[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Soil removal — See Ch. 338.
[Adopted as § 3-6 of the 1971 Revised General Ordinances]
[Amended 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
No owner of property in the Township of Stillwater shall cut or permit the cutting of trees for pulpwood, sawlogs or other commercial wood products on sites of three acres or more, except those which have been planted for sale as without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Building Subcode Official, upon authorization by the Township Committee in accordance with the provisions of this article.
When the cutting as referred to in § 382-1 is incidental to landscaping, preparing a site for building construction or the construction of a pond or ponds, or to the clearing of land for agricultural purposes, including reforestation or planting, weeding or thinning of trees in accordance with a plan prepared under supervision of the State Forester or other graduate forester active in the field of forest land and management, a permit for the cutting of trees shall not be required.
The Township Committee shall not consider granting a permit for the cutting, as referred to in § 382-1 hereof, until the owner of the premises files a written application for such permit, in septuplicate, which shall include the following information and be accompanied by the permit fee herein specified:
The name and address of the owner.
[Amended 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
Proof of ownership of the subject premises.
Proof of the payment of current taxes on the premises.
A detailed cutting plan prepared under the supervision of the State Forester or other graduate forester and certification that all trees to be cut have been properly marked. If the cutting plan is prepared by a forester who is not employed by the State of New Jersey, then a state-employed forester shall certify that he has reviewed and approved the plan.
The detailed cutting plan shall show, among other things, the area to be logged, existing timber, species and sizes, number of trees to be cut or removed and conservation measures to be followed.
The block and lot numbers of the premises, as shown on the Township Tax Map, upon which the cutting is to take place.
The name and credentials of the forester who prepared the detailed cutting plan, which plan shall be filed with the Construction Official at the time of the permit application.
Signature of the owner.
[Amended 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
The applicant shall pay a permit fee of $10 to cover the cost of processing the application and the further sum of $50 to cover the cost of inspections by the enforcing official. Should more than five inspections be necessary, the permittee shall pay an additional fee of $10 for each such additional inspection.
An undertaking by the owner or owners of the property that all logging operations shall be performed in accordance with all requirements and provisions of this article and guaranteeing reimbursement to the Township for moneys expended to repair damage done to any public road, highway, place or property and/or for any and all costs and expenses, including legal expense, incurred by the Township arising out of the violation of any provisions of this article, including prosecutions thereunder against the said owner or owners or his or their agents, servants or employees, which undertaking shall be in form for recording in the Sussex County Clerk's office and shall be secured as a lien against the applicant's property.
[Added 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
Any permit issued by the Construction Official upon authorization of the Township Committee shall be valid only so long as the cutting operation conforms to the approved plan and to the following supplementary conditions:
The removal of trees shall not be permitted from the Master Plan road right-of-way unless trees are dead or diseased or endanger life or property or a letter of approval is obtained from the Township Committee or County Engineer.
Cutting of trees within 85 feet of the center of the road shall be done in such a manner that it neither destroys adjacent trees nor deposits limbs, logs or branches or uprooted stumps within 85 feet of the center of the road.
No branches, logs, limbs, uprooted stumps or other waste shall be left in any stream or wetland or within 25 feet of such stream or wetland.
Streams or wetlands shall not be filled temporarily with any material which obstructs water flow, contaminates the water or cannot be removed when cutting operations are complete.
Unless proven necessary, staging areas shall not be closer than 150 feet to any public road center. "Necessary" shall mean that no other area is available due to topography, soil conditions or unfavorable effect on the woodlot as certified by the consulting forester. Loading of trucks shall be permitted at the roadside, and a loading area shall be constructed off the roadway where possible. After the cutting operation is complete, any road modifications and changes in the right-of-way shall be restored.
No trees less than 12 inches in diameter measured 3 1/2 feet from the ground shall be cut unless dead, diseased or deemed to be a species that is detrimental to the woodlot, as certified by the consulting forester or as provided for in § 382-2 above. This provides for clear-cutting where required.
Every tree to be cut shall be marked so that the stump can be identified after removal of the log.
Unmarked trees accidentally or necessarily cut shall be left in the woodlot until the owner has been paid for such tree or trees.
No trees shall be left hanging in the limbs of a standing tree.
Any damage to the soil or alterations to streams or wetlands shall be repaired to the satisfaction of the Construction Official or municipal officer in charge, who may consult experts in soil or water resources with the costs to be charged to the log contractor.
A copy of the above supplemental regulations shall be attached to the permit when issued, and the Building Subcode Official shall, at time of delivery of the permit, explain such regulations to the owner or his agent and, in addition, shall furnish the owner or his agent with a copy of Article II of this chapter.
[Added 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
Permits issued pursuant to this article shall not be transferable.
[Added 7-1-1980 by Ord. No. 80-13]
Upon satisfactory completion of the logging operation for which a permit is issued and certification by the Building Subcode Official to the Township Committee that all applicable rules, regulations and requirements of this article have been satisfactorily complied with, the Township Committee shall authorize the Mayor and Clerk to execute a proper cancellation of the undertaking submitted by the owner pursuant to § 382-3J.
The terms and provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Township Zoning Officer or such other official as may be designated from time to time by the Township Committee.
[Adopted as Ch. XV of the 1971 Revised General Ordinances]
The Township Committee does hereby decide and find that the indiscriminate, uncontrolled and excessive destruction, removal and cutting of trees upon lots and tracts of land within the Township results in creating increased municipal costs to control drainage, and further causes increased soil erosion, decreased fertility of soil, increased dust, which deteriorates property values, and further renders land unfit and unsuitable for its most appropriate use, with the result that there has been and will continue to be deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and general well being of the inhabitants of the Township.
It is the purpose of this article to control soil erosion and sediment damages and related environmental damage by requiring adequate provisions for surface water retention and drainage and for the protection of exposed soil surfaces in order to promote the safety, public health, convenience and general welfare of the community. The standards and procedures established in this article are intended to furnish guidelines for the use of Township boards, committees and commissions in evaluating tree removal and planting plans prior to issuing approval for subdivision, and other land development.
No person shall cut or remove any tree upon any land within the Township, unless such removal accomplishes a useful purpose and is done in accordance with regulations and provisions of this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- APPROVED PLAN
- A plan of tree removal or planting approved by the Planning Board, the Building Inspector or other Township agency, as provided for in this article.
- COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
- Schools, hospitals, churches, clubs, lodges, or any such building used by any organized group or by the public generally.
- PREFERRED TREE LIST
- A list of trees recommended by tree specialists as best adapted to the climate, soil and topography of the Township, and adopted by resolution of the Township Committee. This list shall be kept on file for the use and guidance of persons presenting plans for tree planting.
- Any woody perennial plant having a diameter greater than four inches, measured at a point 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
- WOODED AREA
- Any area larger than one-half acre supporting sufficient trees to cause 75% of the ground to be directly under canopies of trees.
A tree removal and planting plan shall be filed with the Planning Board with every application for a minor or major subdivision, application for resubdivision, site plan review and approval, or prior to any other development requiring tree removal or planting, except as otherwise provided in § 382-11 or Subsection B of this section. Where no tree removal or planting is planned, this information shall be submitted.
Where a lot or tract is proposed to be developed for use as a single family residence and the owner has not received an approved plan or the approved plan has been revised, a plan may be submitted to and approved by the Building Inspector.
A plan for tree removal and replanting must be approved as part of every soil removal and landfill operation application under Chapter 338, Soil Removal, of the Code of the Township of Stillwater.
No building permit shall be issued for the construction of any residential, commercial, industrial, recreational or community buildings or accessory buildings unless and until the developer, builder or owner files with the Building Inspector tree removal or planting plan, and obtains approval thereof or submits a plan previously approved by the Planning Board.
If building permits are sought on land which has been cleared for agricultural purposes after January 1, 1974, in accordance with § 382-11I, a planting plan must be submitted to and approved by the Planning Board.
No occupancy permit shall be issued unless tree removal has been in accordance with the approved plan and all trees required to be planted have been planted in accordance with the approved plan or a bond guaranteeing such planting has been posted with the Township Clerk. The bond shall be in the principal sum of $100 per tree involved.
Under this chapter, the following trees may be removed without filed plan:
Any tree located on a tract of land 60,000 square feet or less in size, on which a single family dwelling has been erected and for which a valid occupancy permit has been issued, provided that the tree removal is authorized in writing by the owner of such property.
Any tree as a part of a nursery, garden, orchard or Christmas tree farm, provided that the subject area is being actively used commercially and is not a component part of a subdivision or development for building purposes.
Trees removed commercially, provided a license has been issued pursuant to Article I of this chapter.
Trees managed by the Shade Tree Commission, Conservation Commission or Public Park Commission.
Any live tree cut for firewood or lumber for personal use by the owner or his tenant occupying the premises.
Any dead or diseased tree, or any tree that endangers life or property.
Trees cut according to a plan developed by State or Federal Forestry Departments, designed for weeding, thinning, planting or other tree culture, betterment of wooded areas, provided that a letter so stating is filed with the Building Inspector and is signed by the forestry specialist developing the plan.
Trees removed in the development of ponds or lakes when supervised by the Soil Conservation Service or the Federal or State Forestry Service, provided that a letter so stating is filed with the Building Inspector signed by the appropriate supervising agency.
Trees removed for agricultural or silvicultural development by way of an approved Woodland Management Plan shall be permitted, provided that a letter is filed with the Building Inspector and Zoning Officer stating that the land involved is suited for the aforementioned use and is signed by the Sussex County Agricultural Agent.
[Amended 4-15-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-7]
Every plan submitted for approval shall be in the form of a map and exhibits showing:
Tax Map lot and block number.
Area of tract.
Location of trees or wooded area.
Number of trees or percent of wooded area.
General slope/topography taken from Stillwater Slope Map.
Location of streams and wetlands.
Map of locations and surrounding properties showing wooded areas.
A list of trees to be planted which shall be of a species shown on the preferred tree list.
Tree removal plan and tree planting plan in relation to principal and accessory buildings, roads and driveways, parking lots, garden areas, etc., showing also relation to survey stakes.
Location of buildings.
Location of roads, driveways, parking lots, recreation areas, garden areas.
Trees on a proposed building site or within 30 feet around a building site may be removed.
Trees may be removed where the proposed paved portion of a parking area is planned. In off-street parking areas other than for a single residential dwelling, islands of trees must be left in such a manner that there is a tree every 200 feet or less in any direction. No paving of any impervious nature shall be placed around the base of the trunk of the tree within ten feet, and the grade shall be such that drainage of rainwater will keep the root area watered without pooling or exceeding the requirements of the species. Excess water shall be admitted to dry wells or storm sewers on the parking lot or drained by acceptable means.
Trees may be removed on private rights of ways and driveways 15 feet each side of the planned paved area. Alignment of the driveways should be planned to save as many trees as possible.
Trees shall not be removed from an area within 100 feet of the edge of a stream or from within 100 feet of a wetland or marsh unless the tree removal falls under those trees classified in § 382-11D, F, G and H. This applies also to areas adjacent to seasonal streams controlled by critical area restrictions of the zoning provisions of Chapter 240, Land Development.
If no other area than a wooded area or area with trees can be found to accommodate the sewage system and field meeting the approval of the sanitary inspector, necessary tree removal shall be permitted.
Where fill is required around trees, the tree must be protected by an air well six feet in diameter or as needed around the trunk which will prevent the intrusion of soil. The top of the well must extend six inches above the graded level. If the tree is of a species that will eventually die due to root disturbance or change in drainage, or the owner prefers to remove the tree, it may be removed and replaced with another tree from the preferred list in another or the same area after the fill has stabilized.
Any grading plan must protect standing trees from machine operation, soil storage, or material storage by distance or proper barrier. Any tree damaged must be replaced.
Any tree used in a required planting or to replace a damaged tree, must be 2 1/2 inches in diameter measured 4 1/2 feet from top of root level and should be selected from the preferred list. Other planned plantings require no specifications other than that good silvaculture should be considered.
A buffer zone of trees and shrubs at least 20 feet wide shall encircle three sides of an industrial or commercial area. The Planning Board shall require a larger buffer zone when noise, size or height of buildings or architectural design of the development requires an increase, and may require a buffer of trees on all four sides. Multiple dwelling areas shall be buffered as required to provide screening from sight and noise as well as providing good aesthetic value. Expert advice may be sought by the Planning Board or other agency if needed.
Cluster development, planned unit development, multiple dwelling development, commercial and industrial development shall consider the use of treeless areas if possible for building sites. If it is necessary to develop wooded areas or remove trees for proposed buildings sites in the case of such developments, the Planning Board or the Building Inspector may require tree planting in treeless areas if feasible.
Trees in the area between the street line and the setback line of the buildings shall be preserved to the extent possible.
Tree removal from any slope is prohibited if it will contribute, in the opinion of the Planning Board or the Building Inspector, to extra runoff of surface water onto adjoining property and erosion and silting, unless other means approved by the Township engineer are provided to prevent runoff and erosion.
No tree removal is permitted that will expose vacant land, bill boards, utility substations, transmission towers, warehouses, junk yards, landfill operations, and other similar structures or operations, except where trees are dead or diseased or endanger life or property. However, vacant land may be exposed if it is necessary to remove trees for building sites or sewerage sites and more esthetic values are established.
No healthy tree that is special by virtue of history, unusual size or age or of rare species should be removed.
No trees on public rights of way, parks or public areas are to be removed by private individuals or utilities except as approved by a commission, board or officer designated by the Township Committee.
Trees may be removed to clear for soil removal, landfill or mining operations provided the same amount of wooded area or the same number of trees are replaced. If the finished operation is planned to be used for other development, the replacement of trees shall be a part of the subdivision plan or a site plan submitted for approval by the Planning Board.
Before a tree removal permit is issued pursuant to this section, the Zoning Officer shall inspect the property and trees to be cut. Said inspection shall occur within 20 days of the filing of an application for tree removal. The applicant shall mark with a ribbon, paint or other identifying material the trees to be cut. No tree cutting permit shall issue except upon the recommendation of the Zoning Officer.
[Added 4-15-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-7]
The Building Inspector shall be the enforcing officer. He may, on his own initiative or on complaint of any individual, take action to assure compliance with this article. The Building Inspector has approval authority as herein provided and may request expert assistance.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of any officer, board or body made pursuant to the provisions of this article may within 10 days of the receipt of such decision appeal to the Township Committee. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal with the Township Clerk, which notice of appeal shall set forth with particularity the action appealed from. The Township Committee shall set a time for the hearing of the appeal and after hearing has been held thereon, may reverse, modify or affirm the decision appealed from.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for not to exceed 90 days or both, upon conviction, in the discretion of the judicial officer before whom such matter is heard.