[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton 6-8-1970 as Secs. 17-1 to 17-10 of the Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall do or cause to be done any of the following acts affecting the trees, shrubbery or ornamental material planted or growing naturally within the highways or public places under the jurisdiction of the Town, except with a written permit first obtained from the Director of Public Works:
Cut, trim, break, disturb the roots of, or spray with chemicals any living tree or shrub or injure, misuse or remove any structure or device placed to support or protect any tree or shrub.
Plant or remove any living tree or shrub or climb, with spikes, any living tree or shrub.
Fasten any rope, wire, electrical attachments, sign or other device to a tree or shrub or to any guard about such tree or shrub.
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree or shrub to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree or shrub.
Pile any building materials or make any mortar or cement within six feet of a tree or shrub.
Change the grade of the soil within the limits of the lateral spread of the branches of any such tree.
Every person having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current along a public highway shall, at all times, guard all trees through which or near which such wire passes against any injury from the wire or cable or from the electric current carried by it. The device or means used shall in every case be subject to approval by the Director of Public Works.
No person shall place any guy wire, brace or other device on any such tree in such a manner as to injure it.
No person shall hitch or fasten an animal to any tree or shrub upon a public highway or to any guard or support provided for the same or permit an animal to bite or otherwise injure any tree or shrub.
No person shall permit any brine, gas or injurious chemical or liquid to come in contact with the stump or roots of any tree or shrub upon a public highway.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with any lawful work undertaken by the Director of Public Works.
Removal required; notice. In case any tree or shrub or any part thereof along the public highway shall become dangerous to the public safety, the owner of the property in front of which such tree or shrub is located shall remove the same, or the required part thereof, forthwith upon service of a written directive to that effect from the Director of Public Works or his designee. The notice shall be sufficient if sent to the owner by regular and certified mail.
[Amended 10-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-19]
Standard established. The owner or tenant of any lands lying within the Town shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of two highways cut to a height of not more than two and a half feet. This shall not require the cutting down of any trees where there is vision through the trees at a height of between two and a half feet and eight feet from the ground.
Removal by Town. If the owner fails to remove the tree or shrub or portion thereof within two weeks after service of written notice to do so, the work shall be performed by the Town under the supervision of the Director of Public Works, who shall certify the cost thereof to the Council.
Costs charged against land; lien established. Upon receipt of the certified costs, the Council shall examine same and, if found correct, shall cause the costs to be charged against the lands or, if the Council deems the costs to be excessive, shall cause the reasonable cost thereof to be charged against the lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as other taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes.
If any person continues to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, after being duly notified of such violation, or neglects or refuses to comply with any lawful order of the Director of Public Works, the failure to comply with a second or each of any subsequent notifications or orders shall be construed as an additional violation of this chapter, and each such additional offense shall subject the offending party, upon conviction, to the same penalty as provided for the first offense.
The Town will assume the responsibility for the maintenance of the trees along the streets of the central business district. The "central business district" is defined as East Clinton Street from Moran Street to Water Street; Spring Street from Union Place to Water Street, excluding the county park; and Main Street from Park Place to Spring Street, excluding the park. Maintenance costs will not be charged directly to the adjoining central business district property owners, but will be borne by the Town.