City of Glens Falls, NY
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Glens Falls as §§ 22-3 through 22-17 of the 1967 Code. Sections 204-7, 204-11A and C, 204-12 and 204-13 amended and § 204-10C added at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 204-1 Disturbance.

Except upon the order of the Tree Commission, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or the officer or employee of a corporation, without a permit from the Tree Commission, to remove, destroy, cut, break, climb or injure any tree, plant or shrub or portion thereof that is planted or growing in or upon any public highway or public place within the City of Glens Falls or cause, authorize or procure any person to remove, destroy, cut, break, climb or injure any such tree or shrub or portion thereof or to injure, misuse or remove or cause, authorize or procure any person to injure, misuse or remove any device set for the protection of any tree, plant or shrub in or upon any public highway.

§ 204-1.1 Notification of Common Council required prior to removal.

[Added 5-16-1996]
The Common Council shall be notified in writing at least two weeks prior to the contemplated removal of any city-owned trees within the city boundaries with the burden of proof on those bringing the action. Furthermore, this section will remain in full force in perpetuity unless specifically rescinded by the Common Council.

§ 204-2 Deleterious substances.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation owning or using or having control of gas, salt, brine water, oil, liquid dye or other substance deleterious to tree life to allow such deleterious substance to come into contact with the roots of any tree, shrub or plant in any public highway or public place in such manner as shall kill or destroy or may injure such tree, shrub or plant.

§ 204-3 Space requirements for construction.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place or maintain upon the ground in any public highway or public place any stone, cement or other impervious material or substance in such a manner as may obstruct the free access of air and water to the roots of any tree, plant or shrub in any such highway or place.
B. 
There must be maintained about the base of the trunk of each tree in such highway or place at least 18 feet of open ground.

§ 204-4 Electrical wires.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to cause, authorize or procure a wire or other conductor charged with electricity to come into contact with any tree, plant or shrub in or upon any public highway or public place in such a manner as may injure or abrade or shall destroy or kill such tree, plant or shrub.

§ 204-5 Attachments.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, without the consent or approval of the City Forester, to attach or keep attached to any tree, plant or shrub in or upon any public highway or public place or to the guard or stake intended for the protection of such tree any rope, wire, chains, signs or other device whatsoever except for the purpose of protecting it or the public.

§ 204-6 Protection during construction; moving of plantings.

A. 
During the erection, repair, alteration or removal of any building or structure, including street or sewer construction and repairs, it shall be unlawful for the person or persons in charge of such erection, repair, alteration or removal to leave any tree or shrub in or upon any public highway or public place in the vicinity of such building or structure, including street and sewer construction and repairs, without such good and sufficient guard or protection as shall prevent injury to such tree or shrub arising out of or by reason of such erection, repair, alteration or removal.
B. 
All moving of trees, plants or shrubs in or upon any public highway or public place made necessary for the moving of a building or structure or any other purpose shall be done by the Tree Commission.

§ 204-7 Trimming. [1]

Trees standing in or upon any public highway or public place and on any lot of land adjacent to any public highway or public place, exclusive of sidewalks and driveways, and having branches projecting into the public highway or public place shall, under the supervision of the Tree Commission, be kept trimmed by the owner or owners or occupant of the property on or in front of which such trees are growing so that the lowest branches shall not be less than nine feet from the ground. The lowest branches shall not be less than seven feet from the ground over sidewalks and driveways.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 204-8 Dutch elm disease.

Pursuant to provisions of Chapter 677 of the Laws of 1958,[1] the Common Council does hereby elect on behalf of the City of Glens Falls to exercise and enjoy, through its appropriate officers and employees, the powers and immunities prescribed and granted in §§ 164, 165 and 167 of Article 14 of the Agriculture and Markets Law with respect and in regard to the Dutch elm disease within the limits of the City of Glens Falls.
[1]
Editor’s Note: See now § 169 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 204-9 Planting in public places.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to plant or set out any tree or shrub or cause or authorize or procure any person to plant or set out any trees or shrub in or upon any part of any public highway or public place without first obtaining from the Tree Commission a permit so to do, and, in the event of such permit being granted, the work shall be done under the supervision of the Tree Commission through its Forester.

§ 204-10 Powers and duties of Tree Commission.

A. 
The Tree Commission shall have the right to plant, trim, spray, preserve and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lands, lanes, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure safety or preserve the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.
B. 
The Tree Commission shall have power to enter upon any private property in the city and may remove or cause or order to be removed any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which, by reason of its nature, is injurious to sewers or other public improvements or is infested with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. The Tree Commission shall also have power to enter upon any private property in the city and to spray, trim, remove in whole or in part or otherwise treat or cause or order to be sprayed, trimmed or removed in whole or in part or otherwise treated any tree or shrub or plant infected or infested by any parasite or insect pest when it shall be necessary, in its opinion, so to do to prevent the spreading or scattering of any parasite or insect pest and to prevent damage therefrom to any public street or public places.
C. 
All tree removals under this section shall be subject to Common Council review and approval.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Added at time of adoptions of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 204-11 Notification of owner; cost of work done by Commission.

A. 
If at any time, in accordance with § 204-10, it should be deemed necessary by the Tree Commission to trim or remove in whole or in part any tree or trees upon private property within the city, said Tree Commission shall give at least 10 business days' notice, in writing, to the property owner advising of the work to be done, and, in the event that it is not done by the owner within a prescribed time, it shall be done by the Tree Commission and be a charge upon the real property as set forth above. Such service shall be made upon the owner by delivering the same to him personally or by leaving the same, in his absence, with some member of his family or person of suitable age residing with him and by certified mail to the owner of the property.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
B. 
In case the land is unoccupied or the owner is a nonresident, such service shall be made upon the agent of such owner, if known to the Tree Commission, or be depositing the same in the post office, properly addressed, with the postage thereon prepaid and directed to said owner at his place of residence or the post office nearest his residence. In case such owner or his place of residence is unknown, such service may be made by affixing a copy of such resolution of the Tree Commission and a notice upon a conspicuous part of the premises. Affidavits of personal service or by mail shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the city and shall be presumptive evidence of the facts herein stated.
C. 
The cost of the spraying of a tree or trees or the trimming or removal in whole or in part shall be a charge upon the real property on which the tree or trees shall be sprayed, trimmed or removed. Such cost shall be certified by the Tree Commission to the City Treasurer and shall thereupon become and be a lien upon said property and shall be included in the next tax bill rendered to the owner or owners thereof unless paid before. It shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes upon said property.
[Amended 12-18-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997]

§ 204-12 Interference with Commission.

[Amended 12-18-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to prevent, delay or interfere or cause or authorize or procure interference or delay with the Tree Commission or any of its employees while they are engaged in or about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any trees, plants or shrubs in or upon any public highway or public place or upon any private grounds as authorized in the previous section or in removing any device attached to such tree, plant or shrub in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 204-3 as to the area of open ground to be maintained about the base of the trunk of each tree in the public highways or other public places of the city.

§ 204-13 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 12-18-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997; 10-27-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
Any person, persons, firm, association, partnership or corporation who, himself or itself or by his or by its clerk, agent or employee, shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,250 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both.