Laws (Village)

Village Shade Tree Ordinance

Overview:

TreeBe certain that you are aware of the Village of Saugerties Law regarding public trees and park trees. 

 

You are free to plant and/or remove trees on your property . . . but for public trees, which are defined as any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within a public street or right-of-way within the Village and for park trees, which are defined as any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within public parks having names and in all areas owned by the Village and to which the public has access, you must not take any action on those trees without prior written permission.  See below for details . . .

 

Village Shade Tree Ordinance Summary

 

 

  • The Board of Trustees recognizes the role that trees play in the Village ecosystem and that they contribute to the quality of air, reduce noise and visual pollution, help to moderate climatic extremes and conserve energy, and the Board further recognizes the role trees play in enhancing property values and the general quality of life in the Village.
  • In order to establish a responsible program for planting, maintenance, husbandry, or removal of trees or shrubs in the Village, the Board of Trustees finds it necessary to establish a Shade Tree Commission.
  • The Village Shade Tree Commission shall consist of five commissioners who shall be appointed by the Village Board.
  • The Shade Tree Commission shall periodically counsel the Village Board of Trustees on how best to manage the public trees and shall prepare and update a written plan for the public safety, care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees within the Village of Saugerties easements, streets, and Village parks. This plan shall also include a provision for public education.
  • The Shade Tree Commission, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Parks and the Mayor’s office must be notified in writing, at least 30 days in advance, when any public or private project might affect or interfere with Village trees; including, but not limited to, the routine trimming of trees near utility lines.
  • When a Village tree is removed, or dies naturally, The Shade Tree Commission has the authority to replace the former tree with a new Replacement Tree in the Village.
  • No person shall remove, destroy, or cause the removal or destruction of a tree on any Village street or in any Village park, or undertake construction or any activity which may significantly and prematurely detract from the health or growth of a tree without first having obtained written permission for such removal or construction at the office of the Village Clerk. All applications must be approved by the Board of Shade Tree Commissioners and all approvals shall be in conformance with the Shade Tree Master Plan.
  • Trees planted by the Village Shade Tree Commission as well as the General Public should be carefully selected. Trees should be evaluated for placement based on the site conditions present- soil, water, sun, height / visibility requirements, interference with public/private infrastructure and the probability that maintenance needs will be met.   

 

 

Shade Tree Ordinance of the Village of Saugerties

 

1. Legislative Intent


The Board of Trustees of the Village of Saugerties has determined that it is in the interest of the citizens of the Village of Saugerties promote and protect their health, safety and welfare to adopt a Shade Tree Ordinance. The Board of Trustees recognizes the role that trees play in the Village ecosystem and that they contribute to the quality of air, reduce noise and visual pollution, help to moderate climatic extremes and conserve energy, and the Board further recognizes the role trees play in enhancing property values and the general quality of life in the Village. In order to establish a responsible program for planting, maintenance, husbandry, or removal of trees or shrubs in the Village, the Board of Trustees finds it necessary to establish a Shade Tree Commission and to adopt this Local Law to provide an orderly framework to maximize the benefits afforded by trees within the Village.
 
2. Definitions


a) Public trees - Any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within a public street or right-of-way within the Village.

b) Park Trees - Any trees, shrubs, bushes and all woody vegetation on land lying within public parks having names and in all areas owned by the Village and to which the public has access.
 
3. Establishment of a Shade Tree Commission


The Village Shade Tree Commission shall consist of five commissioners who shall be appointed by the Village Board and who shall serve without compensation.


The Shade Tree Commission shall inventory all public trees within the Village and shall study, investigate, and from time to time update the condition of all such public trees. The Shade Tree Commission shall periodically counsel the Village Board of Trustees on how best to manage the public trees and shall prepare and update a written plan for the public safety, care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees within the Village of Saugerties easements, streets, and Village parks. This plan shall also include a provision for public education.

 
4. Care of Public Trees


 

a) The Board of Trustees of the Village of Saugerties shall over see the Shade Tree Commissions mission to plant, prune, maintain and remove threes and woody plants within the limits of all Village streets, rights-of-way, or parks. The Board, in appropriate cases, and upon consultation and with the property owner, may remove or prune a tree which stands upon private property but which threatens the safety or welfare of those who may use a Village street or park.

 


b) The Shade Tree Commission may recommend the removal of any tree or part thereof within the limits of any street or public park which threatens the safety or welfare of any person or by which by reason of its location or nature threatens any electric line, telephone line, gas line or any municipal water or sewer line or any public improvement, or which is affected by any injurious fungus, insect or other pest or disease.

c) The Shade Tree Commission may obtain the consultation services of a professional arborist if necessary, to assess tree health and determine the best course of action for its care, pruning or removal.

 

c-1) Upon removal of a tree, a tree stump larger than 12 inches must be ground to just below the existing level of soil and the area must be covered with soil & re-seeded with grass. Tree stumps less than 12 inches must be cut flush with the ground. All wood left after a tree is cut down must be cleaned up and removed, wood may not be left curbside. Homeowners may use wood for firewood. Removed trees found to be infested with insects or disease are to be treated or burned in a secure location so as not to spread invasive  insects & diseases that kill trees. 
 

c-2)  If a tree is removed by a utility company or entity other than the Village, the party removing the tree must reimburse the Village for the cost of a suitable replacement tree of at least 1.75-2” diameter.

 

c-3) Utility wires not in current use shall be promptly removed (within 30 days of replacement or becoming defunct) so as not to interfere with tree growth or create visual pollution within the streetscape.

 

c-4) Excess utility poles shall be promptly removed ( within 90 days of replacement with new poles) so as not to interfere with tree growth or create visual pollution within the streetscape.

 

c-5 ) When it becomes necessary for property owners to repair sidewalks in front of their homes businesses, or apartment buildings, care should be taken to preserve the tree root structure. Property owners should notify the Shade Tree Commission of planned sidewalk work that could potentially impact trees. The Shade Tree Commission shall make recommendations to the property owner as to the best methods to mitigate potential disruption of the tree’s root system. 

 

c-6) Utility workers should seek to install and maintain utility wires in an unobtrusive way so as reduce visual pollution of the streetscape by: reducing, bundling, consolidating or burying lines whenever possible.


d) The Shade Tree Commission, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Parks and the Mayor’s office must be notified in writing, at least 30 days in advance, when any public or private project might affect or interfere with Village trees; including, but not limited to, the routine trimming of trees near utility lines. An attached map and work plan must be included with the correspondence if more than 5 trees are involved. Routine trimming of trees near utility lines must be done correctly by experienced arborists, so as to provide for continued reliable service to utility customers while maintaining a healthy aesthetically attractive shade tree canopy in the Village.  

e) When a Village tree is removed, or dies naturally, The Shade Tree Commission has the authority to replace the former tree with a new Replacement Tree in the Village. Replacement Trees must be at least 1.75 - 2 inches in diameter, and be included in a maintenance plan to assure their survival. 
 
f) Trees planted by the Village Shade Tree Commission as well as the General Public should be carefully selected. Trees placed near utility wires & poles should be of a species whose maximum growth expectation is not expected to meet or exceed the height of the utility wires, to avoid the need for trimming. Vegetation, trees & shrubs placed near street corners, or driveways must allow for good driver visibility. Trees should be selected to provide species variety, pest & disease resistance, shade, wildlife habitat enhancement, ecological benefit & attractive appearance. Trees should be evaluated for placement based on the site conditions present- soil, water, sun, height / visibility requirements, interference with public/private infrastructure and the probability that maintenance needs will be met.   
 
 
 5. Approval for Action Within the Village

a) No person shall remove, destroy, or cause the removal or destruction of a tree on any Village street or in any Village park, or undertake construction or any activity which may significantly and prematurely detract from the health or growth of a tree without first having obtained written permission for such removal or construction at the office of the Village Clerk. All applications must be approved by the Board of Shade Tree Commissioners and all approvals shall be in conformance with the Shade Tree Master Plan.

b) The Shade Tree Commission, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Parks and the Mayor’s office must be notified when any scheduled public or private project might affect or interfere with Village trees. 

c) Construction and private projects impacting Village trees must be reviewed by the Shade Tree Commission. The Shade Tree Commission will make a recommendation to the Village Board for action to mitigate/ prevent damage to Village Trees. The Village Board will strongly consider the recommendations of the Tree Commission when voting to approve projects involving Village Trees, and carefully balance these recommendations with the need for the public good.

 

6. Violations


Any violation of this Local Law shall constitute a violation within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York, and an appearance ticket alleging such violation may be issued by any police officer having jurisdiction.

 7. Review by the Village Board

a) The Village Board of Trustees shall have the right to review the conduct, acts, and decisions of the Shade Tree Commission and of its individual commissioners. The Board of Trustees shall have the power to remove individual commissioners and to appoint new commissioners as may be necessary.

b) Any person who is aggrieved by any decision of the Shade Tree Commission may appeal the decision within ten (10) days of the filing of the decision with the office of the Village Clerk. The appeal shall be heard by the Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days of the filing of the appeal in the office of the Village Clerk. The Board of Trustees shall make and file its decisions with the Village Clerk within ten (10) days of its hearing.

8. Severability and Effective Date

Should any section of this Local Law be found to be unconstitutional, that finding shall in no way effect the other sections of this Local Law which shall remain in effect. This Local Law shall become effective upon its adoption by the Village Board of Trustees and its filing in the office of the NYS Secretary of State.