An Ordinance of the Township of Cherry HILL Amending
the TOWNSHIP OF Cherry Hill Ordinance
regulating Tree preservation, removal, and replanting
Cherry Hill Township (“Township”) Council has approved on first reading by title only an ordinance repealing and replacing Chapter XXI of the Township’s General Ordinances currently entitled “Trees.” The new Ordinance entitled “Regulation of Trees” is still located in Chapter XXI of the Township’s General Ordinances and provides a new framework for the review and approval of tree removal within the Township, requires onsite replanting or contributions to the newly established tree fund, and expands liability and penalties for illegal tree removal. Below is more detailed summary of the key provisions.
The Ordinance requires applicants seeking any proposed tree removal, regardless of whether trees are in healthy, poor, or dead condition, to submit an application to Department of Public Works to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Ordinance. The only exception to this permit review is for trees that are an “imminent threat,” as specifically defined therein, and trees that are an invasive species, as determined by the Director of Public Works or his/her designee. The Ordinance also requires review and approval of any proposed tree plantings in the public right of way to protect the integrity of nearby public utilities and structures. The Director of Public Works or his/her designee, in consultation with the Cherry Hill Advisory Environmental Board, may prepare a Right of Way Tree Planting List to help guide the decisions of what types of trees can be planted in public rights of way.
The Ordinance permits a residential tree removal applicant the removal a maximum of three (3) trees in healthy and/or poor condition from a property within a twelve (12) month period, excluding trees located within public rights of way or trees within three (3) feet of a public road. Additional trees may be removed by residential or commercial tree removal applicants only under certain circumstances, such as trees determined to be dead, trees around the perimeter of a proposed location to be occupied by a new building or structure, trees that have damaged or will likely cause damage to any building or structure, trees in conflict with an approved Grading Plan, and trees otherwise approved for removal by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The Ordinance will require onsite tree replacement, on a “one-for-one” basis, for all trees removed by commercial and residential applicants, except that residential applicants may remove up to three (3) trees per year without any replacement requirement, and the removal of dead trees, invasive species, and trees removed due to being an “imminent threat” will not require tree replacement by either commercial or residential applicants. In lieu of onsite replacement, applicants may make a contribution to the newly established Cherry Hill Tree Fund at a rate of $300.00 per tree for commercial applicants and $175.00 per tree for residential applicants. The Cherry Hill Tree Fund is a new fund dedicated only for the purchasing and planting of trees throughout the Township. Moreover, the Director of Public Works or his/her designee, in consultation with the Cherry Hill Advisory Environmental Board, may adopt Tree Replacement Standards that detail the species, size, and location of proposed onsite tree replacements. Lastly, the Cherry Hill Advisory Environmental Board may propose tree planting projects funded by the Cherry Hill Tree Fund.
The definition of a “person” has been expanded to include, among others, owners, tenants, occupants, businesses, corporations, including contractors, so that in the event illegal tree removal occurs, all responsible parties may be issued a summons to court. Similarly, the penalties have been amended/expanded so that in the event a “person” is found guilty of violating the Ordinance, in addition to the monetary penalty imposed by the municipal court judge, the “person” will also be required to replant all illegally removed trees on their property or contribute $300.00 for each tree removed to the Cherry Hill Tree Fund. The Township may consult with an arborist or other professional tree expert at any time to aide in the administration of the Ordinance.
Notice is hereby given that the foregoing Ordinance was introduced by title only at a meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Cherry Hill, County of Camden, State of New Jersey, held on March 14, 2022. This ordinance will be further considered for final passage by the said Cherry Hill Township Council on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at the Cherry Hill Township Municipal Building, 820 Mercer Street, Cherry Hill, NJ, in the N. John Amato Council Chambers, (previously known as room 208), at a meeting beginning at 7:30 PM or at any time and place to which such meeting may be adjourned. All persons interested will be given the opportunity to be heard concerning such ordinance.
The meeting will also be accessible to the public on-line, by following the instructions below. Those who do not have the ability to access Zoom on a computer may participate using the telephone numbers and instructions below. Members of the public will be able to give public comment through Zoom or by telephone by following these directions:
Computer, Tablet or Smart Device: https://zoom.us/j/752589039
Phone or Audio Dial-in: +1 929 205 6099 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 752 589 039
Copies of the full ordinance are available at no cost, at the Clerk’s office 820 Mercer Street Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 on business days between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., for the members of the general public who shall request the same.
PATTI CHACKER, RMC
TOWNSHIP OF CHERRY HILL