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The Greenburgh Town Board held a public hearing on a revised tree law last night and voted to adjourn the hearing to next Tuesday, November 19th at 7 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall. A link to the hearing testimony can be found below:
A copy of the proposed law can be found here:
The proposed tree ordinance updates a 45 year old existing ordinance limited to regulating less than 10% of town properties. The law is consistent with scientific understanding of the importance of trees and consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and NYS Environmental Policies. The law focuses on tree replacements, in a scientific and objective way, and provides waivers for special circumstances. Limited or no pre removal reviews for hazardous trees. No replacement requirements when removing invasive species. Provides reduced fees and paperwork for most homeowner activities. This was a joint product of the Department of Community Development and the Conservation Advisory Council.
Did you know that 100 trees remove: 53 tons of CO2 per year; 430 lbs. of other air pollutants per year. Trees provide homeowner savings: strategically placed trees save up to 56% on annual air conditioning costs. Evergreen trees can save 3% on heating costs. When native trees are utilized in landscaping plans, they are more likely to thrive, and have the added benefit of supporting local songbirds. Trees increase property values: each large front yard tree adds to the house sales price. Large specimen trees can add to property values. Trees help protect against flooding neighbors. The cost of planting trees is minimal compared to other water containment (engineered) methods. Trees also reduce flooding on public streets. Trees improve air quality. Last night I learned that Westchester’s air quality received poor grades from the American Lung Association.
The proposed law applies to the removal of trees greater than 25 inch circumference, measured at 4.5’ above the ground.
Some people think Greenburgh is losing the green. This law helps maintain the balance, by focusing on tree replacements. In addition to this needed update to the Town’s tree regulations, the Town is going to explore other avenues, such as through grants and other available programs, to maintain and plant trees along the edges of watercourses and on other public lands.
The Department of Community Development and Conservation will have helpful information on its webpage to assist residents, and are always available to answer questions.