City of Lebanon, PA
Lebanon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
A Commission to be known as the "City of Lebanon Shade Tree Commission" is hereby established.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
(a) 
The Shade Tree Commission shall be composed of not less than three but not more than five residents of the City who shall be appointed by the Mayor. The Director of Public Works shall serve as an ex officio member of the Commission.
(b) 
On the expiration of the term of any Commissioner, a successor shall be appointed by the Mayor to serve for a term of five years. Vacancies in the office of Commissioner shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term. Members of the Shade Tree Commission shall serve without compensation.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
The Shade Tree Commission shall develop policy regarding the care and protection of the shade trees of the City. They shall make recommendations to the Mayor regarding the change of applicable policies and procedures. The Shade Tree Commission may have the power to enforce the regulations for the care and protection of the shade trees of the City with the approval of the Mayor. The Shade Tree Commission shall perform all duties as outlined in this article. The Director of Public Works or a duly authorized agent of the City of Lebanon shall have the power to commence appropriate legal action for the violation of its regulations relating to shade trees as provided for under Subsection (i), Violation and penalty, of § 159.06, Authority; permit and regulations. Such regulations are approved as provided in § 159.04.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
No rules or regulations adopted by the Shade Tree Commission shall be enforced until they have been approved by the Mayor.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
The Shade Tree Commission shall report in full to the Mayor in February of each year of its transactions and expenses for the last City fiscal year.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
(a) 
Authority. The Shade Tree Commission shall have the authority and jurisdiction of regulating the planting, maintenance and removal of trees on streets and other publicly owned property to ensure safety or preserve the aesthetics of such public sites. For purposes of this section, "trees on streets" shall be defined as those trees located between the curb and the sidewalk.
(1) 
Supervision. The Shade Tree Commission shall have the authority and it shall be their duty to supervise and inspect all work done under a permit issued in accordance with the terms of this section.
(2) 
Conditions of permit. The Shade Tree Commission shall make recommendations to the duly authorized agent of the City of Lebanon to affix reasonable conditions to the granting of a shade tree work permit.
(3) 
Master Street Tree Plan. The Shade Tree Commission shall have the authority to formulate a Master Street Tree Plan. Public hearings will be held as necessary. The Master Street Tree Plan shall specify the species of tree to be planted on each of the streets or other public sites of the municipality. From and after the effective date of the Master Street Tree Plan, or any amendment thereof, all planting shall conform thereto.
A. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall consider all existing and future utility and environmental factors when recommending a specific species for each of the streets and other public sites of the municipality.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall have the authority to amend or add to the Master Street Tree Plan at any time that circumstances make it advisable.
(b) 
Permits required.
(1) 
Planting, maintenance or removal.
A. 
No person shall plant, prune, remove, cut or otherwise disturb any tree on any street or municipal-owned property without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Department of Public Works. The Shade Tree Commission shall review the application in accordance with their duties outlined in this article and shall make a recommendation for approval or denial of said permit to the Department of Public Works. The person receiving the permit shall abide by the National Arborists Association Standards of Practice adopted by the Shade Tree Commission.
B. 
Should the property owner choose to hire a contractor to complete the work, the Shade Tree Commission recommends that:
1. 
The property owner asks that contractor to show proof of liability insurance.
2. 
The property owner selects a certified arborist.
3. 
The property owner asks for references from past jobs.
C. 
Applications for permits must be made at the Department of Public Works not less than 72 hours in advance of the time the work is to be done. The cost of the permit is $25. The application for the permit requires: the location; the number of trees to be removed and/or replaced; species, cultivar, or variety of each tree; the name of the individual or contractor planting the tree(s); presence of electric, water, and sewer lines; distance from intersections; proximity to neighboring trees; width of sidewalk; width of planting strip; and other such information as the Shade Tree Commission deems necessary to make a recommendation on whether a permit should be issued.
D. 
Whenever any tree shall be planted or set out in conflict with the provisions of this section, it will be lawful for the municipality to perform necessary work, and the exact cost thereof shall be assessed to the owner as provided by these regulations.
E. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall make a recommendation to the duly authorized agent of the City of Lebanon to approve a permit when, in their judgment, the proposed work is desirable and the proposed method and workmanship thereof are of a satisfactory nature. Any permit granted shall contain a definite date of expiration, and the work shall be completed in the time allowed on the permit and in the manner as therein described. Any permit shall be void if its terms are violated.
F. 
Notice of completion shall be given to the Department of Public Works within five days. Said notice is to be forwarded to the Shade Tree Commission for their inspection.
G. 
The cost of planting, transplanting, or removing any shade trees along the public areas of the City, the necessary and suitable guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof, and the replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the execution of such work shall be paid by the owner of the real estate in front of whose property the work is done. The amount each property owner is to pay shall be ascertained and certified by the Shade Tree Commission to the Mayor. Upon failure of the property owner to pay said share of the cost, the City shall file a lien against the property owner for said amount. When an assessment has been certified by the Shade Tree Commission to the Department of Public Works, the City of Lebanon shall provide a thirty-day written notice by mail to persons against whose property an assessment has been made. The notice shall state the amount of the assessment and the time and place of payment and shall be accompanied with a copy of the assessment.
(2) 
Removal, replanting and replacement. Whenever it is necessary to remove a tree or trees from curbside in connection with the paving of sidewalk or the paving or widening of the portion of a street or highway used for vehicular traffic, when such work is performed by or on behalf of the City, the City shall replant such trees or replace them. If conditions prevent planting of trees on lawns, this requirement will be satisfied if any equivalent number of trees of the same size and species is planted in an attractive manner on an adjoining property. No person or property owner shall remove a tree from curbside for the purpose of construction, or for any other reason, without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Department of Public Works, and without replacing the removed tree or trees in accordance with the adopted Arboricultural Specifications. Such replacement shall meet the standards of size, species, and placement as provided for in the permit. The person or property owner shall bear the cost of removal and replacement of all trees.
(c) 
Obstruction; trees pruned. It shall be the duty of any person or persons owning or occupying real estate bordering on any street upon which property there may be trees to prune such trees in such manner that they will not obstruct or shade the streetlights, obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, obstruct vision of traffic signs, or obstruct view of any street or marginal access street intersection. The minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be no less than 10 feet over sidewalks and no less than 14 feet over all streets unless otherwise recommended by the Shade Tree Commission.
(1) 
Notice to prune. Should any person or persons owning real estate bordering on any street fail to prune trees as hereinabove provided, the Shade Tree Commission shall notify the Department of Public Works, who shall inform such person or persons within a specified number of days after receipt of written notice, to so prune trees.
(2) 
Notice of violation required. The notice of violation required herein shall be served by mailing a copy of the notice of violation to the last known address of the property owner, by certified mail.
(3) 
Failure to comply. When a person to whom an order is directed fails to comply within the specified time, it shall be lawful for the municipality to prune such trees, and the exact cost thereof shall be assessed to the owner by filing a lien against the property as provided by law.
(d) 
Abuse or mutilation of public trees. Unless specifically recommended by the Shade Tree Commission, no person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant, or remove any tree; attach rope, wire, nails, advertising posters, or other contrivance to any tree; allow any gaseous, liquid, or solid substance which is harmful to the continued vitality of any tree to come in contact with it; or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any tree.
(e) 
Severe site constraints. In cases where there exists a severe site constraint so that compliance with this section would directly result in a danger to the public health, welfare and/or safety, the City Shade Tree Commission may recommend to the duly authorized agent of the City of Lebanon to waive any or all necessary requirements. For purposes of this section, "site constraint" is defined to mean the location, use, and/or existing physical condition or features of the site so that compliance will be likely to interfere with overhead or underground utilities, utility poles, signs, fire hydrants, or parking meter standards, reduce visibility necessary for public safety, and/or crowd or confine tree growth.
(f) 
Interference with the Shade Tree Commission. No person shall hinder, prevent, delay, or interfere with the Shade Tree Commission or any of their assistants while engaged in carrying out the execution or enforcement of this section, regulations, or procedures; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as an attempt to prohibit the pursuit of any remedy, legal or equitable, in any court of competent jurisdiction for the protection of property rights by the owner of any property within the municipality.
(g) 
Protection of trees.
(1) 
All trees on any street or publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building, structure, or street work shall be guarded with a substantial fence, frame, or box not less than four feet high and eight feet square, or at a distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk in inches (at diameter at breast height), whichever is greater, and all building material, dirt, or other debris shall be kept outside the barrier.
(2) 
No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels, or trenches, or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree without first obtaining a written permit from the Department of Public Works.
(h) 
Placing material on public property. No person shall deposit, place, store, or maintain upon any public place of the municipality any stone, brick, sand, concrete, or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing therein, except by written permit from the Department of Public Works.
(i) 
Violation and penalty. Any person, firm or corporation who violates any of the provisions of this section or who fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than $25 and no more than $1,000 and/or be imprisoned not more than 90 days. Each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate offense. The imposition of any fine for any violation of this article shall not excuse such violation(s) or permit same to continue.
(j) 
Appeal process.
(1) 
Appeal to Planning Commission. An applicant aggrieved by denial of approval of a tree removal application may appeal to the Planning Commission.
A. 
Written notice. The applicant shall file a written notice of appeal with the City of Lebanon Planning Commission within 10 days of receiving notice of denial.
B. 
Action by Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall have 45 days from date of appeal to review and either affirm or reverse the denial. In considering the case, the Planning Commission shall include in its review a "finding of fact" prepared by the Shade Tree Commission according to a prescribed checklist. Failure by the Planning Commission to act within 45 days will automatically grant the appeal with approval per the original application.
C. 
Planning Commission findings of fact. The Planning Commission shall adopt written findings of fact for every appeal.
(2) 
Appeal to City Council. Should an appeal be denied by the Planning Commission, the applicant may appeal to the City Council.
A. 
Written notice. The applicant shall file written notice of such an appeal with the City Clerk within 10 days of the Planning Commission's action.
B. 
Action by City Council. The City Council shall act on the appeal within 45 days of the date of filing the appeal and shall include in its review both the checklist prepared by the Shade Tree Commission and the Planning Commission's written findings of fact. Failure of the Council to act within the forty-five-day period shall result in automatic granting of the approval per the original application.
C. 
Council findings. The City Council may affirm or reverse the determination of the Planning Commission and shall either adopt or modify the findings of fact of the Planning Commission, which findings may be reduced to writing or may be entered in the minutes.
[Ord. No. 20-2014, 15, passed 7-27-2015]
(a) 
Shade Tree Commission review: tree specifications. The Shade Tree Commission shall review all development and redevelopment plans to assure the planting of the proper trees pursuant to the Tree Preservation Ordinance (Land Development) for total impervious land area in excess of 5,000 square feet.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. 1387, Tree Preservation Regulations for Land Developments.
(b) 
Materials.
(1) 
Preferred tree species.
A. 
All plant materials used shall be selected from the Street Tree Fact Sheets or official list published and revised by the Shade Tree Commission. If the developer is confronted with an unforeseen problem pertaining to tree species, the Shade Tree Commission shall be consulted for advice and recommendations.
B. 
Street trees within the same block shall not be of the same species except to achieve a special effect, as approved by the Shade Tree Commission in order to prevent spread of disease or blight.
C. 
The use of any tree other than those mentioned above requires the approval of the Shade Tree Commission.
D. 
Not all trees on this list are suitable for all situations. Suitability shall be determined by the Shade Tree Commission. Additionally, as new varieties are developing and existing ones improved, this list shall be amended.
(2) 
Acquisition of trees. Only plant material grown in nurseries shall be procured for shade tree planting. Trees should be true to form and typical of the species.
(3) 
Tree specifications.
A. 
Each tree shall be at least six feet in height and have a diameter of at least two inches measured at a height of two feet above the finished ground level.
B. 
Plant material shall be balled and burlapped with native soil in which the material had been growing.
(4) 
Soil amendments. As different trees require different soil conditions, it may be necessary to add materials such as peat, sand, etc., to existing soil prior to planting.
(c) 
Construction methods.
(1) 
Planting locations. The actual location of each individual tree shall be determined considering visibility, proximity of utility poles, overhead and guy wires, driveways and underground utility installations. (In new subdivisions, all utility lines should be underground.)
(2) 
The following distance shall be maintained, unless otherwise approved by the Shade Tree Commission:
A. 
The actual location of each tree shall be determined considering visibility, proximity of utility poles, overhead and guy wires, driveways and underground utility installations. (In new subdivisions, all utility lines may be underground.)
B. 
No landscaping, tree, or shrub shall be maintained in the vicinity of any corner, street, intersection, or accessway intersecting a public right-of-way that is an obstruction to visibility, interferes with the clear sight triangle requirements of the Zoning Code, set forth in Subsection (c)(2)D hereof, or extends into street corner visibility areas or is a traffic hazard.
C. 
Likewise, a minimum sidewalk width of five feet shall be maintained as provided for in the City of Lebanon Curb and Sidewalk Construction Regulations, referred to in § 903.02 of the Codified Ordinances. Any exceptions to the required width due to extenuating conditions must be approved by the Director of Public Works.
D. 
Visibility at intersections. On a corner lot in any district, a clear sight triangle shall be provided at all street and alley intersections. Within such triangles, no vision-obstructing object other than utility poles shall be permitted which obscures vision above the height of 30 inches and below 10 feet, measured from the center-line grade of intersecting streets. Such triangles shall be established from a distance of:
1. 
Seventy-five feet from the point of intersection of the center lines if intersecting streets are 20 feet or more in width; or
2. 
If one or both streets are less than 20 feet in width, a clear sight triangle of 50 feet must be maintained, except that:
3. 
Clear sight triangles of 100 feet shall be provided for all intersections with arterial and major streets so designated in the circulation study of the 1985 Comprehensive Plan.
(d) 
Planting specifications.
(1) 
Tree pits shall be at least 1 1/2 times the size of the ball in width and depth. The top of the root ball shall be on the same grade as ground level.
(2) 
Planting time. Any nursery stock may be planted during any period of the year when the soil is frost-free (exception: June 30-September 1).
(3) 
If balled and burlapped, the twine covering the upper half of the ball shall be rolled back or cut away after the plant has been set. If stock is grown or wrapped in a nonbiodegradable container, remove the container or wrap before planting (i.e., plastic, treated burlap).
(4) 
The planting hole shall be backfilled 3/4 full with soil, followed by at least five gallons of water. When the water has been absorbed, the hole shall be filled with topsoil and tamped lightly to finished grade and followed with an additional five gallons of water. An area of no less than 15 square feet shall remain open, free of bricks, concrete, asphalt, etc., around the base of the tree, unless otherwise approved by the Shade Tree Commission.
(5) 
Upon completion of the transplanting operation, the landowner may apply three inches of bark mulch over the planting area to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.
(e) 
Maintenance.
(1) 
Period of establishment.
A. 
Plant maintenance shall begin immediately after each plant is satisfactorily planted and shall continue until final inspection by the Shade Tree Commission.
B. 
Plant maintenance shall include, but need not be limited to, replacing mulch that has been displaced by erosion or other means, watering when needed or directed, and performing any other work required to keep the plants in a healthy condition. An adequate moisture supply is estimated to be the equivalent of one inch of water per week, delivered at weekly intervals in the form of rain, or augmented as required by periodic watering.
C. 
The developer shall remove and replace all dead, defective, and rejected plants as occur during this period.
D. 
Stakes and guy wires, if used, shall be removed after a period of one year.
(2) 
Continued maintenance and replacement. The property owner shall be responsible for regular fertilization, pruning and other maintenance of all trees as needed or as deemed necessary by the Shade Tree Commission.