[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Radnor 6-27-1994 by Ord. No. 94-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Radnor Township Clearing Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard persons, to protect property and to promote the public welfare by regulating and controlling the clearing of any lot or tract of land within the Township of Radnor.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CLEARING PERMIT
- A permit issued by the Engineering Department for the removal
of six trees or more pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-25]
- A natural person, but also includes a partnership or corporation.
- Any woody, perennial plant smaller than a tree, usually having permanent stems branching from or near the ground.
- A lot, tract or parcel of land, or a series of lots, tracts or parcels of land joined together, where clearing is continuous and performed at the same time.
- Any tree having reached a diameter at breast height of six inches or greater on any property, public or private, in the Township of Radnor.
New clearing shall conform to the provisions of this chapter, except that this chapter shall not apply to work in a public street or alley or in a Township park, playground or recreation area or on other public property.
No person shall commence or perform any clearing without first having obtained a clearing permit from the Township Engineer, and, in the case of a clearing operation involving 10 acres or more, the written approval of the Board of Commissioners is required. A separate clearing permit shall be required for each site.
Every applicant for a clearing permit shall file a written application therefor with the Township Engineer. Such application shall:
Describe the land on which the proposed clearing is to be done by lot, block, tract or street address or similar description which will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed clearing.
Be accompanied by plans and specifications prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor in the State of Pennsylvania.
The plans and specifications shall include:
A contour map showing the present contours of the land.
A plot plan showing the location of the clearing, boundaries, lot lines, neighboring streets and alleys, buildings, trees over six inches in diameter two feet above the ground and sufficient dimensions and other data to show the location of all work.
Description of the type and classification of the soil.
Details and location of any required silt fence or other erosion-control techniques.
Other information as the Township Engineer may require to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
All plans shall be dated and bear the names of persons who prepared the same, the applicant and the owner of the land. Plans shall be submitted in triplicate.
State the estimated dates for the starting and completion of the clearing work.
State the purpose for which the clearing application is filed.
The Township Engineer may waive the requirement of any or all plans and specifications listed above if he finds that the information on the application is sufficient to show that the clearing will conform to the provisions of this chapter.
Before issuing a clearing permit, a permit fee shall be collected as follows:
Every clearing permit shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit has not been commenced within six months or is not completed with one year from the date of issue, provided that the Township Engineer may, if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented work from being started or completed within the specified time limits, grant a reasonable extension of time, and provided further that the application for the extension of time is made before the date of expiration of the permit.
Where, in the opinion of the Township Engineer, the work as proposed by the applicant is likely to endanger any property or any street or alley, he shall deny the clearing permit. In determining whether the proposed work is likely to endanger property or streets or alleys or create hazardous conditions, the Township Engineer shall give due consideration to possible exposure, earth movements, runoff of surface waters and subsurface conditions such as the stratification and faulting of rock and the nature and type of the soil or rock.
The Board of Commissioners shall consider promptly appeals from the provisions of this chapter or from the determinations of the Township Engineer, and the Board 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 Board of Commissioners.
The Township Engineer shall, when requested, make inspections hereinafter required and shall either approve that portion of the work which has been completed or notify the permit holder wherein the same fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter. Where it is found by inspection that the vegetation or other conditions are not as stated or shown in the application, the Township Engineer may refuse to approve further work until approval is obtained for a revised clearing plan conforming to existing conditions.
Plans for the clearing work shall be approved by the Township Engineer and shall be maintained at the site during the progress of the clearing work and until the work has been approved.
The owner of any property of which clearing has been made shall maintain in good condition and repair all silt fences and other protective devices.
The owner of a property shall be responsible to protect and clean up lower properties of silt and debris washing from his property as a result of the clearing of his property.
In order to prevent the denuding of the landscape, wherever practicable, large trees and other natural features constituting important physical, aesthetic and economic assets to existing or impending suburban development shall be preserved.
If upon inspection of any clearing it is found that the work authorized by the clearing permit has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and any other requirements imposed, a clearing certificate covering such work and stating that the work is approved shall be issued to the permit holder by the Township Engineer.
The Township Engineer shall have the power to revoke any clearing certificate whenever he finds that the work covered by the certificate has been materially extended or altered without a permit so to do or that any silt fences have not been maintained in good order and repair.
Before such revocation, the Township Engineer shall first give written notice to the permit holder and to the owner of the property involved specifying the defective condition stating that unless such defective condition is remedied satisfactorily, the clearing certificate may be revoked. If the defective condition is remedied, the certificate shall not be revoked.
No person shall construct, enlarge, alter, repair or maintain any clearing or cause the same to be done contrary to or in violation of any provision of this chapter.
When written notice of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter has been served by the Township Engineer on any person, such violation shall be discontinued immediately.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a penalty not exceeding $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, for each and every offense and, in default of such fine and costs, to imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 30 days. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Township Engineer, by service of summons in a prosecution or in any other way, that he is committing such violation of this chapter, each day that he shall continue such violation after such notification 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.
In case any work is performed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the proper officer of the Township, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Township any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful work and to restrain or abate such violation.