LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP Montgomery County, Pennsylvania ORDINANCE NO.

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1 LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP Montgomery County, Pennsylvania ORDINANCE NO. AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE CODE OF LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, BY ADDING PART 9 NATURAL RESOURCES AND NOW, the Board of Supervisors of Lower Providence Township, hereby enacts and ordains, and it is hereby ENACTED and ORDAINED as follows: SECTION 1. Chapter 123 of the Lower Providence Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall be amended by adding Part 9 as follows: Usage in definitions. Part 9 Natural Resources Article XXII Natural Resources Protection A. Words and terms used in this Part 9 shall have the meanings given in this section. Unless expressly stated otherwise, any pertinent word or term not a part of this listing but vital to the interpretation of this Part 9 shall be construed to have its legal definition or, in absence of a legal definition, its meaning as commonly accepted by practitioners, including civil engineers, surveyors, architects, landscape architects and planners. B. As used in this Part 9, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: CALIPER A measure of diameter of nursery stock tree trunk taken 6 inches above the ground. CLEAR CUTTING The removal of 30 percent or more of the trees within woodlands on a lot. DBH Diameter at breast height; a measure of trunk diameter in inches, taken at 4 1/2 feet above the natural ground line. DBH measurement is applied to existing trees (compared to caliper used for nursery stock). 2/23/2009 1

2 EVERGREEN TREE A woody plant capable of reaching a minimum mature height of 20 feet with persistent foliage, resulting in a year round (evergreen) foliage screening capacity. HAZARD TREE A tree with uncorrectable defects severe enough to pose present danger to people or buildings under normal conditions, as determined by the Township Landscape Architect. HERITAGE TREE A specifically selected tree, identified and considered worthy of preservation by the Township because of the species, size, rarity or historical importance; or having a DBH greater than 40 inches or an age greater than 75 years, whether located on private property or public property. LAND DISTURBANCE An activity involving grading, tilling, digging or filling of ground or stripping of vegetation or any other activity that causes an alteration to the natural condition of the land. REMOVED TREE A removed tree is any tree that is destroyed, injured or otherwise not protected according to the provisions of this Ordinance. REPLACEMENT TREE A tree required to be planted per this ordinance to compensate for the removal or damage of existing trees on a site. ROOT PROTECTION ZONE Area within a tree s temporary protection fencing and maintained throughout the entire period of construction. Protective fencing shall be placed at a horizontal distance from the trunk of one foot for every one inch of DBH (diameter at breast height) or to the outer edge of the drip line, whichever is greater. PRESERVED TREE A preserved tree is any tree that is to be properly protected and not destroyed or injured during construction as required by this Ordinance. SHRUB A woody plant, usually with multiple stems, each of which has a DBH of less than 3 inches. Shrubs are generally less than 20 feet in height at maturity. SHADE TREE A woody plant that has a minimum three inch DBH, at least 14 feet high to with a minimum 8 feet minimum canopy spread, and a full branching structure. NATURAL RESOURCES PLAN A plan which shall accompany an application for an earth disturbance permit, grading permit, demolition permit, building permit, subdivision, land development or zoning change application. The Natural Resources Plan shall contain existing and proposed buildings and structures, driveways and parking areas, drainage structures, water detention/retention areas, utilities, construction material staging area and all limits of grading. The Natural Resources Plan shall denote each tree to be saved or removed, the location of the tree protection fencing and the proposed schedule of replacement trees, natural steep slopes, manmade steep slopes, wetlands, 2/23/2009 2

3 water courses, and flood plain, and shall include a Pa. Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI). WOODLAND Any area, grove or stand of woody plants, evergreen or deciduous, covering 10,000 square feet of foliage area or greater, dominated by 4 6 inch caliper trees or larger with crowns that interlock to form 60 to 100 percent closed canopy. All portions of the contiguous canopy area and layered vegetation beneath it shall be woodland whether located on a single lot or portions of other lots. For the purposes of this ordinance, the extent of any woodland plant community or any part thereof shall be measured from the outer most dripline of all the trees in the community. Woodlands shall include any area where woodland disturbance has occurred within the previous 3 years which would have met the definition of woodland prior to timbering or disturbance Applicability. A. Unless exempt, any person, organization, society, association or corporation which makes an application for earth disturbance permit, grading permit, demolition permit, building permit, subdivision, land development, zoning change application, or who intends to remove trees in the township shall comply with the terms of this article. B. No clear cutting shall be permitted under any circumstance. C. Except as to heritage trees, this chapter is not intended to apply to: 1. The removal of trees from a lot containing an existing single family residence, unless such removal is a part of grading activities that impact 5,000 square feet or more of area. However, no property owner or occupant shall be permitted to remove trees if such trees have been planted or preserved to meet the requirements of the Township ordinances. 2. The removal of trees for sale in the ordinary course of business from horticultural properties, such as farms, nurseries or orchards. 3. The removal of any tree that becomes or threatens to become a danger to life or property. 4. The removal of trees required for utilities construction within established easement areas. 5. Timber Harvesting in keeping with established best management practices for selective harvesting and sustained yield forestry. 2/23/2009 3

4 Tree Preservation, protection and replacement. A. Natural Resources Plan. Legislative Intent: It is the intent of the Natural Resources Plan to provide protection and preservation to the existing urban forestry canopy as a vital environmental natural resource of Lower Providence Township. Specifically it is the intent of the Natural Resources Plan to adhere to the following requirements: 1. Each and every application for earth disturbance permit, grading permit, demolition permit, building permit, subdivision, land development or zoning change application shall include a Natural Resources Plan. 2. Subject to the prior approval of the Township Landscape Architect or his designee, the number of trees may be calculated as follows: a. Minimum of one, 100 foot by 100 foot square area will be staked out in a location determined by the Township Landscape Architect or his designee. b. The quantity of trees in each sample area will be counted and the totals averaged to determine the average number of trees per 10,000 square feet of area. c. This average quantity per area will be used to determine both the quantity of trees being removed and the quantity to remain in large masses. Every heritage tree, regardless of location within the property, shall be indicated on the Natural Resources Plan. 3. Any tree lost or destroyed within 2 years prior to the submission of an application for earth disturbance permit, grading permit, demolition permit, building permit, subdivision, land development or zoning change application shall be shown on the Natural Resources Plan as a removed tree and must be required to be replaced in accordance with this chapter. B. Tree protection and preservation 1. Preplanning Conference. Prior to the preparation of formal land development and subdivision plans, the applicant/developer is encouraged to attend a preplanning conference to review the Natural Resources Plan prepared pursuant to this ordinance with township staff. 2. Preconstruction conference. Prior to the start of any grading, demolition or construction, or removal of any trees, a preconstruction conference shall be held on the site between the Township Landscape Architect and the applicant/developer. The Township Landscape Architect shall inspect the tree protection fencing and other protective devices, which have been 2/23/2009 4

5 installed to protect the trees. After the inspection is complete, the Township Landscape Architect shall provide written notice to the township. Upon Township approval, demolition, grading and construction may proceed. 3. Protective fencing. All applications for earth disturbance permit, grading permit, demolition permit, building permit, subdivision, land development or zoning change application shall be prepared in such a manner to preserve the healthy trees and shrubs on the site. a. Prior to construction, protective fencing shall be placed around the root protection zone of the trees to minimize damage to root systems. b. The fencing shall be highly visible (orange), at least 4 feet high and staked with posts every 10 feet on center. Nothing shall be stored, stockpiled, temporarily placed or allowed in the root protection zone. c. This fencing will be installed prior to any and all work conducted; e.g., excavation, grading, trenching (especially silt fencing), cleaning, etc. No fuel storage, refueling or maintenance of equipment or wash down of cement handling equipment shall be permitted within 100 feet of any tree to be preserved. Any damage to the fencing or encroachment on the protected areas shall be remedied immediately. d. Any observed damage to the trees shall be immediately reported to the Township and remedied as soon as practicable. At the discretion of the Township Landscape Architect, approved preserved trees that have not been adequately protected or damaged may be required to be removed and replaced at the expense of the applicant. 4. Invasive vines. Invasive vines which threaten the health of any approved preserved tree, shall be cut at the base using a hand saw, snips or loppers, and treated with a basal herbicide to minimize re growth. The vine shall not be pulled off of the tree but shall be allowed to die in place. 5. Credit for approved preserved trees in subdivisions and land developments. The requirements for trees in Chapter 123, Subdivision and Land Development, landscape requirements shall, whenever possible, be met by preserving existing trees. However, the number of trees required to be planted in may be reduced by a credit for approved, preserved trees as follows: 2/23/2009 5

6 The credit for approved preserved trees to offset the requirements of shall be calculated as follows: Diameter of Trunk of Preserved Tree (DBH in inches) Number of Trees 30 or greater 8 18 to to to Replacement tree requirement. a. Every tree determined by the Township Landscape Architect to be living and healthy, with a DBH of 8 inches or greater and which is designated to be removed or which is destroyed, shall be replaced with one or more new shade trees of a type approved by the Township and have a trunk diameter of not less than 2.5 inches in caliper. b. No heritage tree is to be removed for any reason without approval of the Board of Supervisors and after recommendation of the Township Landscape Architect. Any heritage tree removed without approval by the Board of Supervisors must be replaced with trees of equivalent value calculated by using the Truck Formula Method provided by the International Society of Arboriculture using the most recent issue. c. Replacement trees shall be planted in addition to the trees required by planting requirements otherwise set forth in the Subdivision and Land Development Code. d. If the Township concurs that there is not sufficient area on the development site of the placement of all replacement trees, a percentage of the replacement trees that can be planted on the site will be increased in caliper size from three inch minimum in accordance with the following schedule: Number of Percent of Percent of Trees That Replacement Trees Replacement Percent of Cannot Be with a 4 inch Caliper Trees w/a Trees with a Planted 5 Inch Caliper 6 Inch Caliper 1 to 10 10% 0% 0% 11 to 50 10% 10% 10% 2/23/2009 6

7 51 to % 20% 10% More than % 25% 25% Or If the applicant chooses not to plant replacement trees as required above, the applicant shall pay a fee to the township to be held in a separate tree fund. The fee shall be determined by the Township Landscape Architect using the following method: Fee in lieu option trees* (times) an average of three nursery tree wholesale catalog prices per tree** (times) 2.2*** *Fee in lieu option trees equals replacement trees required minus replacement trees provided on site. **Printed wholesale price catalog of current sales year from a recognized nursery with membership in American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) or Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA). Cost shall be for a 2 2 ½ caliper B&B (Balled and Burlapped) nursery grade tree, not special sale or inferior grade trees. ***Multiplier x 2.2 of plant cost shall be applied per tree for total cost to include plant installation, planting soil activities, disposal of spoil, mulching, fertilizing, maintenance and 18 month replacement guarantee. e. The species of the replacement trees shall be pursuant to Appendix B of the Lower Providence Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance subject to approval of the Township Landscape Architect. Species are to be hardy to the region, noninvasive and blight and disease resistant. f. Subject to prior approval of the Township Landscape Architect: 1) A maximum of 30% of the replacement trees may be replaced with ornamental/flowering trees or evergreen trees at a ration of two flowering or two evergreen trees per required two and one half inch caliper shade tree; and 2) A maximum of 20% of the replacement trees may be replaced as shrubs at a ration of six shrubs per required replacement tree. 2/23/2009 7

8 g. The developer shall furnish the Township with a calculation of approved preserved trees actually remaining after construction, based on a procedure similar to that used in completing the tree survey. To the extent that construction results in the unapproved removal of or damage to trees, the developer shall abide by the direction of the Township Landscape Architect shall have 30 days to provide a determination. The developer shall complete the reparation, weather permitting, within 45 days of the date of the written determination Tree Removal Permits. A. Any person, organization, society, association or corporation requesting a Subdivision or Land Development, Grading Permit, Building Permit, or Zoning Amendment for new construction on a lot shall obtain a permit to remove a tree or trees by filing an appropriate application with Lower Providence Township. Said application shall be accompanied by a plan in accordance with 145A Natural Resources Plan, of this Article. B. The requirements of this Article shall not apply to an application for a Building Permit that is submitted for a lot containing a residential dwelling that was in existence at the time this ordinance was adopted, and which lot does not have a woodland area as defined by this ordinance. C. A permit fee shall be paid in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors from time to time. D. Expiration of Permit. Every tree removal shall expire after six months if the work authorized by the permit has not begun or is not completed within one year from the date of issuance. An extension may be granted if the permit holder presents satisfactory evidence that unusual difficulties have prevented the start or completion of work. E. Denial of Permit. A permit may be denied if the proposed tree removal will substantially have an adverse effect on the following: surface and ground water stabilization, water quality and aquifer recharge, noise pollution, air quality, and wildlife habitat. Every denial will be documented in writing clearly indicating the reasons for the denial Replacement guarantee. All replacement plantings shall be guaranteed and maintained in a healthy and/or sound condition for 18 months following the time of planting, issuance of use and occupancy permit, release of escrow, or acceptance of dedication of improvements, whichever occurs last and shall be replaced in accordance with 145 of this Article. At the 2/23/2009 8

9 Township s discretion, the applicant may be required to escrow sufficient funds for the maintenance and/or replacement of the proposed vegetation during the eighteen month replacement period. In addition, an escrow may be required during this eighteen month replacement period in such amount as the Board of Supervisors shall reasonably determine to ensure that Heritage Trees designated for preservation, are not removed or damaged during construction Violations and Penalty SECTION 2. A. The penalty for any violation of this chapter shall be in accordance with any or all of the following: 1. The enforcement remedies within the Lower Providence Code and any other applicable law. 2. Anyone violating this chapter, in addition to the penalty outlined above shall be required to replace the removed tree(s) per the requirements of this chapter. B. Any person who violates this ordinance, including property owners, tenants occupants, tree companies, landscapers, arborists or gardeners may be held liable for a violation of this chapter. If any violation occurs during construction, the Township issue a stop work order suspending and prohibiting further activity on the property until a tree replacement/mitigation plan, including protection measures for the remaining trees on the property has been approved by the Township Landscape Architect H. and I. of the Lower Providence Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall be deleted in their entirety and replaced with the following: H. Natural Resources Preservation. All applications for subdivision and land development must comply with the provisions of Part 9 of this chapter. Where the contents of this provision are in conflict with other chapters of the Township Code, the stricter requirements shall be used. SECTION 3. Appendix B of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall be replaced with a new Appendix B attached hereto as Exhibit A. SECTION 4. Severability. In the event that any section, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this Ordinance shall be declared illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not prevent, preclude, or otherwise foreclose enforcement of any of the remaining portions of this Ordinance. 2/23/2009 9

10 SECTION 5. Repealer. All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith or in conflict with any of the specific terms enacted hereby, to the extent of said inconsistencies or conflicts, are hereby specifically repealed. SECTION 6. This Ordinance shall be effective five (days) after its enactment. ORDAINED and ENACTED this day of, LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ATTEST: Piero Sassu, Chairman Joseph C. Dunbar, Secretary 2/23/

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