Revised Ordinances of Wallingford
Title 4: Health and Welfare
Chapter 8: Tree Ordinance
§4801. PURPOSE AND INTENT
- It is the purpose of this ordinance to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other plants within the public rights-of-way and public places within the Town of Wallingford.
- It is the intent of the Wallingford Selectboard that the terms of this ordinance shall be construed so as to promote:
(1) the planting, maintenance, restoration, and survival of desirable trees, shrubs, and other plants within the town; and
(2) the protection of community residents and property from damage caused or threatened by the improper planting, maintenance, or removal of trees, shrubs, or other plants within the community.
§4802. PUBLIC TREE CARE
The Town of Wallingford shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, and other plants within all rights-of-way of town highways and public places and grounds, as may be necessary to insure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The Tree Warden may remove or cause order to be removed, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, water lines, town highways, or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect, or other pest.
§4803. PRUNING, CORNER CLEARANCE
Every owner of every tree overhanging any street or Class 3 highway within the Town of Wallingford shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not (severely) obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection. Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The Town shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight, or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign or sight triangle at intersections.
§4804. DEAD OR DISEASED TREE REMOVAL ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
The Town of Wallingford shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the Town, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the Town. The Tree Warden will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within sixty (60) days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of the owners to comply with such provisions, the town shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the owner for the cost of removal.
§4805. REMOVAL OF STUMPS
All stumps of street and park trees shall be cut as close to the ground as possible, but in no case more than 3 inches above the ground.
§4806. ABUSE OR MUTILATION OF PUBLIC TREES
Unless specifically authorized by the Tree Warden, no person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant, or remove any tree; attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters, or other contrivance to any tree; allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with them; or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any tree.
§4807. INTERFERENCE WITH OFFICIAL DUTIES.
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the Tree Warden or any of his agents while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this ordinance.
§4808. REVIEW BY WALLINGFORD SELECTBOARD
The Wallingford Selectboard shall have the right to review the conduct, acts, and decisions of the Tree Warden. Any person may appeal any ruling or order of the Tree Warden to the Wallingford Selectboard, who may hear the matter and make a final decision.
A violation of this ordinance shall be a civil matter enforced in accordance with the provisions of 24 V.S.A. 1974a and 1977 et.seq. A civil penalty of not more than $500.00 may be imposed for a violation of this civil ordinance, and the waiver fee shall be set at $50.00 for the first offense, $75.00 for the second offense within a six-month period, and $100.00 for all subsequent offenses within a six-month period. Each day of a violation shall constitute a separate violation of this ordinance.
Each of the provisions of this ordinance is severable and if any provision is held invalid for any reason, the remaining provisions shall not be affected but shall remain in full force and effect.