[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Bradford Woods 2-9-1998 by Ord. No. 360. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 417]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tree and Natural Resource Protection Ordinance of the Borough of Bradford Woods, Pennsylvania."
[Added 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 417]
The community development objectives are set forth in the Borough of Bradford Woods Comprehensive Plan and incorporated herein by reference.
In addition to the Comprehensive Plan, the following is a supplementary statement of the purpose and intent of this chapter. It is the expressed intent of this chapter that every effort be made to preserve existing natural features that add value to the Borough, such as trees, steep slopes, watercourses, wetlands of historical significance and similar irreplaceable assets, insofar as possible. Clearance of trees, vegetation or grading of a site shall be in accordance with Borough ordinances.
As used within this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings as set forth in this section:
- CLEAR CUTTING
- The falling of substantially all trees on a tract of land
or portion thereof.[Added 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 417]
- DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT (D.B.H.)
- A tree's diameter in inches measured by a diameter tape at 4 1/2 feet from the surface of the ground. On trees having multiple stems, the largest diameter stem will be measured.
- Any activity which results in the movement or disturbance
of more than 10 cubic yards of earth.[Added 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 417]
- HAZARD ZONE OF A TREE
- The area inside a circle whose radius is equal to the height of the tree, the center being the trunk.
- Includes any Borough public spaces designated for recreation and/or conservation.
- PROPERTY LINE
- The legal boundary line between private and Borough-owned land.
- PROPERTY OWNER
- That person owning such property as shown by the block and lot records of Allegheny County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- PUBLIC SITE
- Includes any other ground owned by the Borough.
- PUBLIC TREES
- Shall include all trees now or hereafter growing on any park or any other public site.
- REMOVE or REMOVAL
- The removal of all aboveground and below-ground parts, including the stump and roots.
- STREETS, PRIVATE ROADS, PRIVATE STREETS OR PRIVATE LANES
- The entire width of every public or private way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- A. Any living plant with needles or scale-type leaves that has a well-defined stem or stems with a diameter of at least six inches at 4 1/2 feet from the surface of the ground.
- B. Any living, self-supporting woody broad-leaf plant that has a well-defined stem or stems with a diameter of at least two inches at 4 1/2 feet from the surface of the ground.
- C. Any living self-supporting woody plant that has a well-defined stem or stems which has been intentionally cultivated and established.
Unless specifically authorized by the Borough Council, no person or firm shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, whether aboveground or below ground, or transplant or remove any public tree; attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters or other contrivance to any public tree; allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with them; or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or heat therefrom will injure any portion of any public tree.
The Borough shall have the right to cause the removal of any trees on private property within the Borough, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property of others.
Notice to remove. Should any person or persons fail to remove trees as herein provided, Borough Council shall order such person or persons, within 10 days after receipt of written notice, to remove such trees.
Service required. The order herein shall be served by regular mail or by personal service or posting to the last known address of the property owner.
Failure to comply. When a person to whom an order is directed shall fail to comply within the specified time, it shall be lawful for the Borough to remove such trees and to recover from the property owner the cost of services rendered, and to lien the property for such costs and all costs associated with such lien.
[Added 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 417]
The following provisions shall apply to all uses of land in all districts:
All lands, regardless of their slope, from which structures or natural cover has been removed or otherwise destroyed, shall be appropriately graded and seeded within 14 days.
No more than 35% in R-1 and R-2 Districts and 60% in the B-1 District, by area, of the tree and natural vegetative cover of any lot or parcel shall be removed, either for construction purposes or any other activity.
No cut or fill grade shall exceed a slope of 2/1 or 50%. This provision shall apply to all cuts and fills exceeding 100 square feet in exposed surface area, including cuts and fills on land naturally exceeding 2/1 in slope.
Slopes. In area of slopes, i.e., those above 8%, the following standards shall apply:
Eight percent to 15%: no more than 35% of such area shall be developed and/or regraded or stripped of vegetation.
Fifteen percent to 25%: no more than 35% of such areas shall be developed and/or regraded or stripped of vegetation.
Twenty-five percent or more: no more than 20% of such areas shall be developed and/or regraded or stripped of vegetation.
No excavation, grading, cutting, filling or other disturbing of the land or the natural vegetation is permissible within the floodplain of one-hundred-year frequency or within 50 feet of any flowing stream, except as permitted by action of Council. In such cases permission may be granted, provided the appropriate Department of Environmental Protection Agency, or any successor agency, provides adequate justification and/or grants permission.
No person shall cut or clear trees for the sole purpose of offering land for sale.
Whenever possible, trees shall not be removed unless they are diseased or dead, or located within a proposed street right-of-way, or within the proposed building area, or within utility locations. In areas where trees are retained, and land disturbances will occur, the original grade level shall be maintained.
Fencing shall be required around the hazard zone of any tree in the area to be disturbed or which borders such area.
Site plan. If an area to be cleared does not occur in conjunction with a subdivision, land development or building permit, a site plan is required. This is to show the area of disturbance and the percentage of lot cleared and that remaining natural.
No public utility or contractor in the employ of a public utility shall maintain, trim or remove trees located within the Borough without obtaining written approval from the Borough.
A written plan indicating the type of tree, location of tree, proposed work to be performed on tree and amount of time for work is to be forwarded to the Borough office.
The written plan shall be forwarded to the Borough office 60 days in advance of proposed work.
The written plan will be reviewed by the Borough arborist or tree expert with recommendation(s) forwarded to Borough Council.
Council will review and approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the plan. Conditions imposed by Council will be those that promote the findings at the beginning of this chapter. All decisions rendered by Council shall state the reasons for approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval.
Before work can begin, the public utility and its contractors shall deliver certificates of insurance for liability insurance coverage and workmen's compensation insurance.
In the event of emergencies due to acts of God or acts of nature, trimming or removal may be done to the minimal extent for public safety and property, and prior notice shall be given to the Borough Secretary or designee.
It shall be unlawful for any public utility, or contractor in the employ of a public utility, to top any tree. “Topping” is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs so 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, may be exempted from this chapter at the determination of the Borough.
In the event any public utility removes or trims trees without approval of the Council, it shall, upon conviction before the District Justice having jurisdiction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day that violation continues, it shall constitute a separate offense. If, as the result of the violation of any provision of this chapter, the injury, mutilation or death of a tree is caused, the cost of replacement value of tree(s) shall be determined in accordance with the latest revision of "Valuation of Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Other Plants" as published by the International Society of Arboriculture and said replacement paid by the public utility.
[Amended 10-13-2003 by Ord. No. 386]
[Amended 10-13-2003 by Ord. No. 386]
Any person or firm violating any provision of this chapter or who fails to comply with any notice issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction before the District Justice having jurisdiction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day during which any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall occur or continue shall be a separate offense. If, as the result of the violation of any provisions of this chapter, the injury, mutilation or death of a tree is caused, the cost of replacement value of such tree shall be borne by the party in violation. The replacement value of tree(s) shall be determined in accordance with the latest revision of "Valuation of Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Other Plants" as published by the International Society of Arboriculture and said replacement value paid by the public utility.