Committee Plants Seeds For Tree City in Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Planning and Development Committee approved setting a public hearing regarding Tree City USA.

The public hearing would be in regards to the Port City’s proposed tree ordinance.

On two previous occasions, the council has unanimously agreed that Oswego should become certified as a “Tree City USA.”

The 2020 Comprehensive Vision Plan, adopted in August 2003, and the revision of the plan, adopted in January of this year, both include “Tree City USA” certification for Oswego as a priority implementation.

There are two requirements for the program. One is the adoption of a tree ordinance. The other is the creation of a municipal tree commission or tree advisory board.

A tree ordinance committee, composed of the mayor, councilors from the First and Seventh wards, city attorney, DPW commissioner, director of code enforcement, community development director and a representative from the Oswego Tree Stewards developed a tree ordinance for the council to consider, according to Mary Vanouse, community development director.

Phil MacArthur, of the Oswego Tree Stewards, said they have been working on the ordinance for about six months.

“This ordinance, in large part, follows ordinances from other cities. So, we aren’t breaking a whole lot of new ground,” he told the committee. “It’s new ground for Oswego.”

The ordinance is designed to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by providing for the coordination of planting, maintenance and removal of trees, shrubs and other woody plants within the city of Oswego.

It will “protect and expand the urban tree canopy in order that the city will benefit from – retaining stormwater runoff, reducing energy costs for city buildings, enhancing property values along tree-lined streets, controlling soil erosion” and more.

It will also provide for training; achieve the goals set forth in the 2020 plan; and help the city become eligible for state and federal grants, committee chair Mike Myers noted.

The ordinance outlines the authority and duties of the participants; establishes (and defines the duties of) a tree advisory board; set the standards for planting, maintenance and removal; lists prohibited acts and enforcement and penalties along with other details.

The public hearing would be 7:10 p.m. on Nov. 28 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

In other committee action:

Barbara Sugar, city clerk received a request for a zone change from Furlong Properties, contract purchaser of real property located in the Fifth Ward at 218 W. Eighth St., from an R-3 Residential District to a B-l Neighborhood Business District.

She requested the petition be referred to the Planning Board for an advisory opinion, pursuant to the provisions of the Code of the City of Oswego, Chapter 280, Zoning Ordinance, Section 280-93, Subsection C.

Tony Leotta, city engineer, said the Common Council is the lead agency for the West Side Sanitary Sewer System Rehabilitation – Area 1, EFC No. C7-6344-19-04.

The SEQR Negative Declaration must be acknowledged and approved by Common Council Resolution.

Leotta also requested an amendment to the Brittany Hill Planned Development for properties addressed at Lot J-213 and Lot J-215 Christopher Circle, to allow for a single-family dwelling of approximately 2,000 square feet.

The council will consider setting a public hearing.

Janet Musacchio requested use of public space in order to install a new handicap lift. It would be created within her home’s porch, in public space, fronting her residence at 121 E. Third St.

This is an emergency request due to the handicap condition of her husband, Bill.

All of the requests were sent to the full council for consideration.