Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Fort Lee 7-25-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-31. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 155, Art. II.
Site plan review — See Ch. 345.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 365.
It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent environmental degradation; to preserve existing natural resources; to control the indiscriminate and excessive cutting and destruction of trees; to prevent the destruction of the aesthetic character of established neighborhoods within the Borough; and to provide for the replacement of trees when removed.
As used in this chapter, the word "tree" shall mean any woody plant having a diameter greater than eight inches as measured at a height of four feet from existing grade (i.e., at its base).
It shall be unlawful to remove, destroy or substantially alter in such a way as to impair or endanger the life of any tree without first obtaining a tree removal permit.
The cutting, pruning or trimming of trees in a manner which is not harmful to the health of the tree and which will not endanger the tree's continued vitality is permitted.
[Amended 10-23-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-35]
Except as provided in §§ 156-7 and 156-8 herein, all applications for a tree removal permit shall be filed with the Borough's Construction Official, who shall maintain an index of all such applicants. Applicants shall be required to submit the following information: name and address; tax block and lot; description of the property; purpose for the proposed tree removal; tree species, size and condition; a sketch, indicating the location of the tree(s) proposed for removal in relation to all structures on the property; and a filing fee in the amount of $75 per tree to be removed. The filing fee (not the application) is hereby waived for all owner-occupied single- and two-family homeowners, in the event that only one tree is being removed.
[Amended 10-23-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-35]
A. 
Upon the filing of an application for a tree removal permit under § 156-5 herein, and prior to the issuance of a tree removal permit, the Borough's Construction Official shall inspect the property which is the subject of the application, and in particular the tree(s) to be removed. The Construction Official shall issue a tree removal permit, provided one or more of the following criteria are met:
(1) 
The tree is dead, diseased or in danger of falling;
(2) 
The tree interferes with necessary utility service;
(3) 
The tree creates an unsafe condition or poses a threat to public health and safety;
(4) 
The tree conflicts with other municipal ordinances or regulations.
B. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing criteria, owners of single-family and two-family residences may remove one tree each three years, without satisfying the above criteria.
A. 
Upon application for site plan/subdivision approval which would cause the removal or destruction of any tree, an applicant shall be required to submit following:
(1) 
A plot plan or survey showing the location of all trees on the property and any other existing or proposed structures;
(2) 
Identification of all trees to be retained and/or removed, including their species, size and condition.
B. 
For any site plan or subdivision application requiring Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment approval that also involves an application for a tree removal permit, the application shall be submitted to either the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment, as applicable, which shall have the responsibility for approving any tree removal and which shall advise the Borough's Construction Official in writing of any such approval. The Construction Official shall be responsible for issuing the tree removal permit.
C. 
All applicants for a tree removal permit under this section shall comply with the requirements set forth in § 156-9 herein.
A. 
Upon application for a building permit which would cause the removal or destruction of any tree, an applicant shall be required to submit an application to the Borough's Construction Official for a tree removal permit, together with a plot plan or survey showing the location of the trees to be removed, and indicating their species, size and condition. The Construction Official shall be responsible for issuing the tree removal permit, provided the applicant complies with the requirements set forth in § 156-9 herein.
B. 
For any development application that requires an application for a tree removal permit and also requires variance approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (but does not also involve an application for site plan or subdivision approval), the application shall be submitted to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, together with a plot plan or survey showing the location of tree(s) to be removed and indicating their species, size and condition. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the responsibility for approving any tree removal and shall advise the Borough's Construction Official in writing of any such approval. The Construction Official shall be responsible for issuing the tree removal permit, provided the applicant complies with the requirements set forth in § 156-9 herein.
In connection with any trees to be removed under §§ 156-7 and 156-8 herein to accommodate buildings, driveways, parking areas, lawn and recreation areas, etc., the following replacement/mitigation standards shall apply:
A. 
For every one tree removed, one replacement tree shall be provided on site;
B. 
Replacement trees shall be minimum 2 1/2 inches caliper nursery grade stock and of the same species of the tree to be removed; or alternatively, a species that is native to the area;
C. 
Where on-site replacement is not feasible, the applicant shall be required to pay a fee to the municipal tree replacement fund in an amount equal to $250 per tree to be removed.
[Amended 12-12-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-54; 3-23-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-16]
Any person who removes one or more trees without a permit shall be subject to a fine up to $2,000 or a jail term not to exceed 90 days, or both. Each tree removed without a permit shall be considered a separate violation.
The terms of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable; should any part, portion or provision be deemed invalid or unconstitutional, said finding shall not affect any other part, portion or provision thereof.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon final passage and publication according to law.