The preservation of trees and other vegetation and the related protection and maintenance of conservation easements have necessitated and will continue to be given a good deal of attention.
Beginning with the latter, many properties in the Village are subject to conservation easements which are to remain in their natural state. Only dead trees, not fallen, threatening outside the easement may be removed, and the depositing of any materials or construction within same, or plantings to formalize same (such as grass), is not permitted. These easements were created for environmental and aesthetic reasons to protect the subject properties, neighboring properties, the environment, generally, and flora and fauna. Various means of enforcement include injunctive relief (i.e., cease and desist), monetary damages for tree and plant removal as well as potential fines, plus the cost to cure by replanting, and removal of dumped materials or structures.
Turning more fully to tree preservation in general, it is the intention of the Village of Montebello to retain the rural appearance of the community. Said rural appearance is a consequence of its existing wooded character and streetscape. Toward that ends, the Village Board has adopted and implemented our Tree Law, Chapter 176 of the Village Code, for the following purposes:
- To preserve an important attribute of the Village by encouraging owners of existing developed lands, and developers of lands, to save or replace as many native and mature tree species as possible when making improvements to real property.
- To control and regulate indiscriminate and excessive removal, cutting, and destruction of trees in order to regulate and prevent conditions which cause increased surface runoff, soil erosion, and cause decreased soil fertility;
- To maintain the stability and value of real estate by preserving existing woodlands and providing for the appropriate aesthetic of the streetscape; and
- To ensure the continued maintenance of landscaping in accordance with site plan or subdivision plan approvals, or in accordance with the regulation contained herein.
Chapter 176, the Village’s “Tree Preservation and Landscape Maintenance Law” relates to “trees” (defined as a woody plant, the branches of which spring from and are supported upon a main trunk) with a minimum caliper of four or more inches at the point of maximum width measured, 4 feet from the ground. No tree this size or larger many be removed without first obtaining a permit. Any tree removed by a third person shall be by a tree contractor licensed within the Village.
There is no limit on the number of trees which may be removed if they are dead or likely to be dead within a year. However, sufficient proof will be required in order to obtain the necessary permit (e.g. arborist’s report). In addition, landowners may remove, as of right after obtaining a permit, one tree per each 10,000 square foot of lot size per each two-year period, but not exceeding 8 trees in any two-year period or 12 trees in any six-year period. Tree removal necessary to construction falls within a different category.
Please take particular notice of §176-7, Penalties for Offenses. Landowners can be fined up to $1,000 for each offense with a maximum penalty of $20,000 per lot. A contractor who violates the Law can be fined up to $10,000, and have their license revoked.
If you want to remove any tree on your property, please download the Tree Removal Permit Application from the FORMS AND APPLICATIONS tab (under the Departments section), or obtain a hard copy at Village Hall.
For a current list of the approved Licensed Tree Removal Contractors, please contact Village Hall.