City of Glen Cove, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Glen Cove 2-23-1993 (Ch. 37 of the 1981 Code); amended in its entirety 9-24-1996. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Whenever used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
APPLICANT
The owner of real property or the duly authorized agent of such owner.
BOARD
The Planning Board of the City of Glen Cove.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
CITY
The City of Glen Cove.
COMMISSION
The Tree Commission of the City of Glen Cove.
DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT (DBH)
The tree trunk diameter measured in inches at a height of 4 1/2 feet above the ground. If a tree splits into multiple trunks below 4 1/2 feet, then the trunk is measured at its most narrow point beneath the split.
EMERGENCY
Any condition in which the continued existence of any tree or portion of any tree shall represent an imminent danger to human life, welfare, physical health or property.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
HABIT
The natural growing characteristics of any tree, and includes branch spread and distribution, branch height above ground and root spread and distribution.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, limited-liability company, public agency, public utility, organization or entity of any kind or agent thereof.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
REAL PROPERTY
All improved and unimproved property, whether or not subject to subdivision and development, and including lands owned by the City.
A. 
Any tree which equals or exceeds the following diameter sizes:
(1) 
Large hardwoods, as defined and categorized by the National Arborist Association, which are 30 inches DBH or larger.
(2) 
Large softwoods, as defined and categorized by the National Arborist Association, which are 36 inches DBH or larger.
(3) 
Ornamental trees, as defined and categorized by the National Arborist Association, which are eight inches DBH or larger.
B. 
A lesser-size tree can be considered a specimen by the Commission if it is a rare or unusual species, of exceptional quality or of historical significance.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
C. 
A lesser-size tree can be considered a specimen by the Commission if it is specifically used by a builder, developer or design professional as a focal point in a project or landscape.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
SUBDIVISION
The subdivision of any parcel of land into two or more lots, sites or other divisions of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development, with or without streets, in conformity with state law, and including resubdivision.
SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
Any cutting, pruning, elevating or other alteration of the habit of a tree which endangers the life of such tree or includes unnecessary cutting of top branches (topping), cutting of major lower limbs (elevating) or drastic pruning, and shall not include customarily accepted ornamental procedures.
TREE
Any woody plant having at least one well-defined trunk of at least four inches DBH.
TREE COMPANY
Any business organization that removes or services trees.
[Added 3-13-2007]
TREE REMOVAL
Any intentional act or conduct which causes the tree to die after the commission of said act or conduct, including but not limited to damage inflicted upon the root system or trunk as the result of:
[Amended 3-13-2007]
A. 
Improper use of machinery on the tree.
B. 
Storage of materials in or around the tree.
C. 
Soil compaction.
D. 
Altering the natural grade to expose the roots or cover the trunk, permitting the infection or infestation of the tree by pests, fungus or harmful bacteria.
E. 
Excessive harmful pruning.
F. 
Paving with concrete, asphalt or other impervious surfaces within such proximity as to be harmful to the tree.
G. 
Application of herbicides or defoliants to any tree without first obtaining a permit from the approving agency.
It is hereby created and established a Tree Commission for the City of Glen Cove, New York which shall consist of up to five members who shall be Glen Cove residents and who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council for a term of three years, for no compensation. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his or her successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the existing term.
The Tree Commission shall have:
A. 
Original jurisdiction over the granting or denying of tree removal permits for any and all nonspecimen trees that have a diameter at breast height (DBH) of eight inches or greater.
B. 
Jurisdiction over the granting or denying of tree removal permits for any specimen trees in the City.
C. 
Limited jurisdiction and responsibility for the review, approval and recommendations of site plan approval or subdivision applications before the Board as hereinafter set forth in § 263-6 et seq.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
A. 
No person shall perform, or cause to be performed, a tree removal act on any tree on private property with a DBH of eight inches or greater without first obtaining approval from the Commission as hereinafter prescribed and a tree removal permit, which said permit shall be issued by the Building Department Administrator.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
B. 
This section shall not apply in an emergency situation as defined in this chapter.
[Amended 5-27-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997; 3-13-2007]
A. 
Before performing, or causing to be performed, a tree removal act on a tree with a DBH of eight inches or greater, a person shall submit an application for a tree removal permit to the Commission by delivering the same to the Building Department Administrator. The application shall be made on such form as may be prescribed by the Commission and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
The name and address of applicant and owner.
(2) 
Purpose of proposed tree removal.
(3) 
Site of proposed tree removal.
(4) 
An attached sketch or plan of the area where the proposed tree(s) to be removed is/are located indicating the following:
(a) 
Existing trees on the site, including tree species and sizes or size range.
(b) 
Locations and sizes of trees to be removed.
(c) 
Location of any existing and proposed improvements on the property.
(5) 
The name of the tree company, if any, and its Nassau County Consumer affairs license number.
(6) 
Any additional reasonable information that the Commission may deem necessary for evaluation of the application.
B. 
A permit application shall be submitted to the Commission by delivering the same to the Building Department Administrator, who shall date stamp its date of submission on the face of said application. Said permit application shall either be granted or denied within seven business days of such submission. If there is no determination by the Commission within seven business days of said referral, the application shall be deemed granted and a tree removal permit shall be issued by the Building Department Administrator.
C. 
The decision of the Commission will be based on the following criteria:
(1) 
The condition of the trees with respect to disease and hazardousness, danger of falling, proximity to existing and proposed structures and interference with utility service.
(2) 
The necessity of the removal for the project in question.
(3) 
The effect of the removal on ecological systems.
(4) 
The character established at the proposed site of removal with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
(5) 
Whether the tree in question is a specimen tree.
D. 
The Commission, in making a determination concerning removal of live trees on private property in the City upon notice to the applicant, may obtain the services of a professional arborist regarding the advisability of removal. The cost of this professional evaluation shall, in all cases, be borne by the applicant.
E. 
A nonrefundable permit application fee as set forth from time to time by the City Council,[1] per tree proposed to be removed, shall be paid with each application. Said application fee shall become part of the Tree Restoration Fund as hereinafter described in § 263-14.
[1]
Editor's Note: The fee schedule is on file in the City offices.
F. 
The Building Department Administrator shall be responsible for the actual issuance of a tree removal permit if and when the Commission determines to grant it.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
A. 
Planning Board review.
(1) 
Simultaneously with the submission to the Board for approval of any site plan or subdivision plan, the applicant shall submit three sets of the plan and an existing tree survey, as well as a proposed survey/drawing indicating the effect of any proposed construction and/or grading on said tree survey, to the Commission to enable the Commission to physically inspect the site and recommend and designate trees to be saved by the applicant, particularly along any proposed roads.
(2) 
The Commission shall submit a written report and preliminarily mark the trees which it has recommended to the Board for preservation. The Board may consider the recommendations of the Commission as a condition to the granting of preliminary approval for major subdivisions and site plans. If at any time after receiving approval the applicant changes the road pattern and lot layout, then he or she shall submit to the Commission copies of the new maps so that the Commission may revise its preliminary report if necessary.
B. 
In the event that there are no sidewalks or curbs existing or proposed, the applicant shall plant shade trees in the right-of-way line, approximately 40 feet apart. Trees shall be staggered when planted on opposite sides of the same street. No tree shall be located in such a manner as to limit the sight distance along the road.
C. 
Any proposed off-street parking area for eight or more vehicles shall be planted with shade trees around the perimeter of such parking area in accordance with this chapter.
D. 
Prior to removing any specimen tree(s) with a diameter of 30 inches or greater, which is/are not diseased or a danger to adjacent properties, and for which a permit for removal can be issued, an application shall be submitted to the Board for approval. The Board shall review the site conditions to determine if any alternative action can be taken that might allow the tree(s) to be saved. For every tree with a diameter of 30 inches or greater that must be removed, a fee of $1,050 shall be deposited in the Tree Restoration Fund.
E. 
Certificate of occupancy. Prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, the Building Department Administrator or his or her authorized designee shall inspect the premises to make certain that all trees designated by the Board for preservation in fact remain in existence. In the event that any trees have been removed without the Board's prior approval, then the applicant shall replace the trees with trees of equal kind to the satisfaction of the Board.
A. 
Where the Board has given final approval to a subdivision or site plan which contains as a condition to such approval the retention and/or planting of trees, then the applicant shall be responsible for the preservation of designated trees and the planting of trees pursuant to § 263-8.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
B. 
Where by reason of weather, season or other circumstances it is impossible for the applicant to plant trees in accordance with this chapter, a person may deposit in escrow with the City Clerk an amount to be determined and specified by the Board to cover the cost of purchasing and planting the trees. No street shall be accepted for dedication by the City Council until the Board notifies the Council that the applicant has complied with this chapter.
A. 
Trees shall be balled and burlapped and shall not be less than two inches above the top of the ball, nor less than 10 feet high. They must be well-branched, the branches to start not less than six feet from the crown of the root system. Trees shall be nursery-grown, and a nursery inspection certificate shall be available covering all trees.
B. 
In general, excavations for planting shall be large enough to accommodate the natural spread of the root system, and at least one foot deeper and two feet wider than the ball of earth supplied with the tree. The pit shall be rock-free and refilled with seven parts of topsoil and one part humus. Hardpan shall be loosened an additional 12 inches from bottom and sides of pit. Trees shall be adequately fertilized and watered at the time of planting and mulched with three inches of approved mulch immediately after planting.
C. 
Trees shall be staked and guyed immediately after planting. Stakes shall be cedar or oak, a minimum of eight feet in height, no less than two inches in diameter, and driven into the tree's root system. Trees shall be guyed to the stakes using No. 10 wire covered with the rubber hose or equal. The wire shall be stapled to the stake in such a manner that it will not slip or come in contact with the tree trunk. The trunk of the tree may be protected with tree wrapping paper.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
D. 
Removal of debris is required. The property must be left in a neat and orderly condition in accordance with good and accepted planting and tree surgery practice.
E. 
Trees shall not be planted between May 15 and September 15 without specific authorization of the Board.
F. 
Notice must be given to the Board three days prior to the start of planting in order that the plants and trees may be inspected and approved for tree variety, condition, size and quality. All work shall be subject to the general supervision and approval of the Board.
A. 
Any tree improperly planted or not meeting these specifications will be subject to removal upon notice from the Board or Commission. Any tree that does not survive or is in an unhealthy condition at the end of one year shall be replaced by the applicant or developer at no cost to the City. Said replacement shall be made within 60 days following written demand by the Board or Commission for such replacement or as specified by the Board or Commission.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
B. 
The Board or Commission may require the planting of the same or agreed upon alternative species of trees, which are as nearly comparable in type and size as practical to the trees to be removed, when the individual character of the trees or the ecological seeding requires special consideration, as a condition for the issuance of a permit for tree removal. The location for planting the replacement trees shall be agreed upon prior to issuance of the permit for removal.
C. 
All replacement trees must comply with the specifications for the planting of shade trees as provided in § 263-8 of this chapter.
A. 
Sections 263-4 and 263-5 shall be enforced by the Commission through the Building Department and §§ 263-6, 263-7, 263-8 and 263-9 shall be enforced by the Board of the City.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
B. 
Any decisions by the Board and Commission pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be in writing and shall state the facts relevant to the issue.
All owners of lands within a radius of 200 feet from the perimeter of the subject real property shall be notified by the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, mailed to the address shown on the current City tax rolls not less than 10 days prior to destruction, removal or substantial alteration of the habit of any trees. An affidavit to that effect, together with the receipts, shall be placed on file.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
A. 
Private property. Any tree growing on private property which constitutes danger to public streets or 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 the property within 14 days after receipt of such notice from the City. If said owner fails to remove the tree within 14 days, the City may then remove or trim said tree and assess the cost thereof against the property owner. Upon confirmation by the City Council, such cost shall become a lien on the property and the resolution assessing such costs shall be recorded with the City Clerk's office, or may be collected by court action.
B. 
Streets and public places.
(1) 
No tree shall be removed by a private person from any public street or property owned or under the control of the City without the prior written consent of the Building Department Administrator. Such consent shall only be granted if the tree constitutes a hazard to property or persons using the adjoining streets, if its roots are causing excessive damage to the curb or gutters or if it unduly interferes with the legitimate land use requirements of the owner/occupant. Any tree being removed for the sole benefit of the property owner shall be removed and replaced with an approved tree at the property owner's expense, in the event that the Building Department Administrator so requires.
(2) 
No City employee shall perform, or cause to be performed, a tree removal act on a public street or property owned or under the control of the City without the prior written consent of the Building Department Administrator.
[Amended 5-27-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997; 3-13-2007]
A. 
Any person aggrieved by any act or determination of the Commission in the exercise of its authority herein granted shall have the right to appeal to the Building Department Administrator, whose decision shall be final and conclusive. The appeal shall be made within 30 days of the Commission act or determination, and shall be in writing, stating the decision appealed from and the reason for the grounds for said appeal.
B. 
The Building Department Administrator shall issue a decision on said appeal within seven business days from its submission date, and in the event that an appeal is not determined within said seven-business-day period, the appeal shall be deemed granted. In the event that the appealed from act or determination of the Commission involves the denial of a tree removal permit, the Building Department Administrator shall have three options in determining said appeal:
(1) 
The Building Department Administrator may uphold the determination of the Commission;
(2) 
The Building Department Administrator may reverse the determination by the Commission and, therefore, grant the tree removal permit in whole or in part; or
(3) 
The Building Department Administrator may reverse the determination of the Commission and grant the tree removal permit in whole or in part, and as a condition of the same, using his/her discretion, require the applicant to pay into the Tree Restoration Fund, as hereinafter described in § 263-14, a sum as set forth from time to time by the City Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The fee schedule is on file in the City offices.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
A. 
The Controller of the City is hereby directed to establish a separate line item under the City's general fund which will be designated as the Tree Restoration Fund. All permit fees and other fees which are required pursuant to this chapter to be paid into said fund shall be delivered to the Controller of the City and segregated into said separate line item of the general fund. The money in the Tree Restoration Fund shall be used for the planting and maintaining of new trees by the City, as directed by the City Council in consolation with the Commission.
B. 
For every and all trees approved by the Commission to be removed due to new construction at any given site, a fee of $125 per tree shall be collected for the Tree Restoration Fund.
[Amended 3-13-2007]
Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any conditions imposed by the Board or Commission under any subdivision, site plan or building permit shall be subject to fines as indicated below.
A. 
For illegally removing a single tree eight inches or greater, a minimum fine of $500, with a maximum not to exceed $2,000, shall be imposed on the property owner. If a tree company removes the tree on the owner’s behalf, without filing for a permit, the company shall also be subject to the same fine.
B. 
Where more than one tree is illegally taken down on a given property, the fines shall be sequenced, as follows:
(1) 
For the first tree illegally removed, the fine shall be a statutory minimum amount of $500, with a maximum not to exceed $2,000.
(2) 
For illegally removing two trees, the statutory amount shall be $2,500 plus $2,000.
(3) 
For illegally removing three or more trees, the statutory amount shall be up to $3,000 per tree for each tree removed, plus $4,500.
(4) 
The court may fine up to, but not more than, $50,000 in the aggregate for violation(s) at any one property, based on the number of trees illegally removed.
C. 
If a tree company removes the trees on the owner’s behalf, without filing for a permit, then the tree company shall also be subject to the same fine.