[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Chichester 5-13-1999 by Ord. No. 575 (Ch. 25, Part 2, of the 1987 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
A Shade Tree Commission is hereby created in and for Upper Chichester Township.
[Amended 5-10-2012 by Ord. No. 676]
The Shade Tree Commission shall be composed of the members of the Upper Chichester Township Planning Commission as appointed from time to time by the Board of Commissioners and shall serve without compensation. The Shade Tree Commission shall consist of the same number of members as the Upper Chichester Township Planning Commission.
The terms of the members of the Shade Tree Commission shall run concurrently with the terms of the members of the Planning Commission. Any vacancies on the Shade Tree Commission are filled by the Board of Commissioners when they fill the vacancy on the Planning Commission.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that by its adoption the then-current seven members of the Upper Chichester Planning Commission would be appointed as members of the Shade Tree Commission with terms expiring with their respective Planning Commission terms.
The Shade Tree Commission shall have all the powers vested in such Commission as authorized by the First Class Township Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and all amendments, changes or additions thereto, except the following:
Said Commission shall not employ any persons, corporations, or associations or assistants without the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners of Upper Chichester Township.
The Commission shall not authorize any expenditures or contract for the expenditures of Township funds without the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners of Upper Chichester Township.
Said Commission shall not publish notice of any proposal or program to plant, transplant or remove shade trees on any street without the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners of Upper Chichester Township.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 55101 et seq.
The following words, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings herein ascribed to them:
- A written permit or authorization issued by the Shade Tree Commission.
- Any natural person, firm, association, partnership or corporation.
- PUBLIC AREA
- That area, including cartway and sidewalk, within the public right-of-way line and ultimate right-of-way line for streets, highways, alleys and public ways within Upper Chichester Township. It shall also include all property owned by Upper Chichester Township.
- SHADE TREE
- Any tree, shrub or other woody plant in or upon any public area in Upper Chichester Township or that part of any tree, shrub or woody plant which extends within the lines of any public area in Upper Chichester Township.
The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of shade trees within the public areas in Upper Chichester Township and, subject to the restrictions of § 112-3 of this chapter, is authorized to plant, maintain and protect said shade trees within the public areas of Upper Chichester Township, and carry out the intent and purpose and to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to plant, remove, mutilate or cut down any shade tree or do or cause to have done a major or total pruning of any shade tree within a public area without first obtaining a permit as herein provided and doing the same in conformance with said permit, except that it shall not be unlawful to do the following without a permit:
Trim shade trees to conform to the clearance requirements of Subsection A(5) hereof, or to trim or prune shrubs and bushes within the public area and remove or cut off low-hanging or broken branches of trees which create or may create a public nuisance or danger.
Carry out normal repair, upkeep, minor pruning and trimming.
To prune, trim or cut for the maintenance of public utility facilities.
To plant, remove, cut back, trim or prune shrubs and bushes in public areas along streets where sidewalks have not been laid, installed or constructed, where said shrubs and bushes are not planted within 25 feet of an intersection as measured from the curbline.
Pruning methods will adhere to National Arborists Association pruning standards. Copies of said standard are available for inspection at the Township building.
The Commission shall review each application for a permit. The Commission shall review such application for a permit and shall grant or deny said application, and if granted it shall state in the permit the type or species of shade tree to be planted, removed, cut, trimmed or pruned and may set forth specifications for doing the same.
The Commission, in carrying out its duties hereunder and in issuing permits, shall adhere to the standards adopted by the National Arborists Association or any other similar, recognized organization or body which promulgates standards and which carries out the intent of this chapter.
It shall not be necessary for the Upper Chichester Township to obtain a permit to do any work on public areas owned in fee simple or rented by the Township, but no such work shall be done without consultation with the Commission, except as provided in Subsection A above.
The Commission shall conduct, within two years of the enactment of this chapter, a "census of shade trees" in the Upper Chichester Township, which shall mean the compilation of the locations, types, species and evaluation of all said trees, which shall include trees, bushes and shrubs not in public areas. The Commission shall update this census on a regular basis, but in any event not less than every five years.
An application for a permit under § 112-6A above shall be made in writing to the Township Secretary on a form provided by the Township. It shall specify:
It shall be the duty of the Township Secretary to submit every such application promptly to the Commission for approval or disapproval. The permit shall be valid for a period of 90 days, but may be revoked at any time upon satisfactory proof to the Commission that any of the terms or conditions upon which the permit was issued are or have been violated.
The Commission, in its discretion, may, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Commission or to deposit security satisfactory to it to guarantee the compliance by the applicant with the terms and conditions upon which such permit is issued, and which bond shall not be more than double the estimated costs of such work. The applicant for any permit shall, at the time of his application, pay to the Township Secretary for the use of the Township a fee established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners from time to time. If deemed necessary, the Commission may also require a certification of insurance against personal injury or property damage, which certification shall also include workers' compensation insurance, and general liability insurance of at least $500,000, and any other pertinent insurance coverage as deemed appropriate by the Commission. Said certificate of insurance shall name Upper Chichester Township as an additional insured, and contain a provision that the applicable insurance policy will not be canceled or substantially modified without 30 days' prior written notice to the Township.
No tree shall hereafter be planted in or upon the public streets, highways or avenues within five feet of any driveway, nor shall any tree on private property adjacent to the sidewalk be planted within three feet thereof. To maintain an adequate sight triangle for public safety, no tree shall be planted nearer to the intersection of any two or more streets than 25 feet to the point of intersection of any two public right-of-way lines, and a distance of 30 feet shall be maintained on streets which are state highways.
It will be the responsibility of the Shade Tree Commission to remove any dead tree after it has been determined by the Commission that the removal is necessary for the safety of the community.
No person shall, without first obtaining a permit therefor, cut, break, climb with spurs, injure in any manner or remove any shade tree or cut down or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree or spray any shade tree with any chemical or insecticide or place any rope guy wire, cable, sign, poster or any other fixture on any shade tree or guard for any shade tree or injure, misuse or remove any device placed to protect for the protection of life and property.
Every owner or occupier of property shall maintain an area of open space, not less that four square feet, around the base of every tree, which space shall be so maintained as to permit the free passage of air and water to the roots of such tree. This requirement for open space does not apply to sidewalks adjacent to shade trees.
No person shall pour saltwater, oil or any other material or perform any act at any place in such manner that injury might result to any shade tree.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the regulations of the Shade Tree Commission as set forth in this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Shade Tree Commission or by service of a summons in prosecution or in any other way that he is committing such violation, each day in which he shall continue such violation after any such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by like fine or penalty.