[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as Ch. 86, § 86-13, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Property maintenance — See Ch. 362.
No person shall do or cause to be done any of the following acts affecting the trees, shrubbery or ornamental material planted or growing naturally within the highways or public places under the jurisdiction of the Township, except with a written permit first obtained from the Department of Public Works:
Cut, trim, break, disturb the roots of or spray with chemicals any living tree or shrub or injure, misuse or remove any structure or device placed to support or protect any tree or shrub.
Plant or remove any living tree or shrub or climb any living tree or shrub with spikes.
Fasten any rope, wire, electric attachments, sign or other device to a tree or shrub or to any guard about such tree or shrub.
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree or shrub to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree or shrub.
Pile any building material or make any mortar or cement within six feet of a tree or shrub.
Change the grade of the soil within the limits of the lateral spread of the branches of any such tree.
Every person having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current along a public highway shall at all times guard all trees through which or near which such wire passes against any injury from the wire or cable or from the electric current carried by it. The device or means used shall in every case be subject to approval by the Department of Public Works.
No person shall place any guy wire, brace or other device on any such tree in such a manner as to injure it.
No person shall hitch or fasten an animal to any tree or shrub upon a public highway or to any guard or support provided for such tree or shrub or permit an animal to bite or otherwise injure any tree or shrub.
No person shall permit any brine, gas or injurious chemical or liquid to come in contact with the stump or roots of any tree or shrub upon a public highway.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with any lawful work undertaken by the Department of Public Works or its authorized agent.
Responsibility of owner or tenant. The owner or tenant of lands lying within the Township shall be required to keep all trees, shrubs, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of two roadways cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet, as deemed necessary and expedient for the preservation of public safety after a determination by the director of the Department of Public Works or any subordinates acting under his direction.
Notice to remove. After such determination, a written notice to remove shall be forwarded to the owner or tenant of the lands, and he shall comply in accordance therewith within 10 days after its receipt. The notice shall contain a description of the property affected sufficiently definite in terms to identify it and shall set forth that, unless such trees, shrubs, hedges and other plant life are cut, the Township shall cut or cause the trees, shrubs, hedges or other plant life to be cut pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.26.
Service of notice. A notice under this subsection may be served on the owner or tenant residing within the Township in person or by leaving it at his usual place of residence or with a member of his family above the age of 14 years. If an owner or tenant shall not reside within the Township, the notice may be served on him personally or it may be mailed to his last known post office address, or it may be served on the agent of the owner or tenant in charge of the property. Notice to an infant owner or tenant or to an owner or tenant of unsound mind shall be served on his guardian. When any property is held in trust, service of notice shall be made on the trustee. When any property is held by two tenants by the entirety or two or more as joint tenants or tenants in common, service on one shall be deemed as notice to all. If for any reason notice cannot be served as directed in this subsection, it shall be published at least once in any newspaper circulating in the Township, and publication of the notice shall have the same effect as if served in any other manner.
Failure to comply; removal by Township. If an owner or tenant shall neglect, after notice is given, to cut such trees, shrubs, hedges or other plant life, and the trees, shrubs, hedges or other plant life is cut under the direction of an officer of the Township, such officer shall certify the cost thereof to the Township Council, which shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost to be charged against the lands or, if such cost is excessive, shall cause a reasonable cost to be charged against the lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien on the lands and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied on the lands, and such amount shall bear interest at the same rate as other taxes and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as taxes.
If any person continues to violate any of the provisions of this chapter after being duly notified of such violation or neglects or refuses to comply with any lawful order of the Department of Public Works, the failure to comply with a second or each of any subsequent notifications or orders shall be construed as an additional violation of this chapter, and each such additional offense shall subject the offending party, upon conviction, to the same penalty as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, Violations; penalties, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton.