[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Fulton 7-1-1997 by L.L. No. 12-1997 (Ch. 160 of the 1991 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tree Ordinance of the City of Fulton, New York."
See General City Law Article 2-A.
The purpose of this chapter shall be to promote and protect the health and safety of the inhabitants and visitors of the City of Fulton and prevent damage to property therein by establishing rules and regulations for the planting, maintenance and removal of trees on City-owned property within the City of Fulton, New York.
Except where specifically defined herein, all words used in this chapter shall carry their customary meanings. For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- The City of Fulton, New York.
- FRONT PROPERTY LOT LINE
- The property lot line abutting a street right-of-way.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY
- A strip of land which extends to the middle of the road, on both sides of the road, to the front property lines which is occupied or intended to be occupied by a street, sidewalk, water mains, sanitary mains, storm mains, utility transmission lines and shade trees.
- TREE COMMITTEE
- Five-person advisory committee who shall make recommendations to the Common Council concerning the development of a comprehensive City tree plan.
- TREE FORESTER
- The individual designated by the City of Fulton to oversee and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- That portion of the street right-of-way, not covered by sidewalk or other impervious surface, lying between the front property line and the curb, street line or portion of street right-of-way used for vehicular traffic.
The Tree Committee shall consist of five voting members, one of which shall be the City-designated Tree Forester.
Thereafter, all vacancies occurring by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for three-year terms. Vacancies by death, inability to act or resignation of any member shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term. It shall be the duty of the Tree Committee to make recommendations to the Mayor concerning the replacement of vacancies on such Committee as they occur.
Committee members shall be on a volunteer basis and receive no compensation for their service.
Three voting members shall constitute a quorum to conduct official business.
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Tree Committee to:
Develop a written comprehensive plan for planting, maintenance, pruning and removal of trees in the public right-of-way and on other City-owned land and for requesting approval of funding by the Common Council for such activities.
[Amended 7-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
Such a plan would then be updated on an annual basis for approval and funding by the Common Council.
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Tree Forester to:
Administer, permit and enforce the approved comprehensive tree plan.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in planting, cutting, trimming, pruning, removing, spraying or otherwise treating trees or shrubs within the public right-of-way, public parks or other public property without first obtaining a permit from the City of Fulton Tree Forester.
City employees doing such work in pursuit of their public endeavors shall be exempt from the requirements of obtaining a permit.
Before any permit shall be issued by the Tree Forester for City contractual work, each applicant shall first file evidence of possession of general liability insurance in the amount of $300,000 for bodily injury or death and $1,000,000 for property damage. Such evidence shall be in the form of any insurance certificate naming the City of Fulton as an additional insured, which shall indemnify the City from any personal injury or damage to property as a result of such permitted activity. Although homeowners are required to obtain a permit from the City Forester to plant trees in the public right-of-way, they shall be exempt from the insurance requirements of this section.
Tree species. Schedule A attached hereto shall contain the list of officially approved street tree species which may be planted in public rights-of-way, parks and other public spaces, provided that a permit has been procured from the Tree Forester. The tree species as depicted on Schedule A are divided into three categories — small, medium and large — as defined in § 582-4 of this chapter. Species of trees expressly not permitted are also defined in Schedule A of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Schedule A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Spacing of trees. Spacing of street trees shall be in accordance with the three species' size class listed on Schedule A in this chapter and shall be planted no closer together or close to corners of an intersecting street as follows:
Small trees shall be no closer than 30 feet apart from each other or from the corner of an intersecting street.
Medium trees shall be no closer than 40 feet apart from each other or from the corner of an intersecting street.
Large trees shall be no closer than 50 feet from each other or from the corner of an intersecting street.
Distance from curbs, street lines, sidewalks and driveways. The distance that trees shall be planted from curbs, street lines, sidewalks and driveways shall be based on the size of such trees as follows:
Small trees shall not be planted closer than three feet from any curb, street line, sidewalk or driveway.
Medium trees shall not be planted closer than four feet from any curb, street line, sidewalk or driveway.
Large trees shall not be planted closer than five feet from any curb, street line, sidewalk or driveway.
Trees surrounded by sidewalks. Tree plantings which are surrounded by sidewalks shall have a minimum cutout area of four feet by four feet square. The tree shall be centered with the cutout area, and only small tree species shall be allowed in this setting.
Utilities. No trees, except small species trees, shall be planted directly under or within 10 lateral feet of any utility transmission or distribution line or within five lateral feet of any underground water, sewer, storm or utility collection or distribution line.
Distance from buildings and structures. No trees shall be planted closer than five feet from a building or structure.
The planting, pruning, trimming, topping, staking, watering, fertilizing and spraying of trees shall be in accordance with the recommendation of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Whenever it becomes necessary to remove a tree because of disease, widening of streets or replacement of sidewalks, the City shall be responsible for replacing such trees, provided that such trees are in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Once a tree has been removed, the tree stump and their exposed roots shall be removed to a point six inches below the surface of the ground. All remaining wood chip debris shall be removed and replaced with topsoil.
No person shall intentionally damage, cut, burn, carve, transplant or remove any tree, or attach thereto any rope, wire, nails or advertising posters or other contrivance except guy wires as may be required by the City Forester to stabilize the tree roots of newly planted trees.