[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hillside 10-8-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Trees and shrubs — See Ch. 283.
The Township Council of the Township of Hillside finds that the indiscriminate, uncontrolled and excessive destruction or removal of trees within the Township has caused or contributed to drainage problems, soil erosion or increased dust and noise pollution and loss of tree species, with the result that there is and will be a continuing deterioration of conditions affecting the health or safety or general welfare of the inhabitants of the Township or other municipalities or the property of any such inhabitants or governmental entities.
The Township Council of the Township of Hillside has established the following objectives to preserve and protect the environment and general welfare of the residents of the Township:
Encourage the planting and preservation of mature shade trees at regular intervals along all streets and roads within the Township;
Encourage proper maintenance of all trees, whether on private or public property; and
Discourage, reduce and eliminate the indiscriminate, uncontrolled and excessive destruction or removal of trees to prevent or reduce drainage problems, soil erosion, increased dust and noise pollution, decreased carbon dioxide absorption and loss of tree species.
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth:
- A line connecting the tips of the outermost branches of a tree, projected vertically onto the ground.
- An event or events, disease or condition which has damaged or destroyed a tree or trees, and the continued presence of such damage or destroyed tree or trees imminently threatens life or property in proximity thereto.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, governmental agency or other entity.
- PROTECTIVE BARRIER
- A barrier constructed to protect the root system or trunk of a tree from damage during construction or from equipment or soil or material deposits. Such a barrier may consist of a snow fence, hay bales, sawhorses or other similar structures approved by the Public Works Department or Building Department, and sufficient to protect the root system or trunk of a tree from the aforementioned damage.
- That land dedicated to public use for road purposes or utility easements.
- Any living, woody, perennial plant having a circumference greater than three inches which is 9.5 inches in circumference when measured at a point of four feet above the ground, except that, as to dogwood, birch or American hornbill trees, the circumference shall be two inches, which is 6.25 inches in circumference when measured at a point four feet above the ground. In the event that a tree has more than one trunk at a point of four feet above the ground, the described measurement shall apply to the largest trunk.
- TREE INSPECTOR
- An official of the Township appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Township Council to administer the provisions hereof and who is qualified as a forester, person, landscaper, tree surgeon or arborist or similarly qualified person and who is otherwise acceptable to the Township.
No person shall destroy or remove any tree upon any lands, including the public right-of-way and easements with the Township of Hillside until a permit has been secured pursuant to this chapter or the removal is specifically exempt hereunder.
No building permit for any construction in the Township involving the destruction or removal of any tree or construction under the dripline of any tree shall be issued until the tree inspector has issued a permit hereunder.
To issue a permit hereunder, the tree inspector shall identify the species involved, review the conditions of the trees, and the proposed location of the buildings and improvements on the land involved, in order to save the maximum number of trees; make recommendations for protective measures, if warranted; note his or her findings, if any, on the building plans; forward his or her findings to each, the Township Engineer and Building Inspector of the Township of Hillside, and to the Planning Board, in the case an application for approval of a subdivision or site plan is pending. Site plan requires that existing and proposed trees be shown on plans submitted to the Township.
No person shall remove or cut tree roots within a street, right-of-way or public area prior to obtaining a permit from Public Works.
Unless such removal or destruction or construction is exempt from the provisions hereof, any person desiring to remove or destroy any living tree shall apply to the Tree Inspector for a permit to remove or destroy such tree. Such application, to be in a form acceptable to the Tree Inspector, shall identify the land upon which the tree sought to be destroyed or removed is located; shall indicate, in writing, the names and addresses of the owner or owners and tenants (if any) and shall identify and locate any tree sought to be destroyed or removed; and shall submit an appropriate plan which shall be drawn and in writing a reason for tree removal or destruction, acceptable to the Tree Inspector, for accomplishing such destruction or removal.
Within seven business days after submission of an application for a permit hereunder, the Tree Inspector shall review the site and the application and either grant or deny said permit or shall extend, for an additional seven business days, the period for review and thereafter grant or deny said permit pursuant to the findings set forth in the application. If no action is taken by the Tree Inspector within aforesaid seven business days or the additional like period for review, the applicant may apply directly to the Shade Tree Commission who shall render a decision(s) within 10 business days after receipt of appeal. Failure of the Shade tree Commission to act within the aforesaid 10 business days shall be deemed approval of the application.
The Tree Inspector and/or Fire Department, Police Department or Public Works Department, in the event of an emergency, will make a determination whether immediate removal is required. In the event immediate removal is required, the Township will remove the tree at the homeowner's expense. All costs will be certified to the Township Council by the inspector or Code Enforcement Officer and, if found correct by the governing body, shall cause the cost to be billed as a tax lien against the property owner.
For each and every tree removed from public property or right-of-way regardless of the reason, a new tree of the same species or approved equivalent by the Tree Inspector will be planted. The minimum circumference shall be two inches measured at a point four feet above the ground.
The Tree Inspector and/or Township Council or Shade Tree Commission shall deny the application when the proposed destruction or removal of tree will cause or contribute to drainage problems, soil erosion, increased dust, loss of tree species or a deterioration of conditions affecting the health or safety or general welfare of the inhabitants of the Township of Hillside or any other municipality or the property of any such inhabitants or governmental entity.
Any destruction or removal of trees within the public right-of-way or a public area shall be exempt from the provisions hereof if the trees sought to be destroyed or removed are: removed in accordance with a management plan approved by the Township of Hillside and approved by the Shade Tree Commission and Tree Inspector or do not fall within the definition of a tree.
No materials, machinery or temporary soil deposits shall be placed within the dripline area of any tree located on any premises for which a building permit was issued for construction hereon. In any area where construction equipment will be used, the builder shall protect the trees by erecting a protective barrier around the area defined by the dripline, except that when the dripline extends to within 12 feet of a building or extends over driveways or recreational areas, the following shall apply:
The position of said protective barrier may be moved so as to allow a working area of 12 feet from the base of the building.
Materials, machinery or temporary soil deposits may be placed within 12 feet of the building.
In the proximity of any impermeable surface such as a driveway, recreational areas and parking areas, and other impermeable surfaces.
Materials, machinery or temporary soil deposits may be placed within the dripline upon impermeable surfaces.
New trees shall be planted five feet beyond any public right-of-way.
Any dead or dying tree creating a deleterious appearance or safety hazard shall be removed by the property within 60 days of such conditions noted by the Township.
Driplines of trees extending over private or public properties shall be cut back if requested by adjoining private property owners or the Township.
Dead tree branches extending over public right-of-way lines shall be removed upon notification by the adjacent property owner or Township.
The applicant, at the time of submitting an application, shall pay a fee of $25 for each tree to be removed or destroyed within the right-of-way. Fees shall not be charged for emergency removals provided that notice to the Tree Inspector shall be given in accordance with the subsection requiring application for a permit; however, when a governmental agency decrees an emergency removal under Subsection C of Emergency removal, this section shall not apply.
See § 282-6A.
The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced by the Tree Inspector, who shall inspect or require adequate inspection of the tree removal or destruction and shall seek penalties as provided in this chapter.
In any prosecution for failure to secure a permit prior to removal, the following shall apply:
The diameter of the stump of a removed tree shall be presumed to be the diameter of the removed tree at a point of four feet above the ground.
If the stump of a removed tree has been removed or destroyed, it shall be presumed that the tree exceeded the minimum standards requiring a permit to be secured.
Any person violating or causing to be violated any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 and shall replace each tree destroyed or removed in violation of this chapter with another tree of the same species, at least two inches in diameter measured at a point four feet above the ground. The Township can also impose the fees as noted under State Law LSB No. 10731. Each tree destroyed or removed in violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense.