Merchantville Borough Council Discusses Shade Tree Ordinance and Liquor Licenses

In a recent Merchantville Borough Council meeting, the council engaged in a discussion regarding the modification of the shade tree ordinance, which concerns the removal and replacement of trees on private property. Additionally, the council prepared to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for pocket liquor licenses.

The discussion on the shade tree ordinance revolved around setting a standard fine or a replanting requirement for residents who choose to remove trees from their property. The council considered implementing a ‘no net loss’ policy, which would mean residents must replace any tree they remove. Suggestions were made to set the replacement fee at $750, which would cover not only the cost of a new tree but also the expenses for planting and maintenance. However, there was concern that this amount might be too burdensome and might discourage residents from following the process, leading to trees being removed without any replacements. The council agreed to revisit the ordinance after reviewing any additional changes from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and further discussions on the fee structure.

On the topic of liquor licenses, the council is looking to release an RFP on July 1st, which will explore the possibility of acquiring inactive or pocket liquor licenses from nearby areas such as Bellmawr and Cherry Hill. The licenses, if acquired, would then be sold to interested parties within the borough. The council discussed the dynamics of this process, including the potential revenues and risks involved. There was an emphasis on ensuring that the borough would not be financially disadvantaged if a license could not be sold within a given timeframe.

The council also approved facility use permits for upcoming community events, including the American Legion and Merchantville PTA’s annual events, without any dissent.

In the next council meeting scheduled for March 11, the council plans to discuss the Mulberry Station walkway and review potential design changes. An update on the East Park Avenue streetscape improvements, which will include new crosswalks and flashing beacons to enhance pedestrian safety, is also expected.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Edward Brennan
City Council Officials:
Daniel Sperrazza, Sean Fitzgerald, Andrew McLoone, Cindy Morales, Anthony Perno, Raymond Woods

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