[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 7-19-1989 by Ord. No. 59; effective 7-19-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "City of Lebanon Scenic Road Ordinance."
This chapter is enacted pursuant to RSA 231:157 and 231:158 and RSA 47:17. As the procedure for scenic roads as contained in RSA 231:157 is for towns, it is necessary to set up a procedure for action by the City Council.
The purpose of this chapter is to maintain the character of the landscape along the City's highways and to promote the visible natural and historic features along rural roads.
[Amended 6-6-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-5]
Upon petition of 10 persons who are either voters of the City or who own land which abuts a road described in the petition, or by a petition of the Planning Board, or the Conservation Commission, or by its own initiative, the City Council may designate such road as a scenic road pursuant to RSA 231:157. The petition shall be on a form and format as designated by the City Clerk.
The petitioners shall provide the City Clerk with a list of known property owners whose land abuts any of the roads described in the petition. The names shall be taken from the City tax records not more than five days before filing of the petition. It shall be the responsibility of the petitioners to verify that such list contains all abutters along the road entitled to notice.
The City Clerk shall notify by regular mail within 10 days of the filing of the petition with the City Clerk all abutters along the road as set forth in the petitioners list that lie within the City. The notice shall inform the abutter that a scenic road petition has been filed and that a public hearing date will be set by the City Council.
The City Council shall set a date for the public hearing and request a report from the Planning Board as to the effect of the designation of the road as scenic road under the Master Plan.
The City Council shall hold a public hearing on the petition. Notice of the public hearing shall be duly advertised within a newspaper of general circulation as to date, time, place and purpose. The notice shall be published once each week for two weeks on the same day of the week, with the last publication to occur at least seven days prior to the public hearing. The abutters and any other person shall have the right to speak at such public hearing. After the public hearing is closed, the City Council shall vote whether or not to designate all or part of the road described in the petition as a scenic road.
Editor's Note: The following are designated scenic roads: Stevens Road (August 1989); Eastman Hill (March 1990); Poverty Lane (12-15-1993); Slayton Hill (12-15-1993); Great Brook Road (12-15-1993); Sunset Rock Road (August 1989); Pine Tree Cemetery Road (May 2003).
Upon a road being designated by the City Council as a scenic road, no tree or stone wall shall be cut or removed within the right-of-way except as permitted herein.
If any repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving work done with respect to the scenic road shall involve the cutting or removal of trees or the tearing down or destruction of stone walls or portions thereof, the Manager shall obtain the written consent of the Planning Board. A request shall be made by the Manager to the Planning Board for such work with sufficient description to indicate what trees or stone walls will be involved, with a copy sent to the Conservation Commission. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the request. Notice of the public hearing shall be duly advertised within a newspaper of general circulation as to date, time, place and purpose. The notice shall be published once each week for two weeks on the same day of the week, with the last publication to occur at least seven days prior to the public hearing. After the conclusion of the public hearing, the Planning Board shall vote whether or not to consent to such work. The decision of the Planning Board shall be in the form of a notice signed by the Chair and sent to the Manager.
In an emergency situation where public safety is threatened, as determined by the Manager, Public Works Director or designee, the City or a utility company may cut and remove storm damaged trees that are creating an immediate hazard to public safety. Within seven days of cutting or removal of a tree on a scenic road, the City Manager will submit a report to the City Council describing the nature of the emergency and the action taken to resolve the emergency.
The Public Works Department may trim and prune trees, cut shrubs, vegetation and other natural or man-made obstructions, from within three feet of the edge of the main traveled portion of the road which interfere with safe travel upon the road without consent of the Planning Board or the Manager.
No person or City department or agency shall cut or remove any tree, as defined herein, or stone wall within the right-of-way of any road designated by the City Council as a scenic road, except as permitted herein.
The right of the City to clear highways as contained in RSA 231:50 shall be subject to the scenic road designation.
Prior to any change in surface treatment, such as converting an unpaved road to a paved road, or prior to any change in vertical or horizontal profile other than pavement maintenance such as shims and overlays, the Administration will obtain approval of the City Council. The City Council will request a recommendation from the Planning Board. The Planning Board will request review and recommendation by the Conservation Commission prior to making a recommendation to the City Council. A public hearing will be scheduled by the City Council to solicit public comment prior to action by the City Council. All abutters along the Scenic Road will be notified of the City Council public hearing.
[Added 6-6-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-5]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any woody plant which has a circumference of 15 inches or more at a point four feet from the ground.
The designation of a road as a scenic road shall not affect the rights of an abutting landowner as to planting trees in the right-of-way pursuant to RSA 31:52 and the landowner's rights in those trees as provided in RSA Chapter 231. Designation of a road as a scenic road shall not affect the rights of any landowner with respect to work on his/her own property, except to the extent that trees have been acquired by the municipality as shade or ornamental trees pursuant to RSA 231:139-156, and except that RSA 471:6 limits the removal or alternation of boundary markers including stone walls.
Any abutting landowner shall have the right to obtain a driveway permit as provided in the driveway and culvert policy and, if a permit is obtained, shall have the right to remove any tree or portion of stone wall as may be required for the construction of a driveway in conformity with such permit, provided that the intent of this chapter is met. Driveway, as provided in the driveway and culvert policy, includes entrances, exits or approaches to the public way, including bar ways or other necessary entrances to fields or forested lands.
[Amended 12-15-1993; 9-20-2000 by Ord. No. 70]
Upon petition of 10 persons who are either voters of the City or who own land which abut the road described in the petition to rescind shall be acted upon by the City Council in the same manner and procedure as set forth in § 134-4 above. After the conclusion of the public hearing, the City Council shall vote whether or not to rescind the designation of a scenic road.