[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Bath 6-17-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PARK TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names and all areas owned by the Village or to which the public has free access as a park.
- STREET TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying within the street right-of-way of all streets, avenues or ways within the Village.
There is hereby created and established a Village Shade Tree Committee for the Village of Bath, New York, which shall consist of nine members, who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Trustees, plus ex officio members consisting of a trustee liaison, Street Superintendent, Utilities Commissioner and Utilities Superintendent.
The terms of the nine persons to be appointed by the Mayor shall be three years, except that the terms of three of the members appointed to the first committee shall be for only one year and the terms of three members of the first committee shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term. Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation.
It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the Board of Trustees and, upon its acceptance and approval, shall constitute the official comprehensive Village tree plan for the Village of Bath, State of New York. The Committee, when requested by the Board of Trustees, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work.
The Committee shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
Species to be planted shall be selected from a recommended list provided annually by the Committee.
The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the recommendations provided by the Shade Tree Committee.
The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three species size classes, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following: small trees, two feet; medium trees, three feet; and large trees, four feet.
No street tree shall be planted closer than 35 feet to any street corner measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet to any hydrant.
The Village, on recommendation of the Committee, shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.
The Village, on recommendation of the Shade Tree Committee, may remove or cause or order to be removed any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which, by reason of its nature, is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines or other public improvements or is affected by any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.
[Amended 10-7-1996 by L.L. No. 5-1996]
Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the Village shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The Village shall have the right to prune or remove any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight, interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign or interferes with power lines.
[Amended 8-17-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
The Village shall have the right to cause the removal of any trees on private property within the Village when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the Village. The Village will notify, in writing, the owner of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service or notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the Village shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner's property tax notice.
In cases of emergency which in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, involve imminent danger to human life or health, the Code Enforcement Officer shall promptly cause such tree or trees or portion(s) thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, the Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee may at once enter such land on which it stands, or abutting land, with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary.
In the event the work has been completed by the Village under Subsection A or B above, the Code Enforcement Officer shall file in the office of the Village Clerk a verified statement of all the direct costs of the same, together with a charge of 50% of such direct costs in addition thereto as compensation to the Village for administering, supervising and handling the work.
Upon receipt of the verified statement, the Village Clerk shall enter the same in his or her records as a lien against the premises and shall add the same to the next assessment roll of general Village taxes, subject to the same interest and/or penalties as provided for the nonpayment or late payment of general Village taxes, subject, however, to the property owner being given notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to any direct costs and charges pursuant to this section being placed on the property's tax bill.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the Village from seeking judicial or equitable relief to abate violations of this section together with damages and costs and disbursements of such action.
This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State.
All stumps of the street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.
It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating or removing street or park trees within the Village without first applying for or procuring a license. The license shall be issued annually in advance; provided, however, that no license shall be required of any public service company or Village employee doing such work in the pursuit of his public service endeavors. Before any license shall be issued, each applicant shall first file evidence of possession of liability insurance in the minimum amounts for bodily injury and property damage prescribed by the Village and indemnifying the Village for any person injured or damaged resulting from the pursuit of such endeavors as herein described.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be, upon conviction or plea of guilty, subject to a fine or other penalty.