Town of DeWitt, NY
Onondaga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of DeWitt 2-13-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 67.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 137.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 161.
A. 
Trees benefit the environment and community. Healthy trees reduce air pollution, provide energy-saving shade and reduce wind speed for human comfort. They provide habitat for wildlife, enhance aesthetics and property values, and contribute to community image, pride and quality of life. Managing trees as an urban forest is an effective way to protect them.
B. 
This chapter establishes standards for tree planting, preservation and management in the Town
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DEWITT ADVISORY CONSERVATION COMMISSON
The Commission established in Chapter 8, Conservation Commission (hereinafter "DACC").
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY
A dwelling designed for and occupied by not more than one family and surrounded by open space or yards and having no roof, wall or floor in common with any other dwelling unit.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A dwelling designed for and occupied by not more than two families in separate dwelling units, each of which is totally separated from the other by a continuous wall extending from lowest floor to roof or an unpierced ceiling and floor extending from exterior wall to exterior wall.
NATIVE TREE
A tree that is indigenous within the northeast United States of America.
OVERHEAD UTILITY WIRES
Wires with greater than 50 volts above ground.
STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY
The area within the designated right-of-way line(s) of a highway, street, road or lane within the Town. Said right- of- way lines are delineated and /or defined by applicable Town, state or county law, rule or ordinance ("ROW").
STREET TREES
Trees planted within the ROW between the pavement edge and the right-of-way boundary.
TOPPING
Topping is the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy of the trees.
TOWN
The Town of Dewitt.
TREE
A plant having a permanently woody main stem or trunk, ordinarily growing to a considerable height.
TREE CANOPY
The extent of the outer layer of branches and leaves of an individual tree or group of trees.
TREE COMMITTEE
A committee, established in Chapter 8, Conservation Commission, Article III, to foster a healthy urban forest in the Town and to provide advice to Town boards, commissions and departments.
UNDERGROUND UTILITIES
All wires, conduits and pipes underground.
URBAN FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN
A set of guidelines duly adopted by the Town and used to guide tree selection, placement, maintenance, removal, and replacement to achieve a desired level of quality for the physical environment (hereafter "UFM Plan").
A. 
Tree selection, location and protection.
(1) 
Native tree species selections are preferred if appropriate for the locations.
(2) 
Trees shall be placed to allow for their anticipated mature height and width.
(3) 
Trees shall be planted at least three feet from streets and sidewalks.
(4) 
Trees shall be planted so as not to block the site line at street intersections.
(5) 
Trees shall be planted at least 10 feet from fire hydrants and driveways.
(6) 
Trees shall be planted such that they do not have to be removed for access to underground utilities.
(7) 
Tall growing trees shall not be planted underneath overhead utility wires.
(8) 
Trees shall be protected from damage during above- or below-ground utility work. The area of protection is 125% of the tree canopy.
(9) 
Any tree, planted by the Town, that has been removed without permission, or damaged to such an extent that it must be removed, shall be replaced within one year by the party responsible for the removal or damage in accordance with the UFM Plan.
B. 
Pruning and maintenance.
(1) 
The Town shall have the right, but not the obligation, to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the Town ROWs as may be necessary to insure public safety and/or the health and natural form of the tree.
(2) 
Pruning standards. All tree pruning shall conform to the current ANSI A300 standards for tree care operations. When required, crown reduction is preferred to topping of trees.
(3) 
Trees adjacent to the street ROW shall be pruned such that there are 13 feet above the street surface and eight feet above any sidewalk.
C. 
No healthy tree shall be removed from any Town ROW without Town approval.
For planting within the ROW of lots occupied by single- or two-family dwellings:
A. 
Tree selection, location.
(1) 
Species to be planted shall generally be selected from the list of desirable trees as outlined in the UFM Plan.
(2) 
Trees under overhead utility wires shall be selected from the list of desirable trees for this location as outlined in the UFM Plan.
B. 
Tree maintenance.
(1) 
Trees shall be maintained by the lot owner in accordance with the UFM Plan.
(2) 
All landscaping and lawn areas shall be maintained.
(3) 
Dead material shall be replaced.
(4) 
Plant material shall regularly be pruned and nourished to maintain health.
C. 
Where ROW trees have been damaged or destroyed by natural causes, the Town may, but is not obligated to, replace the trees. The DACC pursuant to its UFM Plan should make recommendations to the Town regarding appropriate replacement.
For planting within the ROW for lots other than those occupied by single- or two-family dwellings and/or lots owned by the Town:
A. 
Species to be planted shall generally be selected from the list of trees as outlined in the design guidelines as provided for in Chapter 192, Zoning.
B. 
Trees under overhead utility wires shall be selected from the list of trees identified for this location, as outlined in the design guidelines as provided for in Chapter 192, Zoning.
C. 
Trees shall be maintained in accordance with § 192-100B(2) of the Code.
D. 
Where ROW trees have been damaged or destroyed by natural causes, the Town may, but is not obligated to, replace the trees. The DACC pursuant to its UFM Plan should make recommendations to the Town regarding appropriate replacement.
E. 
Upon passage of a UFM Plan, the design guidelines will be updated to include the appropriate elements of the UFM.
For lots owned by the Town, tree selection, location, maintenance, removal and replacement shall be undertaken pursuant to the UFM Plan.
A. 
DACC, with recommendation of its Tree Committee, shall prepare a UFM Plan within one year of the adoption of this chapter by the Town Board. The DACC shall present and recommend for approval a UFM Plan to the Town Board. The Town Board shall hold a public hearing on the DACC recommendations and after a hearing thereon adopt, modify or deny any such recommendation by resolution of the Town Board. The UFM Plan adopted by resolution of the Town Board may be updated periodically in accordance with this procedure.
B. 
The following items shall be included in the UFM Plan:
(1) 
Species of trees and other vegetation to be planted.
(2) 
Planting and pruning standards.
(3) 
Preservation, feeding and care of trees and other vegetation.
(4) 
Disposition of removed trees.
(5) 
Public education.
Unless otherwise stated, a violation of this chapter shall be an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $200 or by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed 10 days, or both. Each day's continued violation shall constitute a separate, additional violation.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.