The Township Roadmaster and Road Department employees have been busy clearing Township roads of fallen trees and branches that are located along the roads. Many times they are called out during hours of darkness and inclement weather. This work is dangerous.
Most of the trees that fall are located in the Township road right of way. In most cases, the width of the right of way is 33 feet as established by State law. In some cases, the right of way is wider. The paved portion of the road is generally located in the center of the right of way. The boundaries of the right of way can be estimated by measuring 16.5 feet from the center of the paved road.
The Township does not own the right of way. The right of way is a type of easement and the Township has the right to use the right of way for public road purposes, but does not own the right of way. The land on which the road is located is owned by the owners of the properties adjacent to the road. In many cases, the deed for adjacent properties will describe the boundaries to the center of the adjacent road. The trees located in the right of way are owned by the adjacent property owners.
Therefore, the adjacent property owners have the responsibility to maintain the trees in the right of way, including trimming and removing trees. Some of the trees pose a danger to motorists, and a risk of blocking the road and knocking down power lines if the trees fall.
The loss of electric and other utility services and obstruction of the roads are serious public safety issues. These conditions have the potential of interfering with emergency responders and other consequences.
The Board of Supervisors requests that our residents be aware of the dangerous condition of trees in and near the road rights of way, and take action to trim or remove trees that are diseased, dying or dead. However, trees located in or near power and utility lines should not be cut or trimmed except by professionals.
East Nantmeal Township is a great place to live and enjoy because of our residents and their appreciation of the natural environment. We thank you for your cooperation in keeping our roads and Road Department employees safe.