[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Passaic 6-19-1975 by Ord. No. 297-75 as Chapter XIX of the Revised General Ordinances of the City of Passaic, 1975. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meaning hereinafter ascribed to them respectively:
- Includes the Department of Parks and Public Property of the city, the Director of such Department and any person who the Director shall assign or appoint to perform any act under the provisions of this chapter.
- Includes a city park, city parkway or city park strip in the city.
- Includes road, roadway, highway, public alley and public place in the city.
- Includes shade tree, ornamental tree and shrubbery presently planted or which shall hereafter be planted in any street or park in the city.
No person shall do or cause to be done any of the following acts affecting the trees, shrubbery or ornamental material planted or growing naturally within the highways or public places under the jurisdiction of the city, except with a written permit first obtained from the Department of Parks and Public Property:
Cut, prune or trim any tree in any street.
Plant or set out any tree in any street or park.
Place or maintain any pavement or stone, cement or other material in such manner as shall obstruct free access of air and water to the roots of any tree in any street. Unless otherwise authorized by written permit from the Department, there shall be maintained about the base of the trunk of every tree in a street at least six square feet of open ground for each three inches in diameter of a tree and at least an additional one square foot of open ground for each additional two-inch increase in such diameter. No exception shall be granted hereunder at any time unless for special circumstances which make compliance with these provisions a hardship.
Application for any permit required hereunder shall be made to the Department in writing and shall be accompanied by a fee of $2 and shall be signed by the person assuming the responsibility therefor. All work done under a permit shall be performed in accordance with such reasonable conditions and standards as the Department shall impose, and the applicant shall be responsible for any damage to any tree caused by negligence of the violation of such conditions and standards.
No person owning, using or having control of or in charge of any gas or other substance harmful to tree life shall cause, suffer or permit such gas or other substance to come in contact with any tree or with the soil surrounding the roots of any tree in any street or park in such manner as to cause injury to or destruction of any tree. No person shall cause, suffer or permit any brine, water, oil, liquid dye or substance harmful to tree life to lie, leak, pour, flow or drip on or into the soil about the base of any tree in any street or park or on a sidewalk, road or pavement in such manner as to cause injury to or destruction of any tree.
It shall be unlawful for any person to damage, misuse or remove any device or guard provided for the protection of any tree in any street or park.
No person shall cause, suffer or permit a wire or conductor charged with electricity to come into contact with any tree in a street or park in such manner as to cause injury to or destruction of such tree.
No person shall attach to any tree in any street or park or to a guard or device intended for the protection of any tree any rope, wire or sign or other thing whatsoever.
No person shall tie any horse or other animal to any tree in any such manner as to injure or destroy such tree.
No person shall construct, repair, alter or remove any building or other structure in the city in the vicinity of any tree without providing sufficient and proper safeguards and protection for such tree to prevent injury or destruction thereof. The person in charge of such construction, repair, alteration or removal shall be responsible for the payment of any damage caused by injury to or destruction of any tree because of the violation of the provisions herein. The amount of any damage shall be approved by the Board of Commissioners and, as so approved, shall be certified by the Department to the Tax Collector, whereupon the sum so certified shall be collected as other taxes of real property are collected.
No person shall plant or maintain a diseased tree on any private property. If, in the judgment of the Department, the maintenance of the diseased tree constitutes a hazard to other trees or shall otherwise create a condition that is against the public welfare, the Department shall serve a written notice upon the person in charge of the property requiring that the diseased tree be removed within such time as provided in the notice. If the tree is not removed within the time set forth in the notice, the Department shall remove the tree or cause it to be removed and shall charge the cost of removal against the owner of the property.
The owner of any property upon which a diseased tree is already located may apply to the Department to remove such tree and shall pay the cost for removal.
In the event of the failure to pay the cost of removal, the costs shall be approved by the Board of Commissioners and, as so approved, shall be certified by the Department to the Tax Collector, whereupon the sum so certified shall be collected as other taxes of real property are collected.
The Department is hereby authorized, directed and empowered to make such rules and regulations and to establish such reasonable conditions and standards as may be necessary and requisite for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
The Department shall be authorized and empowered to designate the section or portion of any street or park contiguous to any tree or trees upon which work is to be done and shall post therein an appropriate notice of the designation. Such notice shall be posted not less than eight hours prior to the time when the work therein is commenced, except in the event of an emergency, in which case the requirement for the posting of proper notice shall be waived to the extent required by the emergency.
No person shall park any vehicle in the designated area covered by such notice while the notice shall be posted and in effect.
Notice of each posting shall be given by the Department to the Police Department. The Police Department shall be charged with the due enforcement of the provisions hereof. The Police Department shall have the right to remove from the designated area any vehicle or vehicles which may be parked there in violation of the provisions hereof and shall have the right to drive away or tow the vehicle to such place or places as may be necessary and convenient. The cost of removal, towing and storage shall be paid by the owner of the vehicle or vehicles before such vehicle shall be surrendered by the Police Department.
No person shall interfere with authorized city employees while they are engaged in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any tree and while performing any of their duties in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.