[HISTORY: Adopted by the New Canaan Town Council 12-21-2011, effective 1-6-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There shall be a Public Tree Board of five members who shall be electors of the Town. The members shall serve without compensation and shall hold no other office of trust or emolument in the Town government. Service on committees of the Town government is not prohibited by this section, provided that such service does not create a conflict of interest as defined in the Town Code of Ethics. There shall be minority representation on the Board as required by § 9-167a of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Town Tree Warden shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member.
The Selectmen shall annually on or promptly after the first day of December appoint members of the Public Tree Board as follows: in even-numbered years, the Selectmen shall appoint two members; and in odd-numbered years, the Selectmen shall appoint three members. Such appointments shall be for a term of two years from the first day of December and until their successors have been appointed and shall have qualified. Within 30 days of the initial adoption of this ordinance, the Selectmen shall appoint the initial members of the Public Tree Board for staggered terms of office so that the initial term of three members expires on December 1, 2011, and the initial term of two members expires on December 1, 2012.
On or promptly after the first day of December in each year, the Public Tree Board shall meet at the call of the First Selectman to choose one of its members to be Chairman and one of its members to be Secretary. The Chairman, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall have a vote as a member thereof. The Secretary shall file in the office of the Town Clerk a full and detailed record of all proceedings, acts and resolutions of the Board, including the votes of each member on all actions taken. All votes, minutes, agendas, and notices shall be filed in the time and manner required by the Freedom of Information Act. Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of those present shall be necessary for the transaction of business.
Editor's Note: See C.G.S. § 1-200 et seq.
The purpose of this ordinance is to promote and protect the public health, safety, general welfare, and environmental well-being of the Town by regulating the planting, maintenance, pruning, and removal of trees along public streets and rights-of-way, in public parks, and on land owned by the Town of New Canaan. Public trees provide important benefits to the Town, including beautification of streets and parks, provision of shade, improvement in air quality, buffering of noise, reduction of erosion, and enhancement of property values. The intent of this ordinance is to establish procedures to ensure the proper care of existing public trees and the proper selection and location of new public trees. The scope of this ordinance is limited to public trees, meaning trees on Town-owned land and trees within the limits of public streets or rights-of-way. This ordinance does not regulate any trees on private property.
The Public Tree Board shall exercise powers and perform duties as follows:
Assist the Tree Warden in developing and updating a comprehensive public tree inventory program.
Assist the Tree Warden in writing and implementing an annual community forestry work plan, which plan shall provide guidance for tree management, species diversity, planting procedures, and response to insect and disease problems. The community forestry work plan shall be updated annually and filed with the Town Clerk, the Board of Selectmen, and the Town Council.
Develop community educational programs concerning trees, including an annual Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Recommend to the Board of Selectmen policies and procedures for the selection and hiring of contractors for tree planting, pruning and removal, both for routine work and for emergency work.
Consider offers of gifts of new public trees or money to be used for any purposes of this ordinance, and recommend to the Board of Selectmen acceptance or rejection thereof.
Adopt policies concerning the selection of new public trees. With respect to street trees, the Board shall compile a list of acceptable trees in the categories of small trees; medium trees; and large trees.
Assist the Tree Warden in developing regulations concerning acceptable locations for planting new public trees; spacing of street trees; distance from curbs and sidewalks; and distance from street corners, fireplugs and utilities; as well as the care and watering of new public trees until such time as the trees are established.
With regard to trees in public parks, the Board shall consult with the Park and Recreation Commission.
Anyone planting any tree on Town property shall first obtain a permit from the Tree Warden.
Any person violating any regulations adopted by the Tree Warden may be fined up to $250 for each offense, and for a subsequent offense may be fined the maximum amount allowed for infractions as set forth in the Connecticut Superior Court infractions schedules.
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as limiting or excluding such other remedies or penalties as are available to the Town or the Tree Warden for the improper removal of public trees. The provisions of this ordinance shall not be construed to limit or alter the authority, duty and responsibility of the Tree Warden as granted and established under Chapter 451 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Editor's Note: See C.G.S. § 23-58 et seq.