Borough of Baldwin, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Baldwin 3-18-2002 by Ord. No. 767. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 87.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 92.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 142.
Trees, shrubs and bushes — See Ch. 150.
Zoning — See Ch. 168.

§ 148-1 Definitions.

Wherever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Baldwin.
BUFFER ZONE
Land surrounding the immediate perimeter of a timbering and logging operation in which no cutting of trees and other vegetation shall occur except for the isolated cutting of individual trees which are dead, sick, infected or constitute an immediate danger to neighboring properties or the public generally.
CLEAR-CUTTING
A timbering and logging method that removes all trees from a tract of land or portions thereof.
CROWN
The aboveground portion of a tree consisting of branches, stems, buds, fruits and leaves. This may also be referred to as the canopy.
DBH (diameter at breast height)
The tree trunk measured in inches at a height of 4.5 feet above the ground. If a tree splits into multiple trunks below 4.5 feet, the trunk is measured at its most narrow point beneath the split.
ENGINEER
The appointed Engineer of the Borough of Baldwin.
EXCAVATION
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is cut into, dug, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
FELLING
The act of cutting a standing tree so that it falls to the ground.
FILL
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is deposited, placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.
FORESTER
A person with a degree in forestry from a college or university accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN
A plan establishing the best conservation and management practices for a landowner.
GRADE
The elevation of the existing ground surface at the location of any proposed excavation or fill.
GRADING
Excavation or fill or any combination thereof and shall include the conditions resulting from any excavation or fill.
HAZARD
A danger to life, limb, health or property.
LANDING
A place where logs, pulpwood or firewood are assembled for transportation to a processing facility.
MAJOR TIMBERING AND LOGGING OPERATION
Any cutting and removing of trees for commercial purposes from a tract of land that is greater than 10 acres in size.
MINOR TIMBERING AND LOGGING OPERATION
Any cutting and removing of trees for commercial purposes from a tract of land that is less than 10 acres in size.
PERSON
A natural person but shall also include a partnership or corporation.
SITE
A lot, tract or parcel of land or a series of lots, tracts or parcels of land which are adjoining where timbering and logging is continuous and performed at the same time.
SELECTION METHOD
A method of selectively removing trees from a wooded area either singly or in small groups according to age, size or type, with provisions being made for natural or artificial vegetation.
SKIDDER
A large machine used in moving logs from a stump site to a landing.
SKIDDING
The act of moving logs from a stump site to a landing.
SLASH
The woody material or debris left on the ground after the area is timbered and logged.
TOPS
The upper portion of a felled tree that is unmerchantable because of small size, taper or defect.
TREE
Any self-supporting woody plant growing upon the earth which provides one main trunk and produces a more or less distinct and elevated head with many branches; also, any self-supporting woody plant usually having a single woody trunk and a potential DBH of two inches or more.

§ 148-2 Minimum standards.

The following shall be minimum standards for issuance of both minor and major timbering and logging permits:
A. 
All timbering and logging operations shall be by the selection method. Clear-cutting is prohibited.
B. 
Timbering and logging operations shall not be undertaken on any ground with a slope exceeding 25% nor in landslide- or flood-prone areas.
C. 
Removal of trees which have a DBH of more than 20 inches shall be reviewed by the Municipal Engineer before inclusion in any timbering and logging operation.
D. 
The diversity of the trees species shall be maintained within the permit area at generally the same ratio both before and after the timbering.
E. 
Buffer zones of 25 feet along all abutting properties shall be maintained on the property on which the timber and logging operation is being conducted.
F. 
Buffer zones of 25 feet along any streets, streams and around any springs shall be maintained on the property on which the timber and logging operation is being conducted.
G. 
All cutting, removing, skidding and transporting of trees as part of the timbering and logging operation shall be planned and performed in such a manner as to minimize the disturbance of or damage to other trees, vegetation and the land itself.
H. 
Roads and trails shall be constructed, maintained and abandoned in such manner as to prevent soil erosion and permanent damage to soils and waterways.
I. 
Roads and trails shall only be wide enough to accommodate the type of equipment used, and grades of such roads and trails shall be kept as low as possible.
J. 
Where possible, stream crossing shall be avoided, but where deemed necessary, crossings shall be made at a right angle across suitable culverts or bridges.
K. 
Skidding across live or intermittent streams is prohibited except over culverts or bridges.
L. 
All limbs and stubs shall be removed from felled trees prior to skidding.
M. 
All trees bent or held down by felled trees shall be promptly released.
N. 
No trees shall be left lodged in the process of felling.
O. 
Felling or skidding on or across property of others is prohibited without the express written consent of those property owners. Felling or skidding on or across any public street is prohibited without the written permission of the appropriate municipal, county or state government agency.
P. 
No tops or slash shall be left within 50 feet of an adjoining property or public street; within 25 feet of any stream and/or historic or scenic trail; or within 10 feet of any drainage ditch.
Q. 
The stumps of all felled trees shall be permitted to remain in the soil for stabilization purposes.
R. 
Upon completion of the timbering and logging operation, all roads shall be graded to eliminate any wheel ruts, and access to such roads from public streets by motor vehicles of any kind shall be effectively blocked.
S. 
Both minor and major timbering and logging permit applicants shall allow Borough officials to inspect the sites at times to be determined by the Borough.

§ 148-3 Permit required for minor logging operation; exceptions.

No person shall commence or perform any minor logging operation without first having obtained a minor timbering and logging permit from the Building Inspector. A separate minor timbering and logging permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover the timbering and logging undertaken on the same site. A minor timbering and logging permit will not be required, however, in any one of the following situations, but in all other respects the provisions of this chapter shall apply:
A. 
No minor timbering and logging permit is required when the removal of trees is limited to reasonable, regular, normal maintenance and landscaping improvements by individual homeowners where standards in § 148-2 of this chapter are not violated.
B. 
Removal of trees is limited to site preparation for an approved building permit.
C. 
Removal of trees is limited to site preparation for an approved site or subdivision plan.

§ 148-4 Application for minor timbering and logging permit; special conditions.

A. 
Every applicant for a minor timbering and logging permit shall file a written application therefor with the Building Inspector in a form and number to be determined by the Building Inspector. Such application shall:
(1) 
Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block, tract or street address or similar description which will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed work;
(2) 
State the estimated dates for the starting and completion of the timbering and logging work;
(3) 
State the purpose for which the timbering and logging application is filed;
(4) 
Include specifications setting forth the details of work, such as materials, methods, procedures and a certificate of insurance;
(5) 
Include a description of the type of tree removal project, identifying thinning, selective cutting, clear-cutting, and/or aesthetic improvement cut;
(6) 
Include a description of the area to be timbered, specifying the area to be timbered, the species mixture, a sampling of tree sizes and the existence of any unusual, scarce or endangered species;
(7) 
Include a one-hundred-percent inventory of all trees to be timbered, stating species, size and quantity. This inventory shall include those trees which are diseased, damaged or in otherwise unhealthy condition;
(8) 
Include a statement demonstrating how trees that are not proposed for removal are to be protected during the timbering operation;
(9) 
Include information as to how all trees will be marked for removal and those trees which are to remain on the site;
(10) 
Include a specific plan for replanting and reforestation; and
(11) 
Include a time schedule for the start and completion of all work within the timbering area.
B. 
The edge of the designated area will not be disturbed and shall be maintained at a width of 25 feet. Ingress and egress points shall be located as determined and approved.
C. 
All trees shall be cut at a minimum of 18 inches to the ground.
D. 
The crowns of the felled trees shall be reduced to firewood length and stacked unless they are removed from the site as they are cut. Branches less than four inches in diameter shall be processed to wood chips and remain on the site.
E. 
All other federal, state and local laws, ordinances and resolutions shall be in full force and effect as they relate to any minor timbering and logging operation.

§ 148-5 Issuance of minor timbering and logging permit; expiration; appeal.

A. 
A minor timbering and logging permit may be issued by the Building Inspector upon:
(1) 
Payment of a fee based on a schedule set by resolution of Council;
(2) 
Evidence of a certificate of insurance in a form and amount approved by the Borough Solicitor.
B. 
The Building Inspector may impose reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in this chapter, as he may deem necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Borough and its residents.
C. 
Every grading permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within three months or is not completed within one year from the date of issue.
D. 
Where, in the opinion of the Building Inspector or the Borough Engineer, the work as proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or person or any street or alley or create hazardous conditions, he may deny the minor timbering and logging permit.
E. 
An applicant may appeal the decision of the Building Inspector within 30 days of the denial of the requested permit. The Council of the Borough shall consider promptly appeals from the provisions of this chapter and the Council shall make determinations of alternate methods, standards or materials when, in its opinion, strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter is unnecessary. Any applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction from any decision or determination of the Council of the Borough.

§ 148-6 Permit required for major logging operation.

No person shall commence or perform any major logging operation without first having obtained a major timbering and logging operation permit from the Borough Council. A separate minor timbering and logging permit shall be required for each site. One permit may cover the timbering and logging undertaken on the same site.

§ 148-7 Application for major timbering and logging permit; special conditions.

A. 
Every applicant for a major timbering and logging permit shall file a written application therefor with the Building Inspector in a form and number to be determined by the Building Inspector. An applicant for a major timbering and logging permit must pay a fee based on a schedule set by resolution of Council. Each application for a major timbering and logging permit shall:
(1) 
Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by lot, block, tract or street address or similar description which will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed work;
(2) 
State the estimated dates for the starting and completion of the timbering and logging work;
(3) 
State the purpose for which the timbering and logging application is filed;
(4) 
Include specifications setting forth the details of work, such as materials, methods, procedures and a certificate of insurance;
(5) 
Include a description of the type of tree removal project, identifying thinning, selective cutting, clear-cutting, and/or aesthetic improvement cut;
(6) 
Include a description of the area to be timbered, specifying the area to be timbered, the species mixture, a sampling of tree sizes and the existence of any unusual, scarce or endangered species;
(7) 
Include a one-hundred-percent inventory of all trees to be timbered, stating species, size and quantity. This inventory shall include those trees which are diseased, damaged or in otherwise unhealthy condition;
(8) 
Include a statement demonstrating how trees that are not proposed for removal are to be protected during the timbering operation;
(9) 
Include information as to how all trees will be marked for removal and those trees which are to remain on the site;
(10) 
Include a specific plan for replanting and reforestation;
(11) 
Include a statement of all general soil conditions throughout the proposed timber area;
(12) 
Include a list of all equipment to be used in the operation; and
(13) 
Include a time schedule for the start and completion of all work within the timbering area.
B. 
The edge of the designated area will not be disturbed and shall be maintained at a width of 25 feet. Ingress and egress points shall be located as determined and approved.
C. 
All trees shall be cut at a minimum of 18 inches to the ground.
D. 
The crowns of the felled trees shall be reduced to firewood length and stacked unless they are removed from the site as they are cut. Branches less than four inches in diameter shall be processed to wood chips and remain on the site.
E. 
All other federal, state and local laws, ordinances and resolutions shall be in full force and effect as they relate to any minor timbering and logging operation.

§ 148-8 Notification of neighboring property owners.

The applicant shall provide a list of names and addresses of all property owners within 1,000 feet of the property where an applicant intends to engage in a major timbering and logging operation. The Building Inspector shall notify all affected property owners in writing of the proposed major timbering and logging operation, including the date of any public hearing.

§ 148-9 Public hearing.

A public hearing pursuant to public notice shall be held by the Borough Council.

§ 148-10 Council action.

A completed application for a major timbering or logging permit shall be approved or disapproved by Council within 90 days of completion with all requirements of chapter. Failure to approve or disapprove a completed application for a major timbering or logging permit shall not be considered a deemed approval of the completed application. Council may impose reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in this chapter, as it may deem necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Borough and its residents. This includes, but is not limited to, the imposition of bond and insurance requirements.

§ 148-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
No person shall undertake any action which would be in violation of any provision of this chapter.
B. 
When written notice of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter has been served by the Building Inspector on any person, such violation shall be discontinued immediately.
C. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a penalty not exceeding $300 plus costs of prosecution or to imprisonment for up to 30 days for each and every offense. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Borough that he is committing such violation, after such notification each day that he shall continue such violation shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now by law collected.

§ 148-12 Other remedies.

In case any work is performed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the proper officer of the Borough, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Borough any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.