[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Greencastle as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Shade Tree Rules and Regulations
[Adopted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Borough of Greencastle.
- The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Greencastle.
- All individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, corporations and companies, or organizations of any kind.
- PUBLIC AREA
- The area located within the right-of-way of the public streets in the Borough.
- The entire width of every public right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for the purposes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- Includes all large perennial plants, usually with one main trunk and many branches, but may also have multiple trunks.
The Commission shall have charge and control of all trees growing now or hereafter in any public area in the Borough, and shall have the power to plant and maintain such trees in accordance with this article.
The Commission shall have authority to determine all questions of a physiological, entomological or pathological nature relating to the disposition of any tree or group of trees in any public area in the Borough.
No person shall hereafter plant, move, spray, fertilize, trim, do surgery work, climb with spikes, remove or damage any guard or device placed to protect any tree, cut above or below ground, disturb or alter any tree on any public area of the Borough, nor cause such acts to be done by others, without first obtaining permission form the Commission, which shall issue a permit for such work if, in its judgment, the work is necessary and the proposed methods of workmanship are of a satisfactory nature. A permit shall not be required to cultivate and water. The person receiving the permit shall abide by the arboricultural specifications and standards or practice adopted by the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough.
As a condition to the issuance of a permit to remove any tree in a public area, the Commission may require that the permittee plant one or more trees in place of the one removed. Whenever any such tree has been removed or destroyed pursuant to any such conditional permit, it shall be unlawful for the permittee to fail, refuse or neglect to plant another tree or other trees of the type, size and at the location specified in the permit, within the time specified by the Commission, unless the Commission determines that such replacement is unnecessary or undesirable.
After removal of any tree located in a public area, the stump must be leveled to ground level or below and filled in.
Upon failure of any permittee to comply with the terms of the permit, or the conditions imposed by the Commission, the Commission shall request the Borough to undertake the work to be done and collect the cost thereof from the person who owns the property.
Every written permit issued by the Commission shall describe the work to be done, specify the species or variety, size, nursery grade, location, briefly specify the method of planting, method of support and trimming of all trees concerned, and contain a definite expiration date. Any permit may be declared void if its terms are violated.
No person shall fasten any sign, wire, rope or other material to or around or drive any nail or spike through any tree in a public area in the Borough except by permission of the Commission, except in emergencies such as storms or accidents.
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain upon any public area of the Borough any stone, earth fill, brick, sand, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing therein.
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, kill or destroy any tree, or permit any fire to burn where such fire will injure any portion of any tree, in any public area of the Borough of Greencastle.
No person shall knowingly permit any leak to exist in any gas pipe within the root zone of any tree in a public area.
No person shall knowingly permit electric wires to come in contact with trees in any public area unless such wires are insulated or protected by an approved method.
No person shall attach any electrical insulation to any tree in a public area or excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches, or lay a driveway within a radius of 10 feet from any tree in a public area without first obtaining permission from the Commission.
During construction of buildings or other improvements to real estate, the property owner or builder shall erect suitable protective barriers, with a radius of 10 feet, around trees in public areas which, in the judgment of the property owner, builder or Commission, will be endangered by such construction work.
Whenever, in the judgment of the Commission, it becomes necessary to move, protect or temporarily cut off electric current from electric service lines so that any work on behalf of or at the direction of the Commission pursuant to these regulations can be safely and properly performed, written notice shall be given to the owners of such electric lines and such owners shall comply with such notice within 24 hours after receipt thereof.
No person shall place salt, brine, oil, or other substances injurious to plant growth in any place in such a manner as to injure any tree in a public area.
No person shall build any fire or station any tar kettle, road roller or other engine in such a manner that the heat vapors or fumes therefrom may injure any tree growing in any public area.
No person shall lay any sidewalk along or open, construct, curb or pave any street or do any like act so as to interfere with or do injury to any tree in a public area without permission of the Commission.
Shovels and all other implements, machines and tools shall not be used or operated in such a manner as to damage or destroy any tree in any public area.
Where in authorized excavations it becomes necessary to expose or cut roots more than one inch in diameter, it shall be the duty of the contractor to protect such roots in the manner required by the Commission.
All spraying of trees shall be done only with materials approved by the Shade Tree Commission in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.
All pruning, cutting, removal, spraying, fertilizing and tree surgery shall be done only by a qualified tree surgeon or tree maintenance contractor approved by the Commission. All such surgeons or contractors shall possess general liability insurance coverage with a policy limit of not less than $500,000 for each occurrence, and proof of said coverage shall be submitted to the Commission prior to commencing any work within the Borough.
Minor work on trees planted in public areas may be performed by the abutting property owners of the said public areas, provided that permission has first been obtained from the Commission. The Commission shall have the authority to determine whether or not the proposed work on such trees is minor.
Any tree, or parts thereof, growing in any public area or upon private property but overhanging or interfering with the use of any street, park or public area of the Borough and which, in the judgment of the Commission, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be corrected or removed. The owner shall be notified in writing of the existence of the nuisance and given 30 days to correct or remove it. If not corrected or removed within such time, the Commission shall request the nuisance be corrected or removed by the Borough and the cost thereof shall be assessed to the person who owns the property.
All permits issued for the installation of public utilities that affect trees in public areas shall be approved by the Commission in accordance with accepted standards.
When a permit is issued to a public utility to trim trees or perform other operations affecting trees in public areas, such work shall be done in a neat and workmanlike manner according to specifications of the Shade Tree Commission.
The Commission may, if necessary, assign an inspector to supervise the provisions of the permit, and the cost of such service shall be charged to the public utility at cost.
The Commission and other Borough departments, authorities and agencies, including the Planning and Zoning Commission, Police Department, Water Department, Sewer Department and Street Department, shall cooperate with and consult with the Commission when their work or functions affect trees in public areas.
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the Commission or any agent or employee of the Commission or the Borough in the execution or enforcement of these regulations or any amendments hereto.
Payment of costs for work done by the Borough shall be due and payable 30 days after proper invoice by the Borough to the person who owns the property. If such person does not make payment within 30 days, these costs shall be considered a lien against the property. Any such lien may be collected by an action at law or by the filing of a lien in the manner provided by law for the filing and maintenance of municipal claims.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Commission and the Greencastle Police Department.
Any person violating any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. This section shall not limit any other remedies and criminal sanctions provided in law or equity.
In addition to all other immunity existing at law or in equity, nothing contained in this article shall create an obligation or duty upon the Borough. No pedestrian, passenger, driver, owner of property or any person claiming an interest otherwise affected by provisions of this article shall have any claim against the Borough for failure to perform any duty or for performance in a negligent manner.
This article shall not be construed to hold Greencastle Borough, the Borough Council, the Mayor, the Shade Tree Commission, or any of their respective officers, employees or their appointed agents (collectively referred to as "municipal parties") responsible for any damages, injuries, loss or death to person, persons or property by reason of any activity, omission or commission, or act by municipal parties authorized herein or otherwise arising under this article. The approval of any tree or type of tree shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind or nature by the municipal parties and shall create no liability upon, or a cause of action against, the municipal parties for any damage or loss.