Village of Nyack Tree Committee
MINUTES of MEETING 10/14/15
Attending: Marcy Denker, Sandra Baptista, Chrissy Place, Don Yacopino
1. INVENTORY UPDATE: The Davey Resource Group has not yet delivered the corrected inventory report and map.
2. TREE REMOVAL APPLICATION FORM: We reviewed the draft tree removal/replacement application form prepared by Marcy. The application form includes: a) the property owner’s reason for requesting tree removal and replanting with affidavit, b) guidance on preparation of site plans for tree removal and replanting, and c) a tree condition evaluation form and arborist’s report for each tree, completed by a certified arborist, and d) restitution standards for replanting.
The Village should have a list of approved certified arborists available for property owners. Marcy will draft a recommended tree list (customized for Nyack) that will be provided to those submitting applications. The list will emphasize recommended native trees. A list of invasive trees that would not be accepted will also be included.
Don suggested that there be someone at Village Hall responsible for inspecting trees after applications have been submitted and making sure that applications are not missing required information, and Tree Committee sees this as an appropriate role for them.
Tree replacement requirements can be problematic since there are many reasons that people want to remove trees, and replacement requirements may apply to some conditions and not others. To apply the principle that we want to maintain and increase healthy canopy cover community wide, there needs to be an actual requirement that applies simply and across the board that is not too onerous and can be enforced. Marcy pointed out that there could be a reasonable fee of about $150 to help cover the costs of street tree planting done by the Village. The fundamental idea is to preserve and improve canopy cover.
Don also raised the issue of trees that property owners think are hazardous because they may fall on a house, causing damage and injury. This is a legitimate concern. Does it require a change in the code related to tree height, distance from the house, and evaluation of tree structure?
A near term code change we recommend is to adjust the definition of “Significant Tree” to a diameter at breast height (dbh) of 4.5’ instead of the current 6 inches.
3. TREE FUND AND TREE TRUST: How difficult would it be to set up a tree fund? Marcy and Don will follow up with the Village Attorney
4. LOVE EM AND LEAVE EM
Chrissy has met with Upper Nyack Elementary School principal and interested parents about LELE, recycling and other related issues. Marcy will join discussion with them in the near future, but hosting an LELE demo at the school this year is not feasible.
Mayor White has been reaching out to large property owners and their landscapers (generally Belleville), and Marcy will help with upcoming discussions among the mayor, landscapers and owners to address the promotion and adoption of leaf mulching as standard practice.