[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Borough of Hawthorne 6-3-2009 by Ord. No. 1978-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Bushes, hedges, trees and other plant life — See Ch. 153.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 185.
Landscapers and tree service providers — See Ch. 287.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 350.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 444.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 450.
Shade trees — See Ch. 491.
Zoning — See Ch. 540.
The regulation, planting, care and control of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery upon and in the streets, highways, public places, parks and parkways of the municipality (except highways, parks or parkways of the County of Passaic or State of New Jersey) shall be exercised by and under the authority of a Shade Tree Commission. As used in this section, parks and parkways shall include any park, playground, recreation area or dedicated open space owned or controlled by the Borough of Hawthorne.
No person, firm or corporation shall do or cause to be done any of the following acts upon any of the streets, highways, public places, parks and parkways within the Borough of Hawthorne without a written permit issued by the Shade Tree Commission:
Cut, trim, break, climb with spikes, disturb the roots of or otherwise injure, or spray with any chemical or remove any living tree; or injure, misuse or remove any structure or device placed to support or protect such tree.
Plant any tree.
Fasten any rope, wire, electric attachment, sign or other device to a tree, or to any guard about such tree.
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree.
Pile any building material, or make any mortar or cement within six feet of a tree.
No fire shall be started within 10 feet of any tree or planting regulated by this chapter.
Remove, authorize or procure the death or removal of any tree.
The permit shall be issued by the Shade Tree Commission without fee to the applicant.
The Shade Tree Commission shall have the authority to cause the removal or order the removal of any tree or planting from any areas which are subject to the authority of the Shade Tree Commission and which have become dangerous to the public safety.
A property owner affected may request the removal of a tree or other planting for any reason. The property owner shall submit a request for removal of said tree or planting, in writing, indicating the reason for the request. A copy of the request for removal shall be served upon adjoining property owners no less than 10 days prior to the review of that application by the Shade Tree Commission. The applicant shall file an affidavit of service with the Shade Tree Commission certifying to the service upon adjoining property owners by either certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service. Prior to the review by the Shade Tree Commission, the Shade Tree Commission shall cause the area to be examined by the Shade Tree Commission's designee, and a report shall be filed with the Shade Tree Commission to be reviewed at the hearing. The applicant and any adjoining property owners shall have the right to be heard at the hearing before the Shade Tree Commission. The Shade Tree Commission shall review the application and, if the application is granted, the costs of removal shall be the responsibility of the applicant. The Shade Tree Commission may provide for reasonable security prior to the removal of any such tree or planting.
Trees removed by the authority of the Commission alone will be replaced either on or off the site of removal at the Commission's discretion. Trees removed at a property owner's request which are not dangerous to the public safety will be replaced either on or off the site of removal at the Commission's discretion. The property owner applicant who receives permission to have a healthy tree removed will, prior to removal, pay a fee to the Commission as determined by the Commission which shall be equal to the market value of the type and size of tree to be removed, the minimum value to be $100 and the maximum value to be $500.
Any property owner who is granted approval to remove a tree shall assume all liability for, and shall defend, indemnify and save harmless the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Hawthorne and the Borough of Hawthorne (all of their boards, authorities, employees and other respective agents) from and against all losses and expense (including costs and attorneys' fees) by reason of liability imposed by law upon any of the aforementioned for damages because of injury or death resulting therefrom to any person or persons; and damage to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, by reason of an accident or occurrence arising out of owner/applicant's operations or that of the owner/applicant's subcontractors or anyone directly or indirectly employed by the owner/applicant or the owner/applicant's subcontractors.
In addition, the owner/applicant shall provide to the Shade Tree Commission a certificate of insurance naming the Borough of Hawthorne and the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Hawthorne as named insured in form and content with insurers acceptable to the Borough and the Shade Tree Commission.
The Commission retains the authority granted to it under N.J.S.A. 40:64-8 and 40:64-9.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to cause, authorize or procure any brine water, oil, liquid, dye, gas or other substance harmful to tree life to lie, lead, pour, flow or drift on or into the soil about the base of a tree or other planting subject to the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission, at a point whence such substance may be lying on, or flow, dripping or seeping into such soil, or in any other manner whatsoever.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to cause, authorize or procure a wire or another conductor charged with electricity to come into contact with any tree or planting subject to the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission in such a manner as may injure, destroy, damage or kill said tree or other planting.
Every person, firm or corporation having control over any wire for the transmission of electric current upon a public highway shall, at all times, guard all trees or other plantings through which or near which such wire passes against any injury from the wire or electric current carried by said wire. The device or means used shall, in every case, be subject to the approval of the Shade Tree Commission.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to interfere or cause or authorize or procure any interference with any lawful work undertaken by the Shade Tree Commission, or any of its authorized agents, while they are engaged in and about the planting, cultivating, pruning, spraying or removal of any tree or other planting subject to the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission.
It shall be the duty of the Shade Tree Commission, subject to its review and approval, which shall be subject to the sole discretion of the Shade Tree Commission, from time to time, to plant trees and other plantings in those areas which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission.
All work in terms of removal, replacement, cutting, pruning, trimming or care of shade trees shall be in accordance with ANSI standards as currently promulgated and as may be amended from time to time.
This chapter may be enforced by the members of the Commission, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Arborist and members of the Police Department.
Any person, firm or corporation convicted of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,000 for each violation.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by Ord. No. 2035-11]
In addition to the penalties provided by Subsection B, the Shade Tree Commission may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree or other planting subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission in violation of this chapter to pay a replacement assessment to the Borough. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree or other planting 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 or other planting, 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 purpose 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 based upon its species, variety, location and its condition at the time of removal or destruction.