Township of Lower Macungie, PA
Lehigh County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
This Part shall be known and may be cited as the "Tree Harvesting Ordinance of Lower Macungie Township."
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
The purpose and scope of this Part is to conserve, protect, replace and properly maintain woodlands within the Township to aid in the stabilization of soil by prevention of erosion and sedimentation; reduce storm water runoff and the costs associated therewith and replenish groundwater supplies; conserve and enhance the Township's physical and aesthetic environment; promote good forest stewardship while avoiding unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on the right to practice forestry.
Tree removal without best management practices may result in hazards to adjacent properties, erosion and sedimentation and depletion of the woodland resource.
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
This Part applies to all commercial timber harvesting within the Township.
This Part does not apply to removal of dangerous trees, invasive trees or trees that present a hazard.
This Part does not apply to removal of trees as permitted for land being developed as regulated through the Lower Macungie Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22A].
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
Land surrounding the immediate perimeter of a timber harvesting operation in which no cutting of trees or other vegetation shall occur except for the isolated cutting of individual trees which are dead, damaged, sick, infected or constitute a danger to neighboring property, the general public or other trees in the area.
The diameter of a tree trunk, measured in inches, 12 inches above ground level.
The diameter of a tree at breast height measured at a point 4.5 feet about the ground level.
Trees that are not native to Pennsylvania and identified by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation as invasive.
The place where logs, pulpwood or firewood are assembled for transportation to a processing facility.
Discarded items not normally found on a site (i.e., tires, oil, cans, etc.).
The dragging of felled trees along the ground from the stump to the landing by any means.
Woody debris left after timber harvesting, including logs, chunks, bark, branches, vines, uprooted stumps and broken or uprooted trees or shrubs.
The base part of a tree that remains standing after the tree has been felled.
Timber harvest method that removes trees in a managed manner to promote protection of soils and allow for regeneration of the woodland.
The process of cutting down trees and removing logs from the forest for the primary purpose of sale or commercial processing into wood products.
A written description with a map of a specific logging operation prepared before operation commences.
The part of a felled tree which is left above the part of the tree to be utilized for commercial purposes.
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
This section recognizes that the presence of living trees in our surroundings is important and desirable from an ecological and environmental standpoint and that no forestry, logging or cutting of trees, eight inches or more DBH, shall be permitted unless in accordance with the following provisions:
It shall be lawful to cut down such trees eight inches or more DBH if the tree is sick, infected, damaged, invasive or dead and is in such position or condition that it constitutes a danger to neighboring property or to the public generally, or is located within the legal right-of-way of a public street.
It shall be lawful in any twelve-month period for the owner of any tract of land to cut down on said tract of land up to four trees per acre which are eight inches or more DBH not of the type referred to in paragraph .A.
When a zoning permit is issued for a building, structure, or use it shall be lawful to cut down any trees which exist in the space to be occupied by such building, structure, or use, any space within 15 feet of any such building or structure, and any space to be occupied by and within 10 feet of all sides of any driveway parking area, water system, or sewage disposal system provided that no such trees shall be cut down until the Zoning Officer has issued a permit for the marked trees to be cut down in such manner that it can be determined after the cutting that only those trees for which the permit was issued have been cut down.
Commercial tree removal shall be done only in accordance with a timber harvest plan prepared for sustainable harvest by a professional forester or forest technician. A copy of said plan shall be filed with the Zoning Officer. All timber harvest plans and the logging operation itself shall comply with the following requirements:
The cutting practice or stand prescription for each area within the proposed harvest area shall be described and an explanation provided regarding the forest management objectives.
An erosion and sedimentation control plan designed to prevent erosion and sedimentation during and after the logging operation shall be submitted to the Lehigh County Conservation District at the same time the timber harvest plan is filed and shall be approved prior to issuance of the permit.
All cutting, removing, skidding and transporting of trees shall be planned and performed in such manner as to minimize the disturbance of and damage to other trees and vegetation and the land.
Roads and trails shall be constructed, maintained and abandoned in such manner as to prevent soil erosion and permanent damage to soil and waterways.
Roads and trails shall be only wide enough to accommodate the type of equipment used and grades shall be kept as close as possible to existing grades so as to minimize earth disturbance.
Where possible, stream crossings shall be avoided but, where necessary, crossings shall be made at a right angle across suitable culverts or bridges.
Natural and uncut buffer zones of 50 feet shall be maintained on the property on which the logging operation is being conducted along all streets and abutting properties, unless express written consent is granted by the neighboring property owner.
Natural and uncut buffer zones of 50 feet shall be maintained along any streams, wetlands and springs, unless a clear hazard can be demonstrated that requires tree removal.
Everything practicable shall be done to prevent damage or injury to young growth and trees not designated for cutting.
All trees bent or held down by felled trees shall be released promptly and any vines remaining from felled trees shall be removed.
No trees shall be left lodged within other trees or power lines in the process of felling.
Felling or skidding on or across property of others is prohibited without the express written consent of the owners of such property. Felling or skidding on or across any public street is prohibited without the express written consent of the Township in the case of Township roads or PennDOT in the case of state roads.
No tops or slash, including vines that were attached to the tree, shall be left within 50 feet of any public street or adjoining property, without express written consent of the owners of neighboring properties, within 50 feet of any stream or within 25 feet of any drainage swale or ditch. Maximum height of a slash pile is four feet.
The stumps of all felled trees shall be permitted to remain in the soil for stabilization purposes. Stumps shall extend no more than two feet above grade.
During the periods of abnormal forest fire danger, as determined by the Zoning Officer and Lehigh County Fire Chief's Association, the Zoning Officer shall have the right to order a suspension of logging operations until the danger subsides.
Littering is prohibited. During and upon completion of a log operation, all cans, bottles, paper, garbage and other litter of any type shall be removed from the property.
Upon completion of a logging operation, all roads shall be graded to eliminate any wheel ruts and access to such roads from any public street by motor vehicles of any kind shall be effectively blocked to prevent unauthorized access.
If Township roads are damaged as a result of timber harvest operations, the applicant is responsible for their repair and cleaning.
Before the logging operation begins, all trees which are to be felled in connection therewith shall be clearly marked on the trunk and the stump so that the same may be easily identified both before and after a tree has been felled. No trees shall be felled which have not been designated for removal on the forest management plan.
The holder of a permit to conduct a logging operation shall notify the Township at least 48 hours before the cutting of trees is to begin in connection with the construction of roads or trails.
The holder of a permit to conduct a logging operation shall notify the Township at least 48 hours before the cutting of trees for removal from the site is to begin.
Logging operations shall occur only between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The holder of a permit to conduct a logging operation shall notify the Township at least 48 hours in advance of the expected suspension of the logging operation for more than five successive working days for reasons other than weather conditions.
The holder of a permit to conduct a logging operation shall notify the Township at least one week in advance of the expected completion date of the logging operation, and shall notify the Township immediately upon said operation's completion.
The Township may, by its own personnel or outside persons hired for the purpose, visit the site of any proposed logging operation after an application operation has been filed for the purpose of reviewing the plans for the proposed operation and thereafter recommending or opposing the proposed operation or recommending or requiring changes or modifications thereof.
After a permit for a logging operation has been issued, the Township shall have the right, by its own personnel or by outside persons hired for the purpose, to go upon the site before, during, and after the logging operation to insure and require compliance with the plans for said operation as finally approved and all of the terms and provisions of this Part.
On-site processing of harvested trees is prohibited.
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
Should any trees be felled that are not shown on the timber harvest plan, replacement trees shall be planted at a ratio of two trees for every one tree that has been removed, which was not approved on the timber harvest plan. The trees shall be at least two-inch caliper and of the same species.
[Ord. 2012-09, 11/15/2012, Art. I]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and attorney fees. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.