Spring Lake’s root cause: protect trees from sidwalks

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SPRING LAKE — Borough officials have decided to take a new tack in their effort to keep new sidewalk construction from damaging the roots of trees.

An ordinance amending the borough’s streets and sidewalks code to protect Spring Lake’s shade trees has been scrapped in favor of drafting an entirely new measure.

The first ordinance was introduced but then tabled in June by the council after members cited the vagueness of its language.

The new ordinance is expected to be introduced at a future council meeting. On Tuesday, the borough council discussed some of the changes it will include.

Councilman Brendan Judge and Councilwoman Syd Whalley proposed that the borough bring on a certified tree expert to determine the health of the trees in the path of new sidewalk construction, along with how best to deal with tree roots causing the sidewalk to be hazard.

“It’s still in development, but what we’re thinking is there will be a permit application if you’re looking to work on your sidewalk,” said Mr. Judge. “That then brings in the construction official — and we have to figure out exactly who that is going to be — who will then make a determination that it is beyond his or her expertise to determine the health of the tree. And at the point the tree expert will be brought in.”

According to Ms. Whalley, a certified tree expert would not be an expensive cost to the borough.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.