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ORDINANCE 2011-25 Shade Tree with Amendment




3.24.10 Title
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Shade Tree Ordinance of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach.” This ordinance is passed pursuant to the power granted to the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2

3.24.11 Introduction / Purpose
The preservation and protection of trees is critical to maintaining or increasing the quality of life in our town. Trees improve air quality, conserve energy, absorb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce soil erosion, reduce stormwater runoff, add to aesthetics and quality of life, and enhance property values.

The Borough has determined that regulations are necessary to protect, preserve, and enhance the trees in Point Pleasant Beach. The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the benefits trees provide to our community, while recognizing the need to respond to emergencies and the right of property owners to make the best economic use of their property.

3-24.12 Definitions

Caliper. The diameter (DBH – Diameter Breast Height) of a tree trunk measured at four and one half feet above the ground.

Certified Tree Expert. A person who has received their credentials (CTE) from the state Division of Parks and Forestry’s New Jersey Board of Tree Experts. Where referenced in this Chapter, any work performed by a CTE shall be in accord with the technical services said CTE is certified to perform.

Person. An entity whose existence is recognized by law, including but not limited to any individual, partnership, corporation (for profit, nonprofit, or municipal and its agencies), firm, association, or any combination of the foregoing.

Public highway or Public Right of Way. Every way or place, of whatever nature, open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of travel, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Tree requiring permit for removal. All trees measuring 2.5” or greater in caliper on public land or in the public right of way.

3-24.13 Applicability
A person may remove a tree in the public right of way or on public land only in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Chapter. This chapter shall not apply to trees trimmed or removed by the Borough, its employees or agents on public land.

3-24.14 Permit Required
a. No Person shall harm or remove a tree that is on public lands or whose trunk is in the public right of way and no more than eight feet from the curb line without an approved permit; unless the action or removal is due to an emergency as defined in section 3-24.15.

3-24.15 Emergencies
a. In the case of emergencies such as hurricane, windstorm, ice storm, flood or other disaster, the requirements of these regulations will be waived by the Code Enforcement Officer if such a waiver is necessary so that public or private work to restore order in the Borough will not be impeded. In the event of emergencies that pose an imminent threat of property damage or personal injury by reason of collapse or imminent collapse, of a tree or trees, the owner of such tree or trees, without prior approval, may take such action as is necessary to remove the threat. Any person taking such action shall within 10 days after taking such action, notify the Code Enforcement Officer why such action was necessary. If the Code Enforcement Officer approves the emergency removal, all fees shall be waived. Replacement tree planting will still be required. No bond will be required for trees removed due to emergencies.

3-24.16 Application for Tree Removal Permit.
a. A person desiring to remove or otherwise destroy a tree or trees requiring a permit for removal not excepted under 3-24.15, shall file a written application for a tree removal permit with the Code Enforcement Officer, together with prepayment of an application fee of $10.00 per tree.
b. An application for tree removal shall consist of:
1. The name, address, phone number and email address of the owner of the premises;
2. The name, address, phone number and email address of the applicant for the permit, if other than the owner, accompanied by the owner’s consent to said application;
3. A description by street address, lot and block number of the premises for which the permit is sought;
4. A brief statement describing the reason for the requested tree removal.
c. The tree(s) to be removed must be flagged and identified by the applicant prior to the field visit by the Code Enforcement Officer and Shade Tree Commission.
d. No tree removal permit will be issued unless the applicant shall post a bond to ensure the planting of a replacement tree 2.5 inches in caliper or greater and of a species appropriate for the location. A list of appropriate trees is available from the building department.. Said bond shall be deposited in cash or by a bond of a licensed insurance company authorized to do business within the State of New Jersey. The bond shall be in the minimum amount of $350 for each tree to be covered by the permit.

Upon completion of the tree replacement, the owner or contractor posting said bond shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer that the work is complete. The Code Enforcement Department will, within ten days of the notification, inspect the tree replacement to determine that the replacement has been done according to code. If the replacement has been done correctly, the bond will be released. If the replacement has not been done correctly, the owner or contractor will be given 14 days to correct the deficiency.

In the event that the tree is not replaced within the specified time or is not replaced with the specified size or appropriate species, Code Enforcement Officer will authorize the planting of a replacement tree and deduct the cost of the replacement from the bond. Any balance shall be returned to the owner or contractor. The liability of the applicant shall not be limited to the penal sum of the bond.

3-24.17 Procedure for Review of Request for Tree Removal

All completed application packages shall be forwarded by the Code Enforcement Officer to the Shade Tree Commission within three (3) business days of receipt and:

a. Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the completed application package, the Code Enforcement Officer or designee shall:
1. Visit and inspect the location of the application;
2. Meet with the applicant to discuss the application as necessary;
b. Within twenty (20) business days of the date of the application the Code Enforcement Officer, with a recommendation from the Shade Tree Commission, shall evaluate the requested permit in accordance with but not limited to the following considerations and issue a decision on the request:
1. Whether the condition or continued presence of the tree or trees sought to be removed is likely to cause hardship or will endanger the public or any other adjoining property owner by reason of its being diseased or dead or for some other adequate reason within the intent of this ordinance. If there is a difficulty in making a determination, a Certified Tree Expert may be consulted.
2. Proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
3. Comments provided by any interested parties.

c. After visiting the site and considering the relevant conditions of the foregoing section, the Code Enforcement Officer shall grant or deny the application by setting forth in writing his or her relevant observations and the reasons for the issuance or refusal to issue the tree removal permit. Failure to issue a decision within thirty (30) days will result in the permit being automatically approved.
d. Any permit issued pursuant to this article may be issued with conditions, specifically tree replacement of trees removed trees (section 3-24.18). Failure to comply with the conditions of the permit will be a violation of this article.
e. A permit shall expire and shall no longer be valid twelve (12) months after the date said permit was first granted.

3-24.18 Replacement of Removed Trees; Maintenance
Each tree removed must be replaced by a tree 2.5 inches in caliper or greater and of a species appropriate for the location, within 180 days of removal. If the applicant does not wish to replace the tree on his or her property, they can work with the Shade Tree Commission to designate an appropriate location to plant the replacement tree. It shall be the duty of the party replacing and replanting a tree or trees to properly care for, maintain and water the tree or trees.

3-24.19 Display of permit
a. The applicant shall prominently display on the site the permit issued. Such permit shall be displayed continuously while trees are being removed or replaced or work done as authorized on the permit and for 10 days thereafter.

3-24.20 Penalties
a. Any person who violates any one or more of the provisions of this section, shall be subject to a fine of not more than five hundred ($500) dollars for each separate violation. Any person who cuts down a tree without a permit shall be responsible for replacing that tree as required by subsection 3-24.18.

3-24.21 Appeals of Determinations
a. If an application for a permit is denied or otherwise not granted in whole, the applicant shall have a right to bring in a Certified Tree Expert at their expense to provide an informed third party opinion on the tree removal.
b. If the applicant does not wish to engage a Certified Tree Expert, or is still not satisfied with the decision after expert review, then the applicant shall have a right to pursue an appeal in a court of competent jurisdiction as permitted by law.

SECTION 2. All sections of Chapter XXX not amended or deleted hereunder shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 3. In the event any section, part or provision of this Ordinance shall be held unconstitutional or invalid by any Court, such holding shall not affect the validity of this Ordinance or any remaining part of this Ordinance other than the part held unconstitutional or invalid.

SECTION 4. All ordinances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of their inconsistencies.

SECTION 5. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its final passage and publication as required by law.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the foregoing Ordinance was introduced and passed on first reading at the regular meeting of the Borough Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, in the County of Ocean, held on the 22nd day of November 2011 and will be considered for second reading and final passage at the regular meeting of said governing body to be held on the 6th day of December 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 416 New Jersey Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey at which time and place any person desiring to be heard will be given an opportunity to be so heard.

Maryann Ellsworth, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Published November28, 2011 | New Ordinances | 1285

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