(A)   Pursuant to authority conferred by the South Carolina Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Enabling Act of 1994, as amended, the citizens of the town, having recognized the importance of preserving the natural landscape through the protection of existing trees, and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare; to lessen air pollution; to increase dust filtration; to reduce noise, heat and glare; to prevent soil erosion; to improve surface drainage and minimize flooding; to ensure that noise, glare and other distractions of movement in one area do not adversely affect activity within other adjacent areas; to beautify and enhance improved and undeveloped land; to preserve and protect both the natural and historic amenities within the town; to ensure that excessive tree cutting does not reduce property values; and to minimize the cost of construction and maintenance of drainage systems necessitated by the increased flow and diversion of surface waters, the Town Council does ordain and enact into law the following sections:
      (1)   Regulating and restricting the removal of trees from all developed and undeveloped real property;
      (2)   Providing for replacement of trees;
      (3)   Establishing standards for tree protection during land clearing and construction;
      (4)   Providing certain exceptions and exemptions;
      (5)   Establishing and defining the approval process for the Commercial Design Review Overlay District standards with respect to these regulations;
      (6)   Providing appeal procedures and remedies;
      (7)   Providing penalties for violations of this chapter;
      (8)   Providing proper methods for maintenance;
      (9)   Defining certain terms used herein; and
      (10)   For other purposes.
   (B)   The intent of this subchapter is to encourage the protection and replacement of trees consistent with the economic and healthful enjoyment of private property. The intent is not punitive, or to cause hardship to any individual, private firm, or public agency that uses every care and diligence to protect trees within the town.
   (C)   The Zoning Administrator or his or her designee shall be responsible for administration of all provisions of this section. Public tree management and all aspects of maintenance shall be administered by the Public Services Department.
   (D)   No person, firm, organization, society, association, or corporation, or any agent or representative thereof, shall directly or indirectly destroy or remove any protected, significant or historic trees, except as authorized under the provisions of this chapter.
   (E)   The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear and decide appeals pursuant to the provisions of §§ 156.411 and 156.412, when it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Zoning Administrator in the enforcement of this subchapter.
(Ord. 00018, passed 4-11-00; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 05003, passed 2-8-05; Am. Ord. 07071, passed 11-13-07; Am. Ord. 11008, passed 2-8-11; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14; Am. Ord. 16085, passed 10-11-16; Am. Ord. 18076, passed 11-13-18)