[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Ridgewood 11-28-2018 by Ord. No. 3682. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Animals — See Ch. 105.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 115.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 249.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 260, adopted 8-27-1974 by Ord. No. 1541.
This chapter rescinds and replaces in its entirety Ordinance No. 3599, previously adopted on June 14, 2017 with an effective date of July 4, 2017 that amended Chapter 260 of the Village of Ridgewood Code.
The Council of the Village of Ridgewood, advocates the preservation of trees throughout the Village of Ridgewood, so as to minimize stormwater runoff, soil erosion, and a decreased groundwater recharge to our groundwater aquifer supplied potable water system. All of which can negatively impact the character of the Village and decreased property values. The Village desires to encourage the replacement of trees that need to be removed with new trees.
Below are defined key terms to be used with this chapter.
- DBH (DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT)
- The diameter of a tree trunk, when measured at a height of 4.5 feet above the ground at the base of the tree, calculated as the circumference (or girth) of the tree divided by pi (3.1416). On sloping ground the aboveground reference point is the average between the highest and lowest points of the ground at the base of the tree. If the DBH point falls on a swelling in the trunk, it is measured below the swelling point where the diameter is the smallest. In case of trees with multiple trunks, the DBH of each trunk shall be measured separately.
- NATIVE SPECIES
- Trees that are native to the Northern New Jersey (or immediate region) environment.
- QUALIFIED TREE
- Any tree with a diameter measured at breast height (DBH) greater than eight inches, on any lands within the Village of Ridgewood.
- QUALIFIED TREE EXPERT
- An individual that holds a New Jersey State Certified Tree Expert license, or is a Board Certified Arborist or Master Arborist under the International Society of Arboriculture.
- REPLACEMENT TREE
- Any tree proposed to be considered as replacement for a tree removed under a permit.
Editor's Note: Said Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Pursuant to the authority contained in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.26 et seq., the owner or tenant of any land or premises within the Village, wherever necessary to address issues of public safety, shall keep all brush, hedges, and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway, within one foot of the edge of a sidewalk, and within 25 feet of the intersection of two roadways cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet above grade within 10 days after receipt of written notice sent to the last known post office address of such owner or tenant, by certified return receipt mail, to cut the same.
The aforesaid notice shall be sent by the Director of Department of Building and Inspections, or their designee; or the Director of Parks and Recreation, or their designee; as well as the Director of Public Works or their designee, and shall direct the cutting of all such brush, hedges or other plant life and shall set forth the reasons therefore and provide an opportunity to such owner or tenant, within five days of the receipt of such notice, to show cause before the identified Directors, by sending a written reply to such notice why the demands therein cannot be complied with.
No person, property owner, hired firm, or other entity shall cause to be cut or removed any existing tree, with a diameter at breast height (DBH) greater than two inches, upon any public lands or within the public rights-of-way of the Village of Ridgewood, without prior written approval from the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department or their designee; or the Director of the Department of Public Works or their designee. Any such cutting or removal of a tree or trees, with a DBH greater than two inches, shall only be permitted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or occupant of any lands within the limits of the Village to permit to exist or harbor tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, or any other insect detrimental to the health of a tree. Any firm retained to eradicate insects trees shall be duly licensed for such tasks by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The Village Manager may appoint from time to time one or more inspectors to make an inspection of the trees or shrubbery in the Village, on both public and private lands, for the purposes of identifying any insects detrimental to the well-being of trees and shrubbery. If such insects are noted, the inspectors shall notify the responsible property owner by certified mail return receipt letter requesting that they address the noted concerns within 14 calendar days from the date of the letter at their cost. Failure to do so will be considered a violation of this chapter.
It shall be expressly prohibited anywhere within the public rights-of-way and public properties of the Village of Ridgewood to affix a sign or any other device to a tree of any size by means of fasteners like nails, screws, or bolts.
It shall be expressly prohibited in the Village of Ridgewood to fasten any rope, wire, or cable to a tree within the public right-of-way for any reason other than for staking stabilization purposes in accordance with standard arboriculture practices.
No person shall hitch or fasten an animal to any tree or shrub within a public right-of-way or any guard or support provided for such tree or shrub or permit an animal to bite or otherwise injure any such tree or shrub.
No person shall permit or cause to be permitted the discharge or release of any liquid, gas or solid compound containing injurious chemicals to come in contact with the stalk, leaves, or roots of any tree or shrub within the public right-of-way.
During the execution of any work on trees in the public right-of-way of the Village of Ridgewood, for which permission has been obtained, other than for a tree's removal, no gaffs or spikes shall be permitted to be used to ascend a tree by a climber.
It shall be expressly prohibited in the Village of Ridgewood to alter or prune any tree within the public right-of-way, or the conditions surrounding a tree in the public right-of-way in such a manner so as to reduce its viability and life span.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or occupant of any lands within the limits of the Village to permit to exist or harbor any insects detrimental to the well-being of trees or shrubbery on such premise after being noticed of such by certified mail return receipt requested.
When a sidewalk is constructed or being reconstructed due to defects within the public right-of-way, the party responsible for the work (i.e., the adjacent property owner), shall coordinate all work that may affect the roots systems of trees within the public right-of-way with the Village's Arborist (qualified tree expert). No tree root or roots shall be cut or removed for sidewalk construction or driveway enlargement, without first obtaining the Village Arborist's authorization. The Village Arborist shall have sole authority in the determination if root grinding, a tree's removal, or a round out or bump out are warranted with the goal of preservation of trees in the public right-of-way as best as possible. Any tree roots cut or removed without the Village Arborist's authorization shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
During the erection, repair, alteration, or removal of any building or structure within the Village, it shall be unlawful for the person or entity in charge of such work to fail to protect any tree within the public right-of-way in the vicinity of such work with suitable guards and protective measures so as to prevent injury to such tree arising out of or by reason of such erection, repair, alteration or removal of a building or structure.
Every person or entity having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current or communication transmission along a public roadway shall at all times guard all trees through which or near which such wires pass against injury from such wire. The means used shall in every case be subject to approval by the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation or their designee.
Every person having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current or communication along a public roadway shall temporarily remove any such wire or the electricity there from when it shall be necessary in order to take down or prune any trees growing in a public roadway in the Village of Ridgewood within 24 hours after the service upon or notification to the owner of such wire or his agent of a written notice to remove such wire or the electricity there from, signed by the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation or their designee.
No person shall prevent, delay, or interfere with any lawful work undertaken by the Department of Parks and Recreation or the Department of Public Works with regard to trees within the public rights-of-way of the Village of Ridgewood.
The Village's Director of Parks and Recreation or their designee; the Director of Public Works or their designee; the designated Village Arborist; or any other Village employee who may be designated by the Village Manager, shall have the authority to enforce all provisions of this chapter. Enforcement shall mean the following:
Issuance of a municipal summons for violations of sections of this chapter.