MapLink™ | Procedures | Forestry/Timber Harvesting

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Forestry/Timber Harvesting
A. Forestry/timber harvesting, providing that it meets the following standards:
(1) Scope; applicability. A zoning permit shall be required for all forestry/timber harvesting activities; however, an individual property owner need not obtain a permit to cut a tree or trees as part of normal home maintenance and upkeep, and the following activities are specifically exempted:
(a) Removal of diseased or dead trees.
(b) Removal of trees which are in such a condition or physical position as to constitute a danger to the structures or occupants of properties or a public right-of-way.
(c) Removal of up to five trees per acre of woodlands per year, not to exceed a total of 10 trees per lot or any combination of adjoining lots in common ownership, which are 12 inches or more in diameter measured at breast height (dbh) and not covered by the exemptions in the foregoing two subsections. Removal of woodlands shall not exceed the standards set forth in § 500-2601D and § 500-2602B. In cases of conflict between the standards set forth in this section and § 500-2601D and § 500-2602B, the stricter of the standards shall apply.
(d) When a building permit is issued for a building, structure or use, the permittee may cut down any trees which exist in the space to be occupied by such building, structure or use, or within 30 feet of such building, structure or use, and all space within 10 feet of all sides of any utility line, stormwater conveyance or detention structure, driveway, parking area, water system or sewage disposal system, or permitted accessory uses. Removal of woodlands shall not exceed the standards set forth in § 500-2601D and § 500-2602B. In cases of conflict between the standards set forth in this section and § 500-2601D and § 500-2602B, the stricter of the standards shall apply.
(2) Notification; preparation of a forestry/logging plan.
(a) Notification of commencement or completion. For all forestry and timber harvesting operations that are expected to exceed one acre, the landowner shall notify the Township Zoning Officer at least 10 business days before the operation commences and within five business days before the operation is complete. No timber harvesting shall occur until the notice has been provided. Notification shall be in writing and shall specify the land on which harvesting will occur, the expected size of the harvest area and, as applicable, the anticipated starting or completion date of the operation.
(b) Logging plan. Every landowner on whose land timber harvesting is to occur shall have a written logging plan prepared by a professional forester or forest technician in the form specified by this chapter. No timber harvesting shall occur until the plan has been prepared. The provisions of the plan shall be followed throughout the operation. The plan shall be available at the harvest site at all times during the operation and shall be provided to the Township Zoning Officer upon request.
(c) Responsibility for compliance. The landowner and the operator shall be jointly and severally responsible for complying with the terms of the logging plan.
(3) Contents of the forestry/logging plan.
(a) Minimum requirements. As a minimum, the logging plan shall include the following:
[1] Design, construction, maintenance and retirement of the access system, including haul roads, skid roads, skid trails and landings;
[2] Design, construction and maintenance of water control measures and structures such as culverts, broad-based dips, filter strips and water bars;
[3] Design, construction and maintenance of stream and wetland crossings;
[4] The general location of the proposed operation in relation to municipal and state highways, including any accesses to those highways;
[5] Copies of all required permits submitted as an appendix to the plan;
[6] Proof of current general liability and/or worker's compensation insurance;
[7] Proof of PennDOT highway occupancy permit or Township driveway permit for temporary access, as applicable; and
[8] Copy of Bucks County Conservation District "Letter of Adequacy" for the proposed erosion control facilities, including associated plans, reports and other permits as required.
(b) Map. Each forestry/logging plan shall include a site map containing the following information:
[1] Site location and boundaries, including both the boundaries of the property on which the timber harvest will take place and the boundaries of the proposed harvest area within that property;
[2] Significant topographic features related to potential environmental problems;
[3] Location of all earth disturbance activities, such as roads, landings and water control measures and structures;
[4] Location of all crossings of water of the commonwealth; and
[5] The general location of the proposed operation to municipal and state highways, including any accesses to those highways.
(c) Compliance with state law. The forestry/logging plan shall address and comply with the requirements of all applicable state laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the following:
[1] Erosion and sedimentation control regulations contained in Chapter 102 of Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code, promulgated pursuant to the Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.);
[2] Stream crossing and wetlands protection regulations contained in Chapter 105 of Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code, promulgated pursuant to the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq.); and
[3] Stormwater management plans and regulations issued pursuant to the Storm Water Management Act (32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq.)
(d) Compliance with federal law/regulations. The forestry/logging plan shall address and comply with the requirements of all applicable federal laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the best management practices (BMPs) as set forth at 33 CFR 323.4[a][6][i-xv].
(e) The forestry/logging plan shall address and comply with the standards set forth in Article XXVI: Natural Resource Protection Standards; Open Space and Buffers of this chapter. In cases of conflict between this section and Article XXVI: Natural Resource Protection Standards; Open Space and Buffers, the stricter of the standards shall apply. The forestry/logging plan shall further address and comply with the standards set forth in Chapter 440: Subdivision and Land Development, § 440-406: Stormwater management. In cases of conflict between this section and § 440-406: Stormwater management, the stricter of the standards shall apply.
(4) Forest practices. The following requirements shall apply to all forestry/timber harvesting operations in the Township:
(a) Felling or skidding on or across any public thoroughfare is prohibited without the express written consent of the Township or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, whichever is responsible for maintenance of the thoroughfare;
(5) Financial security shall be established in a manner acceptable to the Township to guarantee repair of all damage that may occur to public streets due to the forestry/logging operations, and to guarantee compliance with erosion and sedimentation control plans, compliance with stormwater management plans, and restoration of the site upon completion of logging operations. Pursuant to Chapter 189 of Title 67 of the Pennsylvania Code, the Township may also require the landowner or operator to furnish a bond to guarantee the repair of such roads.
(6) Enforcement.
(a) Inspections. Any official or employee of the Township may go upon the site of any timber harvesting operation before, during or after active logging to: review the logging plan or any other required documents for compliance with this chapter and inspect the operation for compliance with the logging plan and other on-site requirements of this chapter.
(b) Violation notices; suspensions. Upon finding that a forestry or timber harvesting operation is in violation of any provisions of this chapter, the Township shall issue the operator and the landowner a written notice of violation describing each violation and specifying a date by which corrective action must be taken. The Township may order the immediate suspension of any operation upon finding that: 1) corrective action has not been taken by the date specified in a notice of violation; 2) the operation is proceeding without a logging plan; or 3) the operation is causing an environmental risk. Suspension orders shall be in writing, shall be issued to the operator and the landowner, and shall remain in effect until, as determined by the Township, the operation is brought into compliance with this chapter or other applicable statutes or regulations. The landowner or the operator may appeal an order or decision of an official or employee of the Township in accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
(c) Penalties. Any landowner or operator who violates any provision of this chapter or who fails to comply with a notice of violation or suspension order issued under § 500-402M(6)(b) shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, plus costs and attorney's fees, in accordance with Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Each day of continued violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
See § 500-402M for more information on Forestry/Timber Harvesting.
See Stormwater Management for more information
See Applying for a Permit for more information.
See Building and Zoning for information on documents, forms and permits.