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Borough of Clementon, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Clementon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 249.
Zoning — See Ch. 298.
[Adopted 8-7-1956 by Ord. No. 56-8]
[Amended 7-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-12]
There is hereby created in the Borough of Clementon a board to be known as "Clementon Shade Tree Commission," which shall consist of seven regular members and two alternate members, who are residents of Clementon, to be appointed by the Mayor and to serve without compensation.
The terms of office of the members of said Commission shall in first appointment be for one, two and three years, from September 1, next succeeding such appointment. All subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for the full term of three years, to take effect on September 1.
The said Commission shall have power to:
A. 
Exercise full and exclusive control over the regulation, planting and care of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery now located, or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway, park or parkway, except county parks or parkways, of the municipality for which it was created, including the planting, trimming, spraying care and protection thereof.
B. 
Regulate and control the use of the ground surrounding the same so far as may be necessary for their proper growth, care and protection.
C. 
Move or require the removal of any tree or part thereof dangerous to public safety, at the expense of the owner of such tree.
D. 
Remove any tree or part thereof at the request and expense of the owner of such tree.
E. 
Care for and control such parks and parkways; encourage arboriculture; make, alter, amend and repeal, in the manner prescribed for the passage, alteration, amendment and repeal of ordinances by the governing body of the municipality, any and all ordinances necessary or proper for carrying out the provisions hereof.
No person, firm or corporation shall do, or cause to be done, any of the following acts upon a public highway, public park or other public place within the Borough of Clementon without the written permit of the Shade Tree Commission:
A. 
Cut, trim, break, climb with spike, disturb the roots of or otherwise injure, or spray with any injurious chemical, or remove any living tree or shrub, or injure, misuse or remove any structure or device placed to support or protect such trees or shrubs.
B. 
Plant any tree or shrub.
C. 
Fasten any rope, wire, electric attachment, sign or other device to a tree or shrub or to any guard about such tree or shrub.
D. 
Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree or shrub to permit the access of air, water or fertilizer to the roots of such tree or shrub.
E. 
Pile any building material or mix any mortar or cement within six feet of a tree or shrub.
Throughout the period of erection or repairs of any building or structure, or in the improvement or repairs of a highway, the owner thereof or the contractor shall place such guards around all nearby trees on the public highways as shall effectually prevent injury to such trees.
Every person, firm or corporation having control over any wire for the transmission of an electric current along a public highway shall at all times guard all trees through which or near which such wires pass, against any injury from the wires or from the electric current carried by it. The device or means used shall in every case be subject to approval of the Shade Tree Commission.
No person, firm or corporation shall hitch or fasten any animal to any tree or shrub upon a public highway or to any guard or support provided for the same, or shall permit any animal to bite or otherwise injure any such tree or shrub.
No person, firm or corporation shall permit any brine, gas or injurious liquid or solid matter to come in contact with the stem or roots of any tree or shrub upon a public highway.
No person, firm or corporation shall prevent, delay or interfere with any lawful work undertaken hereunder by the Shade Tree Commission, its agents or employees.
Any person, firm or corporation that shall violate any provisions of this article shall be liable to a fine of not less than $5 or more than $100, to be determined by the Municipal Magistrate. Each 24 hours of continued violation of this article after a complaint is made shall constitute a separate offense.
This article shall be enforced by proceedings, process and practice in the same manner as provided by law for the enforcement of ordinances of the Borough Council of the Borough of Clementon.
[Adopted 10-23-1989 by Ord. No. 89-18]
This article shall be known as the "Borough of Clementon Tree Protection Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to establish protective regulations for trees within the Borough of Clementon in order to control problems of flooding, soil erosion, air and noise pollution; to protect the safety, welfare and health of the citizenry of the Borough; to promote quality development in the Borough; and to make the Borough of Clementon a healthier and safer place in which to live.
The intent of this article is to encourage the protection of the maximum number of healthy trees within the tree protection zone and of large specimen trees throughout the Borough, regardless of location. It is not intended to be punitive nor to cause undue hardship to any individual or private or public company who or which has taken reasonable care and diligence to protect the trees within the Borough of Clementon.
A. 
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CROWN
The branches and foliage of a tree; the upper portion of a tree.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
A person registered as a landscape architect by the State of New Jersey.
LANDSCAPER
An individual who has been gainfully employed for a period of at least five years in a position involving the care and planting of trees.
PERMIT
Any permit, in writing, as issued by a Borough official.
PERSON
Any individual, person, association, company, corporation or similar group.
QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL FORESTER
A person has a B.S. degree from a four-year school of forestry accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
TREE
Any wood perennial plant usually having but one main stem or trunk and a more or less definitely formed crown and which has the potential, based on its genus and species, to grow to a height of 10 feet or more.
TREE DIAMETER
The width of a tree measured 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
TREE DRIPLINE
The marking where the outer edge of a tree's branches overhang the ground.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE
That portion of a lot not covered by the proposed building or improvement or within a distance of eight feet around the perimeter of said building or improvement of the proposed cartway, the sidewalk portion of a street right-of-way, a utility easement or parking area.
TREE REMOVAL
The cutting down of a tree, the transplanting of a tree to a site other than that under development or the infliction of damage to a tree which is of such severity as to show evidence within a period of two years of irreparable harm leading to the ultimate death of a tree. Examples of said serious damage include but are not limited to damage inflicted to the root system machinery; storage of materials; soil compaction; changing the natural grade above or below the root system or around the trunk; damage inflicted on the tree, permitting fungus infection or pest infestation; excessive pruning; excessive thinning; or paving with concrete, asphalt or other impervious material within such proximity as to be harmful to the tree.
TREE ROOT AREA
The area under a tree extending from the trunk to the dripline.
B. 
For purposes of this article, the singular number shall include the plural, and the plural number shall include the singular, unless the context clearly denotes otherwise.
A. 
No person, directly or indirectly, shall, without first obtaining a permit as herein provided, remove or relocate to another site any tree within a tree protection zone or remove any tree having a diameter of 24 inches or greater, regardless of location.
B. 
The provisions of §§ 274-16 and 274-17 shall be applicable only when the property on which the tree(s) is located is in excess of 7,500 square feet and the owner or his designee has submitted an application to the Borough of Clementon Planning Board for subdivision approval or site plan review approval. For the purpose of calculating 7,500 square feet in a subdivision application, the total amount of all lots shall be considered.
C. 
There is hereby established a presumption that each and every tree of six inches in diameter or greater located within the tree protection zone shall be preserved at its location on the site. Each such tree located within the tree protection zone may be removed only if the Planning Board finds that the applicant has satisfied the standards set forth in § 274-17D below as to each tree proposed to be removed.
D. 
The standards contained herein shall be minimum standards to be met and maintained. Standards established by other Borough ordinances or by state and federal rules and regulations shall apply where those standards are more restrictive than those set forth herein.
A. 
At the time of application for preliminary subdivision and/or site plan approval, the applicant shall submit an application for proposed tree preservation and removal, along with a plan showing the location of all existing trees on the subject site having a diameter of six inches or greater, by species, size and conditions. The plan shall also show:
(1) 
Trees proposed to be removed and trees to be maintained.
(2) 
Specifications for removal of existing trees and protection of existing trees during construction.
(3) 
Grade changes or other work adjacent to the tree which would affect it adversely, with specifications on how the grade, drainage and aeration will be maintained around the tree.
B. 
The Borough Engineer shall review the tree plan and, if necessary, inspect the site and issue a report to the Planning Board setting forth his recommendations, which shall be considered by said Board. All reviews and inspections by the Engineer shall be paid for by the applicant through the deposit of escrow funds.
C. 
The Planning Board shall have authority to approve or to deny the application and plan as part of the subdivision and/or site plan review.
D. 
The following standards and conditions shall be considered and reviewed in advance of granting a tree removal permit:
(1) 
The necessity to remove trees which pose a safety hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or threaten to cause disruption of public services.
(2) 
The necessity to remove trees which pose a safety hazard to building.
(3) 
The necessity to remove diseased trees, trees infested with destructive insects liable to infect the healthy trees on the subject or adjacent property or trees weakened by age, storm, fire or other injury.
(4) 
The necessity to observe good forestry practices, i.e., the number of healthy trees that a given parcel of land will support when documented by a report prepared on behalf of the developer by a qualified professional forester or a registered landscape architect.
(5) 
The necessity for compliance with other codes, such as zoning and subdivision regulations,[1] health and other environmental ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 298, Zoning, and Ch. 249, Subdivision of Land.
(6) 
Other conditions which, in the judgment of the Planning Board, warrant the removal of the tree.
E. 
No building permit shall be issued until the applicant has obtained approval of its tree preservation and removal application and plan.
During construction, developers shall exercise care to protect any retained trees from damage. The following procedures shall be observed in order to protect retained trees:
A. 
Protection from mechanical injury.
(1) 
All trees to be retained within 25 feet of a building site and lining ingress or egress roads, parking areas and utility easements shall be protected from equipment damage by wrapping the trunk with a section of snow fence or boards wired together. All exposed roots, trunks and low hanging branches shall be similarly protected. Groups of trees may be protected by fencing the entire area where they are located.
(2) 
Heavy equipment operators shall be careful not to damage existing tree trunks and roots. Feeder roots shall not be cut closer than 25 feet to tree trunks.
(3) 
Tree trunks and exposed roots damaged during construction shall be protected from further damage by being treated immediately with tree wound dressing or asphalt-based tree paint.
(4) 
Tree limbs damaged during construction shall be sawed off flush to tree trunks and treated immediately with tree wound dressing or asphalt-based tree paint.
(5) 
The operation of heavy equipment over root systems shall be minimized in order to prevent soil compaction.
(6) 
Deciduous trees shall be given an application of a slow-release, low-nitrogen, all-purpose fertilizer to aid in their recovery from possible damage caused by construction operations. Such application shall be made on the basis of two pounds of fertilizer for every inch of tree diameter.
(7) 
Trees shall not be used for roping, cables, signs or fencing. Nails and spikes shall not be driven into trees.
(8) 
The area around the base of existing trees shall be left open to provide access for water and nutrients. Therefore, no impervious cover nor storage of equipment, materials, debris or fill shall be allowed within the dripline of any existing tree, except as may be necessary, for a maximum of three months, if no other storage space is available.
B. 
Protection from grade changes.
(1) 
Raising the grade. If an increase in the grade of the land is proposed, the developer shall install either:
(a) 
A system of gravel and drain tiles at the old soil level opening into a dry well built around the trunk and designed for each tree individually, fitting the contour of the land so that it drains water away from the tree trunk; or
(b) 
A retaining wall between the existing grade and the higher grade to be constructed a sufficient distance from the tree so as to adequately protect the roots of the tree.
(2) 
Lowering the grade. If a lowering of the grade is proposed, the developer shall initiate one of the following methods to protect the trees:
(a) 
Terracing the grade.
(b) 
A retaining wall between the existing grade and the lower.
(3) 
If the proposed grade change, in the opinion of the Borough Engineer, is too excessive to allow for the retention of existing trees, the developer shall be required to replace the trees to be removed on a one-to-four basis (one inch of new tree diameter for every four inches of tree diameter removed).
C. 
Protection from excavating. When digging trenches for utility lines and other similar uses, the developer shall adhere to the following, listed in the order of their preference:
(1) 
If possible, trenches should bypass the root area.
(2) 
If this is impossible, trenches should be tunneled under the trees.
(3) 
If trenches must be dug past the side of a tree, the following precautions shall be observed:
(a) 
Trenches shall be no closer to the trunk than half the distance from the dripline.
(b) 
As few roots as possible shall be cut.
(c) 
If roots have to be cut, they shall be cut as cleanly as possible.
(d) 
The cut ends shall be painted with a tree wound dressing or asphalt-based tree paint.
(e) 
The trench shall be backfilled as soon as possible, avoiding soil compaction.
D. 
Protection during cleanup.
(1) 
All construction debris shall be hauled away instead of burned or buried.
(2) 
Fences and barriers around trees shall be the last thing to be removed from the site.
A. 
Replacement of trees lost during construction. Where developers find it impossible to retain existing trees in the tree protection zone, or any tree with a diameter of 24 inches or greater, due to cutting, filling or other construction activity, the developer shall replant one inch of new tree diameter for every four inches of existing tree diameter removed. New trees shall have a minimum diameter of two inches measured six inches above the ground. Replanting shall be done according to the standards specified by the American Nurserymen's Association. The Borough Engineer shall be consulted before approval is given to the plan for the replacement trees.
B. 
Criteria for selection of trees. When a developer is required to replace trees that he has removed, the developer shall replace the trees with the same species that were removed or, with the Borough Planning Board's approval, choose other tree species from the list of trees native to the Borough of Clementon. In selecting replacement trees, the following criteria should be used:
(1) 
Species longevity.
(2) 
Hardiness (wind firmness, climate requirements and characteristics of soil to hold the tree).
(3) 
Susceptibility to insect and disease attack and to pollution.
(4) 
Aesthetic values (coloration, type of flowers or fruit and form characteristics).
(5) 
Maintenance and care (pruning, etc.).
(6) 
Wildlife values.
(7) 
Comfort to surroundings (summer shade).
(8) 
Existence of disease, rot or other damage to the tree.
(9) 
Protection of buildings, vehicles and pedestrians.
(10) 
Size at maturity.
(11) 
Effect of soil retention and erosion control.
(12) 
Value as a noise buffer.
(13) 
Undesirable characteristics.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Borough of Clementon shall have the same powers and authority provided to the Planning Board herein when such Zoning Board reviews any subdivision or site plan application pursuant to its exercise of jurisdiction under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76 or any amendments thereto.
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation that shall violate any provision of this article shall be subject to one or more of the following: a penalty not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or community service up to but no greater than 90 days, or a combination of any of the above.
B. 
If the violation is continuing in nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.
No provision of this article shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory course of action or legal remedy which may be otherwise provided in law or equity for any violation of this article.