Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 067: PARKS AND SHADE TREES

  • § 2501. Laying out parks

    (a) A fifth or 50 or more of the freeholders of a town, desiring to have a public park or a public square laid in such town for the erection of a soldiers' monument or for other public purpose, may apply by petition in writing to the selectboard of the town requesting them to lay out such park or square.

    (b) The selectboard shall thereupon examine the premises and appoint a time and place for hearing parties interested, and shall proceed in setting out land, awarding damages, and in all other particulars, as in laying out a highway upon petition of three freeholders.

    (c) Persons aggrieved by the action of the selectboard shall have the same remedies as are provided for persons aggrieved by the action of selectboard in the laying out of a highway.

  • § 2501a. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Public place" means municipal property, including a municipal park, a recreation area, or a municipal building. "Public place" shall not include any municipal forestland or property that is subject to any ownership interest held by the Agency of Transportation.

    (2) "Public way" means a right-of-way held by a municipality, including a town highway.

    (3) "Shade tree" means a shade or ornamental tree located in whole or in part within the limits of a public way or public place, provided that the tree:

    (A) was planted by the municipality; or

    (B) is designated as a shade tree pursuant to a municipal shade tree preservation plan pursuant to section 2502 of this title. (Added 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2502. Tree wardens and preservation of shade trees

    (a) The tree warden shall control all shade trees within the municipality.

    (b) The tree warden and the legislative body of the municipality may adopt a shade tree preservation plan. The plan shall:

    (1) describe any program for the planting of new trees and shrubs;

    (2) provide for the maintenance of shade trees through feeding, pruning, and protection from noxious insect and disease pests;

    (3) determine the apportionment of costs for tree warden services provided to other municipal corporations;

    (4) determine whether tree maintenance or removal on specific municipal property shall require the approval of another municipal officer or legislative body; and

    (5) determine the process, not inconsistent with this chapter, for the removal of:

    (A) diseased, dying, or dead shade trees; and

    (B) any shade trees that create a hazard to public safety, impact a disease or insect control program, or must be removed to comply with State or federal law or permitting requirements.

    (c) The shade tree preservation plan may:

    (1) map locations or zones within the municipality where all trees in whole or in part within a public way or place shall be designated as shade trees; and

    (2) designate as a shade tree any tree in whole or in part within a public way, provided that the tree warden and legislative body of the municipality find that the tree is critical to the cultural, historical, or aesthetic character of the municipality.

    (d) The tree warden and legislative body of the municipality shall hold a minimum of one public hearing concerning the shade tree preservation plan for the purpose of soliciting public input. The legislative body shall publish the proposed plan 10 days prior to the public hearing.

    (e) For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a municipality shall have authority to adopt an ordinance that is not inconsistent with this chapter for the administration of the shade tree preservation plan and the regulation of shade trees. The tree ordinance shall be adopted pursuant to chapter 59 of this title. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2503. Appropriations

    A municipality may appropriate a sum of money to be expended by the tree warden, mayor, aldermen, selectboard, or trustees for the purpose of carrying out this chapter. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2504. Removal of shade trees; exception

    (a) The tree warden may remove or cause to be removed from the public ways or places any trees that are infested with or infected by a tree pest or that constitute a public hazard. The notice and hearing requirements of section 2509 of this chapter shall not apply to the removal of infested or infected trees.

    (b) The tree warden may determine that an owner or lessee of abutting property has sufficiently controlled all insect pests or tree diseases upon the trees within the limits of a public way or place abutting the property and may determine that it is not necessary to remove the trees. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2505. Deputy tree wardens

    The legislative body of the municipality may appoint deputy tree wardens who shall serve under the direction of the tree warden and shall have the same duties and authority as the tree warden. The legislative body of the municipality may dismiss a deputy tree warden at its pleasure. (Amended 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2506. Regulations for protection of shade trees

    A tree warden shall enforce all laws relating to shade trees and may propose to the legislative body of the municipality the rules, ordinances, or regulations for the planting, protection, care, or removal of public shade trees as he or she deems expedient. The legislative body of the municipality may adopt the rules, ordinances, or regulations pursuant to the provisions of chapter 59 of this title. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2507. Cooperation

    With consent of the legislative body of the municipality, the tree warden may:

    (1) enter into financial or other agreements with the owners of land adjoining or facing public ways and places for the purpose of encouraging and effecting the shade tree preservation plan;

    (2) enter into agreements with other municipal corporations to provide tree warden services or training; and

    (3) cooperate with federal, State, county, or other municipal governments, agencies, or other public or private organizations or individuals and may accept on behalf of the municipality any funds, equipment, supplies, or services from organizations and individuals, or others, as deemed appropriate for use in carrying out the purposes of this chapter. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2508. Cutting shade trees prohibited

    Except as otherwise provided in 19 V.S.A. chapter 9, a shade tree shall not be cut or removed, in whole or in part, except by a tree warden or his or her deputy or by a person having the written permission of a tree warden. (Amended 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2509. Cutting shade trees; notice and hearing

    (a) The tree warden shall post public notice of the intent to cut or remove a shade tree. The notice shall be posted a minimum of 15 days prior to cutting or removing the tree. If the cutting or removal is appealed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the legislative body of the municipality shall hold a public hearing. This subsection shall not apply to the cutting or removal of a shade tree or trees that:

    (1) are infested with or infected by, or at risk to become infested with or infected by, a tree pest and are located in an infestation area designated by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation;

    (2) are a hazard to public safety; or

    (3) must be removed for the municipality to comply with State or federal law or permitting requirements.

    (b)(1) The tree warden shall post public notice of the intent to cut or remove a shade tree or group of shade trees pursuant to subsection (a) of this section in at least two conspicuous locations within the municipality. The tree warden shall post the public notice in or near the office of the clerk of the municipality.

    (2) When the shade tree or group of shade trees are located on property held in fee by another, the municipality shall notify each abutting landowner at the landowner's address of record.

    (c)(1) Within 15 days after the posting of public notice, a resident or landowner may appeal in writing to the legislative body of the municipality to object to the cutting or removal of a shade tree. The legislative body of the municipality shall give notice of the appeal to the tree warden.

    (2) Within 10 business days after receipt of an appeal, the legislative body of the municipality shall hold a public hearing with the tree warden to receive public comment on the proposed cutting or removal of the shade tree. The tree warden shall stay action on the proposed removal until the legislative body of the municipality renders a final decision on the appeal.

    (d) In all cases, the decision of the legislative body of the municipality shall be final. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2017, No. 74, § 100; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2510. Penalty

    (a) Whoever shall willfully mar or deface a shade tree without the written permission of a tree warden or legislative body of the municipality shall be fined not more than $50.00 for the use of the municipality.

    (b) Any person who willfully and critically injures or cuts down a shade tree without written permission of the tree warden or the legislative body of the municipality shall be fined pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 3602 for each tree so injured or cut, for the use of the municipality. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2511. Control of infestations

    When an insect or disease pest infestation upon or in shade or private trees threatens other public or private trees, is considered detrimental to a municipal shade tree preservation program, or threatens the public safety, the tree warden may request surveys and recommendations for control action from the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation in accordance with 6 V.S.A. chapter 84. (Amended 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2019, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020.)

  • § 2512. Repealed. 1969, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.