Get our newsletters

Residents press Durham supervisors on tree cutting ordinance


Concerns about timber harvesting on private property and its impact on the environment drew a crowd to the Durham Township supervisors’ May meeting.

The township has an ordinance covering the cutting down of trees but the state attorney general has now ruled some of the harvesting regulations that municipalities, Durham included, place on landowners are unreasonable.

Other communities throughout Pennsylvania have faced challenges to their timber harvesting laws and so the attorney general has issued a model ordinance they can adopt to replace the ones that won’t withstand challenges.

However, solicitor Sean Duffy of Grim, Biehn and Thatcher said he had reviewed Durham’s ordinance and, with the exception of a few sections to be changed, he believes it needs no changes.

The supervisors directed the township planning commission and the environmental advisory council to review the revised ordinance, which will also be overseen by county authorities.

In other business, the supervisors reported rehabilitation work on county-owned concrete Bridge 226 across Cooks Creek was expected to begin May 15 and will continue until mid-January. The work will cause closure of Stouts Valley Road from Sherers Hill to Rattlesnake roads. The bridge was heavily damaged in September 2021 when Tropical Storm Ida drenched Upper Bucks, causing the creek to overrun its banks and flood properties on Red Bridge Road.

Some residents were concerned the scheduled repairs would not correct the flooding problem, but David Juall, environmental advisory council chairman, said those concerns had been answered satisfactorily.

In other business, the supervisors appointed Blake Timochenko to the environmental advisory council. His term will expire at the end of 2024.

Supervisor Chairman Bartley E. Millett said representatives of Durham Springs, the wedding venue proposed by Landmark Hospitality of Plainfield N.J., had met with Edward Child, zoning officer on May 4, but he said no applications had been submitted to the township.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.