Township Committee 09/12/2022
The Township Committee is working to balance private property rights with the need to protect Harding’s rural character by regulating the removal of trees, namely in the Tree Conservation Area (i.e., the buffer area around the perimeter of most residential properties.) Assistant Administrator Vincent DeNave indicated that there are problems with 1) individuals removing trees in their own Tree Conservation Area, and 2) individuals removing trees on their neighbors’ property, including in neighbors’ Conservation Areas.
After much discussion with residents in attendance, the Township Committee rejected an ordinance offered by Mr. Platt which would require residents to apply for a Tree Removal Permit from the Township Zoning Officer prior to removing any trees on their property irrespective of tree location. The ordinance would also require a 1-for-1 tree replacement for any trees removed from the Tree Conservation Area. Several residents spoke against the proposal for requiring a permit on removal of any tree not in a Conservation Area, namely former Mayor Lou Lanzerotti and Planning Board Member Alf Newlin as being overly broad and a “Trenton-style solution. ” Deputy Mayor Chris Yates asked residents for alternative ideas to balance property rights and tree removal. If you have ideas and/or thoughts on the issue, please contact Mr DeNave at 973-267-8000 ext 738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.