[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sands Point 2-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991. Amendments now where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point hereby finds that there is a direct relationship between preservation of and the planting of trees in sufficient number in populated areas of the Village and the health, safety and welfare of Village residents and that trees are related to the natural, scenic and aesthetic values and the physical and visual qualities of the environment which the Village is obligated to protect. Trees reduce noise, provide welcome shade and privacy to Village residents, preserve the balance of oxygen in the air by removing carbon dioxide and fostering air quality and create a bucolic and rural atmosphere in the Village, especially along the roads. Trees also stabilize the soil and control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, yield advantageous climatic effects and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
The destructive and indiscriminate removal of trees causes increased Village costs for proper drainage control, impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing residential properties, impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in the area of the destruction and adversely affects the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the following meanings:
- The owner, contract vendee or lessee of real property or his duly authorized agent.
- The natural growing characteristics of any tree which includes branch spread and distribution, branch height above ground and root spread and distribution.
- IMPROVED REAL PROPERTY
- Any real property on which a residential structure, clubhouse or other place of public assembly has been erected.
- Any resident of Sands Point or any individual firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, public agency, public utility or organization of any kind or agent thereof.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Includes all unimproved and improved real property within the Incorporated Village of Sands Point.
- SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
- Any cutting or drastic pruning or elevating the habit of a tree which impairs, destroys or endangers the life of such tree or its natural symmetry and shall include but shall not be limited to heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches and cutting of major lower limbs.
- A woody perennial plant having a single, usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part.
- UNIMPROVED REAL PROPERTY
- Any real property on which no residential structure, clubhouse or other place of public assembly has been erected.
[Amended 8-30-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005; 9-27-2011 by L.L. No. 7-2011]
Permit for large trees. It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to remove, destroy or substantially alter or to cause the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of any tree or the habitat of any tree, located on any real property within the Village of Sands Point, having a trunk circumference greater than 20 inches, which circumference shall be measured at a point four feet six inches above ground level, except in the case where a tree has been removed without benefit of a permit, in which case the trunk circumference shall be measured at the highest point remaining at or above ground level.
Permit for any tree. It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to remove, destroy or substantially alter or to cause the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of any tree of any size located on any unimproved real property within the Village of Sands Point.
The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to:
Horticultural pruning done pursuant to customarily accepted ornamental or therapeutic practice, which does not substantially alter the habitat of the tree.
Any emergency situation in which the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of any tree is necessary to prevent imminent danger to human life or property.
Application for a permit shall be made to the Building Department.
A sketch or plan of the area indicating the following may be required by the Building Department when deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter:
An outline of existing heavily wooded areas on the site, showing the tree type and range of sizes.
The location and size of trees to be removed.
The location of any improvements on the real property.
Any additional information that the Building Department may reasonably deem necessary for evaluation of the application, except that no new survey of the property or survey location of trees may be required unless there is controversy as to whether a tree is located on the property.
The decision of the Building Department shall be based upon the following criteria:
The condition of the tree with respect to disease and danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
The necessity of the removal or alteration of the tree in question.
The effect of the removal or alteration thereof on ecological systems.
The character established at the proposed site of removal or alteration with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
The impact of any removal or alteration upon existing screening of any contiguous properties or any road or highway bordering the property.
[Amended 4-23-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002; 9-28-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
Permits shall be issued at a fee as set forth in Chapter 82 of the Village Code.
Any tree or shrub growing on private real property which is endangering or, in the opinion of the Building Department of the Incorporated Village of Sands Point, constitutes a danger to a public street or to persons or vehicles thereon or to public places or which in any way endangers the usefulness of a public sewer shall be removed or trimmed by the owner of the real property within 14 days after receipt of written notice from the Village Clerk. In the event that the property owner fails to remove or trim such tree or shrub within said time, the Village may then remove or trim said tree or shrub and assess the cost thereof against the property owner.
Nothing herein shall limit the authority of the Village to remove or alter any tree or shrub it deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents.
The Building Department may require the planting of the same or an agreed upon alternative species of trees which are as nearly comparable in type and size as practical to the trees to be removed, when the individual character of the 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 shall be specified, in writing, by the Building Department prior to issuance of the permit for removal.
Any person aggrieved by any final determination of any Village official in the exercise of the authority herein granted shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals, the decision of which shall be final and conclusive.
An appeal shall be in writing, stating the decision appealed from and the reasons for the appeal and in all other ways comply with the Village's procedure for such an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
[Amended 8-30-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 for each tree unlawfully removed, destroyed or substantially altered pursuant to § 157-3B; a fine of not more than $5,000 for each replacement tree not planted; and a fine of not more than $5,000 for any other violation under this chapter. Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
Nothing herein contained shall abridge or alter any rights or remedies now or hereinafter existing, nor shall this chapter nor any provisions thereof nor any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder be construed as estopping the Village of Sands Point from exercising its right and fulfilling its obligations to protect the public health and welfare. In addition to all other remedies available to the Village, this chapter shall be enforceable by injunction in an action brought in the Supreme Court.