[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Washington North 11-28-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that there is a direct relationship between the preservation and planting of trees, shrubs, and associated vegetation in sufficient numbers in the Village and the health, safety, and welfare of Village residents and that trees, shrubs, and associated vegetation are related to the natural, scenic, and aesthetic values and the physical and visual qualities of the environment which the Village is obligated to protect. Trees and such vegetation reduce noise, provide welcome shade to Village residents, preserve the balance of oxygen in the air by removing carbon dioxide and fostering air quality and create a bucolic and rural atmosphere in the Village, especially along the roads. Trees also stabilize the soil and control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, yield advantageous climatic effects, and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
The destructive and indiscriminate removal of trees and related vegetation causes increased Village costs for proper drainage control, impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing residential properties, and impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in the area of the destruction and adversely affects the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Village.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, and words shall have the following meanings:
- The owner, contract vendee, or lessee of the real property or its duly authorized agent.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Village.
- The natural growing characteristics of any tree which includes branch spread and distribution, branch height above ground, and root spread and distribution.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, public agency, public utility, or other legal entity or organization of any kind.
- REAL PROPERTY
- All real property, public and private, within the Village.
- STREET TREE
- Any tree located along the side of a street between the street curb and the closest private property line.
- SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
- Any cutting or drastic pruning or elevating the habit of a tree which impairs or endangers the life of such tree or destroys its natural symmetry and shall include, but not be limited to, heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches and cutting of major lower limbs.
- A tree with a diameter of six inches or more at a point which is four feet six inches above the ground at the base of the tree; or, in the case of a tree that, without a permit issued pursuant to this chapter, has been cut or removed so that the foregoing cannot be determined beyond a reasonable doubt, any such tree that shall have a diameter of six inches or more at any point.
- The Village of Point Washington North.
It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to cut down, remove, or destroy any tree or substantially alter the habit of any tree within the Village.
It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or occupies real property to cause, suffer, permit, or allow the cutting down, removal, or destruction of any tree or the substantial alteration of the habit of any tree on real property, unless a valid permit shall have been issued for said work.
[Amended 5-6-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]
Application for a permit shall be made to the Building Inspector.
The application shall be made on such form as may be prescribed by the Building Inspector and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
The name and address of the applicant.
The name and address of the owner of the property, including Nassau County Tax Map number.
The purpose of the proposed removal or alteration.
The site of the proposed removal or alteration, including photograph(s) of the tree to be removed or substantially altered and photographs from the trees showing the view toward all neighboring properties. All photographs shall include a point of reference to determine scale, such as a yardstick or person.
The size and location of the tree to be removed. In the event the Building Inspector determines that the proposed tree(s) to be removed or altered is close to a boundary/property line, then at the Building Inspector's sole discretion the applicant shall provide a survey from a licensed surveyor.
The condition of the tree with respect to disease, hazard, proximity to existing or proposed structures, and interference with utility services.
The recommendation of a certified arborist or the tree service that will be performing the removal. Only a certified arborist or experienced tree service shall be permitted to remove or substantially alter the habit of a tree within the Village. Any proposed tree service shall be required to provide satisfactory proof of its experience to the Building Inspector upon request.
The written and acknowledged authorization of the owner of the property.
Each tree(s) to be removed and/or altered shall be identified by attaching a ribbon at least five feet high measured from the ground to the tree, to identify the proposed tree(s) to be removed or altered. The ribbon signifying the tree(s) to be removed or altered shall be on said tree(s) for at least 10 days before any permit is issued by the Building Department.
The decision of the Building Inspector shall be based upon the following criteria:
The condition of the tree with respect to disease and danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures, and interference with utility services.
The necessity of the removal or alteration of the tree in question.
The effect of the removal or alteration thereof on ecological systems.
The character established at the proposed site of removal or alteration with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
The impact of any removal or alteration upon existing screening of any road or highway bordering the property.
The noteworthiness of the tree to the character of the community based upon, among other things, its size, species, and location.
The Building Inspector shall have the authority, in granting any application to remove or alter a tree, to condition such grant upon the immediate replacement of such tree by one or more trees, in total caliper substantially the same as the tree being replaced, of the same or similar species, or such other reasonable condition or conditions that are directly related to and incidental to the proposed removal or alteration of the tree.
Any permit issued hereunder may be revoked and all work authorized by said permit halted if the Building Inspector shall find that the permit was obtained by false or misleading statements or the work being performed is not proceeding in accordance with the terms of the permit and the provisions of this chapter.
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire six months from and after the date of its issuance. No work may be performed under an expired permit.
The application fee herein shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees. The fee shall be paid upon submission of the application and shall not be refundable except with respect to trees that the Building Inspector determines are either substantially dead or are so diseased, damaged, uprooted or otherwise affected that they are, or may reasonably be believed to soon become, a danger to persons or property.
Any tree growing on real property which constitutes a danger to a public street or public place or the public using the same or which in any way endangers the usefulness of a public sewer or utility lines, or which by reason of infestation or blight endangers other trees in the Village, or which constitutes a danger to life and/or property to private property, including, but not limited to, the property of the owner of the tree and/or such owner's immediate neighbors, shall be removed or the habit thereof altered by the owner of said real property as directed by the Building Inspector.
In the event that the property owner fails to comply with the directive of the Building Inspector within the time specified by the Building Inspector, the Village may then take the action directed by the Building Inspector and assess the cost thereof against the property owner. If the assessment is not paid within 30 days of demand, the Village may add such assessment to the Village's annual real estate taxes for the subject real property and collect such sum as a special assessment and as a part of said Village taxes, including all penalties and interest thereon as apply to such real estate taxes.
The directive from the Building Inspector shall be in writing, shall clearly state the source of the danger, the action to be taken and the date by which such action must be taken and shall be served on the owner of the real property personally or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to said owner at the last address for said owner on the tax records of the Village. If served by mail, the notice shall be deemed received three days after the notice is deposited in a depository maintained by the United States Postal Service.
Except when authorized by the Mayor in the case of an emergency, no tree on Village property shall be taken down without the consent of the Board of Trustees. With regard to street trees, no such consent shall be given until notice of the intent to remove any such tree:
Has been given by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owners of all residentially used property within 100 feet of the tree on both sides of the street where the tree is located, as the names and addresses of such owners are shown on the most recent Village tax rolls; and
Has been posted for at least three days upon such tree.
Such notice shall state the date, time, and place of the Board of Trustees meeting at which the removal such tree is to be discussed.
Anyone wishing to replace a street tree that has been felled may do so with the permission of the Village. In doing so, such person will be given a list of the acceptable trees. If a homeowner wishes to plant a street tree, and does so, it will be such person's sole responsibility to care for said tree.
Any person who cuts down, removes, or destroys a tree or substantially alters the habit of a tree and any person who solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids another person to engage in such conduct and any owner or occupant of real property who causes, suffers, or permits a tree on said property to be cut down, removed, or destroyed without first receiving a permit to do so shall immediately replace the same, substantially in kind, as directed by the Building Inspector. Such replacement, in the sole discretion of the Building Inspector, may be by one or more trees, in total caliper substantially the same as the tree being replaced, of the same or similar species.
All trees on property on which demolition, excavation, grading or construction activity is conducted shall be guarded with a substantial fence at all times when any of said activities are taking place. The fence shall be at least four feet high and shall completely enclose the trunk of the tree at a distance from the trunk equal to the greater of six inches for each one inch of the tree's diameter at a point one foot above grade at the base of the tree, or four feet.
On application of the owner or the owner's agent, the Building Inspector may waive the necessity of the fence for one or more trees where the Building Inspector finds that distance, existing natural features, or man-made structures afford adequate protection for such tree or trees.
No person shall conduct any demolition, excavation, grading, or construction activity on real property without erecting and maintaining thereon the fences above required.
Any person aggrieved by an act or determination of the Building Inspector in the exercise of the authority granted in this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Trustees, the decision of which shall be final and conclusive.
In exercising its authority hereunder, the Board of Trustees shall have the same authority to impose conditions as the Building Inspector.
An appeal shall be in writing, stating the decision appealed from and the reasons for the appeal.
The Building Inspector shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. In the absence or inability of the Building Inspector to perform said duties, the same shall be performed by an Assistant Building Inspector or other person designated by resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Village.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation under the New York State Penal Law and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to:
A fine of not more than $5,000 for each tree illegally removed, destroyed or substantially altered; a fine of not more than $5,000 for each replacement tree not planted; and a fine of not more than $5,000 for any other such violation; or
Imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days; or
Both such fine and such imprisonment.
Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
In the event that any property owner or any other person performing work with the consent, express or implied, of the property owner shall violate any provision or condition of any permit or other approval of an application from any department, board, or committee of the Village by removing, destroying, or substantially altering the habit of a tree, or by suffering, permitting, or allowing the removal, destruction, or substantial alteration of the habit of a tree on such property, such permit or other approval shall be suspended. Such suspension shall continue and no further action shall be taken pursuant to such approval, until such person shall apply to the departments, boards, and/or committees which granted such permits or approvals for modifications thereof based upon the removal, destruction, or substantial alteration of the habit of such tree or trees. Upon such application, such departments, boards, and/or committees may modify such permits or approvals by implementing such conditions, including, but not limited to, the requirement that one or more new trees of the same height and/or caliper as the illegally removed tree or trees be planted and maintained for a specific period of time, not to exceed five years, or such other condition or conditions as such departments, boards, and/or committees might deem appropriate. Such conditions may also include a prohibition of any further work on such property until the replacement tree or trees have been planted and that a declaration of covenants and restrictions be recorded by the owner of the property, running with the land, to assure that such conditions with regard to such replacement trees shall be enforceable against all future owners.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to authorize and/or direct that the property owner and/or any other person performing work with the consent, express or implied, of the property owner take such actions as in the sole discretion of the Building Inspector are reasonable and/or necessary to maintain the property in a safe condition and to assure that all relevant stormwater, sediment and erosion control, and tree protection measures are implemented and maintained, and that such other actions, as the Building Inspector may determine to be in the best interests of the Village, are implemented and maintained until such application has been made, a decision thereon has been rendered by such departments, boards, and/or committees, and the additional conditions, if any, of such departments, boards, and/or committees have been implemented.