WEST LAFAYETTE -- Following the April 11 West Lafayette Village Council meeting, the village will now have more control over the types of trees being planted near the village's sidewalks, streets and alley ways.
The ordinance was given a third reading last Monday night and was unanimously passed by council.
According to the ordinance, the village will have more say on where specific types of trees are planted and how they are to be maintained. The ordinance lists approximately 29 types of trees that are acceptable for planting near village property. Among the specific trees are pin oak, white, red, or black oak, sugar maple, eastern redbud, gray, silky, or red twig dogwood, crabapple, Ohio pioneer hawthorn, and quaking aspen.
The ordinance related to offenses of trees states that no person shall knowingly fail to trim, cut, or remove within 14 days a tree, foliage, or a plant that is situated in or on the right of way of any highway, street, alleyway, or sidewalk that has been determined to be a nuisance, hazard, or safety issue by the village administrator. No person shall plant any tree, foliage, or plant in or on the right of way of a highway, street, alleyway, or sidewalk without obtaining a permit from the village street committee. The permit will be issued at no cost to the person.
The ordinance adds that no person shall plant any tree within 25 feet of a public sewer which have excessively thick foliage, low branches, unpleasant odor, or are susceptible to diseases, insects, or have large root systems. These types of trees would include poplar, willow, cottonwood, American elm, nut and fruit trees. If these types of trees are planted on privately-owned property, the trees must be planted at least 100 feet from the public sewer system.
No person shall permit the overhanging of tree limbs, foliage, or plants to project over a village highway, street, or alleyway of less than 13 feet, 9 inches, and 7-1/2 feet applies for village sidewalks.
The cutting, trimming, or removal of any tree, foliage, or other plants that are situated near the curb strip between the village highway, street, alley way or sidewalk will not be the responsibility or done at the expense of the village. This does not apply to the annual leaf collection programs that are conducted by the village.
Violators of any provisions of the ordinance shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Any violation shall constitute a separate offense on each successive day that the offense continues.
Other business discussed included:
* The 2011 benefits and pay scale for village employees was approved.
* Council approved the village accepting sludge from Pearl Valley at a rate of $2 per 1,000 gallons.
* Village started patching pot holes on Russell Avenue.
* Safe Routes to Schools program will soon be in progress following development of specific routes.
* A radar assessment of the village swimming pool foundation was completed by MKC Associates on April 7. The results of the report are pending at this time.
Council's next meeting is scheduled for April 26 at 7 p.m.