[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Hope 1-10-1983 by Ord. No. 237 (Ch. 25, Part 1 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 52.
The following words and phrases, when used in these regulations, shall have the meanings hereby ascribed to them, except in those instances where the context already indicates a different meaning:
- The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of New Hope.
- Any permit specified by the Borough Council and issued by the Shade Tree Officer.
- Any natural person, firm, association, partnership or corporation.
- PUBLIC HIGHWAY
- Any street, sidewalk, or alley officially listed on the commonwealth survey for New Hope Borough.
- SHADE TREE
- Any tree, shrub or other woody plant on any public highway in the Borough of New Hope, or that part of any tree, shrub or other woody plant which extends within the lines of any public highway.
[Amended 1-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02]
The Shade Tree Commission shall have the exclusive custody and control of the shade trees on and along the streets and highways of the Borough, and may plant, remove, maintain and protect shade trees along the streets and highways of the Borough. The Commission may require the cost of planting or replanting of shade trees along the streets and highways of the Borough to be borne by the property owner. The alignment and locations of the trees shall be determined by the Commission but shall not prevent necessary and reasonable use of the streets, sidewalks, abutting property or conduct of business. When determined necessary, the Shade Tree Commission shall have the ability to conduct a hazardous tree survey of shade trees. The survey shall be conducted in conjunction with a certified arborist; and the survey shall conform to the standards issued by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). If authorized by Council, the Commission may notify the owner of any property with a shade tree of the contents of such survey regarding a specific shade tree.
No person shall plant, cut down, or remove any shade trees under the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission without first obtaining a permit from the Shade Tree Officer. No person shall fasten any sign, wire, rope or other materials to, around or through any shade tree under the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission, or deposit, place, store or maintain any stone, brick, sand, concrete, or other material which may impede the free passage of water, air or fertilizer to the roots of any such shade tree. Exception: Newly planted trees may be guyed to provide stability during the first growing season.
[Amended 7-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-9]
The application for the permit required hereabove shall be made in writing by the owner, tenant with the owner's written permission, purchaser under contract of sale, or authorized agent, on forms approved by the Borough Council by resolution from time to time, and shall be filed with the Shade Tree Officer. At the time of making application, each applicant shall pay a fee in accordance with a fee schedule to be adopted by resolution of Borough Council. The applicant shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and shall state the exact location of such work. Any application not acted upon within 45 days from the date thereof shall be deemed to have been granted and allowed.
[Amended 7-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-9; 3-21-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
As a condition to any permit to remove any shade tree, the Shade Tree Commission shall require that the applicant plant, at the applicant's expense, another tree in the place of the one removed. The Shade Tree Commission in such case shall direct the time within which the work shall be done. In cases where the planting of a new shade tree in place of the one removed would, in the judgment of the Shade Tree Commission, prevent the necessary and reasonable use of a street, sidewalk, abutting property, or the conduct of business, the Shade Tree Commission may release the applicant from the requirement of planting a new tree, provided that the applicant pays to New Hope Borough a fee-in-lieu, in an amount set by resolution of Borough Council, for each tree, which sum shall be set aside by the Borough and used exclusively for shade trees.
In the event of a shade tree being damaged, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge for repairs to the tree, plus the devaluation of the tree against the person causing the damage to the said tree. In the event of a shade tree being destroyed by any person, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge for the appraised value of the tree, plus the cost of removal and replacement thereof, against the person causing the destruction of said tree.
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, kill or destroy any shade tree or set fire or permit any fire to burn where such a fire or the heat thereof will injure any shade tree, and no person shall knowingly permit any leak to exist in any gas or main within the root zone of any such shade tree or permit any toxic chemical, either solid or liquid, to seep, drain or be emptied on or about any such shade tree, or permit any wire designed to carry electric current to come in contract with any shade tree unless protected by a method to be approved by the Shade Tree Commission. No person shall attach any electric installation to any shade tree or excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or lay any driveway within a ten-foot radius of any shade tree without first obtaining a written permit from the Shade Tree Commission.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-02; 1-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02]
The owner of the property with a shade tree shall trim branches from any shade trees overhanging a public highway in New Hope Borough so that they will not obstruct the light from any streetlight, and so that there will be a clear height of at least 13 feet above the surface of the street and eight feet over any sidewalk or walking path.
The owner of the property with a shade tree shall trim and/or remove any branches that are dead, broken or are dangerous that overhang any public street.
When any tree along the streets or highways of the Borough, or growing on private property but overhanging any street or highway, in the opinion of the Commission, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, or is affected by any contagious disease or insect infestation, it shall be within the discretion of the Commission to determine what remedy is necessary and whether or not such tree must be removed. The owner of the property shall be notified in writing of the existence of the danger, disease, or insect infestation and shall be given reasonable time for removal of the same. If a dangerous, diseased, or infested tree is not removed or corrected within the allotted time by the property owner, the Commission shall cause the matter to be corrected or the tree removed, and the costs thereof to be assessed to the owner of the property.
An open space shall be provided at least 10 inches wider in diameter than the diameter of the root ball for the planting of a shade tree.
[Amended 7-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-9]
The Shade Tree Commission shall publish and recommend to the Borough Council for adoption by resolution shade tree and landscape planting standards for reference in the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. The Zoning Officer shall provide such standards to all applicants for subdivisions and land developments, as well as for zoning, building and other permits where the provision of shade trees and/or landscape plantings are required by ordinance.
[Amended 8-13-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-2; 7-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-9]
Any person, partnership, association or corporation who shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the terms or provisions of this chapter or any regulation or requirement pursuant thereto and authorized thereby shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $600 and costs. Fines imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed by any other section of this chapter and any other remedies set forth by any other section of this chapter, and shall be in addition to any and all other remedies in law or equity available to the Borough of New Hope. In addition, the Commission may assess penalties for the violation of this chapter and the regulations of the Commission, and any penalty so assessed shall be a lien upon the real estate of the offender and may be collected as municipal claims are collected.