Borough of Brooklawn, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Brooklawn as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 60.
[Adopted 7-20-2009 by Ord. No. 8-09]
The regulation, planting, care and control of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery upon and in the streets, highways, public places and parks and parkways of the Borough of Brooklawn except state highways, unless the Department of Transportation shall consent thereto and except county highways, parks and parkways, if a county Shade Tree Commission is operative and gives consent to, shall be exercised by and under the authority of Brooklawn Borough Shade Tree Commission, which is hereby created. The Commission shall consist of five members and may include not more than two alternate members. The members and alternate members shall be appointed by the Mayor, and shall be residents of the Borough of Brooklawn and shall serve without compensation.
A. 
The first Commissioners shall be appointed within 60 days after the effective date of this article, and their terms of office shall commence upon the date of their appointment and shall be for the respective periods, for five members, of one, two, three, four, and five years. The terms of each appointee shall be designated in his appointment. All subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for the full term of five years, to take effect on January 1, next succeeding such appointment. In the event that the membership of any Commission is increased, the new members shall be appointed in such manner that the terms shall expire in accordance with the foregoing.
B. 
If the article provides for the appointment of two alternate members, the terms of each alternate member shall be five years commencing on January 1 of the year of appointment; provided, however, that in the event two alternate members are appointed the initial term of alternate number one shall be five years, and the initial term of alternate number two shall be four years.
C. 
An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member.
The Commission shall organize within 30 days after the appointment of its total membership for the remainder of the then calendar year, and thereafter annually by the election of one of its members as Chairman, and the appointment of a Secretary, who need not be a member. The salary of the Secretary, who may be compensated even if a member of the Commission, shall be fixed by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn.
Any vacancy occurring by reason of the death, resignation or removal of any Commissioner shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Mayor or other chief executive of the Borough of Brooklawn.
The Shade Tree Commission organized under this article shall have power to:
A. 
Exercise full and exclusive control over the regulation, planting and care of both shade and ornamental trees, and shrubbery now located, or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway and park or parkway, except such as are excluded pursuant to § 119-1 of this article, including the planting, trimming, spraying, care and protection thereof;
B. 
Regulate and control the use of the ground surrounding the shade and ornamental trees, and shrubbery, so far as may be necessary for their proper growth, care and protection;
C. 
Move or require the removal of any tree, or part thereof, dangerous to public safety;
D. 
Make, alter, amend and repeal, in the manner prescribed for the passage, alteration, amendment and repeal of the ordinances by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn any and all ordinances necessary or proper for carrying out the provisions hereof;
E. 
Administer treatment to, or remove, any tree situated upon private property which is believed to harbor a disease of insects readily communicable to neighboring healthy trees in the care of the Borough of Brooklawn and enter upon private property for that purpose, with the consent of the owner thereof, provided the suspected condition is first confirmed by certificate issued by or on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
F. 
Encourage arboriculture.
A. 
Except as hereinafter provided, the initial cost of all trees planted by the Commission, the cost of planting the same, the cost of the posts and boxes or guards used for the protection thereof, and the cost of the removal of any tree or part thereof dangerous to public safety shall, if the Commission shall so determine, in accordance with uniform rules and regulations promulgated for this purpose, be a charge upon the real estate in front of which such tree or trees shall be planted or removed as an improvement thereof. Such cost, if it is so determined that it is to be paid by the owner, shall, unless paid directly to the Commission, be certified by it to the collector of taxes of the Borough of Brooklawn, shall thereupon become and be a lien upon said real estate, shall be included in the next tax bill rendered to the owner or owners thereof, and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes against that property.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) 
Planting to replace a tree or trees theretofore planted by the Commission; and
(2) 
A planting in connection with Arbor Day exercises or other educational demonstration.
In every case where the property of an abutting owner will be chargeable with the cost of the planting of any shade tree or trees, the Commission shall give notice of the meeting at which it is proposed to consider said planting by publishing the notice at least once, not less than 20 days before the meeting, in a newspaper circulating in the Borough of Brooklawn, or by personal service of a copy of the notice upon the abutting owner at least 10 days before the meeting. The notice shall specify the street, streets, or portions thereof, on which such planting is proposed and require all persons who may object thereto to present their objections at the office of the Commission at or before the meeting. Before final action shall be taken, all objections so filed shall be considered. The Commission shall give reasonable notice of its intention to remove, or cause the removal of a tree, or part of a tree, dangerous to public safety, unless public safety requires immediate removal in which case no notice shall be necessary.
No statute giving any person or state, county or municipal board, body or official power or authority to lay any sidewalk along, or to open, construct, curb or pave any street, or to do any similar act, shall be construed to permit or authorize any interference with or injury to a highway shade tree without the consent of the Shade Tree Commission within whose jurisdiction such tree shall be located. In all cases such Commission shall reasonably cooperate with such person, board, body or official for the general public good. Nothing contained in this article shall be held to take away or diminish any of the powers or authority of the Camden County Park Commission over the trees or shrubbery in any Camden County park or parkway within its jurisdiction, or to give any other commission or board any power or authority with respect to such trees or shrubbery.
A. 
During the month of December in each year, the Shade Tree Commission shall certify to the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn the estimated sum necessary for the proper conduct of its work during the ensuing fiscal year, which shall include the sums estimated to be expended for such of the following items as it is anticipated expenditure will be made for; namely,
(1) 
Payment of wages and salaries of employees;
(2) 
Expenses of Commission members in discharging official duties, including expenses incident to attendance at professional meetings;
(3) 
Purchase of trees and shrubbery; and
(4) 
Purchase of necessary equipment and materials and the cost of services for the prudent promotion of the work.
B. 
The Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn shall annually appropriate such sum as it may deem necessary for said purposes.
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Brooklawn, or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for fines and penalties as set forth in § 1-15 of the Code of the Borough of Brooklawn, at the discretion of the Court. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this article.
B. 
A copy of any ordinance of the Commission, certified to under the hand of its secretary or chairman, shall be received in any court of this state as full and legal proof of the existence of the ordinance, and that all requirements of law in relation to the ordaining, publishing and making of the same, so as to make it legal and binding, have been complied with, unless the contrary be shown.
C. 
In addition to the penalties authorized by Subsection A of this section, the Commission may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of a municipal ordinance to pay a replacement assessment to the Borough of Brooklawn. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree as determined by the appraisal of a trained forester or certified tree expert retained by the Commission for that purpose. In lieu of an appraisal, the Commission may adopt a formula and schedule based upon the number of square inches contained in a cross section of the trunk of the tree multiplied by a predetermined value per square inch, not to exceed $27 per square inch. The square-inch cross section shall be calculated from the diameter at breast height and, if there is a multiple-stem tree, then each trunk shall be measured, and an average shall be determined for the tree. For the purposes of this section, "diameter at breast height" shall mean the diameter of the tree taken at a point 4 1/2 feet above ground level. The Commission shall modify the value of the tree upon its species variety, location and its condition at the time of removal or destruction.
D. 
Any public utility or cable television company that clears, moves, cuts, or destroys any trees, shrubs, or plants for the purpose of erecting, installing, moving, removing, altering or maintaining any structures or fixtures necessary for the supply of electric light, heat or power, communication, or cable television services upon any lands in which it has acquired an easement or right-of-way shall not be subject to any penalty imposed by a Commission pursuant to Subsections A or B of this section. This subsection shall not exempt any public utility or cable television company from any penalty or replacement assessment imposed for negligent actions.
All moneys collected, either as fines or penalties, for any violation of a rule or regulation of a Shade Tree Commission enacted by ordinance, or as a charge against real estate, under any provision of this article shall be forthwith paid over to the custodian of the municipal funds.
The Shade Tree Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such ordinances as may be necessary, pursuant to statute, and for the proper interpretation, administration and enforcement of this article, provided that such ordinances do not conflict with this article and conform to the general standards prescribed by this article.
All regulations adopted by the Shade Tree Commission shall be filed with the municipal clerk for inspection by the public during regular business hours.
This article has been adopted by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn pursuant to the authority vested in this municipality under Title 40, Chapter 64, Sections 1 through 14, as amended by Public Laws of New Jersey 1958, Chapter 42.
[Adopted 7-20-2009 by Ord. No. 9-09]
The intent of this article is to encourage the protection of the maximum number of healthy trees within the tree protection zone throughout the Borough, regardless of location. Protection of the Borough's tree cover mitigates air and water pollution, reduces energy consumption and preserves the overall quality of life for the residents of Brooklawn. The intent is neither punitive nor intended to cause hardship to any individual, private or public company who has taken reasonable care and diligence to protect the trees within the Borough of Brooklawn.
As used herein, the following terms have the following meanings:
CROWN
The branches and foliage of a tree; the upper portion of the tree.
CTE
Certified tree expert licensed by the State of New Jersey.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
A person registered as a landscape architect by the State of New Jersey.
QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
A person who has a B.S. degree from a four-year school of forestry accredited by the Society of American Forests.
PERSON
Any individual, person, association, company, corporation, organization or entity of any kind.
TREE
Any woody perennial plant usually having one main stem or trunk, a definitely-formed crown and growing to a height of 10 feet or more.
TREE DIAMETER
The width of a tree measured 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE
Any publicly owned or publicly maintained property, sidewalk portion of the street right-of-way, utility easement or parking area.
TREE REMOVAL
Cut, break, climb with spikes, disturb the roots of or otherwise injure, or spray with herbicides which intend to damage, injure or kill or otherwise remove any living tree.
UNIMPROVED LOT
Any clearly defined piece of land, upon which no structure affixed to the land with a roof and intended for shelter, housing or enclosure has been constructed.
A. 
No person, directly or indirectly, shall, without first obtaining a permit as herein provided, remove or relocate to another site any tree within a protection zone.
B. 
No person shall plant any tree within the street right-of-way without first receiving an approval by the Shade Tree Commission as to species and location.
A. 
All persons desiring to remove, replace, relocate or otherwise destroy a tree in the tree protection zone and all applicants for a building permit, if issued, or in the case of a site plan application or subdivision application, shall submit a plan to the construction office before permits are issued or to the Planning Board as part of the site plan or subdivision application, shall submit a plan showing location of all existing trees by species, size and condition, and:
(1) 
Tree to be removed and trees to be maintained;
(2) 
Specifications for tree removal and for protection of existing trees during construction; and
(3) 
Grade changes or other work adjacent to the tree which could adversely affect the health of the tree.
B. 
All applications for tree removal or relocation within the tree protection zone shall be immediately referred to the Shade Tree Commission for its recommendation to the approving body or officer having jurisdiction. Failure on the part of the Shade Tree Commission to provide a recommendation within 30 days of the filing of the application, provided that the Shade Tree Commission receives the application at least 10 days in advance of a regularly scheduled meeting, shall be deemed a favorable recommendation by default.
All persons shall exercise care to protect trees from damage during construction without limitation. The following procedures shall be observed in order to protect remaining trees:
A. 
Protection from mechanical injury.
(1) 
Trees shall not be used for roping, cables, signs or fencing. Nails, staples and spikes shall not be driven into trees.
(2) 
Every person having control over wire for transmission of electric current or fiber optic cables along public highways shall at all times guard all trees through which or near which wire passes against injury from wire or from electrical current.
(3) 
Every person having control over street and sewer construction or maintenance shall at all times protect trees, trunks and root systems from damage as indicated herein.
A. 
Where any person finds it impossible to retain existing trees in the protection zone or a construction zone, or any tree having a diameter of greater than 12 inches, due to cutting, filling or other construction activity, the person shall mitigate the loss by replanting one inch of new tree diameter for every three inches of existing tree diameter removed. New trees shall have a minimum diameter of two inches. Tree planting stock shall be selected in accordance with the American Nurserymen's Association Standards. The Shade Tree Commission shall be consulted before any trees are planted.
B. 
No net loss. If tree loss cannot be mitigated upon the development site, new trees shall be planted within the Borough at the recommendation of the Shade Tree Commission to effect a no net loss of forest cover within the Borough of Brooklawn.
C. 
Costs of removal. The costs of removal for any tree removed pursuant to this section shall be the actual cost for the removal of the tree plus the cost incurred in the grinding of the stump, plus $100 per diameter inch of the removed tree.
D. 
All planting shall be done in accordance with the Brooklawn Shade Tree Commission guidelines and acceptable arboricultural practices.
Exceptions from this article shall be:
A. 
Any emergency circumstance where the Borough Arborist/CTE determines that the removal of a tree is necessary for protection of health, safety or property. Such determination is to be in writing and placed on file with the Shade Tree Commission.
B. 
Any tree cut or removed in accordance with a management plan filed with and approved by the New Jersey State Forester and Mayor and Council of the Borough of Brooklawn.
C. 
Any tree to be removed near utility lines, provided that the reason for the tree removal is related to public safety.
D. 
Ordinary tree maintenance or trimming where related to health, safety or property of the Borough or the adjoining landowner.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Brooklawn, or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for the fines and penalties as set forth in § 1-15 of the Code of the Borough of Brooklawn. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this article.
No provision of this article shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of action or legal remedy therefrom for any violation of this article.