[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following shall have the meanings indicated:
- PLANT CONSTRUCTION
- As applied to public utility companies, means poles, wires, cables, surface conduits, pipes, manholes and appurtenant facilities of such companies installed in a street.
- PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY
- A public utility as defined in the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey (N.J.R.S. 48:2-13).
No person or corporation shall cut, break, climb, injure or remove any tree in a public highway of the Borough of Somerville, or any plant, shrub or tree in any park of the Borough of Somerville, without a written permit from the Borough Engineer.
No person or corporation shall place any rope, wire, sign, poster or other fixture on a tree or a tree guard in a public highway, or injure, misuse or remove, or cause or procure any person to injure, misuse or remove, any device placed to protect any tree or plant in any street or any park of said borough, without a written permit from the Borough Engineer.
No person shall enter upon any portion of the lawn or grounds within a public park when notified by a sign placed in such park or by a guardian of such park or by a police officer not to enter upon such lawn or grounds.
No person shall leave or deposit any paper or other waste material in any public park, except in such receptacles as may be provided therein for that purpose.
No person shall offer any article for sale, display any advertising device or distribute any circulars or cards in a public park.
No person shall fasten a horse or other animal to a tree in a public highway or in any public park, or cause a horse or other animal to stand so that said horse or animal can injure any tree, shrub or plant.
No shade or ornamental tree or shrub shall be planted in any of the public highways until such tree or shrub shall have first been approved and the place where it is to be planted shall have been designated, by the Borough Engineer and a permit granted therefor.
No person or corporation shall, without a written permit from the Borough Engineer, place or maintain, or cause to be placed or maintained, upon the ground in a public highway, any stone, cement or other sidewalk or any stone, cement or other substance which shall impede the free access of water and air to the roots of any tree in such highway. Unless otherwise provided for in such permit, there must be maintained about the base of the trunk of such tree in the street at least four (4) square feet of open ground for a tree of three (3) inches or less in diameter, and for every three (3) inches of increase in such diameter there must be an increase of at least one (1) square foot of open ground.
Throughout the period of the erection or repairing of any building or structure, or in the improvement or repairing of any highway, the owner thereof or the contractor shall place such guards around all nearby trees on the public highway as shall effectually prevent injury to such trees.
No person or corporation shall string any wire or wires through any public park without a written permit from the Recreation Commission.
Any person or corporation having any wire or wires running through a public park or highway shall securely fasten such wire or wires so that they shall not come in contact with any part of any tree therein.
When necessary to prune or take down any tree located in a public park or highway, any person or corporation having a wire or wires running through any public park or highway shall temporarily remove such wire or wires within twenty-four (24) hours after the service upon the owner of said wire or wires or upon his agent of a written notice signed by the Borough Engineer.
No person shall do any of the following acts to any tree on a street without the prior permit of the Borough Engineer:
Cut, disturb or interfere in any way with any root.
Spray with any chemical.
Remove or damage any guard or device placed to protect any tree or shrub.
Conduct razing, removal or renovation of any structure if deemed by the Engineer to be damaging to neighboring street trees.
Place or distribute chemicals, including, but not limited to salt deleterious to tree health.
Maintain a stationary fire or device which vaporizes noxious fumes deleterious to tree health.
Remove soil, either for trenching or otherwise.
Construct new sidewalks and/or driveways with any material whatsoever within five (5) feet of a tree.
The Borough Engineering Department may grant to public utility companies a blanket permit for tree pruning for line clearance and for the installation and the maintenance of subsurface and aboveground plant construction if there is interference with or endangerment to street trees.
Public utility companies may, during periods of emergency, without specific prior permit install temporary attachments to trees and make emergency subsurface repairs.
Each public utility company shall exercise reasonable diligence in the maintenance of its plant construction so as to avoid damage to trees.
Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction by a Judge officiating within the Borough of Somerville, be fined a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisoned for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both, for each offense. Each day any violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.