Shade Tree Commission Looks to Improve Tree Ordinance

Fran Drew of the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Borough Tree Shade Commission met on Wednesday night to discuss wording for a new ordinance that will improve enforcement of tree removal of public and private-owned trees.

After doing research on the issue for three months, Fran Drew presented her recommendations to the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission.

"Basically, after doing a considerable amount of work and looking at other ordinances to see how they work, I found that the ordinance in Jackson Township is very well written," Drew said. "I showed it to Tony Torello of the DPW and John Linson (forester) and both said it was very well written and reasonable. It covers trees on public and private property. And it's enforceable."

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Fran Drew explains what the Shade Tree Commission will be proposing in the new ordinance

The Shade Tree Commission has been studying ways to improve the current Chatham Borough ordinance on trees because the way it is currently written, there is no way to enforce the law.

"The thing that makes the current ordinance unenforceable is that the town land management regulation has terminology that is in conflict with the current ordinance," Drew said. "To make the new ordinance enforceable, you would take out any reference to trees in town land management ordinance and just say refer to Chapter 314 trees and it solves the problem."

The Shade Tree Commission would make its recommendations to the Borough of Chatham Council to amend the ordinance once it has agreement on the proper wording.



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