[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson 12-2-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The destruction or damage to shade, ornamental and evergreen trees and plants and the indiscriminate and excessive cutting of these trees in subdivisions and on private property causes barren and unsightly conditions, creates increased surface drainage problems, increases municipal costs to control drainage, impairs the stability and value of improved and unimproved real property and causes deterioration to the community which adversely affects the health, safety, environment, ecosystems and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson. This chapter seeks to correct these conditions.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- dbh (DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT)
- The diameter or caliper of a tree measured at a point 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
- DESIGNATED TREE
- Any tree as defined in this chapter which has a dbh of 12 inches or more.
- INJURY TO TREES
- Any act which weakens the tree or which significantly alters its form. This may be injury to the stems, trunk or roots of the tree and may include the following acts: removal of significant numbers of the branches (over-pruning), girdling or partial girdling of the tree trunk, large excavations near (within 25 feet) the tree, compaction of the roots such as caused by heavy construction equipment near (within 25 feet) a tree and poisoning (such as by addition of brine, oil, gasoline, etc., to the ground around a tree).
- Any person, persons, firm, partnership, association, fiduciary, corporation, company or organization of any kind including employees, agents, contractors or subcontractors.
- A living woody plant with a clearly formed crown of foliage and with one or more trunks.
- TREE PRESERVATION MAP
- A plan of the property in question indicating the location, species, dbh and condition of all designated trees, as defined above.
- TREE REMOVAL PERMIT
- A written authorization to remove one or more designated trees pursuant to this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to any lot of one acre or more or combination of adjoining lots of an aggregate size of one acre or more owned by the same person, family or entity.
No person shall, without a tree removal permit, cut down, otherwise destroy or injure any designated tree.
No person shall intentionally, carelessly or negligently cause petrochemicals, herbicides or other substances to penetrate or be introduced into the soil in or about a designated tree's root system so as to effectively kill or injure that tree.
No person shall, without a tree removal permit, undertake construction, alteration, addition, demolition or grading where such actions will occur within 25 feet of any designated tree and which would kill or injure that tree.
Under this chapter, all persons shall be held responsible for any actions of their contractors or subcontractors.
All applicants for subdivision. site plan review or other development requiring tree removal shall be required to submit to the Building Inspector a tree preservation map identifying all designated trees on portions of the site to be developed.
Application for permit.
Application for a tree removal permit shall be made in writing to the Building Inspector who, after consultation with the Tree Preservation Board, shall issue or deny the permit.
The applicant shall file three copies of the tree removal permit application with the Building Inspector. The application shall include the following information:
The name and address of the applicant.
The address and Village Tax Map designation of the property on which the tree(s) is/are located.
The total land area of the parcel and total land area involved in the cutting operations.
The number of trees to be removed and the size (dbh and approximate height) and species of each.
The reason for the tree removal of each tree.
The method by which the proposed tree(s) will be removed.
The name of the individual or entity that will effectuate the removal.
In the case of site plans and subdivisions, the tree survey shall be submitted to the Planning Board with a report filed by the Tree Preservation Board as a part of the site plan or subdivision construction plans; a survey of that section to be disturbed and the adjacent twenty-five-perimeter not to be disturbed showing the location of all trees regulated herein to an accuracy of one foot, indicating those trees to be preserved, their species and their dbh; or
Where no subdivision or site plan is involved, the survey requirement may be eliminated and a simple sketch drawn by the applicant may be sufficient. This sketch should include the location of the trees requested for removal in relation to the property's benchmarks and other information as may be necessary.
Proof that neighbors (properties adjacent to the property on which the tree grows or which lie within 50 yards of the tree in question) have been notified at least two weeks earlier that a permit application for tree removal is being filed.
Any additional information as may be required by the approving agency.
A tree removal permit shall normally be issued if any of the following conditions are met:
The location of the tree(s) clearly endangers the health, safety, welfare or property of the general public, the property owner or an adjoining property owner.
The location of the designated tree(s) prevents compliance with state, county or local standards for sight lines, driveways or intersections.
The location of the tree(s) prevents the property owner from undertaking otherwise approved construction or alteration because the location of the designated tree(s) substantially interferes with a permitted use of the property and the construction or alteration cannot be reasonably modified to accommodate the designated tree(s); written explanation may be required describing how the designated tree(s) interferes with construction or alteration and why the construction or alteration cannot be modified reasonably to accommodate the designated tree(s).
The designated tree(s), due to death, disease, blight, infestation, storm damage, accident or other condition, causes undue hardship for the property owner to maintain.
The tree is dead or so substantially diseased that it constitutes a danger to persons, property or other trees.
The removal of the tree is consistent with good horticultural or vegetation management and will not have an adverse effect on an ecological system.
The request for a tree removal permit of the designated tree(s) should include proposed mitigation measures by the planting of one or more new trees.
Appeals from the Building Inspector's denial of a tree removal permit shall be made to the Village Manager within 30 days after denial.
A tree removal permit may be revoked by the Building Inspector if it is determined that the permitted work has exceeded the terms or scope of the tree removal permit.
A tree removal permit application for tree removal shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the Village Board by resolution and set in the fee schedule.
Editor's Note: The fee schedule is on file in the Village offices.
Removal of any designated tree shall require the following actions:
The tree trunk, limbs, stump and any roots remaining above grade shall be completely removed.
The disturbed area shall be restored by backfilling, replanting and/or reseeding.
Tree removal and restoration shall conform to guidelines promulgated by the Board of Trustees pursuant to this chapter.
If a designated tree poses an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of a person or property, that tree may be removed without a tree removal permit. In the event that any designated tree is removed pursuant to this section, within three days after such removal, the person on whose property the tree is located shall submit to the Building Inspector a letter or other documentation explaining and confirming the nature and extent of the immediate threat. The Building Inspector may require, in his/her discretion, documentation from a certified arborist.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of no less than $250 and not exceeding $5,000.
Each violation to an individual designated tree shall constitute a separate offense.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be required, in addition to any penalty imposed under Subsections A and B above, to replace any tree removed with a tree of the same species, size and/or value, as may be determined by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector may permit the new planting to differ from the size and number of the removed tree(s), particularly in cases where the removed tree was too large to feasibly be replaced by one of equal size.
No building permit, demolition permit or certificate of occupancy shall be granted until all provisions of this chapter have been satisfied.
[Amended 7-15-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
There is hereby created a Tree Preservation Board which shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Superintendent of Public Works, Building Inspector and Planning Board.
The Tree Preservation Board shall consist of three members appointed by the Village Manager. The members of the Tree Preservation Board shall elect one of their members as Chairperson.
Members of the Tree Preservation Board shall serve for a term of two years. Members of the Tree Preservation Board shall serve without compensation.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson.