[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lancaster 11-8-2004 by L.L. No. 10-2004 (Ch. 142B of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Lancaster Village Board hereby finds that there is a direct and important relationship between the existence of trees in the Village of Lancaster and the health, safety and welfare of the community. Trees preserve air and water quality, provide shade to people and property, and enhance economic and aesthetic property values. Trees stabilize soil, control air and water pollution, and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PARK TREES
- Trees in public parks.
- STREET TREES
- Trees within the right-of-way of all streets, avenues or highways within the Village.
No person shall cut, mar or otherwise injure any shade tree planted or growing in or along the streets of said Village, or hitch any horse or other animal thereto; provided, however, that the Village of Lancaster Department of Public Works, or a person authorized in writing by the Village of Lancaster Department of Public Works, may cut or trim trees growing in or along the streets of the Village of Lancaster where such trimming or cutting is required to preserve the public health, safety and/or welfare.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or other entity to top any street or park tree. Topping is defined as the cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter with the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical shall be exempted from this section at the determination of the Department of Public Works.
The Department of Public Works shall have the right to prune any street tree within the right-of-way for the following reasons:
The Village shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees or stumps on private property within the Village, when such trees or stumps constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or diseases which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the Village. Removal of any such dead or diseased trees or stumps shall be undertaken in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 108, Nuisances, of the Code of the Village of Lancaster.
The Village Department of Public Works, with notice to the Town of Lancaster Forester, may remove or cause or order to be removed, any tree or part thereof on public property which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gaslines, waterlines or other public improvements. Written notice of such removal shall be provided by the Department of Public Works to the Village Board within 30 days thereof. The location and species of any replacement tree shall be determined by the Department of Public Works with the advice of the Town of Lancaster Forester.
All stumps of 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.
No person shall fasten any sign, wire, rope or other material to or around or through any street or park tree in the Village of Lancaster, except by written permission from the Department of Public Works, except in cases of emergency.
The Village of Lancaster Code Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and shall report any violations to the Village Board.