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53 Park Avenue
Park Ridge, NJ 07656


Borough Ordinance 97-5

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Park Ridge 4-8-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]

General References 
Sight distance at intersections -- See Ch. 82.

§ 81B-1. Definitions; word usage.

A. As used in this chapter, the terms hereinafter set forth shall be defined and deemed to have the following meanings:

APPROVAL -- Written permission of the Chairman of the Committee is required whenever, pursuant to any provision of this chapter, the Committee shall have occasion to pass upon a request for approval. It shall, in determining whether or not to grant such approval, take into consideration the nature, species, size, age and condition of any tree involved; the location thereof in the street or park; the planting, care, protection, maintenance or removal procedures involved; the public safety and welfare; and the improvement and advancement of the shade tree plan or program of the Committee.

COMMITTEE -- The Shade Tree Committee of the Borough of Park Ridge, including any of its duly appointed members and any of its duly authorized agents or employees.

PERSON -- Any individual, firm, partnership or corporation, or any combination thereof. Where, in the proper context, it is so required, this term may be construed to designate the plural as well as the singular.

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRIC -- The Borough of Park Ridge Department of Electric which is charged with the responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Borough of Park Ridge electric utility.

DEPARTMENT OF WATER -- The Borough of Park Ridge Department of Water which is charged with the responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Borough of Park Ridge water utility.

PUBLIC LANDS -- Any land or property owned by the Borough of Park Ridge or the Board of Education.

STREET -- Any road, avenue, street or highway dedicated to the public use for street purpose, regardless of whether or not it has been formally accepted by the Borough of Park Ridge. A street shall be deemed to include all portions lying between the dedicated or established right-of-way lines and/or planting easement thereof, said lines being identical with the property lines of land abutting the street.

TREE -- Any tree, shrub or plant, or any root, branch, flower or other part thereof, that is located within any street or right-of-way.

B. Any term or provision of this chapter that contemplates, directs, regulates or prohibits the doing of any act may, in applicable cases, and where the context so requires, be construed to include the causing, allowing, permitting or suffering of such act to be done by others under the direction, control or supervision of the person charged therewith. Every such act shall be deemed to be within the scope of this chapter, regardless of whether it is a deliberate, intentional or purposeful act or a careless, negligent or unintentional act.

§ 81B-2. Approval required for certain activities.

No person shall, without written approval, do any of the following acts:

A. Cut down, prune, break, injure, remove, disturb or interfere, in any way, with any tree.

B. Spray with any chemical any tree or area adjacent to a tree so as to cause injury or death to said tree.

C. Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device to a tree or to any guard about such tree.

D. Remove or damage any guard or device placed to protect any tree.

E. Close or obstruct any open space provided about the base of a tree to permit the access of air, water and fertilizer to the roots of such tree.

§ 81B-3. Approval required prior to planting.

No person shall plant any tree or shrub on any public lands or street without an approval.

§ 81B-4. Obstructions near trees.

A. No person shall, without an approval, construct on any street or public land any stone, asphalt or cement sidewalk which shall impede the free access of air and water to the roots of any tree.

B. Unless already existing, where any tree is to be surrounded by such pavement, the pavement shall be no nearer to the base of the tree than two feet.

§ 81B-5. Prevention of injuries.

A. No person shall place any substance injurious to plant growth on any street or public land in such a manner as to injure any tree.

B. No person shall position any equipment or operate a combustion engine in any street or on public lands in such a manner that the heat, vapors, fuel or fumes therefrom may injure any tree.

C. Every person having or maintaining any underground or overhead utility lines on any street or public land shall maintain such lines in such a manner so as to safeguard the trees against any damage.

§ 81B-6. Protection.

A. In the erection, alteration or repair of any structure or building, the owner, contractor or other person in charge thereof shall place such guards around all nearby trees as will effectually prevent injury to such trees.

B. No person shall do any excavating within four feet of any tree without an approval.

C. No person shall use or operate any power shovel, bulldozer or any other implement or tool in such a manner as to damage or destroy any tree.

§ 81B-7. Wires; utility work; tree trimming.

A. No person shall string any wires in or through a public park or property without an approval.

B. Every person having or maintaining any electric, telephone, telegraph, cable television or other wires running in or through a street or public land shall securely fasten and maintain such wires in such manner as will safeguard all trees against any damage.

C. No person shall, without an approval, attach or fasten any wire, insulator or other device for holding any wire to any tree.

D. Whenever the Committee grants an approval to prune or remove any tree, any person having a wire running in or through any street or public land shall be required to remove such wire within 24 hours after the service upon the person or his agent of a written notice to do so.

E. Any public utility or its agents may, upon receipt of an approval from the Committee, prune or remove trees from utility wires in nonemergency situations pursuant to a line clearance program.

F. Any public utility or its agents may undertake emergency tree work to restore service or spot work to prevent interruption of electrical, telephone, cable television or other wire services. In such event, the utility will notify the Committee of said work within three business days of its beginning.

G. The Departments of Water and Electric of the Borough of Park Ridge are excluded from the operation of this chapter, except that, where practicable, those Departments shall notify the Committee of their pruning or removal of trees for purposes of line clearance or other utility work at least three days prior to the beginning of their work.

§ 81B-8. Hindrance.

No person shall prevent, delay or in any manner interfere with the Committee or its authorized agents in the performance of their lawful duties.

§ 81B-9. Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or who fails to comply with the terms and provisions of any approval issued pursuant hereto shall, upon conviction in Municipal Court thereof, pay a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,500 at the discretion of the court. Each day that a violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 81B-10. Replacement of trees.

In addition to the penalties authorized by § 81B-9 of this chapter, the Committee may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of a municipal ordinance to pay a replacement assessment to the municipality. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree as determined by the appraisal of a trained forester or certified tree expert retained by the Committee for that purpose. In lieu of an appraisal, the Committee may adopt a formula and schedule based upon the number of square inches contained in a cross section of a trunk of the tree multiplied by a predetermined value per square inch, not to exceed $27 per square inch. The square inch cross section shall be calculated from the diameter at chest height, and, if there is a multiple stem tree, then each truck shall be measured and an average shall be determined for the tree. For the purposes of this chapter, "diameter at chest height" shall mean the diameter of the tree taken at a point 41/2 feet above ground level. The Committee shall modify the value of the tree based upon its species variety, location and its condition at the time of removal or destruction.