After a five year process to finally approve a Shade Tree Ordinance this past December, the River Edge Mayor and Council will now move forward with amending the legislation to restore an accidentally omitted section.
During numerous re-writes, sections that called for developer escrow deposits to be placed in a Shade Tree Trust Fund were left out of the finalized version.
"Several sections were omitted in the revised ordinance that was approved in December that called for any fees or cash bonds to be placed into a Shade Tree Trust Fund for tree replacements," Borough Administrator Alan Negreann said. "If we don't amend the ordinance, any funds would go into the general fund instead."
The earliest an amendment could be introduced and approved would be next month.
The ordinance was initially introduced in May and subsequently defeated in early June over concerns of property rights infringement. The previously proposed legislation would have given the Shade Tree Commission jurisidiction over the removal and protection of any trees located on both private and public property except for when a homeowner removes a tree on their property for maintenance or in case of an emergency.
The final adopted ordinance removed any references to trees private property while retaining the requirement that any tree removal be tied with a building permit application. It would then place a greater emphasis on larger home construction and that of redevelopment projects over smaller construction projects by homeowners.