[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Williston Park 11-17-1986 by L.L. No. 13-1986 (Ch. 43 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PARK TREE
- Any tree, shrub, bush or other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names and all areas owned by the village or to which the public has free access as a park.
- STREET TREE
- Any tree on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the village.
- SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
- Any cutting, pruning, elevating or other alteration of the habit of a tree which impairs or endangers the life of such tree or destroys its natural symmetry, and shall include, but is not limited to, heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches ("topping").
- Any woody plant which is eight inches or more in diameter at a height of three feet above the base of the trunk, including its root system and the environment within the area of it outermost branches.
There is hereby created and established for the Village of Williston Park a Village Tree Committee which shall act as an advisory body to the Board of Trustees with respect to the implementation of the provisions of this chapter. Members of the Tree Committee shall be appointed to a one-year term by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. In the event that a separate Tree Committee is not appointed, the members of the Environmental Committee of the Village of Williston Park shall constitute the Tree Committee. Members of the Tree Committee shall serve without compensation.
Duties and responsibilities. It shall be the responsibility of the Tree Committee to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas of the village. Such plan shall be presented annually to the Board of Trustees and, upon its acceptance and approval, shall constitute the official comprehensive tree plan of the Village of Williston Park. The Tree Committee, when requested by the Board of Trustees, shall also consider and investigate any special matter or question coming within its scope of work for findings, report and recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Procedure. The Tree Committee shall choose its own officers and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Committee shall meet on a monthly basis or at such other times as the Committee shall deem appropriate for the transaction of its affairs.
No person, firm, association or corporation shall plant any tree between the property line and curbline of any street or highway within the village without obtaining a permit from the Village Clerk. The application for a permit shall state the size, species, spacing and location of the tree to be planted, which items must meet the specifications on file with the Department of Public Works. The Village Clerk may not issue a permit unless the application has been reviewed and approved by the Supervisor of Public Works. Such tree specifications shall be reviewed and determined annually by the Board of Trustees after consideration and review of the findings, report and recommendations of the Tree Committee. Any tree planted pursuant to this section shall become the property of the village.
No street tree shall be planted closer than 25 feet to any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet to any fireplug.
No street tree shall be planted over or within five lateral feet of any underground waterline, sewer line, transmission line or other utility.
The village shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The village may also remove or cause or order to be removed any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, waterlines or other public improvements or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. This section shall not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners provided that a license is obtained in accordance with § 212-3 of this chapter.
No person, firm, association or corporation shall in any way injure, destroy, mutilate, top or substantially alter the habit of any street tree or park tree or affix to such tree any signs, notices or other matter with nails, tacks, staples or otherwise that would cause injury, damage or destruction to the tree.
Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this chapter at the determination of the Supervisor of Public Works.
It shall be the responsibility of the owners of trees on private property to prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Said owners shall also remove or cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees or broken or decayed limbs when such trees or limbs constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the village. The pruning or removal of trees must be performed by the owner, at such owner's expense, within 30 days of written notification from the Supervisor of Public Works.
All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with any officer, employee or agent of the village while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any street or park trees.
No person, firm, association or corporation shall prune, remove or substantially alter any street or park tree without obtaining a permit from the Village Clerk, subject to the approval of the Supervisor of Public Works. The permit application must state the purpose of the alteration or removal, the size, species and location of the tree and the name of the person who will prune, alter or remove the tree. Such permit may provide that the applicant must replace a removed tree with an approved species within 12 months after its removal.
Before any permit is issued, the applicant shall file with the Village Clerk evidence of the existence of a liability insurance policy in the minimum amounts of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 for personal injury and $500,000 for property damage naming the Village of Williston Park as an additional insured party.
Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the issuance of a permit to an abutting property owner for the removal of one live street tree, at his or her own expense, if such tree lies within 50 feet of another live street tree, provided that both trees are located in the area between the sidewalk and curb which adjoins the property of such applicant, the contractor or service who or which will remove the tree is acceptable to the Supervisor of Public Works and the application fee is paid and the required insurance is obtained.