Municipality of Bethel Park, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 5-8-2017 by Ord. No. 5-8-17[1]]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance superseded former Art. I, Shade Tree Commission, adopted 5-8-2017 by Ord. No. 5-8-17.
The Municipality of Bethel Park constitutes and establishes a municipal shade tree commission to be known as the "Municipality of Bethel Park Shade Tree Commission," hereinafter referred to as "the Commission."
The jurisdiction of the Commission shall be within the boundaries of the Municipality. Within those boundaries, the Commission may, as part of the Shade Tree Plan, recommend to Council appropriate boundaries for various Shade Tree Districts.
The Commission will have advisory capacity over all public trees on public property or in the public right-of-way.
The Commission shall study the problems and determine the needs of the Municipality in connection with a tree planting, maintenance, and removal program. It will also assess the need for regulations pertaining to tree preservation, tree protection, and tree replacement specifications and guidelines for new construction and renovation projects.
The Commission shall have the authority to formulate a Shade Tree Master Plan within the Shade Tree Districts. The Shade Tree Master Plan shall include an inventory of existing public trees and shall provide recommendations on the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, and removal or disposition of trees in parks, along streets and on other public sites and shall specify the species of tree most suitable to be planted in these areas. Upon completion of the plan, the Commission will prepare and maintain a list containing the recommended and preferred type and kind of trees to be planted within public areas of the Shade Tree Districts.
The Commission shall create and maintain an inventory of all existing public trees within the designated Shade Tree Districts. This inventory should include information on the locations, species, size, condition, and evaluation of existing public trees.
The Commission may, at the request of the Municipal Council, assist with the solicitation of grants and contributions. All funds obtained shall be expended at the sole discretion of the Council.
The Commission may, at the request of the Municipal Council, provide advice regarding land development plans or major capital renovation projects (such as roadway construction or repair or pipe installation or replacement, etc.) to determine the impact of such plans on public trees. The Commission may then make recommendations to the Municipality on the steps needed to mitigate any impacts. All materials will be reviewed in a timely fashion to coordinate with the Planning and Zoning Commission or Council meeting schedule.
The Commission shall, when requested by the Council, consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work. The Commission shall study the problem and then recommend an appropriate course of action in connection with the Shade Tree Master Plan.
The Commission may, upon authorization by the Municipal Council, retain the services of qualified professionals.
The Commission shall assist the Council, as well as municipal employees and citizens, in the dissemination of news and information regarding the selection, planting, and maintenance of trees within the Shade Tree Districts. The Commission shall likewise make periodic recommendations as to relevant legislation or funding programs concerning issues relevant to the Commission.
The Commission shall work to develop a network of volunteers within the Shade Tree Districts. The Commission shall also work in conjunction with civic and public interest groups devoted to tree care, tree preservation, and other environmental issues relevant to the scope of work of the Commission.
The Commission may, upon authorization by the Municipal Council, retain the services of a certified arborist to conduct a survey of existing public trees to determine if any hazard to life or property exists or if that tree is vulnerable to any prevalent injurious disease, insect, or fungus.
The Commission shall consist of five voting members who will serve without compensation. The voting members will be appointed by the Council. The Council will endeavor to appoint members who have experience and/or expertise in environmental and "shade tree" issues and practices.
Council may appoint up to three additional alternate members who have particular experience or expertise that is beneficial to the Commission, including but not limited to arborists, landscape architects, experts at utility pruning practices/issues, or experts in the management of a shade tree program.
[Amended 10-8-2018 by Ord. No. 10-8-18B]
All members of the Commission shall be residents or owners of businesses that are located within the Municipality of Bethel Park.
The term of each voting member of the Commission will be five years. To ensure continuity from year to year, the terms of initial members will be staggered. Staggered terms will be created initially by having the Municipality appoint one member for three years, another two members for four years, and the last two members for five years. On expiration of each term of that member, the Municipality will either reappoint the member or appoint a successor, who will serve a full five-year term.
Any vacancies on the Commission shall be filled by the Council, and the appointee will serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
There are no term limits, and voting members with expiring terms may be reappointed to consecutive terms at the discretion of the Council.
A member may remain on the Commission after expiration of his or her term until a replacement has been duly appointed by the Council.
The terms of alternate members shall be three years. Any alternate may participate in any proceeding or discussion of the Commission but shall not be entitled to vote as a member of the Commission unless designated as a voting alternate member pursuant to Section 13.5.6 of this article. If an alternate is designated to sit on the Commission by reason of absence or disqualification of a member of the Commission, as set forth in Section 13.5.6, the alternate as a voting member shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Commission to the same and full extent as provided for the Commission members, including specifically the right to cast a vote as a voting member during proceedings.
[Amended 10-8-2018 by Ord. No. 10-8-18B]
If a full complement of voting members is not available because of absence or disqualification of a member, the Chairman of the Commission shall designate alternate members of the Commission, if available, as voting members to obtain a full complement of voting members. There shall not be more than five members voting on any specific item or matter. Any alternate member of the Commission shall continue to serve on the Commission in all proceedings involving the item or matter for which the alternate was initially appointed until the Commission has made a final determination of the item or matter. Designation of an alternate shall be made on a case-by-case basis in rotation according to seniority among alternates.
[Added 10-8-2018 by Ord. No. 10-8-18B]
The terms of the initial alternates will be staggered. The term of office for alternate members shall be so fixed so that one alternate member of the possible three alternate members shall expire each year.
[Added 10-8-2018 by Ord. No. 10-8-18B]
The Commission shall meet in January of each year and elect one member to serve as Chairperson of the Commission. The Chairperson shall have the authority to call and conduct meetings of the Commission, receive all correspondence and other materials on behalf of the Commission, and perform such duties as may be delegated to him or her by the other Commission members.
The Secretary of the Commission shall also be elected by the Commission at the January meeting. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meetings and a permanent record of all business conducted by the Commission. A written record shall be kept of all meetings and made available to the Council for its reference.
The Commission will meet on a quarterly basis, or as needed, and will publicize all meeting times and dates. The Chairperson of the Commission shall have the right to cancel/postpone meetings or schedule additional meetings, as necessary, to conduct the affairs of the Commission.
All voting and alternate members of the Commission are expected to regularly attend Commission meetings.
[Amended 10-8-2018 by Ord. No. 10-8-18B]
The Commission shall prepare and submit to the Municipality on an annual basis a report of its activities and all Commission expenses and transactions.