[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lewisburg 12-14-1977 by Ord. No. 77-18. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings hereby ascribed to them, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough Lewisburg.
- Any permit in writing as issued by the Secretary of the Shade Tree Commission.
- Any natural person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation.
- PUBLIC HIGHWAY
- The highways, streets, sidewalks, and alleys open to the public within the Borough of Lewisburg.
- The Borough Secretary, in her capacity as Secretary of the Shade Tree Commission.
- SHADE TREE
- Any tree, shrub, or other woody plant on any public highway in the Borough or that part of any tree, shrub, or other woody plant which extends within the lines of any public highway.
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural, and the masculine shall include the feminine.
[Amended 11-16-2004 by Ord. No. 960]
A Shade Tree Commission is hereby established in and for the Borough of Lewisburg. The Commission shall be composed of five members who shall be residents of the Borough, shall be appointed by Borough Council to staggered terms so that one term expires every year, and shall serve without compensation. Borough Council shall appoint one member for a term of one year, one member for a term of two years, one member for a term of three years, one member for a term of four years and one member for a term of five years. On the expiration of the term of any commissioner, a successor shall be appointed by Borough Council to serve for a term of five years. Vacancies in the office of commissioner shall be filled by Borough Council for the unexpired term.
The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in the Borough and is authorized to plant, remove, maintain, and protect shade trees in or along the public highways. In addition, the Commission shall perform all the duties and may exercise all of the powers conferred by law upon Borough Shade Tree Commissions as set forth in the Act of 1966, Feb. 1, P.L. (1965) __, No. 581 (P.S. § 47721 et seq.).
The Commission shall annually report in full to the Borough Council its transactions and expenses for the last fiscal year of the Borough.
Whenever the Commission proposes to plant, transplant, or remove shade trees in or along any public highway, notice of the time and place of the meeting at which such work is to be considered shall be given in one newspaper of general circulation in the Borough once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the time of the meeting. The notice shall specify in detail the public highways or portions thereof in or along which shade trees are proposed to be so planted, replanted, or removed.
[Amended 8-16-1978 by Ord. No. 78-13]
The cost of planting, transplanting, or removing any shade tree in and along the public highways, of the necessary and suitable guards, curbing, or grading for the protection thereof, and of the replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the execution of such work shall be paid by the owner of the real estate abutting which the work is done. The amount each owner is to pay shall be ascertained and certified by the Commission to the Borough Council and to the Borough Treasurer. The cost and expenses of caring for such trees after having been planted shall be paid by the Borough. The needed amount for such care shall each year be certified by the Commission to the Borough Council and shall be drawn against, as required by the Commission, in the same manner as money appropriated for Borough purposes.
[Amended 1-20-1987 by Ord. No. 824]
The Commission may upon notice require the owners of real estate to cut and remove diseased shade trees located upon or along their property, which threaten to injure or destroy persons, property, or other shade trees in the Borough. The notice shall give the owner at least 20 days in which to comply, and shall include instructions on how the shade tree is to be cut and removed. The cost of cutting and removing any dead or diseased shade tree shall be borne by the owner of the real estate. Upon failure or refusal of any such owner to comply with such notice, the Commission may cause the work to be done by the Borough and levy and collect the cost thereof from the owner.
[Amended 11-21-2000 by Ord. No. 923]
All shade trees planted in and along any of the public highways shall be set so as to form as nearly as possible a straight and uniform line with the other shade trees growing upon the same highway. The said shade trees shall be planted or set from 25 feet to 30 feet apart where practicable and shall be sound, straight and symmetrical. It is recommended that shade trees of two inches caliper free of defect, wounds, disease and insect infestation be planted, that these trees not have limbs lower than five feet and that they have a straight trunk to at least eight feet at the time of planting. All shade trees shall be of the species approved for planting in the Borough by the Commission for that site. Where practicable, every such tree shall be planted in a pit four feet square filled with good topsoil otherwise enriched and shall have an adequate open space of ground outside the trunk of said tree.
[Amended 8-16-1978 by Ord. No. 78-13; 1-20-1987 by Ord. No. 824; 11-21-2000 by Ord. No. 923]
All shade trees shall be kept trimmed by the owner of the real estate abutting the public highway in or along which the shade tree is located:
So as not to interfere with the proper lighting of public highways by street lights or interfere with traffic control devices.
So that the minimum clearance between any overhanging portion thereof shall be 15 feet above any public highway and nine feet above all sidewalks; provided, that the Commission shall have the authority to designate a higher clearance on any public highway where heavy traffic or other conditions make it expedient.
So as to eliminate or avoid any real or potential hazard to persons or property in, upon or along the public highway from falling dead or diseased branches or portions thereof.
Trimming shall be done according to the American National Standards Institute ANSI A3000 Pruning Standards 1995, a copy of which shall be available in the Borough Office. No topping or heading cuts shall be made and nor more than 1/4 of the foliage on a shade tree shall be removed each year.
In connection with any construction or the performance of any work whatsoever in the Borough in the vicinity of any shade tree, before any work shall be commenced, guards shall be placed at all shade trees which might be affected by such work so as to effectually prevent injury to them.
No person shall pour salt, oil, or any other substance or place any material in the Borough in such a manner that might result in injury to any shade tree.
Every person having any wire charged with electricity running in, on, along, or through a public highway shall securely fasten such wire or place an adequate shield thereon, so that such wire shall not come into contact with any shade tree injuring it.
Whenever, in order to plant, remove, maintain, or protect shade trees in or along any public highway or having branches extending over any public highway, it shall be deemed necessary to remove or cut off any wire running in, on, along, or through such public highway, the owner of such wire shall temporarily remove the same or cut off the flow of current therefrom within 24 hours after service of written notice from the Commission to do so.
No person shall without first having obtained a permit therefore:
Plant any shade tree in or along any public highway or which extends over or within the lines of any public highway, such permit to designate where such tree is to be planted. The Commission may refuse a permit to plant any species of tree which in its opinion is not suited to the location.
Cut down, break, climb with spurs, injure in any manner or remove any shade tree; or cut or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree; or place any rope, guy wire, cable, sign, poster, or any other fixture on any shade tree or guard for any shade tree; or injure, misuse, or remove any device placed to protect any shade tree except in case of immediate necessity for the protection of life and property.
Place or maintain any cement or nonporous substance or material which shall impede the passage of water and air to the roots of any shade tree.
Attach any electric wire, insulator, or any device for the holding of an electric wire to any shade tree.
The application for any permit required under this chapter shall be made in writing to the Secretary. It shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform thereunder and shall state the exact location and the species of any tree affected. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to submit any such application promptly to the Commission for approval or disapproval. The permit shall be effective for such length of time as the Commission shall in each case determine, and such time shall be indicated on the permit. Any such permit may be revoked at any time upon proof satisfactory to the Commission that any of the terms or conditions upon which such permit was issued are or have been violated. The Commission, in its discretion, may, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit, require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Commission or to deposit security satisfactory to it to guarantee that the applicant will comply with the terms and conditions upon which such permit is issued.
[Amended 4-17-2012 by Ord. No. 1014]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Commission in conjunction with the Mayor and the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department of the Borough.
[Amended 10-20-1987 by Ord. No. 833]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300; and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. Every day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.