Borough of Phoenixville, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Pursuant to the Pennsylvania Borough Code,[1] the Phoenixville Borough Council has determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Phoenixville to promote and protect their health, safety and welfare to adopt a tree ordinance. The Borough Council recognizes the role that trees play in the Borough's ecosystem. Phoenixville is committed to enhancing the urban forest for the many benefits that trees provide. The tree canopy is a key component to minimize the damaging effects of stormwater runoff to the Borough, the French Creek, Schuylkill River and other streams, and, ultimately, the Delaware Valley River Basin. Trees reduce air temperature; reduce heating and cooling costs resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions; improve property values; enhance physical and psychological health; and reduce air pollutants. Trees help people reconnect with nature. In order to establish a responsible program for planting, maintenance, protection or removal of trees or shrubs in public areas of the Borough of Phoenixville, the Borough Council finds it necessary to establish this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
2. 
This chapter establishes policies, regulations, and standards necessary to ensure that the Borough will continue to realize the benefits provided by trees. The provisions of this chapter are enacted for the purpose of:
A. 
Providing protection, preservation, replacement, and proper maintenance of regulated trees.
B. 
Promoting and maintaining the aesthetic value of the streets of the Borough.
C. 
Providing for an orderly and efficient means of maintaining and protecting regulated trees.
D. 
Promoting the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare.
E. 
Saving trees from indiscriminate destruction or unnecessary removal.
F. 
Diversifying the regulated tree species in the Borough.
G. 
Establishing standards limiting and regulating the removal of regulated trees.
H. 
Establishing an education program providing information and guidelines for regulated tree preservation and maintenance.
I. 
Provide the minimum regulation necessary to ensure these important resources are preserved wherever possible while accommodating the landowner's property rights to make reasonable use of their property through compliance with other standards of this and other applicable Borough ordinances.
J. 
Promoting the utilization of regulated trees and private trees to mitigate stormwater runoff.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Word Usage. For the purposes of this chapter, words and terms used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
A. 
Words in the present tense include the future tense.
B. 
The singular shall include the plural, and the plural shall include the singular.
C. 
The masculine gender shall include the feminine and the neuter and vice versa.
D. 
The words "shall" and "must" are always mandatory, and the words "may" or "should" are always permissive.
E. 
The word "used" or "occupied" as applied to any land or building shall be construed to include the words "intended, arranged or designed to be occupied."
F. 
The word "person" includes "individual," "company," "unincorporated association," "corporation" or other similar entities.
G. 
The words "cartway," "street," "road" and "highway" shall have the same meaning.
H. 
The word "structure" includes "building"; both terms shall be construed as if followed by the phrase "or part thereof."
I. 
The words "such as," "includes," "including" and "specifically" shall provide examples which shall not, by themselves, limit a provision to the examples specifically mentioned if other examples would otherwise comply with the provision.
J. 
Unless stated otherwise, the male gender is neutral and includes the female gender.
K. 
The word "lot" includes the word plot or parcel.
L. 
The word "abut" shall include the words "directly across from," "adjacent" and "next to."
M. 
Whenever a governmental or nongovernmental agency is cited, it shall be construed to be followed by the words "or successor agency."
N. 
If a word or term is not defined by this chapter but is defined in the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO)[1] or Zoning Ordinance,[2] then the SALDO or Zoning definition shall apply. If a word or term is not defined in this chapter, the SALDO or the Zoning Ordinance, then the word or term shall have its plain and ordinary meaning within the context of the section. In the latter case, a standard reference dictionary should be consulted.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 22, Subdivision and Land Development.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 27, Zoning.
2. 
Definitions. The following words and phrases, as used herein, shall have the meanings hereby ascribed to them, except in those instances when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ANNUAL LICENSE
A license granted to commercial tree companies that plan to prune, remove, or apply pesticides to trees over eight inches in diameter on private property or prune or apply pesticides to trees in the public areas in the Borough of Phoenixville. An annual license shall be obtained from the Department of Public Works, for a fee, upon showing proof of liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 and workers' compensation insurance as required by state law.
ARBORIST
The arborist/horticulturist of the Borough of Phoenixville, as supervised by the Borough Manager or his or her designee, or any urban tree professional employed or contracted by the Borough and designated with the responsibilities as set forth in this chapter.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
BOROUGH MANAGER
The Borough of Phoenixville Borough Manager or his or her designee.
CALIPER
The measure of the diameter of the trunk of balled or burlapped nursery trees at a point six inches above the ground or 12 inches above the ground for trees over four inches in caliper. See also "DBH, diameter at breast height." It should be noted that "caliper" and "diameter at breast height" are both used in this chapter and carry different meanings and should not be used interchangeably.
CARTWAY
The paved surface of a street or alley available for use by vehicular traffic.
COMMISSION
The Tree Advisory Commission (TAC) of the Borough.
COUNCIL
The Council of the Borough of Phoenixville.
DBH, DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT
The diameter of a tree at breast height, which shall be measured at 4 1/2 feet above ground. On multistem trees, the largest diameter stem shall be measured. See also "caliper."
DEPARTMENT
The Department of Public Works of the Borough.
DIRECTOR
The Director of the Department of Public Works or her/his designee.
DRIPLINE
An imaginary vertical line that extends downward from the outermost tips of the tree branches to the ground.
NATIVE TREES
Trees that are indigenous and original to a particular geographical area.
NOTICE
Either publication in one newspaper of general circulation, written notification sent by first-class mail to property owners immediately affected, or notification posted on the affected tree.
NUISANCE
Anything or act that annoys, unreasonably disturbs, hurts a person's use of his or her property, or violates the public health, safety and welfare.
NURSERY
A licensed plant or tree nursery whose trees are planted and grown for sale to the general public in the ordinary course of the licensee's business.
PARK
Includes all public parks within the Borough under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works.
PERMIT
Any permit, in writing, as issued by the Borough Manager or his or her designee.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind.
PROPERTY OWNER
The owner of record of a parcel of land.
PUBLIC AREAS
Includes any public right-of-way, including street; alley; avenue; boulevard; road, highway; freeway; lane; viaduct; and any other dedicated and accepted public right-of-way, and any public park, trail, greenway, recreational facility, or open space under the jurisdiction of the Borough, as well as any Borough agency, commission, and board.
PUBLIC STREET
Any public street, road, highway, public easement, sidewalk, alley, curb, lawn, or public waterway, and includes the entire width of any right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
REAL PROPERTY
Real property, sometimes referred to as "real estate," "realty" or "immovable property," is composed of any designated portion of land and anything permanently placed on or under it. The elements on or under the land can include natural resources and/or human-made structures.
REGULATED TREE
Any tree, shrub or other woody plant in a public area. For the purposes of this chapter, a regulated tree shall also include any tree, shrub or other woody plant located within any properly executed and recorded easement on private property.
REMOVE OR REMOVAL
To cut down a regulated tree or remove 50% or more of the crown, trunk or root system of a regulated tree, or to damage a regulated tree so as to cause the regulated tree to decline and/or die. It does not include normal trimming or pruning.
REPLACEMENT
The evaluation of planting a new regulated tree to replace the regulated tree that died or was damaged within the constraints of location, soil conditions, utilities and other factors to select the best tree for the location.
REPLACEMENT TREE
A tree planted to replace a regulated tree which is removed.
RIGHT-OF-WAY (ROW)
A line or lines delineating the extent or dimensions (usually expressed in feet) of the width of a public street or alley and which abuts two or more lots or property lines. The total width of any land used, reserved or dedicated as a street, alley, driveway, sidewalk or utility easement.
SHRUB
A multistemmed woody plant differing from a tree by its low stature and habit in branching from the base.
TOPPING
Severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the regulated tree crown to such degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the regulated tree.
TREE ADVISORY COMMISSION (TAC)
The Borough of Phoenixville Tree Advisory Commission as appointed by Borough Council.
TREE MANUAL
The Borough of Phoenixville's regulations and standards for arboriculture work for the planting, care, and maintenance of trees and shrubs.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE (TPZ)
The TPZ extends from the trunk of a regulated tree to a distance equal to 12 times the trunk diameter of said regulated tree at breast height or to the regulated tree's dripline plus five feet, whichever distance is greater.
TREE REPLACEMENT PLAN
A tree replacement plan by Borough Council that divides the Borough into 12 sectors and beginning in 2018 through 2030 provides for the removal of a certain number of aged, dying, or damaged regulated trees so that a replacement regulated tree can be planted in order to ensure that each sector of the Borough remains sensitive to ecological and economic benefits and sustains a healthy regulated tree canopy. For the purpose of this chapter, this does not necessarily include the removal of regulated trees as requested by residents through the Tree Advisory Commission.
TREE WORK
Includes, but is not limited to, pruning, shaping, thinning, cabling, stump removal, root pruning, topping, fertilizing, removing, planting, and spraying for insect and disease control of a regulated tree requiring a permit as set forth herein.
TREE WORK PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to section § 25-105 of this chapter.
UTILITIES
Those entities that provide electric, gas, sewer, water, telephone, communication, stormwater system, and cable services to properties within the Borough.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
The Borough of Phoenixville shall have control and regulatory authority of all regulated trees.
2. 
The Borough Council hereby vests the Borough Manager with exclusive and absolute custody and control of and power to plant, set out, remove, replace, maintain, protect and care for regulated trees of the Borough of Phoenixville, and no such regulated trees may be planted or removed except by order of the Borough Manager. The Borough Council hereby directs the Tree Advisory Commission to provide the Borough Manager, at his/her request, with written recommendations regarding the Borough Manager's proposed actions.
3. 
With the exception of the maintenance care required by § 25-106, Subsection 1A(1), no person shall cut, trim, mutilate, injure or destroy any regulated tree without first having obtained a tree work permit. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the trimming or cutting by the Borough of regulated trees or parts thereof when such trimming or cutting is necessary to prevent interference with any Borough-owned utility, or to remove any dangerous condition, or for any other Borough purpose.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
The Tree Advisory Commission, working in conjunction with the Director of Public Works, shall work to maximize the ecosystem services derived from regulated trees by establishing policies for the planting, removal, maintenance and protections of regulated trees in the public area located in the Borough. The policies and procedures within which the Tree Advisory Commission shall function are set forth in Chapter 1 of the Code of the Borough of Phoenixville.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Tree Work Permit Required. A tree work permit shall be required for the following actions:
A. 
Planting, transplanting, cutting, pruning, treating or removing any regulated tree, or portion thereof, in the right-of-way and other public areas.
B. 
Depositing, placing, storing or maintaining any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other material which may impede the free passage of water, air or fertilizer to the roots of any regulated tree.
C. 
Move any building or other object on or over any public street or public right-of-way in such a manner as to damage or injure any regulated tree.
D. 
Hanging lights and other seasonal or holiday displays on a regulated tree. When permitted, all such displays shall be removed within 30 days following the holiday or end of season.
2. 
Application. The application for any tree work permit shall be made in writing to the Director of Public Works on the form provided. Such tree work permit application shall describe the work to be done, specify species or variety, size, nursery grade and location and briefly specify the method of planting, method of support and pruning of all regulated trees or shrubs concerned and contain a definite expiration date.
A. 
All applications for a tree work permit shall be reviewed by the Tree Advisory Commission (TAC) and approved by the Director.
3. 
Conditions attached to tree work permit.
A. 
All regulated trees removed pursuant to a tree work permit shall be replaced within a period of one year from the date of removal.
(1) 
The property owner, in lieu of replacing a regulated tree, may pay a fee equal to the replacement value of a regulated tree.
(2) 
The option of paying a fee in lieu of replacing a regulated tree may only be exercised when absolute circumstances prohibit planting a regulated tree in the location from which it was removed. Such a determination shall be made by the Borough Manager.
B. 
In the event that a regulated tree is removed, the property owner is required to contract for the removal of the stump of the regulated tree immediately following the removal of the regulated tree pursuant to § 25-106, Subsection 1C(2), and to make any necessary repairs to the sidewalk at the property owner's expense.
C. 
The Director shall have the authority to designate a suitable type of replacement tree and may refuse a tree work permit to plant any type of tree which, in its opinion, is not suitable to the location. The tree work permit may be revoked at any time upon proof that any of the terms or conditions upon which such tree work permit was issued are or have been violated.
D. 
The Director may, as a condition precedent to issuance of a tree work permit, require a contractor, authorized by the property owner to plant a tree, to guarantee such tree for a period of 18 months against defects in materials or workmanship. If the death of the tree results within this time period and for the aforementioned reasons, the contractor shall incur the cost of removal, including cost of sidewalk repairs, new tree cost and replanting for each tree planted. However, if the tree should die after the period of warranty has expired, the property owner shall replace said tree in accordance with all provisions herein.
E. 
A contractor hired to perform any tree work is required to have an annual license.
F. 
As a condition to any permit permitting the applicant to move any building or any oversized object on or over any public street, the Borough may require the applicant to furnish a bond in an amount sufficient to cover any damage or injury to any regulated tree caused by the applicant or his agent(s), and it may direct the route of any such moving so as to minimize damage or injury to regulated trees.
G. 
All tree work permits to remove a regulated tree shall be valid for no more than 60 days from the date of issue. All work shall be completed within that sixty-day period.
4. 
Review of Land Development Plans. The Borough's Director of Planning shall, upon receipt of any sketch, preliminary land development or subdivision plan, or final land development or subdivision plan, provide said sketch, preliminary land development or subdivision plan, or final land development or subdivision plan to the TAC for a review of the effect on any regulated trees. The TAC shall provide written comments on the effect of said land development on any regulated trees within 10 days following the second regularly scheduled meeting after receiving said sketch, preliminary land development or subdivision plan, or final land development or subdivision plan.
A. 
All sketches, preliminary land development or subdivision plans, or final land development or subdivision plans shall show all existing trees, clearly labeling all trees proposed to be protected and those slated for removal. All regulated trees abutting said projects shall also be shown on the plans, along with the required Tree Protection Zone.
5. 
Review of Other Permit Applications. All applications for driveway or sidewalk permits, zoning permits, or other permits for work that may impact regulated trees, including but not limited to demolition, construction or expansion, and not a land development, shall be referred to the Director for review as provided for hereunder. Within 10 days of the receipt of the applicable permit application, the Director shall determine the need for and location of the TPZ fencing around all regulated trees located on or adjacent to the real property. Where determined necessary by the Director, the property owner shall install a staked construction fence at least four feet high, or alternative as approved by the Director, around all portions of the TPZ, excluding any portions occupied by sidewalks, cartways, curbs/gutters or a driveway. No activity is permitted within the TPZ without a permit issued in accordance with this section. Any activity occurring within the TPZ in violation of this chapter shall be addressed as provided for in § 25-118 of this chapter.
6. 
Denial and Revocation of Tree Work Permits.
A. 
Denial. A request for a tree work permit shall be denied if the information submitted therewith is incomplete, erroneous or otherwise unsatisfactory or if the application fee is not remitted in full.
B. 
Revocation. The Director may revoke a tree work permit if it is determined by the Director that any false statement or misrepresentation of fact exists on the application or on the plans on which the tree work permit was based in addition to:
(1) 
Violation of any condition of the tree work permit.
(2) 
Violation of any provision of this chapter or any other applicable ordinance or law relating to the work.
(3) 
The existence of any condition or the doing of any act constituting or creating a nuisance or endangering the lives or property of others.
C. 
Written notice of such violation shall be served upon the person to whom the tree work permit was granted or his agent or employee engaged in the work. Such notice shall also contain a brief statement of the reasons for revoking such tree work permit. Notice may be given either by personal delivery thereof to the person to be notified or by United States mail, addressed to such person to be notified.
7. 
Approved Tree Species. Borough Council may adopt the Phoenixville Tree Manual, by resolution, from time to time. The Phoenixville Tree Manual provides a list of approved tree species, based upon tree size and classification. The TAC shall recommend a tree-planting list that may have three classes of trees, based on the mature height and width of the tree. The Borough of Phoenixville recognizes that there is no perfect tree for all situations. Trees shall be approved based on the location of the planting. In an effort to prevent a mature tree from growing into the overhead wires, a size-appropriate species shall be selected.
8. 
Location of Tree Planting. All trees shall be planted in accordance with the Phoenixville Tree Manual.
9. 
Nullification of Tree Work Permit. Any tree work permit issued in conflict with the provisions of this chapter shall be null and void and may not be construed as waiving any provision of this chapter.
10. 
Borough departments, agencies, and authorities; public utilities.
A. 
The obtaining of a tree work permit by Borough departments, agencies and authorities shall be waived when the work to be performed is completed by employees of the Borough. All contractors performing work under contract for the Borough or its agencies and authorities shall obtain all necessary permits, including, but not limited to, a tree work permit.
B. 
Utilities shall obtain a tree work permit for any work affecting a regulated tree, including but not limited to pruning and removal, performed by said utility's own forces or by contractors.
C. 
In the event that tree work is necessitated by emergencies, tree work permits shall be obtained on the first regular business day on which the office of the Borough is open for business; and such tree work permit shall be retroactive to the date when the work was begun. A person performing tree work for an emergency must verify the nature of the emergency, in writing, to the Director within five days after such emergency.
D. 
Irrespective of the provisions herein, no tree work shall be performed without the review of the Director.
11. 
Fees. The fee for tree work permits shall be set in the Borough's Master Schedule of Fees.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
The maintenance of regulated trees shall be governed by this section.
A. 
Regulated Tree Maintenance by Owner.
(1) 
The property owner shall be responsible for the normal maintenance and care of any regulated tree located on property owner's real property and shall regularly inspect and remove minor defective conditions, as is practical, in accordance with the Phoenixville Tree Manual, which is hereby incorporated by reference, and may be amended hereafter from time to time by resolution of Council.
(2) 
The Borough shall not be liable for injury, damage, or loss to person or property caused in whole or in part by the defective or dangerous condition of any regulated tree located in or upon a right-of-way.
(3) 
The property owner of any of real property located within the Borough shall keep trees, hedges, shrubs and any other vegetation at the corners of intersecting streets, whether between the curbline and the private lot line or within the private lot or premises, so trimmed that the height of the same shall not exceed three feet above the curb level for a distance of 30 feet measured horizontally in any direction from the point of intersection of the property lines at street corners.
B. 
Tree Maintenance by Borough.
(1) 
The Borough shall have the primary responsibility and shall bear the cost of maintenance and care of the regulated trees and shall regularly inspect and remove defective conditions that are beyond what is expected in § 25-106, Subsection 1A(1), above.
(2) 
The Borough shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees located in public areas or on private property as may be necessary to protect public safety or to preserve or enhance the appearance of public areas or private property.
(3) 
The Borough may remove, or order after notice to be removed at the expense of the responsible property owner, any non-regulated tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electrical power lines, telephone or cable service lines, natural gas lines, waterlines, or other public improvements; interferes with the line of sight of traffic signs; or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect, or other pest.
C. 
Maintenance Practices.
(1) 
Tree Topping. The practice of topping of any regulated tree shall be prohibited. Trees under utility wires that require topping for the protection of the utility infrastructure may be exempt from this section by the Borough Manager.
(2) 
Removal of Stumps. All stumps of regulated trees shall be removed to a minimum depth of four inches below the surface of the ground within 14 business days of the original removal date. Residual chips shall be removed and the ground made level
(3) 
Trimming of Roots. The practice of root pruning is not permitted on any regulated tree without the consent of the Director under the advice of the Borough Arborist.
(4) 
Obstruction.
(a) 
It shall be the duty of any property owner to keep the private or regulated trees pruned in a manner that will not obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, obstruct vision, obstruct the view of any street or alley intersection, or obstruct the view of any traffic signage. The minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be at least eight feet over sidewalks and 14 feet over all streets.
(b) 
When a property owner is notified of an obstruction caused by a private or regulated tree and does not correct the violation within 45 days of notice, the Borough may remove the obstruction and invoice the property owner for all cost related to the removal of the obstruction.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Criteria.
A. 
No person shall remove a regulated tree without obtaining a tree work permit. Tree work permits to remove regulated trees will be granted only if one of the following conditions exist:
(1) 
The regulated tree is dangerous and may be made safe only by its removal.
(2) 
The regulated tree is dead or dying, and its condition cannot be reversed.
(3) 
The regulated tree is diseased and presents a potential threat to other trees within the Borough.
(4) 
If the regulated tree has damaged the roadway facilities (including but not limited to the sidewalk, curb, gutter and pavement) and further damage cannot be prevented by reasonable tree maintenance procedures or by reasonable relocation or redesign of the damaged facilities.
B. 
A regulated tree that is in proximity to a sanitary sewer line from a building shall be considered for removal only if the sewer lateral pipe cannot be replaced due to the size or location of the regulated tree.
C. 
A regulated tree may be considered for removal if it is impairing the health and growth of adjacent and more valuable trees or if the branches are affecting utility lines, is growing too close to a utility pole, or is growing too close to another immovable obstruction.
2. 
Procedure.
A. 
Any regulated trees that are approved for removal shall be replaced at the property owner's expense, and such replacement shall conform with the standards of the Tree Manual.
B. 
When a regulated tree has been removed without a permit, the Director shall have the authority to require the property owner to replace that regulated tree with another tree at the property owner's sole expense. The installation and planting of the replacement tree shall conform to the Tree Manual.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
The replacement of regulated trees established in this chapter is divided into three distinct categories.
A. 
Replacement of Regulated Trees Pursuant to the Tree Replacement Plan. This category includes those regulated trees to be removed and their replacement pursuant to the tree replacement plan.
B. 
Replacement of Regulated Trees. Any person seeking to remove any regulated tree under the jurisdiction of the Borough shall apply for and obtain a tree work permit under this chapter prior to such removal.
C. 
Replacement of Regulated Trees on an Approved Subdivision or Land Development Plan. The applicant shall comply with the requirements for replacement of regulated trees as set forth on an approved subdivision or land development plan.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Determination of Replacement Trees. The number of trees needed to replace each regulated tree approved for removal shall be determined by calculating the size, condition, species and location rating of the regulated tree proposed for removal. If a tree work permit allowing removal of a regulated tree is issued, said tree work permit shall indicate the number and size of replacement trees to be planted and the period of time during which the replacement trees shall be planted. In order to determine the appropriate replacement trees to be planted after the removal of a regulated tree, the Director may take into consideration the following:
A. 
Size. The size rating of a regulated tree shall be determined by measuring the diameter of the regulated tree at breast height (4 1/2 feet above the ground) and then calculating the cross-sectional area of the trunk in square inches.
B. 
Condition. The condition rating of a regulated tree shall be based on the following factors:
(1) 
The structure and health of its roots;
(2) 
The structure and health of its trunk;
(3) 
The structure and health of its branches;
(4) 
The health of its small branches and twigs; and
(5) 
The health of its foliage and/or buds.
C. 
Species. Borough Council may adopt the Phoenixville Tree Manual, by resolution, from time to time. The Phoenixville Tree Manual provides a list of approved tree species, based upon tree size and classification. The TAC shall recommend a tree-planting list that may have three classes of trees, based on the mature height and width of the tree. The Borough of Phoenixville recognizes that there is no perfect tree for all situations. Trees shall be approved based on the location of the planting. In an effort to prevent a mature tree from growing into the overhead wires, a size-appropriate species shall be selected.
D. 
Location. All regulated trees shall be planted in accordance with the Phoenixville Tree Manual.
(1) 
The rating of the site where a regulated tree is growing is established by considering the following:
(a) 
Whether the site is in a park or landscaped area with ample below-ground and overhead growing space;
(b) 
Whether the site is in the street but there is enough above- and below-ground space to support the tree;
(c) 
Whether the species of tree is tolerant of the site's difficult growing conditions, if any;
(d) 
Whether the site is physically limiting to the tree, but the tree's stature and root system are appropriate for current adjacent infrastructure (e.g., small stature under utility wires or next to a building or retaining wall);
(e) 
Whether the tree is negatively impacted by existing site infrastructure;
(f) 
Whether the site contains objects, such as houses, power lines, or playgrounds, in the path of the tree should it fall and the tree is of a structurally sound species;
(g) 
Whether physical space limitations at the site will challenge the success of the tree over time;
(h) 
Whether the species of tree is only moderately tolerant of the site's difficult growing conditions, if any;
(i) 
Whether the tree's stature or root system is inappropriate for adjacent current site infrastructure (e.g., large tree under utility wires or too close to a building foundation or bridge parapet); and
(j) 
Whether the site contains objects, such as houses, power lines, or playgrounds, in the path of tree should it fall and the tree is of a structurally weak species.
(2) 
The rating for a regulated tree's placement in its surrounding landscape is determined by considering the following characteristics of the tree proposed for removal:
(a) 
Whether the tree is a native species in or adjacent to a natural area or large park;
(b) 
Whether the tree is a historic specimen or part of a grove or is an original planting in a historic landscape;
(c) 
Whether the tree is the only, or one of a few, in the area;
(d) 
Whether the tree is extremely complimentary to or prominent within an adjacent view, land use, structure or natural landscape element;
(e) 
Whether the tree is one of a group of plantings and its individual loss would have minimal visual or environmental impact on the entire group of plantings;
(f) 
Whether the tree is very important within a group of other plantings, such as an alley or along an even-aged block, and its loss would be of high impact to that planting group; and
(g) 
Whether the tree provides exceptional services based on its location (e.g., shade in a playground or sitting area, property value in front of a building, stormwater absorption in or near a wetland).
E. 
Replacement Sizes; Alternatives for Subdivision or Land Development.
(1) 
Trees of 10 inches caliper or more which are proposed to be removed during any stage of development, grading and/or construction within a subdivision or land development shall be replaced with an approved tree or trees of the type provided for in this chapter. Said replacement trees shall meet the following size limitations:
(a) 
Trees with a diameter of 10 inches or more but less than 18 inches which are removed shall each be replaced with no less than four trees measuring two inches to 2 1/2 inches in caliper.
(b) 
Trees with a diameter of 18 inches or more but less than 30 inches which are removed shall each be replaced with no less than seven trees measuring two inches to 2 1/2 inches in caliper.
(c) 
Trees with a diameter of 30 inches or more which are removed shall each be replaced with no fewer than 10 trees measuring two inches to 2 1/2 inches in caliper.
(2) 
All trees to be removed shall be measured at a height of 4 1/2 feet above finished grade level. All replacement trees to be planted shall be measured at a height of six inches above the finished grade level in accordance with ANSI A300.
(3) 
Replacement trees may be planted within, but not in place of, the required buffer trees or the required parking lot trees.
(4) 
Replacement trees shall be selected in compliance with the Phoenixville Tree Manual. The priority shall be to plant the trees at the subdivision or land development site from which the Trees are removed unless, with the Borough's approval, the developer makes a payment to the Borough in lieu of the on-site improvement.
(a) 
A replacement tree capital account ("tree bank") will be established by the Borough where fees in lieu of on-site improvement shall be deposited. These funds shall be used for the purpose of planting replacement trees at approved locations in the Borough.
(b) 
The contribution by the developer to the tree bank will be in accordance with the Master Schedule of Fees per replacement tree.
(c) 
The contribution to the tree bank will be due at the time of the final execution of the development agreement with the Borough.
F. 
Calculation of Fee for a Tree Removal Permit. The Director of Public Works will determine the total fee for a tree removal permit by multiplying the number of required replacement trees by the cost per tree, which is determined by calculating the average planting price for a two-inch to 2 1/2-inch-caliper street tree.
G. 
The timing for planting replacement trees shall be determined by the Director of Public Works and stated within the tree removal permit unless otherwise permitted by law. However, each replacement tree under such a permit shall be planted no later than 60 days after the project for which the tree removal was requested has been completed or in the next ensuing spring or fall season after such project is completed or earlier as agreed by the applicant and the inspector.
H. 
Size of Replacement Trees. All replacement trees will be two-inch to 2 1/2-inch caliper, unless otherwise authorized by the Director.
2. 
Payment to the Borough.
A. 
If a person granted a permit requests that the Department plant any required replacement trees, such person shall pay the required fee to the Borough prior to the issuance of any such permit unless otherwise permitted by law.
B. 
If a person granted a permit intends to plant any required replacement trees, such person shall notify the inspector in advance and pay the required fee to the Borough prior to the issuance of any such permit. If the required replacement tree(s) are planted by the permittee as directed by the Director, the Director shall return any such fee within 60 days of confirmation by the Director that such trees were properly planted by permittee. If any such tree(s) is not replanted as directed by the inspector by the time specified within the permit, the Borough shall retain such fee for the purpose of planting said replacement trees.
3. 
Irreparable Tree Damage. If a tree is damaged beyond recovery or if it is damaged so that it poses a safety risk, as determined by the Director of Public Works, it shall be removed, including its stump, at the permittee's expense if a permit is in effect pursuant to this chapter or at the expense of the person responsible for such damage if no permit is in effect. In such instances, the tree shall be evaluated for replacement purposes pursuant to this chapter based on its condition prior to suffering irreparable damage.
4. 
Destruction and Tree Removal. If a tree is destroyed and removed without a permit pursuant to this chapter, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that such tree was in perfect condition prior to such removal. In this instance the tree shall be evaluated pursuant to this chapter for all other factors. However, the size of the removed tree shall be determined either by the diameter of the remaining stump or from existing Department records. The cost of the total number of replacement trees to be planted shall equal the appraised value of the destroyed or removed tree.
5. 
Injured Trees. If a tree is damaged or injured, but not destroyed or removed, the Director of Public Works will make the following two appraisals using the method established in this chapter in order to determine the value of the damaged or injured tree. The first appraisal shall account for the tree's condition prior to damage or injury. The second appraisal shall account for the tree's condition after damage or injury, with all other factors being equal. The difference between the two appraisals shall equal the Replacement value caused by the injury and the sum for which the permit holder or person responsible for the injury is responsible.
6. 
The location of replacement trees shall be determined by the Director of Public Works unless otherwise permitted by law. To the extent practicable, replacement trees shall be planted within the same community district from which the tree(s) that were the subject of the permit were removed. Where the Director determines that it is not feasible to plant the total number of replacement trees at the subject location, the person granted the permit under Chapter shall be required to plant the remaining replacement trees at locations capable of accommodating such planting, either as close as possible to the property from which the original trees were removed, destroyed or severely damaged, or as the Director deems feasible. The person granted the permit under this chapter may propose in writing to the Director alternate locations, so that provision may be made for the planting of all required replacement trees. Where it is determined that a proposed alternate location or the number of replacement trees proposed to be planted at an alternate location is not feasible, the Director may select other locations to accommodate the planting of all required replacement trees.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
The Council may, upon such notice as may be provided by ordinance, require property owners of real property in the Borough to cut and remove plants, shrubs and trees afflicted with the Dutch Elm or other disease which threatens to injure or destroy plants, shrubs and regulated trees. Upon failure of any such property owner to comply with such notice, the Manager may cause the work to be done, and levy and collect the cost thereof from the property owners of said real property. The cost of such work shall be a lien upon the real property from the time of the commencement of the work, which date shall be fixed by the Manager. Any such lien may be collected by action in assumpsit or by lien filed in the manner provided by law for the filing and collection of municipal claims.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
Utilities shall notify the Manager prior to pruning any regulated tree located on Borough-owned property for the purpose of maintaining safe line clearance and shall carry out all such work in accordance with accepted arboricultural standards. A tree-trimming policy must be reviewed by the utility and the Director with approval from the Manager prior to any trimming by the utility. If accepted arboricultural standards are not followed, the Manager will immediately file a formal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
The developer shall be responsible for tagging those trees it is proposing to be saved and/or removed.
2. 
The developer or builder shall be required to replace trees originally intended to be preserved when such trees are damaged during construction. The replacement requirements for such damaged trees shall be consistent with § 25-108 of this chapter.
3. 
If any of the trees required to be retained or trees planted as part of the landscaping plan should die within a period of 12 months after completion of the activities associated with the tree removal permit, the owner of the property shall replace the trees within six months at a ratio of one to one with an approved tree having a minimum of three-inch caliper or eight feet in height for evergreens. Shrubbery or other plantings that die within 12 months of completion of the activities shall be replaced in kind within six months.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
The tree work permit grantee shall conspicuously display the tree work permit on site. The grantee shall display the tree work permit conspicuously while regulated trees are being removed or replaced or while activities authorized under the tree work permit are performed. The tree work permit grantee shall allow Borough representatives to enter and inspect the premises at any reasonable time. Failure to allow inspection shall constitute a violation of this section.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
Any action of the Director may be appealed to and heard by the Tree Appeal Board. The Appeal Board shall be comprised of the Manager, one or both Council/person(s) from the ward where the regulated tree which is the subject of the appeal is located and the Director. Any appeal must be filed within 10 days after the decision of the Director. The appeal shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Borough Manager for placement before the Appeal Board. The appeal shall clearly specify the reasons for which a hearing is requested. After a hearing, the Appeal Board shall render its decision. In the event that the applicant is not in agreement with the Appeal Board's decision, a final appeal may be made to Borough Council. The appeal to Borough Council shall be filed with the Manager's office in writing within 10 days of the Appeal Board's date of mailing to the applicant. The Borough Council shall hold a public hearing on the requested appeal and render a decision. The decision of the Borough Council shall be final.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
If personal injury or property damage is imminent due to the hazardous or dangerous condition of a regulated tree, the tree may be removed, pruned or trimmed or other necessary action taken without a tree work permit so long as the action taken is in response to the emergency situation and is reasonable under the circumstances and does not exceed the type of action necessary to address the emergency situation.
2. 
When any emergency work is performed under these provisions, the property owner or person performing the work shall promptly notify the Director about the emergency situation and the work to be done and apply for a tree work permit for any further work to be performed to address the situation.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
Payments. The cost of planting, transplanting, maintaining and removal of regulated trees, together with the cost of necessary curbing, sidewalks or grading, shall be paid by the property owner. This subsection does not apply to work conducted under § 25-106, 25-107, or 25-108.
2. 
Assessments. In the event the Borough undertakes a streetscape project or a contractor hired by the Borough performs necessary tree work for which payment is required as set forth in this chapter, and the cost of said work is not paid, and the Borough chooses to assess the property owner, the full cost of such work shall be assessed said owner. Owners shall have an opportunity to make written objections to proposed assessments, which objections shall be considered by the Director prior to approval. All costs incurred in planting, transplanting, pruning and removing trees, as provided in this chapter, shall be assessed. The amount each property owner is to pay shall be determined and certified by the Director. Thereafter, the Borough shall cause 30 days' written notice to be given to each person against whose property an assessment has been made. The notice shall state the nature and amount of the assessment and the time and place for payment thereof.
3. 
Liens. Within three months after the completion of any tree work for which an assessment was levied, the Borough Finance Director shall certify to the Borough Solicitor the names of the owners, if known, together with a full description of the properties against which assessments have been made under this chapter and which remain unpaid, either in whole or in part. The Borough Solicitor shall enter liens for the unpaid assessments and all other amounts due and shall from time to time proceed to collect the assessments or the part thereof remaining unpaid according to law and all other amounts due the Borough, including but not limited to accrued interest and penalties imposed by law.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
The Borough is authorized to accept easements from property owners to plant and maintain trees on private property where there is insufficient space for mature trees within the public right-of-way. All easements shall be within 12 feet of the boundary of a public right-of-way and visible from said right-of-way, or as determined by the Borough. Such easements shall be in writing, in a form acceptable to the Borough, properly executed, and acknowledged by such property owners, and shall be recorded in the office of the Chester County Recorder of Deeds. The Borough shall have the right to authorize the planting and maintaining of regulated trees within said easement, which shall be deemed a public area insofar as the trees situated thereon are concerned. The property owner shall have the right to use and occupy the area within the easement in any manner not inconsistent with the grant stipulated in the easement agreement, except that the property owner shall have no right to plant regulated trees or other plantings except ground covers, or to erect any structures within said area, without prior approval of the Borough. The property owner shall be required to maintain any lawn or ground cover within said area and to notify the Arborist in the event of damage or a dangerous condition caused to or by the regulated trees.
[Ord. No. 2018-2288, 8/14/2018]
1. 
This chapter is immediately enforceable by citation by designated employees of the Borough.
A. 
Violations.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to carry out any of the activities requiring a tree work permit without first obtaining said permit.
(2) 
In addition to Subsection 1A(1) above, the following activities shall constitute a violation of this chapter:
(a) 
To remove or tamper with any object or device set for the protection or treatment of any regulated tree in any public area or within any TPZ.
(b) 
To pile any building material or make any mortar or cement within six feet of any regulated tree within any TPZ.
(c) 
To hitch or fasten any animal, bicycle or vehicle to any regulated tree.
(d) 
To attach any sign, poster, bill or other object to any regulated tree.
(e) 
To construct site access, such as curb cut for a driveway, whether permanent or temporary, within any TPZ, inconsistent with this chapter or other Borough regulations. This provision does not apply to the Borough installing federally mandated Americans With Disabilities Act curb ramps.
(f) 
To climb with spikes, disturb or prune the roots of, compact soil, or otherwise injure or destroy any regulated tree or to authorize such actions.
(g) 
To cause or authorize a wire or other conductor charged with electricity to come into contact with any regulated tree in any public area or within any TPZ in a manner that may injure or kill it without a written tree work permit from the Borough, specific to the tree(s) involved.
(h) 
To cause or authorize or within any TPZ any oil, gasoline, herbicide, paint, brine, hot water, steam or other gas, liquid or solid substances harmful to the regulated tree to contact any regulated tree or to enter the soil about the base or root system of a regulated tree in any manner that may injure or kill it.
(i) 
To interfere, cause or authorize an interference with the Arborist, Director, TAC, agents or employees of the Borough, or citizen volunteers while they are engaged in planting, inspecting, maintaining or removing regulated trees.
(j) 
To supervise or authorize construction, alterations, repairs or demolition activities in the vicinity of any regulated tree or within any TPZ without first placing sufficient guards or protectors as shall prevent injury or destruction of said tree arising out of such activities, in accordance with Borough rules and regulations or with written authorization of the Director.
B. 
Notice of Violation. The Director shall serve a notice of violation to the person in violation of this chapter or of a plan approved thereunder or in violation of a permit issued under the provisions of this chapter. Such notice shall direct the abatement of such violation.
C. 
Prosecution of Violation. If the violation is not abated within the time specified in the notice of violation, the Director may request the Borough Solicitor to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation.
D. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Penalties. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $600 for each and every offense, together with costs, plus restitution in an amount no less than the appraised value of the regulated tree involved, plus cost of cure as obtained by the Director, and in default of payment thereof, be imprisoned for not more than 90 days. Each failure to obtain a tree work permit or, having obtained a tree work permit, to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter and each day during which such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
Disposition of Penalties or Assessments. All penalties or assessments imposed under this chapter shall be paid to the Borough of Phoenixville.