Before the end of the month, River Edge will have voted on a Shade Tree Ordinance that has been in the works for almost five years. Introduced just before the Nov. 6 general election, the proposed ordinance could have its final vote for approval next Monday.
The ordinance was initially introduced in May after five years of rewrites and delays but then defeated in early June over concerns of property rights infringement. The previously proposed legislation would have given the Shade Tree Commission jurisidiction over the removal and protection of any trees located on both private and public property except for when a homeowner removes a tree on their property for maintenance or in case of an emergency.
Later that month, the council began discussing the ordinance again but with thegoal of removing any oversight of trees on private property while retaining the requirement that any tree removal be tied with a building permit application. It would then place a greater emphasis on larger home construction and that of redevelopment projects over smaller construction projects by homeowners. A final consensus was reached in October to move the ordinance forward prior to the end of the year.
The council will meet on Nov. 19, 8pm in Borough Hall where the ordinance will be presented for a public hearing and then final vote.