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Smithtown eyes new tree trimming regulations

This is Smithtown Town Hall in an undated

This is Smithtown Town Hall in an undated photo. Credit: Erin Geismar

The Smithtown Town Board plans to hold a public hearing on an amendment to the town code requiring property owners to trim broken tree limbs and remove trees that are damaged.

The public hearing, scheduled for April 5 at Town Hall, expands a chapter in the town code on property maintenance to include trees, tree stumps and rootballs.

The proposed change states that property owners “have the duty, at their own expense, to trim broken or decayed limbs from trees, to cut down and remove any trees upon their property which are dead, dying, blown over, leaning precariously toward a structure, harbor insects or disease, or which are so damaged as to be a public nuisance and in danger of falling.”

The amendment also calls for the removal of any tree stump or rootball that is “severely damaged or exposed more than 50 percent above grade.”

Whenever the Town Board adopts a resolution requiring owners to remove property maintenance violations, the board will specify the time to complete the work. A notice will be served to the property owners via certified mail, according to the town code.

If the owners do not comply with violation notices, the town board may hold a public hearing and vote to perform the work needed to remove the violations.

The Town will seek reimbursement for the cost of the work performed by levy upon the tax bill of the lots or parcels of land where work was performed, according to the town code.

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