[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of New Rochelle 4-20-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Natural, pervious surfaces have a direct relationship to the health, safety and welfare of the community since the percolation of rainfall through soils reduces erosion and flooding, contributes to the replenishment of groundwater and groundwater ecosystems, provides for the removal of pollutants contained in surface waters, reduces the need for the public construction of storm drains, basins, and other off-site structures, provides a medium for the planting and maintenance of groundcover and trees, reduces heat and the need for air conditioning, absorbs air pollution, and adds to the aesthetic quality of the community. The covering of natural pervious surfaces with macadam, concrete, tiles, bricks, roofs, and other impervious surfaces for the creation of subdivisions and for residential and nonresidential development on private lots, even when dry-wells and other on-site storage and treatment systems are utilized, contributes to higher ambient temperatures and greater demand for energy, increased loss of habitat for insects, birds, and other wildlife, covering of productive topsoil, global warming and ozone depletion, water pollution, all of which adversely affect the inhabitants of the City of New Rochelle. Trees are recognized as being able to mitigate the negative effects described above.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A person requesting a permit to create or increase impervious surface by 200 square feet or greater from the City of New Rochelle or a person to whom a permit has been given.
- APPROVING AUTHORITY
- The Planning Board in the case of site plan and subdivision applications and the Building Official or his designee for all other applications.
- DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
- A landscape architect, registered architect, professional engineer, arborist, professional forester, or other licensed landscape or forestry professional.
- DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT (DBH)
- A standard measurement of trees made at 4 1/2 feet above ground level on the uphill side.
- Any individual person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, but not including federal, state, county or municipal public agencies or corporations.
On private property, no person who, by existing zoning or land development regulations or by building code requirements, requires or will require a building permit for new construction, building expansion, parking area, driveway, swimming pool, or other structure shall be permitted to create impervious surface or to expand any existing impervious surface by more than 200 square feet, utilizing macadam, concrete, tiles or bricks with mortar, asphalt shingles, slate, plastic, or other similar impervious material, through the construction of buildings, carports, driveways, walkways, patios, pools, roadways, sidewalks, or other similar structures without first obtaining a permit from the Bureau of Buildings and without required mitigation as approved by the approval authority as part of the building permit process, in accordance with in § 178-5. The permit to create or increase impervious surface by more than 200 square feet shall be part of the existing building permit application and approval process. Where that building permit approval process by Code requires prior approval by the Planning Board, as in the case of site plans, subdivisions, and some special permit uses, the Planning Board shall be the approval authority. In all other cases, where a building permit is required by Code for construction, demolition, site work, or development, the Building Official shall be the approval authority.
The applicant for such a building permit seeking approval to create or expand in excess of 200 square feet of impervious surface shall include a schedule precisely calculating the increased area of impervious surface on the parcel or lot for which the building permit is being sought, which schedule shall be clear enough to allow verification by Bureau of Buildings staff. The applicant shall also clearly calculate and summarize the total additional diameter of trees proposed to be planted. Plans submitted with the building permit application shall indicate where trees are proposed to be planted and shall identify species and DBH of proposed trees to enable Bureau of Buildings staff verification.
To mitigate the negative environmental impacts associated with the creation or expansion of impervious surfaces, for every 200 square feet of impervious surface created or expanded or part thereof in excess of the first 200 square feet, the property owner shall plant one tree with a minimum DBH of two inches. Trees with a greater DBH may satisfy this requirement in a mathematically proportionate manner, so that, for example, a tree with four-inch DBH may be planted for 400 square feet of newly created or expanded impervious surface beyond the first 200 square feet. In the event trees are proposed to be removed and replaced under Chapter 301, Trees and Shrubs, of the City Code, the greater required total DBH of new trees between this chapter and Chapter 301 shall control. In lieu of planting trees on site and only when technically impractical or impossible, a fee shall be paid to the City Tree Fund to defray the City's costs for acquisition maintenance and planting of trees elsewhere on City properties, in accordance with Chapter 133 (Fees) of the City Code.
The planting of tree(s) shall be in accordance with the specifications of the landscape nursery from which the tree(s) is purchased or of a licensed design professional. Lacking specifications, the planting of trees shall be as follows:
For every inch of tree diameter planted, there shall be a minimum of nine square feet of pervious soil surrounding the tree trunk, to allow water and air to the tree roots. For a minimum two-inch-diameter tree, therefore, there shall be a minimum of 18 square feet of pervious soil surrounding the tree trunk.
No tree shall be planted closer to another tree, existing or proposed, with less than 20 feet of horizontal spacing from center of tree. In the event that a landscape nursery from which the tree is purchased or the design professional recommends a greater horizontal spacing, such spacing shall govern.
Trees shall be planted only during the period from September 1 to May 15.
[Amended 7-20-2004 by Ord. No. 148-2004]
Where the number of trees to be planted on the property exceeds 20, a performance and maintenance bond, cash deposit or other surety acceptable to Corporation Counsel shall be posted by the applicant to guarantee the planting of trees and the maintenance of trees as shown on the approved plans for a period of five years, in accordance with the requirements described in § 331-119(4)(a) of the Zoning Code.
Where the Zoning Code, Chapter 331, and Land Development Regulations, Chapter A361, also require a specific number and distribution of trees in conjunction with development of parking lots and other projects, the trees required in this chapter may serve to partially satisfy those requirements. However, in no event shall the total mitigation in terms of tree diameter required by increasing impervious surfaces in this chapter or by removal of trees in Chapter 301 of the City Code be reduced by zoning or land development regulations. The planting of tree(s) shall be completed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy on the building lot for which a building permit has been issued.