[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope 6-26-1978 as Ord. No. 1978-14, which ordinance also repealed Ord. No. 1973-18, adopted 12-26-1973, as amended, which comprised former Ch. 53, Shade Tree Commission. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created a Shade Tree Commission which will be known as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Stanhope." Said Commission shall consist of five resident citizens. The Council may appoint a Councilperson to act as liaison between the Commission and the Council, but said Councilperson shall not be a member of the Commission.
In addition to the appointment of the regular members as set forth above, there shall also be appointed two alternate members, who shall be designated as "First Alternate" and "Second Alternate."
The regulation, planting, care and control of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery upon and in the streets, highways, public places, parks and parkways, (if any), of this municipality (except state highways, unless the State Highway Department shall assent thereto, and except county highways, parks and parkways, unless the County Shade Tree Commission shall assent thereto) shall be exercised by and be under the authority of said Commission.
The first Commissioners shall be appointed within 60 days after adoption of this chapter providing for the Commission to become effective. The appointment of each member shall be for a term of one, two, three, four and five years, respectively. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of five years.
The Commission shall meet on a schedule devised by its members, but not less than six times a year.
To constitute a quorum, at least three members must be present.
The alternate members shall be appointed for a term of one year. An alternate member shall, in the absence of a permanent member at any regular or special meeting, assume the seat of the permanent member at such meeting and have the same right to vote and participate as if said alternate member was a regular member.
The Commission shall organize within 30 days after the appointment of its membership for the remainder of the then calendar year and thereafter shall organize annually by the election of one of its members, who is not a Councilman, as Chairman and the appointment of a Secretary.
A Shade Tree Commission organized under this chapter shall have the power to:
Regulate and control the indiscriminate destruction of trees and shrubs on private property as described herein.
Exercise full and exclusive control over the regulation, planting and care of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery now located or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway, park or parkway, except such as are excluded pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:64-1 in the municipality, including the planting, trimming, spraying, care and protection thereof.
Regulate and control the use of the ground surrounding the same so far as may be necessary for the proper growth, care and protection.
Move or require the removal of any tree or shrub or part thereof dangerous to public safety.
Have treated or destroyed any tree, located upon private property, believed to be diseased or to harbor destructive insects and liable to infect healthy trees on adjoining property. The municipality, through the Shade Tree Commission, may, with the consent of the property owner and upon confirmation of the suspected condition by a certification of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, have such tree treated or removed.
Along public places.
No person shall willfully, carelessly or negligently do or perform or cause to be done or performed any of the following acts to any tree growing in or along any street or park:
Cut, prune, break, climb with spikes, injure or remove any tree, shrub or plant or cut, unduly disturb or interfere in any way with any root of a tree.
Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device to a tree or to any guard about such tree.
Install, remove or injure any guard or device placed to protect any tree.
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree to permit the access of air, water and fertilizer to the roots of such tree.
No planting of trees or shrubs shall be allowed.
The acts prohibited in this subsection may be allowed when performed by municipal, county, state or federal employees or representatives or with the permission of the Shade Tree Commission.
The Shade Tree Commission, if granting relief, shall provide the applicant seeking such relief a letter granting permission, which letter states how many trees, the location of said trees and the work to be done.
[Added 5-28-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-9]
On private, firm or corporation property.
Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall willfully, carelessly or negligently remove, cut down or injure three or more living trees having a diameter of three inches (dogwood and American holly, one inch) or more at a distance of one foot measured from the ground wherein growing. The acts prohibited in this subsection may be allowed upon approval of the Shade Tree Commission.
Upon application for a major or minor subdivision and/or site plan, the applicant shall indicate therein the location of all trees and designate which trees, if any, are to be removed and the types of trees and/or shrubbery to be planted for aesthetic purposes. A copy thereof shall be filed with the Shade Tree Commission, which shall review the same and notify the Planning Board of its approval or disapproval. If the plans are not acted upon by the Shade Tree Commission within 10 days after the reference, the same shall be deemed approved. The Planning Board shall issue approval only upon approval by the Shade Tree Commission or upon expiration of said 10 days.
Exemptions: all commercial stock of shrubs and trees growing on land used as a nursery, garden center, tree farm or orchard.
[Amended 6-30-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-8]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof.
All moneys collected either as fines or penalties for any violations of a rule or regulation of the Shade Tree Commission or as a charge against real estate under any provision of this chapter shall be forthwith paid over to the custodian of the municipal funds.
Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed to make any Shade Tree Commission or any member thereof responsible for the death or injury of any person or for an injury to any property or highway tree or shrub.
[Added 5-28-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-9]
The Stanhope Shade Tree Commission and the Borough Police Department shall be the enforcement agents of the provisions of this chapter.