Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata: Art. I, 1-11-1960 as Ord. No. 754, amended in its entirety 2-9-1976 by Ord. No. 1006; Art. II, 2-5-1934 as Ord. No. 352, amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 87.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 129.
Poles and wires — See Ch. 239.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 245.
[Adopted 1-11-1960 as Ord. No. 754; amended in its entirety 2-9-1976 by Ord. No. 1006]

§ 297-1 Adoption of Shade Tree Commission regulations.

The following regulations of the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Ephrata as adopted at a meeting of the Commission held on December 5, 1959, are hereby adopted by the Council of the Borough of Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

§ 297-2 Authority of Shade Tree Commission.

The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Ephrata (hereafter referred to as the "Commission") shall have custody and control over shade trees within the right-of-way lines of public highways, streets and alleys within the Borough of Ephrata and shall have authority to plant, remove, trim, prune, maintain and protect such trees or cause the same to be done.

§ 297-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICATION
The request of a person made upon forms furnished by the Commission for authority to perform specific functions to existing or planned shade trees.
PERMIT
A written form issued by the Secretary of the Commission granting authority to perform specific work to shade trees.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, firm, association or corporation.
SHADE TREE
Any shade tree, shrub or other woody plant growing within or extending within the right-of-way lines of any public thoroughfare in the borough.

§ 297-4 Permit required; minimum clearance; responsibility to trim trees; failure to comply.

A. 
No person shall plant, prune, trim or remove any shade tree or trees on or overhanging the right-of-way of public highways, streets or alleys in the Borough of Ephrata without first making an application upon forms furnished by the Commission and receiving an approved permit.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of the property owners to maintain shade trees trimmed to a minimum height over streets and highways to provide a clearance of thirteen (13) feet and to keep shade trees trimmed overhanging a public sidewalk to provide a minimum height of eight (8) feet. The Commission reserves the right to designate higher clearance where conditions make it desirable.
C. 
In case the property owner shall neglect or refuse to trim shade trees upon being notified, in writing, by the Commission to do so within a specified time, the Commission may thereafter cause such trimming to be done at the expense of the owner, and the entire cost thereof shall be billed to the property owner, and upon failure of payment, a lien shall be placed on said premises to be filed and collected as a municipal claim.

§ 297-5 Species and location of trees along streets.

In order to secure uniformity and best results, the species and location of any shade tree or trees to be hereafter planted in or along any of the public streets, highways or alleys in the Borough of Ephrata shall be subject to the approval of the Commission.

§ 297-6 Treatment of trees.

No person shall, without first obtaining a permit therefor, cut, break or injure in any manner any shade tree; or cut or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree; or place or secure any rope, guy wire, cable, sign, poster or any other fixture on any shade tree; or cause or permit any saltwater, oil, dye or any other substance deleterious to tree life to lie, leak or flow on or into the soil about the base of any shade tree planted or growing in or upon the public streets, highways or alleys in the Borough of Ephrata. No person shall fasten a horse or any other animal to stand so that such horse or other animal can injure any shade tree. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the proper watering, with clean water to foster normal tree growth, or the proper spraying of approved fungicides and insecticides to control disease and insect pests.

§ 297-7 Protection of trees.

Before and during the erection or repair of any building, structure or during other construction, the builder, contractor or owners shall erect or cause to be erected suitable guards to protect the trunk and roots of any shade tree, and construction materials shall not be placed or stored so as to impede the passage of air and water to the roots of any shade tree within the construction zone on the public highways, streets and alleys of the Borough of Ephrata.

§ 297-8 Diseased or unsafe trees; costs.

A. 
The Commission may, upon ten (10) days' notice in writing, order the owner or owners of property situated within the Borough of Ephrata to cut down and remove any diseased shade tree in or upon or within the lines of any public highway, street or alley which, in the judgment of the Commission, threatens to infect and destroy adjacent healthy shade trees or which shall endanger public safety or property within the Borough of Ephrata.
B. 
Failure of the property owner to comply with the orders of the Commission within the specified time shall be cause for the Commission to have the work done for which the property owner shall be billed. Upon failure of payment, a lien shall be placed on said premises to be filed and collected as a municipal claim.

§ 297-9 Appeals.

Orders of the Commission may be appealed to Borough Council upon written complaint signed by the aggrieved and duly witnessed. The Council shall cause an investigation to be made after which it shall act on the complaint.

§ 297-10 Enforcement.

The Commission shall designate its Secretary or appoint a Tree Warden to enforce these regulations and to administer its future policies.

§ 297-11 Revocation of permit; repairs.

The Commission shall have authority to revoke any permit issued to any person violating any of the provisions of the regulations or orders of the Commission and require any damage to be repaired or replaced by the property owner or cause the same to be done at the expense of the property owner.

§ 297-12 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the regulations of the Commission shall be liable on conviction thereof to a fine or penalty not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.) for each and every offense, and whenever such person shall have been notified by the Commission or by service of summons in prosecution or in any other way that he or she is committing such violation, each day in which he or she shall continue such violations after any such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by like fine and penalty. Such fines and penalties shall be collected as prescribed by law.

§ 297-13 Meetings of Shade Tree Commission.

The Commission shall meet from time to time, as the need arises, at the call of the Chairman.

§ 297-14 Business policies.

The business of the Commission, the issuing of permits, the receiving of requests or complaints will be carried on during the month by its Secretary from the borough offices in accordance with these regulations and the policies of the Commission.
[Adopted 2-5-1934 as Ord. No. 352; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 297-15 Interference with electric wires, lines and poles prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any property owner to allow any tree, branch or part thereof to be closer than six (6) feet to any wire, line or pole belonging to the Electric Department of Ephrata Borough.

§ 297-16 Trimming of trees.

Whenever any tree, branch or part thereof is closer than six (6) feet to any wire, line or pole belonging to the Electric Department of Ephrata Borough, the Superintendent of the Electric Department is hereby empowered to trim said trees in such a manner as to comply with this Article.

§ 297-17 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than six hundred dollars ($600.), plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment thereof, shall be imprisoned for a term not to exceed thirty (30) days. Every day that a violation of this Article continues shall constitute a separate offense.