[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Spring Grove 11-5-1951 by Ord. No. 5-1951; amended in its entirety 3-2-1998 by Ord. No. 2-1998 (Ch. 130 of the 1985 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Borough recognizes that properly planted, maintained and protected shade trees add to the aesthetics and health and welfare of the citizens of the Borough. Therefore, it shall be the intent of this chapter to establish a Shade Tree Commission for the Borough of Spring Grove; to define the mission of that Commission and establish rules and regulations to encourage the planting of appropriate shade trees; to provide for the proper maintenance of the trees, protect shade trees and provide guidelines for the removal and replacement of shade trees.
For the purpose of this chapter the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the contexts, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular and words in the singular included the plural. The word "shall" is mandatory and not merely directory.
- The Borough of Spring Grove, York County, Pennsylvania.
- The duly elected or appointed members of the Borough Council of the Borough of Spring Grove.
- The duly appointed members of the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Spring Grove.
- A duly appointed member of the Commission.
- LARGE TREES
- Those attaining a height of 45 feet or more.
- MEDIUM TREES
- Those attaining a height of 20 to 45 feet.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PROPERTY OWNER
- The person owning such property as shown by the County Assessor's Plat of York County.
- PUBLIC STREET OR HIGHWAY
- The entire width of every public way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- PUBLIC PLACES
- Includes all other grounds owned by the municipality of the Borough of Spring Grove, York County, Pennsylvania.
- The area of any public street, road, highway or other publicly held thoroughfare within the corporate limits of the Borough that has been designated by law or by the Borough as a public right-of-way.
- SHADE TREE
- Any tree, shrub or other woody plant which is planted in any right-of-way or has at least 1/2 of its trunk, branches or roots extending into any right-of-way.
- SMALL TREES
- Those attaining a height of 20 feet.
There shall be created a Commission to be known and designated as the "Shade Tree Commission."
The Commission shall consist of three members who shall be appointed by Council and who shall initially have staggered terms.
On the expiration of the term of any Commissioner, the Commissioner shall be reappoint or a successor shall be appointed by the Council to serve for a term of five years.
Vacancies in the office of Commissioner shall be filled by the Council for the unexpired term.
The duties of the Commission shall be as follows:
General powers. The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in the Borough and is authorized to plant, remove, maintain and protect shade trees on the public streets and public property within the Borough.
Specific duties include but are not limited to the following:
Study the problems and determine the needs of the Borough in connection with its tree planting program.
Recommend to the proper authority the type and kind of trees to be planted upon such Borough streets or in public places as is designated.
Assist the properly constituted officials of the Borough, as well as the Council and of the Borough, in the dissemination of news and information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees within the Borough limits, whether the same is on private or public property, and to make such recommendations from time to time to the Council as to desirable legislation concerning the tree program and activities for the Borough.
Hold regular or special meetings at which the subject of trees insofar as it relates to the Borough may be discussed by the members of the Commission, officers and personnel of the Borough and all others interested in the tree program.
Issue permits required by this chapter and enforce the provisions of this chapter as permitted by law.
Within a reasonable time after the appointment of the Commissioners, upon call of the Council, the Commission shall meet and organize by the election of a Chairman. The Commission shall then provide for the adoption of rules and procedures and for the holding of regular or special meetings as the Commission shall deem advisable and necessary in order to perform the duties set forth.
The maintenance, care or removal of any shade tree as defined herein and required compliance with any provision of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the property owner on whose property the tree is located or whose property abuts the right-of-way in which the shade tree is located.
No person, without first obtaining a permit, shall cut, prune, break, affix any foreign object to or in any way cause injury to any shade tree within any public right-of-way or Borough park within the Borough.
No person, without obtaining a permit, shall plant a shade tree within any public right-of-way or Borough park within the Borough.
No person, without first obtaining a permit, shall remove a shade tree from within any public right-of-way or Borough park within the Borough.
All mature shade trees shall be kept trimmed to a minimum branching height of eight feet, except that the Commission may require greater height clearances to eliminate traffic or other hazards.
Whenever, in the opinion of the Commission, a health or safety hazard exists caused by a shade tree, the Commission may issue a written order to the responsible property owner to take action to correct the condition within 10 days of the date of the order. If, after written notification, the responsible property owner fails to take corrective action, upon notice to it by the Commission, or on its own, the Borough shall have the required work accomplished to correct the health or safety condition and shall bill the responsible property owner. Failure to remit by the responsible property owner may result in a summary offense against the property owner by the Borough.
The Commission is authorized to enter onto private property to carry out its duties and responsibilities under this chapter and to correct or remove, or cause to be corrected or removed, any danger to public safety or health caused by any tree, shrub or plant, or part thereof, or any disease or infestation of insects or other pests which may cause a hazard to other trees in the Borough, and to remove such trees, shrubs, plants or parts if it deems removal necessary.
Fees for permits shall be set from time to time by resolution of Borough Council.
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a summary offense and may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and costs and/or undergo imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Every day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The trimming and removal of trees is a governmental public service on the part of the Borough and shall not be considered a liability for performance or nonperformance.
If any sentence, clause, section or part of this chapter is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or violation of this chapter.