Village of Saugerties, NY
Ulster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Saugerties 10-19-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 80.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 142.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 165.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 168.
Zoning — See Ch. 210.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Saugerties has determined that it is in the interest of the citizens of the Village of Saugerties to promote and protect their health, safety and welfare to adopt a Shade Tree Ordinance. The Board of Trustees recognizes the role that trees play in the Village ecosystem and that they contribute to the quality of air, reduce noise and visual pollution, help to moderate climatic extremes and conserve energy, and the Board further recognizes the role trees play in enhancing property values and the general quality of life in the Village. In order to establish a responsible program for planting, maintenance, husbandry, or removal of trees or shrubs in the Village, the Board of Trustees finds it necessary to establish a Shade Tree Commission and to adopt this chapter to provide an orderly framework to maximize the benefits afforded by trees within the Village.
[Amended 6-3-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HERITAGE TREES
Any tree, shrub, bush or woody vegetation that has unique value and is considered irreplaceable or in special need of protection. The major criteria for heritage tree designation are age, rarity, and size, as well as aesthetic, botanical, ecological, and historical value.
PARK TREES
Any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within public parks having names and in all areas owned by the Village to which the public has access.
PUBLIC TREES
Any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within a public street or right-of-way within the Village.
TREE LAWN
A narrow strip of grass, soil, dirt or any other space located between the roadway or curbline or shoulder and the boundary or right-of-way line of the road. Also referred to as a verge or sidewalk buffer.
[Amended 6-3-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Saugerties hereby establishes a Shade Tree Commission. The Shade Tree Commission's mission is to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees and woody plants within the limits of all Village streets, rights-of-way, or parks and make recommendations to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals when asked.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall consist of five Commissioners who shall be appointed by the Village Board and who shall serve without compensation. The Shade Tree Commission shall inventory all public trees within the Village and shall study, investigate and present occasional updates to the condition of all such public trees. The Commission shall periodically counsel the Village Board of Trustees on how best to manage the public trees and tree lawns and shall prepare and update a written plan for the public safety, care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees within the Village of Saugerties easements, streets and Village parks. This plan shall also include a provision for public education.
[Amended 6-3-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
A. 
The Village Shade Tree Commission, in appropriate cases and upon consultation with the property owner, may recommend to the Village Board the removal or pruning of a tree which stands upon private property but which threatens the safety or welfare of those who may use a Village street; provided, however, that no person shall remove any public tree on a Village street.
[Amended 9-3-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
(1) 
Upon recommendation to the Village Board that a tree threatens the safety or welfare of those who may use a Village street or park, the Village Building Inspector shall send notice to the property owner of the situation and seek consent to enter the property and assess and/or remove the dangerous situation.
(2) 
Notice to a property owner shall be sent via certified return receipt mail to the last known address of the property owner.
B. 
No person shall remove any public Village street tree or tree on Village property without the direct written consent of the Village Shade Tree Commission.
[Amended 9-3-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
C. 
The Shade Tree Commission may obtain the consultation services of a professional arborist, if necessary, to assess tree health and determine the best course of action. Prior to engaging the services of an arborist or any consultant, the Village Board must approve the hiring of said consultant in accordance with the Village's procurement policy.
(1) 
Upon removal of a public tree, the authorized party (the Village of Saugerties or a licensed, certified independent tree maintenance company) must also remove (grind) the tree stump. Stump removal (grinding) may be done only after consultation with Dig Safe to ensure that no hazardous underground cables or wires are located in the vicinity of the removal.
(2) 
All wood resulting from a tree removal must be gathered and disposed of appropriately; wood may not be left curbside. Property owners are permitted to use wood from tree removal occurring on their property as firewood. Any tree found to be infested with insects or disease is to be treated or burned in a secure location so as not to spread invasive insects or diseases.
(3) 
If a tree is removed without the consent of the Commission or the Village, the party removing the tree must reimburse the Village for the cost of a suitable replacement tree of at least a two-inch diameter.
(4) 
Utility wires not currently in use shall be promptly removed within 30 days of replacement or becoming defunct so as not to interfere with tree growth or create visual pollution within the streetscape. Such removal notice shall be sent by the Village Building Inspector via certified return receipt mail to the last known address of the property owner and to Central Hudson.
(5) 
Excess utility poles shall be promptly removed within 90 days of replacement by new poles so as not to interfere with tree growth or create visual pollution within the streetscape. Such removal notice shall be sent by the Village Building Inspector via certified return receipt mail to the last known address of the property owner and to Central Hudson.
D. 
Any time a public tree's root system disrupts a sidewalk within the Village, the utmost care must be taken to repair the sidewalk while preserving the root structure.
(1) 
When a property owner becomes aware that a sidewalk has suffered fracture or disruption due to the root structure of a public tree, he or she shall notify the Shade Tree Commission and the Village Board of Trustees.
(2) 
Once the Shade Tree Commission and the Village Board of Trustees is made aware of a sidewalk fracture or disruption due to the root structure of a public tree, the Village Building Inspector shall, upon consent of the property owner, enter the property and assess the situation.
(3) 
Where it is determined by the Village Building Inspector and/or a certified arborist retained by the Village that repair of the sidewalk is necessary and is due to fracture or disruption from the root structure of a public tree, the property owner shall procure three bids for the repair work to be done. The Village shall pay directly to the chosen contractor 50% of the lowest bid amount submitted. Reimbursement shall be limited to the area of the sidewalk affected by the tree root. The affected area shall be determined by the Village Building Inspector and/or a certified arborist retained by the Village; provided, however, that a property owner shall continue to bear all responsibilities and all liabilities related to the sidewalk as prescribed in the Village of Saugerties Law, Chapter 165, Streets and Sidewalks.
[Amended 9-3-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
E. 
When it becomes necessary for property owners to repair sidewalks in front of their homes, businesses, or apartment buildings, care should be taken to preserve the tree root structure. Property owners are required to notify the Shade Tree Commission of planned sidewalk work that could potentially impact trees. The Shade Tree Commission shall make recommendations to the property owner as to the best methods to mitigate potential disruption of the tree's root system.
F. 
Utility workers should seek to install and maintain utility wires in an unobtrusive way so as to reduce visual pollution of the streetscape by reducing, bundling, consolidating or burying lines whenever possible.
G. 
Individuals or property owners may not blacktop, cement or otherwise alter or destroy public tree lawns. Tree lawns that have already been altered or destroyed and are in need of repair must be assessed by the Shade Tree Commission to determine a resolution.
H. 
The owner or occupant of any real property abutting any tree lawn in the Village of Saugerties shall be responsible for the maintenance of such tree lawn.
I. 
The Shade Tree Commission, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Parks and the Mayor's office must be notified in writing, at least 30 days in advance, when any public or private project might affect or interfere with public trees, including but not limited to the routine trimming of trees near utility lines. An attached map and work plan must be included with the correspondence if more than five trees are involved. Routine trimming of trees near utility lines must be done correctly by experienced arborists so as to provide for continued reliable service to utility customers while maintaining a healthy and aesthetically attractive shade tree canopy in the Village.
J. 
When a public tree is removed or dies naturally, the Shade Tree Commission shall immediately recommend to the Village Board that it be replaced with a new tree. Any replacement tree shall be at least 1.75 inches to two inches in diameter and be included in a maintenance plan to assure the survival of the tree.
K. 
Trees planted by the Village as well as the general public should be carefully selected. Trees placed near utility wires and poles should be of a species whose maximum growth expectation is not anticipated to meet or exceed the height of the utility wires, to avoid the need for trimming. Vegetation, trees and shrubs placed near street corners or driveways must allow for good driver visibility. Trees should be selected to provide species variety, pest and disease resistance, shade, wildlife habitat enhancement, ecological benefit and attractive appearance. Trees should be evaluated for placement based on the site conditions present: soil, water, sun, height and visual requirements, interference with public/private infrastructure and the probability that maintenance needs will be met.
L. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall create an inventory of heritage trees in the Village. The Commission shall utilize this inventory in making recommendations to the Village, the Village Department of Public Works, Planning Board and other Village government entities in regard to the care and maintenance of heritage trees.
M. 
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the Village of Saugerties, upon the advice and consent of the Shade Tree Commission, from entering into an agreement with a private property owner to plant trees on private property in locations needing trees but which do not have tree lawns. Special attention shall be given to gateways to the Village to ensure an attractive Village treescape.
A. 
No person shall remove, destroy, or cause the removal or destruction of a tree on any Village street or in any Village park, or undertake construction or any activity which may significantly and prematurely detract from the health or growth of a tree without first having obtained written permission for such removal or construction at the office of the Village Clerk. All applications must be approved by the Board of Shade Tree Commissioners and all approvals shall be in conformance with the Shade Tree Master Plan.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Parks and the Mayor's office must be notified when any scheduled public or private project might affect or interfere with Village trees.
C. 
Construction and private projects impacting Village trees must be reviewed by the Shade Tree Commission. The Shade Tree Commission will make a recommendation to the Village Board for action to mitigate/prevent damage to Village trees. The Village Board will strongly consider the recommendations of the Tree Commission when voting to approve projects involving Village trees, and carefully balance these recommendations with the need for the public good.
Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a violation within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York, and an appearance ticket alleging such violation may be issued by any police officer having jurisdiction.
A. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Shade Tree Commission and of its individual Commissioners. The Board of Trustees shall have the power to remove individual Commissioners and to appoint new Commissioners as may be necessary.
B. 
Any person who is aggrieved by any decision of the Shade Tree Commission may appeal the decision within 10 days of the filing of the decision with the office of the Village Clerk. The appeal shall be heard by the Board of Trustees within 30 days of the filing of the appeal in the office of the Village Clerk. The Board of Trustees shall make and file its decisions with the Village Clerk within 10 days of its hearing.
[Added 6-3-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
A. 
Should any section of this chapter be held to be invalid, illegal, unenforceable or in conflict with the law of any jurisdiction, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining sections shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby.
B. 
The Village of Saugerties shall indemnify and hold harmless the members of the Shade Tree Commission from any decisions or actions they take in their official role as a member of the Commission. The Shade Tree Commission members shall have no personal liability connected with any claims involving any of the public trees located within the Village of Saugerties.