[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay 11-27-1973 (Ch. 8, Art. IV, of the 1971 Code, amended in its entirety 9-25-2007 by L.L. No. 12-2007. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay hereby finds and declares that the preservation of trees is necessary to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the Town of Oyster Bay and of its residents because trees provide shade, impede soil erosion, aid in water absorption and retention, inhibit excess runoff and flooding, enhance air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, mitigate noise, provide a natural habitat for wildlife, provide screening, conserve energy, enhance property values and add to the aesthetic quality and character of the entire community. It is, therefore, the purpose of this chapter to protect existing healthy trees and to encourage the planting of new trees in appropriate locations on all private and public properties throughout the Town.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the meanings indicated:
- The property owner, or his/her duly authorized agent, requesting a tree removal permit from the Town pursuant to this chapter.
- APPROVAL AUTHORITY
- The Town of Oyster Bay Department of Parks except, in the case of applications for site plan and/or special permit approval, the authority responsible for the approval of such applications shall be the approval authority.
- DBH (DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT)
- The diameter or caliper of a tree measured at a point 4 1/2 feet above ground level at the base of the uphill side of the tree.
- An imaginary, roughly circular line extending from the maximum spread of the limbs of a tree to the ground.
- A living, woody plant with an erect perennial trunk and a definitely formed crown of foliage and a DBH of eight or more inches.
- TREE PRESERVATION PLAN
- A plan indicating the location, species, size, dripline and condition of all trees on a property which are eight or more inches DBH and detailing the methods and practices to be used to provide protection for all such trees to be preserved.
- TREE REMOVAL
- Any act which will cause a tree to be removed or to die within a one-year period.
- TREE REMOVAL PERMIT
- A permit granted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter which allows the removal of one or more trees.
Except as specifically permitted elsewhere in this chapter, it shall be unlawful to remove a tree, as defined herein, unless a tree removal permit is granted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter.
The following tree related activities are permitted by right:
Removal of any dead, diseased or severely damaged tree, if determined to be in such condition by the Commissioner of the Department of Parks or his/her duly authorized representative.
Removal of any tree under an actual or ongoing emergency condition when such tree removal is necessary for the protection and preservation of life or property.
Permitted forest management activities on properties covered under § 480-a of the Real Property Tax Law.
The removal of trees as required in connection with duly authorized activities of the Town of Oyster Bay or any department thereof.
Any person proposing to remove a tree(s) on any property in the Town of Oyster Bay shall file an application for a tree removal permit with the approval authority, as herein provided. An application for a tree removal permit shall not in and of itself be subject to the conduct of a public hearing nor shall notification of adjoining or other property owners be required. The approval authority shall make its determination based on an inspection of the subject property and the information submitted as a part of the application. The application shall include the following information, unless waived by the approval authority, and such other additional information and/or certification as the approval authority determines to be necessary or appropriate:
The name, address and telephone number of the property owner and, if different, the applicant.
The street address and Tax Map designation of the subject property.
If the owner is not the applicant, a statement of authority from the owner to make said application.
A description of the proposed tree removal and its purpose.
A plan for the area to be disturbed indicating the specific tree(s) proposed to be removed, the location of any existing and proposed improvements on the property, a tree preservation plan for all trees which are to be preserved, and any additional information that the approval authority may deem necessary or appropriate for the proper evaluation of the application. All plans for the protection of trees shall include the protection of potentially impacted off-site trees.
A plan of mitigation measures, including replanting, designed to reduce the potential impacts of tree removal, such as flooding, erosion, sedimentation, loss of buffer screening and/or disturbance of wildlife habit.
For all applications requiring Parks Department approval, an application fee in the amount of $5 per inch of cumulative DBH for all trees proposed to be removed, but not more than $75 per individual tree and not less than a total of $50 per application. In the case of an application involving the removal of three or fewer trees, the application fee may be waived or reduced, at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Parks Department, where it is determined that adequate mitigation, in terms of tree replacement, is provided.
Signature of the applicant attesting to the accuracy of all information submitted as a part of the application.
Applications for permits shall be submitted not less than 10 workdays prior to the proposed tree removal date.
All information related to the permit application shall be maintained on file in the office of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Parks.
In making a determination whether to grant, deny or grant with conditions a tree removal permit, the approval authority shall consider the following factors:
Whether the proposed tree removal is consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter.
Whether the tree or tree(s) to be removed are of a species listed on the New York State Rare Plant List as endangered or threatened trees.
The need for the proposed tree removal.
The availability of reasonable and practical alternatives to the proposed tree removal.
The condition of the tree or trees proposed to be removed.
The location of the tree(s) proposed to be removed and their dripline(s) with respect to existing and proposed site improvements.
The potential impact of the tree removal upon drainage patterns, erosion potential, growth of adjacent vegetation, buffer screening and access to light and air.
The applicant's proposed mitigation measures, including the planting of new trees or other vegetation, erosion and sedimentation controls, drainage improvements, etc.
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall contain all such conditions as may be determined appropriate by the approval authority to ensure both initial and continued compliance with the intent and requirements of this chapter.
The approval authority may require the planting of the same or an alternate species of trees, which are comparable in type and size to the trees to be removed, as a condition for the issuance of a permit for tree removal. The location for planting the replacement trees shall be as approved by the approval authority.
The following is a list of acceptable and recommended shade tree species for street tree and parking lot planting in the Town of Oyster Bay:
In addition to the shade trees listed in Subsection D above, the following is a list of acceptable and recommended trees for planting on public and private properties:
The approval authority may further condition the issuance of a tree removal permit upon the posting of a bond or other security acceptable to the approval authority, in an amount and with surety and conditions sufficient to secure compliance with the conditions and limitations as set forth in the permit.
The Commissioner of the Department of Parks, or his/her designee, may suspend or revoke a tree removal permit by issuing a stop-work order if he or she finds that the applicant has not complied with one or more of the conditions of the issuance of such permit or has exceeded the authority granted in the permit or has failed to undertake the project in the manner as set forth in the approved application. Similarly, a stop-work order may be issued if no tree removal permit has been issued and a tree or trees are about to be, or are in the process of being removed.
Permits shall be valid for a period of six months unless a different period is specifically stipulated in the permit issued by the approval authority. Permits may be renewed by the approval authority upon the applicant's submission of a renewal request and a fee in the amount of $150 at least 20 workdays before the expiration of the permit. Standards for the issuance of a renewal permit shall be the same as those for the issuance of the original permit.
No permit granted pursuant to this chapter shall remove an applicant's obligation to comply in all respects with all other applicable provisions of any federal, state or local law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the securing of any other required permit or approval.
A copy of any tree removal permit which is granted shall be immediately and prominently displayed along the street frontage of the subject property until all approved work is completed and approved by the Department of Parks.
Any person doing business as a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the New York State Public Service Commission and any duly constituted public agency authorized to provide utility service is hereby granted a continuing permit to trim, remove or perform such other acts with respect to trees growing adjacent to the public streets of the Town, or which grow upon private property to the extent that they encroach upon such public streets, as may be necessary to comply with the safety regulations of said Commission and as may be necessary to maintain the safe operation of its business.
No tree shall be removed from any public street or property owned or under the control of the Town of Oyster Bay without the prior written consent of the Town Superintendent of Highways. Such consent shall only be granted if the tree constitutes a hazard to property or persons using the adjoining streets, if its roots are causing damage to the curb, gutters or sidewalks or if it unduly interferes with the operation of public utilities and/or related infrastructure.
Any determination made by the approval authority may be appealed to the Tree Management Commission. Said Commission shall consist of five individuals, as follows:
The Town Supervisor or his/her designee.
The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Resources or his/her designee.
The Commissioner of the Department of Parks or his/her designee.
The Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development or his/her designee.
The Commissioner of the Department of Public Works or his/her designee.
Such appeal shall be taken within 30 days of the filing of the determination of the approval authority. Any appeal from the determination of the Tree Management Commission shall be made by commencement of an action pursuant to the provisions of Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules within 30 days of the filing of the Commission's determination.
Any site for which a tree removal permit application has been submitted shall be subject to inspection by representatives of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Parks at any reasonable time, including weekends and holidays. The applicant, by reason of making application for such permit, shall be deemed to have granted its consent for such inspection.
Within 30 days after completion of all tree removal activities authorized under a permit issued in accordance with this chapter, the applicant shall notify the approval authority of such completion.
Within 30 days of such notification of completion, the approval authority, or its duly authorized representative, shall inspect the tree removal site for compliance with all conditions of the permit.
When all tree removal activities authorized under a permit have been deemed to be completed in an acceptable fashion, the approval authority, or its duly authorized representative, shall issue a certificate of completion, which shall be accompanied by the cancellation or return of any bond or any other security collected in connection with said permit.
If the tree removal activities are found to be unacceptable, the approval authority shall so notify the applicant. Such notification of noncompliance shall include a list of all conditions which are in violation of the terms of the permit and shall specify a time limit for the correction of all such violations.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, or any rule, regulation or specification promulgated thereunder, shall be deemed guilty of an offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $350 but not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine or imprisonment. Each tree removed or substantially damaged shall be considered a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder. As an alternative to the payment of the above-stated monetary fines, or in combination therewith, the person who has committed the offense may be required to replace any tree(s) unlawfully removed or substantially damaged with new trees, of a type, size and location as determined appropriate by the Commissioner of the Department of Parks, or his/her duly authorized designee, up to a maximum size equal to the total DBH of all trees unlawfully removed or damaged.