[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Egg Harbor 7-27-1988 by Ord. No. 25-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Mercantile licensing — See Ch. 142.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 208, Trees, adopted 8-11-1975, as amended.
The intent of this chapter to regulate and prevent indiscriminate clearcutting of trees by land developers, ensure proper forest management by commercial and private woodcutters, prevent soil degradation, stream encroachment and other adverse effects upon the environment during timber harvesting and promote proper revegetation of any site; also, to prevent illegal woodcutting and timber piracy within the Township.
A permit shall be obtained pursuant to the provisions of this chapter authorizing the cutting of trees for manufacture or sale as plywood, saw logs or other commercial wood products or any purpose other than personal consumption and use by an owner of parcels of 10 acres or less. A permit shall be obtained by the owner of the premises or his authorized agent so designated by notarized affidavit.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Growing and harvesting of trees for commercial purposes.
- A wood plant that has the potential to reach a height of at least 10 feet, has a single stem and has a definite crown shape.
A permit shall not be required under this chapter for any of the following:
Any tree cut on a parcel of land one acre or less in size on which a residence has been constructed.
Any tree cut on property actually being used as a nursery, garden center, Christmas tree plantation, orchard or active farm (blueberry, produce, etc.).
Any tree to be cut for personal consumption by the owner, which consumption shall not exceed one cord per acre per year.
Any tree cut personally by the owner of the real property, or a member of the owner's household, at a rate no greater than one cord from one acre per year.
Any tree to be cut within a public right-of-way.
Any dead, diseased or other tree cut to avoid or prevent the endangering of life or property in the interest of public safety, or to protect the health of surrounding trees, not in excess of five cords per year without the prior written approval of the Township.
The clearing of trees from more than 1,500 square feet shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter and shall not be considered an exception pursuant to this section.
Permit applications to cut, remove or harvest a stand of trees within the municipality shall be directed to the Township through the office of the Township Clerk. There shall be submitted therewith proof of ownership of the property which is the subject of the application by a certified copy of the deed from the office of the Atlantic County Clerk and affidavit establishing identity, with a notarized power of attorney if the applicant is not the record title owner. The Township Clerk shall set forth and establish all rules and regulations required and deemed necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
Fees. There shall be an application fee of $10 for the first 10 acres applied for and an additional fee of $10 per additional 100 acres or any part thereof. Any fees in excess of $10 shall be refunded in the event of the rejection of the application.
In addition to any requirements established by the municipality in order to obtain a permit, the application shall also require approval by the Environmental Commission, as well as documentation of payment of Environmental Commission of the Township Clerk's rules and regulations and criteria.)
The applicant shall notify, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and produce evidence of such notification, all property owners within 200 feet of lands which are the subject of the application, which notice shall include the nature of the application, the number of acres involved, the location of the property and the date of any hearing required by the application.
All permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval by the Township Committee. Any alteration or deviation from the cutting plan authorized in the permit shall require a new application and approval prior to undertaking the same. In the event that the permittee shall alter or deviate from the approved cutting plan, the permit shall forthwith be rendered null and void. Permits issued pursuant to this chapter are nontransferable.
Forestry within the Township shall be authorized, provided that the following standards are met:
Access to land proposed for harvesting:
Follows previously established roads and trails to the maximum extent practical.
Avoids wetland areas except as is absolutely necessary to harvest wetland species or to gain access to the harvesting site.
Avoids crossing streams with high and unstable banks and those with approaching slopes exceeding 10% where alternative crossing exists.
All activities during and after harvesting are carried out in a manner to avoid damage to stream banks and bottoms, erosion and degradation of water quality, including the following:
Stream banks at crossings shall be stabilized during and after harvesting.
Culverts and bridges shall be temporary in nature.
Trees which serve to stabilize stream banks shall be retained; other trees shall be felled to avoid stream banks where practical and winched off such banks where felling occurs.
A twenty-five-foot vegetated buffer along streams, ponds, lakes and marshes shall be maintained.
The use of active and intermittent stream channels for skidding of logs shall be prohibited.
Skidding shall not occur within 25 feet of streams, ponds, lakes and marshes except for necessary crossings.
Accessways for forestry activities shall be located at least 100 feet from streams, ponds, lakes and marshes where practical.
Landings shall be located in well-drained areas where practical, at least 200 feet from public roads where practical and at least 200 feet from ponds, lakes and marshes.
Filter strips shall be located between harvested areas, landings and skid trails and streams, ponds, lakes and marshes.
Water diversion devices shall be installed as necessary to control erosion.
At the conclusion of any harvesting operation:
All areas disturbed for access, processing, moving or loading trees shall be regraded to approximate natural slopes and water diversion devices are installed as necessary in order to avoid erosion.
All accessways shall be closed and devices installed, such as poles, pilings or berms, that will preclude use of the accessway.
Bare ground areas shall be stabilized as approved by the Egg Harbor Township Environmental Commission, with vegetation where necessary consistent with standards to prevent erosion.
All debris shall be removed from streams.
All nonvegetative refuse shall be collected.
All hanging trees shall be removed.
Within the Pinelands Area, the forestry standards and procedures in the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (N.J.A.C. 7:50-6.41 to 7:50-6.48) shall apply.
[Added 4-11-2012 by Ord. No. 9-2012]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Township Committee or such Township officials as are designated by resolution. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to restrict or impede enforcement of any power or authority granted to the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Bureau of Forestry, for enforcement of N.J.S.A. 13:9-1 et seq., state forest fire laws and regulations or any other statute or regulation.
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall forthwith render any permit authorized and issued hereunder null and void.
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a minimum fine of $100 or a maximum of $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days. Each and every violation shall be considered a separate violation. Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation and who was fined for the previous violation may be sentenced by the Court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed as a repeat offender shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine provided herein, and same shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of this chapter.
[Amended 4-12-2006 by Ord. No. 20-2006]
For purposes of this chapter, each day on which a violation exists shall be deemed or constitute a separate offense and separate complaints may be filed for each such offense.