City of Rahway, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Rahway as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 151.
Trimming of brush, hedges and plant life — See Ch. 365, Art. VII.
[Adopted 7-9-1984 by Ord. No. A-12-84 as Ch. 393, Art. I, of the 1984 Code]
The City of Rahway hereby finds that indiscriminate and excessive cutting of trees upon tracts of land has resulted in creating increased surface drainage and increased soil erosion, thereby causing increased municipal costs to control drainage within the city, and impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing residential property in such areas and impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas, with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the city.
This article shall apply to all persons or corporations who are or will be applying for building permits for more than one home or a home to be built as part of an uncompleted development.
No building permit shall be issued unless such person or corporation shows on an appropriate plan prepared by a licensed engineer or land surveyor, to a scale of not less than one inch equals 20 feet, all proposed tree removals in relation to the survey stakes marking out a building foundation or dwelling, garage, driveway, recreation area or any site that warrants tree removal. The species and condition of trees shall be checked by the Department of Public Works and shall be indicated upon the plan. Such plan shall be certified by the Department of Public Works to the Supervisor of Planning and Buildings of the City of Rahway, who shall enforce the provisions of this article.
No live tree exceeding six inches in diameter shall be cut down except under the following circumstances:
A. 
If their presence would cause hardship or endanger the public or an adjoining property owner.
B. 
In areas to be occupied by buildings, driveways or recreation areas and within a distance of 15 feet around the perimeter of such building, depending on tree species and conditions, to be determined by the Department of Public Works.
C. 
Unless the area shall have a cut or fill of land deemed injurious or dangerous to the trees. The determination of the Department of Public Works in this respect shall depend on the species of the tree and degree of injury and shall be indicated on the plan referred to herein.
No material, machinery or temporary soil deposits shall be placed within four feet of any existing tree trunk or stem.
Any person aggrieved by the provisions of this article shall have the right, within 10 days from the decision of the Department of Public Works, to appeal to the Business Administrator of the City of Rahway, who shall review the decision of the Department of Public Works. Unless the decision is revoked or modified, it shall remain in full force and effect.
[Amended 7-9-1984 by Ord. No. A-12-84]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Municipal Judge.
[Adopted 6-10-1987 by Ord. No. A-5-87]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CITY TREE
A tree located on land owned by the city or in a right-of-way, city easement; park or parkway or within the sidewalk lines on both sides of a street.
DRIPLINE
A line connecting the tips of the outermost branches of a tree projected vertically onto the ground.
EMERGENCY
An event or events, disease or condition which has damaged or destroyed a tree or trees, such that the continued presence of such damaged or destroyed tree or trees imminently threatens life or property in proximity thereto.
NONCITY TREE
Any tree other than a city tree as heretofore defined.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, corporation, agency or other entity.
PROTECTIVE BARRIER
A barrier constructed to protect the roof system or trunk of a tree from damage during construction or from equipment or soil or material deposits.
ROOT SYSTEM
Tree roots within the dripline perimeter.
TREE
Any living woody perennial plant having a diameter greater than four inches measured at a point four feet above ground.
A. 
The City of Rahway has determined that the preservation of certain trees and shrubs and the designation of landmark trees is essential to the health, safety, economy and general welfare of the city.
B. 
No city tree, as heretofore defined, shall be removed except by the Department of Public Works of the City of Rahway.
C. 
The Director of Public Works may direct the removal of a city tree if he determines the following:
(1) 
Such tree is so diseased or so infested as to be a danger to other trees in the city or surrounding communities;
(2) 
Such tree is dead and its presence would cause hardship or endanger the public or an adjoining property owner;
(3) 
Such removal is necessary for the construction of any municipal or public improvement;
(4) 
Such removal is necessary where the such tree is causing damage to the city property, right-of-way, or adjacent private property; or
[Added 6-10-1992 by Ord. No. A-13-92]
(5) 
Such removal is necessary to permit the construction of a driveway and will be done at the expense of the private property owner so benefited.
[Added 6-10-1992 by Ord. No. A-13-92]
A. 
It shall be unlawful to commit any of the following acts with respect to city trees without the prior written permission of the Director of Public Works:
(1) 
Cut, prune, break, injure, alter or remove any tree; or cut, unduly disturb or interfere in any way with any root of a tree or trees.
(2) 
Spray any tree with any chemical.
(3) 
Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device to a tree or trees or to any guard about such a tree or trees.
(4) 
Install, remove or injure any guard or device placed to protect any trees.
(5) 
Close or obstruct any open spaces provided about the base of a tree or trees to permit the access of air, water and fertilizer to the roots of such tree or trees.
(6) 
Cut any tree roots within 10 feet of any trunk or any roots four inches in diameter.
(7) 
Subsection A(1) through (6) of this section shall not apply to any public utility or cable company having or maintaining any electric, telephone, telegraph or other wire above a public street or right-of-way, except that in all nonemergent circumstances, said public utility or cable operator shall notify the City Engineer of its intention to any of the acts set forth in Subsection A(1) through (6) hereof.
B. 
The Director of Public Works shall grant such written permission if the activity for which such permission is requested is in the public interest and is not likely to injure any city tree.
C. 
Any person or persons who cause damage to any city tree or city trees by machines, autos, etc., shall be held liable for damages to said tree or trees. Damages shall be corrected or repaired and the liable person or persons billed for the damages.
D. 
Any and every person having or maintaining any electric, telephone, telegraph, or other wires or lines running through a public street or park shall securely fasten and maintain such wires and lines in such a manner as will safeguard city trees against any damage therefrom and shall make periodic adjustments whenever necessary to prevent damage to city trees and city shrubs.
E. 
When necessary to prune or remove any city tree along a public street, the Director of Public Works shall notify any utility or cable company maintaining lines along said public streets.
No person shall operate, place or maintain within the dripline of any city tree any machinery, equipment, heavy object, stone, rocks, cement, earth, soil or other substance which may harmfully affect such city tree by unduly compressing the earth or otherwise impeding or preventing the access of water or air to the roots of such tree, or shall excavate around or remove earth or soil from, or cause any water to flow upon, the roots of any tree, provided that if provisions of this section create any undue hardship in the appropriate use and enjoyment of property, the Director of Public Works may waive in whole or in part such provisions but only to the extent absolutely necessary to alleviate such undue hardship.
Any person aggrieved by the provisions of this article shall have the right, within 10 days from the decision of the Department of Public Works, to appeal to the Business Administrator of the City of Rahway, who shall review the decision of the Department of Public Works. Unless the decision is revoked or modified, it shall remain in full force and effect.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Municipal Judge.