On April 23, 2018, an ordinance was passed by town council regarding The Preservation and Restoration of Existing Vegetation (Ordinance No. 3-2018). The ordinance states that no one can do anything to a township tree unless a permit has been approved.
A township tree is one located between the curb and the sidewalk, or within the right-of-way of a street. It may also be any tree on township land e.g., parks, playgrounds, wooded areas etc.
Since the ordinance was passed four years ago this April, there have been nine violations. Township trees are either trimmed or cut down illegally. There is currently no enforcement procedure in place to address a violation. There are fines (up to $1500) and tree replacement costs, but the township government, managers, solicitors, etc. have not been able to figure out how to enforce the ordinance. Even though they have had nearly four years to do so.
In the Legislative Intent section of the ordinance it states: “It is recognized that there is a strong relationship between Moorestown’s quality of life and the integrity of the region’s water quality, air quality, indigenous landscape and aesthetic amenities. Destruction of Moorestown’s existing trees, woodlands, forests, meadows and other native plant associations contributes to increased soil erosion and sedimentation, increased stormwater runoff which results in increased costs to control runoff, decreased water quality, decreased groundwater recharge, increased greenhouse effects, increased dust and DECREASED PROPERTY VALUES”.
It should be noted that Moorestown has done an inventory of all its street trees. Each tree has been inventoried with GPS coordinates, species and size. The value of our trees is $21.6 million.
Please contact the township and urge them to swiftly enact an enforcement procedure so that we can stop the loss of our treasured assets, our trees.
Town Hall 856.235.0912
Mayor’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org