Township of Marple, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Marple as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 73.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 214, Art. I.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 265.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
[Adopted 8-14-1972 by Ord. No. 72-19 (Ch. 80 of the 1971 Code)]

§ 280-1 Removal of standing trees; notice; time limit.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-6]
All owners of property on which dead, neglected or diseased trees are permitted to stand, which produce or cause to be produced a dangerous condition likely to cause damage to any structure or building or cause injury to the general public, shall cut down said tree or trees and remove the same from the premises within five days after the mailing of a written notice by the Code Enforcement Officer, sent by registered or certified mail to the owner of record at the address indicated on the current assessment rolls.

§ 280-2 Removal of felled trees.

All owners of property on which dead, diseased or abandoned trees have been felled and which remain to produce a hazardous or dangerous condition so as to be exposed to the risk of fire or as to produce an uncleanly condition shall be required to remove the same from the premises within five days after the mailing of a written notice by the Department of Code Enforcement, sent by registered or certified mail to the owner of record at the address indicated on the current assessment rolls.

§ 280-3 Failure to comply; cost to become lien.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-6]
In the event that the owner of the property on which there is a dead, diseased or neglected tree fails to remove said tree or trees as provided in this article, the Township of Marple shall be authorized to cut down and remove said dead, neglected or diseased tree or trees and to collect the cost of said removal by a lien or otherwise as authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 280-4 Violations and penalties.

[Added 6-12-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-10]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such fine and costs by imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
[Adopted 7-12-1971 as Ch. 69 of the 1971 Code]

§ 280-5 Approval of regulations of Shade Tree Commission.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4]
The following regulations governing shade trees of Marple, as adopted August 14, 1961, and as amended November 13, 1961, and October 14, 1963, are hereby approved by the Board of Commissioners of Marple Township.

§ 280-6 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, when used in these regulations, shall have the meanings hereby ascribed to them, except in those instances when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
PERMIT
Any permit in writing as issued by the Marple Township Code Enforcement Officer, subject to approval by the Marple Tree Commission.
[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, association, partnership or corporation, or their servants, agents or employees.
PUBLIC STREET, HIGHWAY OR AVENUE
Any street, sidewalk or alley open to the public within right-of-way lines thereof.
SHADE TREE
Any tree, shrub or other woody plant in or upon any public street, highway or avenue in the Township of Marple, or that part of any tree, shrub or other woody plant which extends within the lines of any public street, highway or avenue in the Township of Marple.

§ 280-7 Custody and control of Commission.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
The Marple Tree Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in the Township of Marple and is authorized to advise the Board of Commissioners to plant, maintain and protect shade trees on the public highways in the township.

§ 280-8 Planting and removal of trees; permits; standards.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
No tree shall be planted or removed in or upon any public street, highway or avenue without a written permit from the Code Enforcement Officer, subject to the approval of the Marple Tree Commission, such permit to designate the type of tree and place where such tree is to be planted or removed. The Marple Tree Commission shall have the authority to designate a suitable type of tree and may refuse a permit to plant any type of tree which, in its opinion, is not suitable to the location. All persons shall first obtain a written permit from the Code Enforcement Officer, subject to the approval of the Marple Tree Commission, before doing or having done any work for the care, pruning or trimming of any tree with its trunk in or upon the public streets, highways or avenues, and such work shall be done to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer.

§ 280-9 Application for permit; issuance and revocation; bond.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
The application for any permit required hereunder shall be made in writing to the Township Secretary. It shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and shall state the exact location and the species of any tree affected. It shall be the duty of the Township Secretary to submit every such application promptly to the Marple Tree Commission and the Code Enforcement Officer for approval or disapproval. The permit may be revoked at any time upon proof satisfactory to the Marple Tree Commission that any of the terms or conditions upon which such permit was issued are or have been violated. The Commission, in its discretion, may, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit, require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Commission or to deposit security satisfactory to it to guarantee the compliance by the applicant with the terms and conditions upon which such permit is issued.

§ 280-10 Planting trees in vicinity of streets and sidewalks.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4]
No tree shall be planted in or upon the public streets, highways or avenues within five feet of any driveway, nor shall any tree on private property adjacent to the sidewalk be planted within five feet therefrom. No tree shall be planted nearer to the intersection of any two or more streets than 25 feet from the point of intersection of any two public right-of-way lines. A distance of 30 feet shall be maintained on streets which are state highways.

§ 280-11 Trimming of trees.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
A. 
All shade trees shall be kept trimmed by the owner of the property on or in front of which they are located, so that the minimum clearance when they overhang any public walks shall be nine feet and the minimum clearance where they overhang any public street, highway or avenue shall be 11 feet. However, the Marple Tree Commission reserves the right to designate a higher clearance on certain highways where heavy traffic or other conditions make it expedient. Furthermore, all shade trees shall be kept trimmed in such a manner as not to interfere with sight lines to traffic or safety signs or signals or street markers or street lights from the right-of-way.
B. 
If the property owner shall neglect or refuse to trim any shade tree or weeds on any vacant lot as required by this section, upon notice in writing by the Code Enforcement Officer within the time limit specified in such notice, the Code Enforcement Officer may cause such trimming to be done at the expense of the owner, and the entire cost of the work shall be a lien upon said premises, and a claim therefor shall be filed and collected by the Township Solicitor in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.

§ 280-12 Injury or interference with trees, guards.

No person shall, without first obtaining a permit therefor, cut, break, climb with spurs, injure in any manner or remove any shade tree or cut down or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree or spray any shade tree with any chemical or insecticide or place any rope, guy wire, cable, sign, poster or any other fixture on any shade tree or guard for any shade tree or injure, misuse or remove any device placed to protect any shade tree, except in case of immediate necessity for the protection of life and property.

§ 280-13 Impeding passage of water and air to roots.

No person shall, without first obtaining a permit, place or hereafter maintain any stone, cement or any other substance which shall impede the passage of water and air to the roots of any shade tree, unless such person shall have an open space of ground surrounding the trunk of such tree, such space to be not less than four feet square.

§ 280-14 Injuring trees with harmful materials.

No person shall pour salt water, oil or any other material at any place in such manner that injury might result to any shade tree.

§ 280-15 Enforcement of regulations; time for completion of work.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
These regulations shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer in conjunction with the Board of Commissioners and the Township Police. All work required to be done under any permit shall be completed within a period of nine months by the new building contractor or 60 days by the owner of the property from the date of the issuance of the permit, unless such completion date is extended by the Code Enforcement Officer or the permit shall have been previously revoked for cause by the Marple Tree Commission.

§ 280-16 Required plantings.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4]
A minimum of one tree per lot shall be planted on the house side of the sidewalk by the new building contractor.

§ 280-17 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 85-4; 6-12-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-10; 4-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the regulations of the Marple Tree Commission of Marple Township shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such fine and costs by imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Code Enforcement Officer or by service of summons in prosecution or in any other way that he is committing such violation, each day in which he shall continue such violation after any such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as prescribed by law.