[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lake Success 1-30-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989; amended in its entirety 5-9-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Lake Success ("Board of Trustees") recognizes that trees stabilize the soil, control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, absorb air pollution, provide us with oxygen, yield microclimatic effects, are a natural barrier to noise, provide a natural habitat for the wildlife in our area and have an intrinsic aesthetic quality. Destruction or removal of trees deprives the residents of the Village of Lake Success, as well as all sectors of society, of these benefits and disrupts fundamental ecological systems of which they are an integral part. Therefore, it is the intent of the Board of Trustees, in enacting this chapter, to regulate the destruction and removal of trees to secure these benefits for the present and future inhabitants of the Village of Lake Success.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms and phrases shall be given the meanings stated herein:
- The owner of real property, or his duly authorized agent, seeking a permit to remove trees pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
- BOARD OF TRUSTEES
- The Board of Trustees of the Village of Lake Success.
- The natural growing characteristics of any tree, which include 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 organization of any kind, or agent thereof.
- PLANNING BOARD
- The Planning Board of the Village of Lake Success.
- Any living woody plant, its root system and the environment within the area, defined by the outermost limits of its branches, the trunk of which is seven inches in diameter or greater at a height of four feet from ground level; minor forest vegetation of any size, such as but not limited to dogwood.
- VILLAGE ARBORIST
- A duly licensed arborist hired by the Village of Lake Success to determine the conditions of trees with respect to disease, insect attack and danger of falling in connection with a permit application to remove trees pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Wherever appropriate, the singular number includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of real property, or any other person, to cause, permit or allow the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of the habit of a tree as defined in § 99-2 of this chapter within the Village of Lake Success, unless:
A permit is first obtained from the Building Inspector;
The work is done as specified in an accepted and approved landscape plan as part of an approved subdivision or building permit for the real property in question;
The alteration of habit by the pruning of trees in accordance with customarily accepted ornamental procedures; or
In the event of a life- or property-threatening circumstance requiring the removal, destruction or substantial alteration of the habit of a tree, the Building Inspector or, in his/her absence, the Foreman or Deputy Foreman of the Public Works Department, the Police Chief of the Village of Lake Success or, in the event that none of the foregoing are available, a person designated by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor (if the Mayor is not available) or a Trustee, if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are not available, may authorize the removal, destruction or alteration which shall be certified in writing by the person giving such authority, either before or after the event, as circumstances require.
The removal of the tree(s) is necessary for the construction or any improvement for which a valid building permit has been issued.
If a person shall deem it necessary to remove, destroy or substantially alter the habit of a tree as defined in § 99-2 of this chapter on any real property within the Village of Lake Success and such person does not have an accepted landscape plan as part of an approved subdivision or building permit and the alteration of habit is not in accordance with customarily accepted ornamental procedures, then such person shall first make application for a permit to the Superintendent of the Building Department.
Upon receipt of the application, the Village Arborist shall visit and inspect the site to determine the condition of the tree with respect to disease, insect attack and danger of falling. The Village Arborist shall certify in writing whether the tree is healthy or diseased and submit such certification to the Superintendent of Buildings who shall make a decision as to whether the permit should be granted.
The applicant is responsible for paying the Village Arborist inspection fee. A permit will not be granted if the Village Arborist has not had an opportunity to inspect the site and certify the tree's condition.
The application shall include but not be limited to the following:
The name and address of the applicant and owner, if not the same.
The purpose of the proposed tree removal, destruction or alteration.
The site of the proposed tree removal, destruction or alteration.
An attached plan or sketch of the area clearly indicating the following:
An outline of the site showing the location and size of existing trees.
The location and size of tree(s) to be removed destroyed or altered.
The location of any improvements on the property, existing or proposed.
Any additional information that the Building Department may deem necessary for evaluation of the application.
The decision of the Superintendent of the Building Department shall take into account the following considerations:
The location and size of the tree(s) to be removed, destroyed or altered.
The condition of the tree(s) with respect to disease and potential for creating hazardous conditions.
The proximity of the tree(s) to existing or proposed structures and utility appurtenances.
The reason for the removal.
The character established at the site or proposed site with respect to existing trees or other vegetation in the immediate vicinity, locality or village.
The environmental effect of the removal, destruction or alteration.
The aesthetic effect of the removal, destruction or alteration.
The intentions of the applicant to replant additional tree(s) at the site.
Upon the submission of an application, an inspection by the Village Arborist if required, and upon approval by the Superintendent of the Building Department, the Village shall issue a permit.
The Superintendent of the Building Department may require the planting of the same or agreed upon alternate species of trees as are nearly comparable in type and size as practical to the trees to be removed, when the individual character of the tree(s) or the ecological setting requires special consideration, as a condition for the issuance of a permit for tree removal. The location for planting of the replacement trees shall be agreed upon between the applicant and the Superintendent of the Building Department prior to issuance of a permit for removal.
Every property owner or occupant shall be responsible for the normal care, including watering, of trees, shrubs and plants located on such property.
Willful injury or disfigurement of any tree growing within the Village shall be a violation of this chapter;
No person shall:
Attach any sign, notice or other object to any tree or fasten any wires, cables, nails or screws to any tree in a manner that could prove harmful to the tree, except as necessary in conjunction with activities in the public interest.
Pour any material on any tree or on nearby ground which could be harmful to the tree.
Cause or encourage any unnecessary fire or burning near or around any tree.
Construct a concrete, asphalt, brick or gravel sidewalk or otherwise fill up the ground around any tree so as to cut off air, light or water from the roots.
Pile building material or equipment around any tree so as to cause injury thereto.
A protective barrier shall be placed around the protected trees prior to land preparation or construction activities and shall remain in place until all construction activity is terminated.
No equipment, chemicals, soil deposits or construction materials shall be placed within the protective barriers.
Any landscaping activities subsequent to the removal of the barriers shall be accomplished with light machinery or hand labor.
Any person doing business as a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the New York State Public Service Commission and any duly constituted public agency authorized to provide utility services shall be permitted to trim, prune or alter any tree which may otherwise be lawfully altered by such person to the minimum extent necessary to enable such person to repair existing utility services without having first obtained a permit pursuant to § 99-4 of this chapter.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shall be permitted to trim, prune or remove trees pursuant to law without the necessity of obtaining a permit pursuant to § 99-4 of this chapter.
Private property, Any tree growing on private real property which is endangering or, in the opinion of the Superintendent of the Building Department of the Incorporated Village of Lake Success, constitutes a danger to the public, public street or to a public places or which in any way endangers the usefulness of a public sewer or public utility shall be removed or trimmed by the owner of real property within 14 days after receipt of a notice from the Superintendent of the Building Department In the event that the owner fails to remove or trim such tree within said time, the Superintendent of the Building Department may then arrange for the removal or trimming of said tree and assess the cost thereof against the property owner.
Public property. Nothing herein shall limit the authority of the Superintendent of the Building Department to remove or alter any tree he deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents. The Golf Course Superintendent has the authority to remove or alter any tree he deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents.
An offense of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a violation under the Penal Law and shall be punishable, upon conviction thereof, by a fine of not less than $750 or more than $5,000 per tree or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
In addition to any penalties which may be imposed pursuant to Subsection A, any person who violates any provision of this chapter may be ordered to restore the premises damaged by the unlawful removal, destruction or alteration of trees to such suitable conditions as the Planning Board may require. In the event that the property is not restored within a reasonable time, as determined by the Planning Board, the Board of Trustees may restore, or cause to be restored, such real property, and all costs incidental to such restoration shall be assessed against the real property in question and shall be a lien against said real property in the same manner as real estate taxes, with the same force and effect.
This chapter shall be administered by the Planning Board, which shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the effective administration of this chapter consistent with the intent of this chapter as stated in § 99-1. It shall have the authority to hire a licensed arborist or a landscape architect as a consultant, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
Any person aggrieved by any act or determination of the Superintendent of the Building Department in the exercise of the authority herein granted shall have the right to appeal to the Planning Board within 30 days after the determination is made.
An appeal shall be in writing, stating the decision appealed from and the reasons for the appeal. The determination of the Planning Board shall be binding and conclusive.