. In any event, the removal of more than 50% of a tree's crown or limbs, or any cutting or trimming that would be deemed substantial by industry standards (ANSI), shall be a substantial alteration.
[Amended 7-1-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]

§ 219-5 Trimming; removal of dangerous trees.

[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
A. 
The owner or person in control of a premises shall keep the trees in the sidewalk area fronting on said premises trimmed so that overhanging limbs will not interfere with passersby on the sidewalk or roadway. Such limbs shall be kept trimmed at all times to allow a passage space of not less than eight feet above the center of the sidewalk and not less than 13 feet above the roadway, measured at a point five feet from the curbline. Trees that are dangerous or interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic shall be removed at the direction of the Board of Trustees.
B. 
No person who owns, leases, controls or otherwise occupies or possesses real property in the village shall, without a permit, cause, suffer, permit or allow the removal, destruction or the substantial alteration of the habitat of any tree located on real property in the village, nor shall any person or business without a permit remove, destroy or substantially alter the habitat of any tree located on real property in the village if said tree, or any trunk thereof where such tree has more than one trunk, shall have a girth, as defined herein, of the following size:
(1) 
For specimen trees, eight inches or greater.
(2) 
For all other evergreen trees, 14 inches or greater.
(3) 
For all other deciduous trees, 24 inches or greater.
C. 
This chapter shall not apply in any emergency situation in which the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of any tree or specimen tree is necessary to prevent imminent danger to human life or property. In such event, the permission of the village shall be obtained prior to removal. This chapter shall not apply to nursery stock intended for sale.

§ 219-6 Required removal.

[Added 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
A. 
Private property. Any tree or specimen tree growing on private real property which is endangering or, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees or the Building Inspector, constitutes a danger to a public street or to public places or which in any way endangers the usefulness of a public utility shall be removed or trimmed by the owner of the real property within 14 days after receipt of a notice from the Board of Trustees. In the event that the property owner fails to remove or trim such tree or specimen tree within said time, the Board of Trustees may then remove or trim said tree or specimen tree and assess the cost thereof against the property owner.
B. 
Public property. Nothing herein shall limit the authority of the Building Inspector or his designee to remove or alter any tree or specimen tree he deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the village residents.

§ 219-7 Construction sites.

[Amended 12-1-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
Where a building permit has been issued for the erection, alteration or modification of a structure, or a subdivision or an approved site plan has been granted, a permit shall be required for the removal of such trees.

§ 219-8 Permits.

A. 
An application for a permit hereunder shall be made to the village upon forms provided therefor, and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
(1) 
Name and address of applicant.
(2) 
Relation of applicant to subject property.
(3) 
Where substantial alteration of a tree is undertaken, the property owner shall be required to submit an affidavit stating that he or she is aware that such alteration may be detrimental to the health of the tree and that if upon review by Village personnel following the next growth season the tree does not survive, the property owner shall be subject to a fee for the removal of a live tree and must replace the tree in accord with § 219-9.
[Added 7-1-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
B. 
The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be based upon the following criteria:
[Added 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
(1) 
The condition of the trees or specimen trees with respect to disease and danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
(2) 
The necessity of the removal or alteration of the tree or specimen tree in question.
(3) 
The effect of the removal or alteration thereof on ecological systems.
(4) 
The character established at the proposed site of removal or alteration with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
(5) 
The impact of any removal or alteration upon existing screening or any road or highway bordering the property.
C. 
A permit issued hereunder shall specify the date of its expiration, which shall not exceed one month.
[Amended 5-4-2009 by L.L. No. 6-2009]
D. 
An application fee in the sum set forth in Chapter A243, Fees, Charges and Deposits, shall accompany an application for a permit hereunder.
[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
E. 
Board of Trustees approval. In addition to the above requirements, no tree shall be removed from a Village right-of-way without approval from the Board of Trustees.
[Added 4-5-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010]

§ 219-9 Replacement of trees.

[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999; 4-5-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
A. 
The Board of Trustees may require the planting of the same or an agreed upon alternate species of trees or specimen trees which are as nearly comparable in type and size as practical to the trees or specimen trees to be removed, when the individual character of the trees or specimen trees or the ecological setting requires special consideration, as a condition for the issuance of a permit for removal. The location for planting of the replacement trees or specimen trees shall be specified by the Board of Trustees prior to issuance of the permit for removal.
B. 
Bond. A surety bond or deposit in the sum set forth in Chapter A243, Fees, Charges and Deposits, shall be posted by each applicant to guarantee the reimbursement to the Village for any costs incurred as a result of the Village being required to replace a live tree or trees following the applicant's failure to do so. The amount of the required bond or deposit may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees as the Board of Trustees deems necessary. The Village shall be permitted to execute said bond, or use the amount of the deposit, when an applicant fails to replace a live tree or trees within 60 days of a direction by the Board of Trustees for the tree or trees to be replaced.

§ 219-10 Dead or diseased trees.

[Amended 3-1-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
An inspection fee as listed in Chapter A243 of the Code, as may be determined from time to time by the Board of Trustees, shall be required for a permit to remove any tree that is, in the determination of the Board of Trustees, either dead or dying or in such diseased condition that it cannot be returned to acceptable health or one that creates a condition that is dangerous or detrimental to the welfare of the Village or any property thereon.

§ 219-11 Separate violations.

The removal, destruction or substantial alteration of the habitat of each tree that is removed, destroyed or of which the habitat has been substantially altered, or the failure to replace as directed each tree hereunder required to be replaced, in violation of this chapter, shall constitute a separate violation pursuant to this chapter.

§ 219-12 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 11-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999; 11-6-2000 by L.L. No. 3-2000]
The penalty upon conviction for a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a fine of no less than $250 for each violation. Each tree removed or altered in violation of this chapter shall be treated as a separate offense.