Tree Ordinance Chapter 25

Below is a draft of a change to Chapter 25 – Trees 2/25/2019

ORDINANCE REGARDING TREES

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND RESTATING CHAPTER 25 OF THE BOROUGH OF RUTLEDGE CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATING AND MODIFYING CERTAIN DEFINITIONS, RESTRICTIONS ON PLANTING TREES, CLEARANCE OF TREES ABOVE STREETS AND SIDEWALKS, REMOVING AND TRIMMING TREES, TREES ON BOROUGH PROPERTY AND PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF IN THE BOROUGH OF RUTLEDGE, COUNTY OF DELAWARE AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA.

Part 1

Planting and Maintaining Trees

§25-101. Definitions.

1. The word “person,” as used in this Part, shall mean and include any natural person(s),
partnership, association, firm or corporation.

2. THE SHADE TREE COMMISSION OF RUTLEDGE BOROUGH: Commission that serves as an advisory body, resource and service to the Council of Rutledge Borough and residents on all matters regarding trees.

3. BOROUGH RIGHT OF WAY: The right of way belonging to the Borough which is generally 100 ft. Which is 50 ft. from the center to each side of the north-south streets (includes: Linden, President, Sylvan, Rutledge, Swarthmore) and 25 ft from the east-west streets (includes: Morton Avenues, Melrose, Unity and Waverly Terraces) Refer to homeowner’s deed and zoning definition: 27-202.

4. INTERIOR STREET TREE: Any tree, branch or other part thereof, that is planted within ten (10) feet of the curb or street edge of any of the public avenues and terraces of the Borough.

5. STREET TREE: Any tree, branch or other part thereof, that is located within the Borough Right of Way including, without limitation, any Interior Street Tree.

6. PUBLIC TREE: Any tree, shrub, bushes and all other woody vegetation planted on property owned and maintained by the Borough. For the avoidance of doubt, property over which the Borough maintains an easement for a Borough right of way, sewer or other public amenity shall not constitute property owned by the Borough for purposes of identifying a tree as a public tree.

7. TREE CANOPY: The land area under the foliage of an existing tree or group of trees throughout the Borough.

(Amending and restating Ord. 373, 4/4/1988, §610.1)

§25-102. Planting, Maintaining, and Care for Trees within the Borough Right of way.

1. General. Residents are strongly encouraged to consult the Shade Tree Commission for resources regarding selecting, planting, tree health and maintenance of street trees.
Persons removing trees are encouraged to notify the Shade Tree Commission for the purpose of assessing the state of the Borough tree canopy.

2. Interior Street Trees. Persons seeking to plant interior street trees must notify the Shade Tree Commission to plant any tree, shrub, bush or other woody vegetation that is a perennial plant and would constitute an Interior Street Tree. The Shade Tree Commission may from time to time recommend certain varieties of trees that may be planted as interior street trees. Persons seeking to remove or significantly trim an existing interior street tree must notify the STC.

3. Safety and Licensing. Any persons who require access to work within the public avenues and terraces of the Borough to trim or remove a street tree must notify the Shade Tree Commission and verify familiarity with the American National Standards Institute guidelines Standard Practices for Trees, Shrubs, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance (ANSI A300) and Safety in Arboriculture (ANSI Z133.1) or equivalent industry standards as updated from time to time. All persons trimming and removing trees in the Borough are encouraged to consult these safety guidelines.

a. Persons other than Borough employees engaging in trimming and removing trees in the Borough for compensation shall have proof of insurance and shall provide a certificate of insurance that identifies the Borough and any affected property owner as named insureds.

(Amending and restating Ord. 373, 4/4/1988, §610.2)

§25-103. Maintenance of Limbs and Branches.

1. Every owner of property in the Borough shall be required to keep limbs and branches of
all street trees growing upon such property trimmed so that no part of such limbs or branches or of the foliage growing thereupon shall have a clearance of less than 8 feet above the surface of the sidewalk or of less than 14 feet above the surface of the roadway of any street or alley.

(Amending and restating Ord. 373, 4/4/1988, §610.3)

2. Persons shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which trees that constitute a menace to the safety of the public utilizing any street, sidewalk, curb or alley within the Borough right of way.

3. Persons shall report all removals of dead, diseased or dangerous tree to the Shade Tree Commission via the Shade Tree Commission website form

§25-104. Removal and Trimming of, and Damage to Trees.

It shall be the responsibility of property owners in the Borough to conform to the
requirements of this Part as to trees upon property owned by them, or along streets, alleys
and sidewalks abutting upon such property and, upon notice from the Borough Council or
its designee to remove, trim or cut the branches or limbs of trees as required by §25-103, hereof.

§25-105 Maintenance and care of public trees.

1. The Shade Tree Commission shall approve any trimming, maintenance or removal of public trees.

2. Persons trimming and removing public trees are to follow best practices. They are suggested to follow Standard Practices for Trees, Shrubs, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance (ANSI A300) and Safety in Arboriculture (ANSI Z133.1) or equivalent industry standards as updated from time to time.

3. Persons other than Borough employees engaging in trimming and removing trees in the Borough for compensation shall have proof of insurance and shall provide a certificate of insurance that identifies the Borough and any affected property owner as named insureds.]

4. It is unlawful to cut, prune, break, injure, remove, disturb, damage, or interfere in any way with any public tree, or remove any guard, or device placed to protect any public tree without the prior consent of the Shade Tree Commission or an authorized officer of the Borough.

§25-106. Penalties.

1. Any person failing to comply with any requirement of this ordinance may receive a written notice of such violation from the Shade Tree Commission or an authorized officer of the Borough. If such notice directs the recipient to take action with regard to the maintenance of a tree that abuts or overhangs any street, alley or sidewalk and the recipient fails to comply with the terms of such written notice within the time limit stated therein, the recipient shall be guilty of a violation of this Part and, following the expiration of such time limit, the Borough Council shall have the authority to cause the work required by such notice to be done by the Borough or under contract therewith, and to collect the cost of such work, with an additional amount of 10% plus interest from such property owner in default. The Borough or its designated contractor shall have the authority to perform such work within the Borough right of way as necessary to give effect to the mandates of this Part.

2. Payment for any work performed by the Borough or its contractor pursuant to paragraph 1 shall be owed and due within thirty (30) days after proper invoice by the Borough to the landowner. If the property owner does not make payment within thirty (30) days thereafter, it shall be considered a lien against the owner’s property. Any such lien may be collected in a civil action of municipal claims, including recovery of attorney fees and costs of the proceedings as per Council’s wishes.

3. Any person who shall violate any provision of this Part shall, upon conviction thereof, be
sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues shall constitute a separate offense.

(Amending and restating Ord. 373, 4/4/1988, §610.5,as amended by Ord. 428, 7/2/2001)

PART II

SEVERABILITY.

If any of the provisions of this Ordinance, or the application of any provisions hereof, shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair the remainder of this Ordinance, it being the intention of the Council that such remainder shall continue in full force and effect.

ATTEST:

BOROUGH OF RUTLEDGE

By:_____________________________________Secretary

By:_____________________________________Council President

By:_____________________________________Mayor

Posted in draft ordinances