2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 23-65. Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal.

      Sec. 23-65. Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal. (a) Any person, firm or corporation which affixes to a telegraph, telephone, electric light or power pole, or to a tree, shrub, rock or other natural object in any public way or grounds, a playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing, or cuts, paints or marks such tree, shrub, rock or other natural object, except for the purpose of protecting it or the public and under a written permit from the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, city forester or Commissioner of Transportation, as the case may be, or, without the consent of the tree warden or of the officer with similar duties, uses climbing spurs for the purpose of climbing any ornamental or shade tree within the limits of any public highway or grounds, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for each offense.

      (b) Any person, firm or corporation, other than a tree warden or deputy tree warden, who removes, prunes, injures or defaces any shrub or ornamental or shade tree, within the limits of a public way or grounds, without the legal right or written permission of the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, the city forester, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Department of Public Utility Control or other authority having jurisdiction, shall be fined not more than the appraised value of the shrub or tree and shall be liable civilly for damages in any action brought by the property owner or the authority having jurisdiction affected thereby. The appraised value shall be determined by the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, the city forester, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Department of Public Utility Control or other authority having jurisdiction and shall be determined in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to develop guidelines for such plant appraisal. The regulations may incorporate by reference the latest revision of The Guide for Plant Appraisal, as published by the International Society of Arboriculture, Urbana, Illinois. Until such time as regulations are adopted, appraisals may be made in accordance with said Guide for Plant Appraisal.

      (c) Any person, firm or corporation which deposits or throws any advertisement within the limits of any public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property, unless the same is left at the door of the residence or place of business of the occupant of such premises or property, or deposits or throws any refuse paper, camp or picnic refuse, junk or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds, except at a place designated for that purpose by the authority having supervision and control of such public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property without permission of the owner thereof, or affixes to or maintains upon any tree, rock or other natural object within the limits of a public way or grounds any paper or advertisement other than notices posted in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, or affixes to or maintains, upon the property of another without his consent, any word, letter, character or device intended to advertise the sale of any article, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both for each offense.

      (d) The removal, pruning or wilful injury of any shrub or ornamental or shade tree, or the use of climbing spurs upon any ornamental or shade tree without the consent of the tree warden or of the officer with similar duties or the affixing of any playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing concerning the business or affairs of any person, firm or corporation, to a pole, shrub, tree, rock or other natural object, within the limits of any public way or grounds in violation of the provisions of this section by an agent or employee of such person, firm or corporation, shall be deemed to be the act of such person, firm or corporation, and such person, or any member of such firm or any officer of such corporation, as the case may be, shall be subject to the penalty herein provided, unless such act is shown to have been done without his knowledge or consent.

      (e) The affixing of each individual playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing to a pole, shrub, tree, rock or other natural object, or the wilful removing, pruning, injuring or defacing of each shrub or tree, or the throwing of each individual advertisement or lot of refuse paper or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds or on private premises, shall constitute a separate violation of the provisions of this section. Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of a tree warden, either by himself or by a person receiving a written permit from him, to remove, prune or otherwise deal with a shrub or tree under his jurisdiction.

      (f) Any person, firm or corporation, other than a tree warden or his deputy, who desires the cutting or removal, in whole or in part, of any tree or shrub or part thereof within the limits of any public road or grounds, may apply in writing to the town tree warden, the borough tree warden or the Commissioner of Transportation or other authority having jurisdiction thereof for a permit so to do. Upon receipt of such permit, but not before, he may proceed with such cutting or removal. Before granting or denying such permit, such authority may hold a public hearing as provided in section 23-59, and when the applicant is a public utility corporation, the party aggrieved by such decision may, within ten days, appeal therefrom to the Department of Public Utility Control, which shall have the power to review, confirm, change or set aside the decision appealed from and its decision shall be final. This shall be in addition to the powers granted to it under section 16-234, provided, if an application for such permit has been made to either a tree warden or the Commissioner of Transportation or other authority and denied by him, an application for a permit for the same relief shall not be made to any other such authority. Upon any approval of such a permit by the Commissioner of Transportation, he shall notify the tree warden for the town in which the tree is located. Upon any approval of such a permit by the Commissioner of Transportation, the permittee shall notify the tree warden for the town in which the tree is located prior to cutting any such tree.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3503; February, 1965, P.A. 614, S. 4, 5; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 251, 252, 253; P.A. 75-486, S. 56, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 179, 180, 348; P.A. 98-209, S. 17; 98-228, S. 8; P.A. 00-106, S. 1.)

      History: 1965 act deleted reference to jurisdiction of state park and forest commission in Subsec. (b) and rephrased provisions re appeals to public utilities commission to delete reference equating that commission's powers to those of the state park and forest commission in Subsec. (f); 1969 act substituted commissioner of transportation for highway commissioner in Subsecs. (a), (b) and (f); P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority in Subsecs. (b) and (f); P.A. 77-614 replaced the authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted references to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 98-209 added a provision requiring notice by the Commissioner of Transportation to the tree warden for certain tree-cutting approved by the Commissioner; P.A. 98-228 added provision requiring permittee cutting trees with approval of Commissioner of Transportation to notify tree warden; P.A. 00-106 amended Subsec. (b) to replace penalty of one hundred dollars with penalty based on the appraised value of the tree or shrub, exclude a person with a "legal right" from the prohibitions, add provisions re determination of appraised value, require regulations re guidelines for such determination and make technical changes for the purposes of gender neutrality.

      Cited. 82 C. 394; 128 C. 674.

      Cited. 17 CS 108. See note to section 23-59.

      Legislative intent was to vest exclusive control in tree warden of all trees standing within limits of highway and of any parts of trees extending within these limits. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 503.

      Subsec. (b):

      Selectmen cannot authorize such injury to a tree on the highway. 66 C. 569.

      "[A]ppraised value" relates only to imposition of a fine and not to proper measure of damages for unlawful cutting of trees and shrubs. 75 CA 781.

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