§ 156.225  PROVISIONS FOR TREE REMOVAL.
   (A)   Tree Replacement Table. Canopy trees are greatly varied between species and variety. Therefore, it is important to consider both the species and its relative health when reviewing a tree for removal and replacement. The following Tree Replacement Table will be used for this purpose.
      (1)   Quality rating. Many local canopy trees have been grouped by their average quality rating found in July 2005's Southeastern U.S. Tree Species Rating Guide. For species not listed, find the average quality rating for Zone 8 in this guide available through the Southern Chapter of ISA, and compare to the quality rating point range in the table below.
      (2)   Health rating. Trees are great complex systems with many unique characteristics and health concerns, and therefore, health is categorized broadly.
         (a)   Good. 100% to 75% live crown ratio. Minimal structural defects.
         (b)   Fair. 75% to 50% live crown ratio. Minor or tolerable structural defects that can be overcome through arborist intervention.
         (c)   Poor. Less than 50% live crown ratio. Severe structural defects that would classify it as a hazard tree, including insufficient holding wood or included bark.
 
TREE REPLACEMENT TABLE
Species Quality Rating
Class/ Points
Species Included
Percent Replacement
Existing Residential3
Commercial/Other/
New Residential Subdivision
3
I
80-100
Live Oak, Bald Cypress, American Beech, Gingko, American Holly, Southern Magnolia, Sweetbay Magnolia, Tupelo, Chinese Pistache, White Oak, Willow Oak1, Overcup Oak, Chestnut Oak, Eastern Red Cedar1
50
50
25
100
75
50
II
60-79
Persimmon, Ash species, Hickory species, Tulip Poplar, Sycamore, Swamp White Oak, Scarlet Oak, Southern Red Oak, Shumard Oak, Post Oak, Laurel Oak1, Pecan
50
50
25
75
50
25
III
<60
Sugarberry1, Hackberry1, Willow species, Water Oak1, Black Cherry, American Elm, Red Maple1
50
25
0
50
25
0
IV2
Pine species, Sweet Gum, Callary Pear varieties, River Birch, Mimosa, Chinaberry, Chinese Tallow, Camphor tree, White Poplar, Mulberry and Leyland Cypress
0
0
0
0
0
0
   Health Rating
Good
Fair
Poor
Good
Fair
Poor
1   Species with adjusted quality ratings that differ from the guide based on local experience and expertise.
2   Species in this category shall be exempt from the requirements of this section, except that Pine species and Sweet Gum shall be maintained in buffer areas requiring protection of all vegetation or vegetation of a certain size, and may be approved for plantings in such buffers.
3   Approval of a historic tree removal request (>24" DBH) may require review by the Board of Zoning Appeals or Design Review Board, and have other replacement requirements as further provided within the provisions of this section.
 
   (B)   On sketch plans for residential subdivisions requiring approval by the Planning Commission, trees 16 inches and greater are protected. A minimum of 160 caliper inches of protected trees per developable acre shall be retained on the site. On parcels with less than this amount, caliper inches from planted canopy trees may be used to meet this requirement. For the purposes described herein, developable acreage shall not include wetlands, retention pounds or right-of- ways. Removal of historic trees shall require replacement, as described herein, in excess of 160- caliper-inch minimum. In general, lots and infrastructure should not be sited so as to require the removal of protected trees 16 inches or greater, whenever possible. However, the Planning Commission may authorize the removal of these protected trees for that purpose at the time of sketch plan approval, when their retention becomes inordinately burdensome in developing the property in a reasonable fashion. The approval for removal shall be judiciously exercised in consideration of the stated intent of this subchapter, and with due consideration of the size, quality and health rating of individual trees as provided herein. In such cases when the Planning Commission approves removal, the following standards shall apply:
      (1)   In the development of a residential subdivision, replacement trees may be located as follows:
         (a)   On homeowners' association property, if reviewed and approved by the Zoning Administrator or his or her designee. Trees between four and 16 inches DBH retained on the homeowners' association property can count toward required replacement inches, if surveyed and protected by a recorded covenant agreement.
         (b)   Within the public street right-of-way in accordance with an approved design plan, as provided in § 155.048(F)(21) of Chapter 155; and/or
         (c)   On private lots.
      (2)   No replacement trees can conflict with any drainage or utility features, or be located within drainage or utility easements.
      (3)   Mitigation trees shall be selected from the Tree Replacement Table located herein. Replacement species shall be equal to or of higher point value with the designated classification of tree removed.
      (4)   Mitigation must be accomplished as described herein above, or by providing a cash bond for 200% of tree replacement cost in accordance with an approved mitigation plan prior to Final Plat approval. The cash bond will have a maximum lifespan of two years from the date of issue; afterwards, the Town may plant the trees or transfer the cash bond money into the Tree Bank.
   (C)   On individually platted, single-family residential lots, the following criteria shall be used to determine the removal of historic and significant trees.
      (1)   Tree location in relation to property boundaries, infrastructure, existing physical features.
      (2)   The condition of the canopy, overall health and species.
      (3)   The nature of the request, justification and reason for removing the tree.
      (4)   Whether practical alternatives have been vetted to preserve the tree.
   (D)   For townhouse and multi-family developments, the following standards apply:
      (1)   Removal of protected and significant tree(s) may approved by the Zoning Administrator, or his or her designee, provided that replacement trees shall be selected from the canopy tree list provided in § 156.201(G)(1).
      (2)   Removal of historic tree(s) shall require variance approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
      (3)   A minimum of 160 caliper inches per acre shall be retained on the site. On parcels with less than this amount, caliper inches from planted canopy trees may be used to meet this requirement.
      (4)   Removal of historic trees shall require replacement, as described herein, in excess of 160-caliper-inch minimum.
   (E)   For properties subject to Commercial Design Review Overlay District guidelines, the removal of protected, significant and historic trees shall be at the discretion of the designated reviewing authority, exercised through the site plan approval process.
      (1)   However, the project site design shall endeavor to retain protected, significant and historic trees whenever possible, consistent with their stated overlay district design principles and effective utilization of the project site.
      (2)   The removal of protected, significant and historic trees is not intended to provide maximum utilization of the site area, but rather reasonable use of the site based upon the factors stated above.
      (3)   In reviewing requests for removal of protected, significant and historic trees, the designated reviewing authority shall consider tree species, size and condition, and may require an independent assessment from a certified arborist to assist in the final determination.
      (4)   In cases where the removal of a historic tree is proposed, the developer of the property shall beable to demonstrate that efforts to preserve the tree(s) were made through site planning, and that removal of the tree is necessary to create the best, most cohesive site plan. This information may be used by the DRB in making any decisions regarding the proposed removal of historic tree(s).
      (5)   Tree retention. A minimum of 160 caliper inches per acre shall be retained on the site. On parcels with less than this amount, caliper inches from planted canopy trees may be used to meet this requirement.
      (6)   Exceptions; public gathering spaces. On sites located within mixed use developments which are designated specifically for uses such as village greens, plazas and similar public gathering spaces, where this amount cannot be adequately accommodated on site, the developer/owner shall, in lieu of planting trees, pay a fee to the town per § 156.226(E), not to exceed 20% of required plantings.
      (6)   Removal of historic trees shall require replacement, as described herein, in excess of 160-caliper-inch minimum.
   (F)   For other land uses, as depicted in the Submittal Requirements Table, not subject to the Design Review Process, removal of protected, significant and historic trees shall be allowed with approval of the Zoning Administrator, or his or her designee, provided that replacement trees shall be selected from the Tree Replacement Table located herein.
      (1)   However, the project site design shall endeavor to retain protected, significant and historic trees whenever possible, consistent with this chapter’s stated tree protection principles and effective utilization of the project site.
      (2)   The removal of protected, significant and historic trees is not intended to provide maximum utilization of the site area, but rather reasonable use of the site based upon the factors stated above.
      (3)   In reviewing requests for removal of protected, significant and historic trees, the reviewing authority shall consider tree species, size and condition, and may require an independent assessment from a certified arborist to assist in the final determination.
      (4)   In cases where the removal of a historic tree is proposed, the developer of the property shall be able to demonstrate that efforts to preserve the tree(s) were made through site planning, and that removal of the tree is necessary to create the best, most cohesive site plan. This information may be used by the reviewing authority in making any decisions regarding the proposed removal of historic tree(s).
      (5)   A minimum of 160 caliper inches per acre shall be retained on the site. On parcels with less than this amount, caliper inches from planted canopy trees may be used to meet this requirement.
      (6)   Exceptions; public gathering spaces. On sites located within mixed use developments which are designated specifically for uses such as village greens, plazas and similar public gathering spaces, where this amount cannot be adequately accommodated on site, the developer/owner shall, in lieu of planting trees, pay a fee to the town per § 156.226(E), not to exceed 20% of required plantings.
      (7)   Removal of historic trees shall require replacement, as described herein, in excess of 160-caliper-inch minimum.
   (G)   Prior to removal of any trees, the applicant must obtain an approved clearing and grading permit, or tree removal permit issued by the Zoning Administrator or his or her designee. The following table outlines submittal requirements for obtaining a clearing and grading permit:
 
SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS TABLE
Land Use
DBH Protected
Site Plan
Tree Survey
Replacement Schedule
Construction Plans
Tree Assessment Report
Design Review Approval
Planning Commission
Single-family and townhouse lots1
16"+
X
X
X
Single-family and townhouse subdivisions2
16"+
X
X
X
X
X
X
Multi-family
8"+
X
X
X
X
X
X4
Commercial
8"+
X
X
X
X
X
X
Other land uses3
8"+
X
X
X
X
X
X4
1   Submittal requirements may be waived by Zoning Administrator or designee.
2   Single-family subdivisions requiring preliminary plat approval fall into this category.
3   This category includes uses such as churches; private, semi-private, and public recreation facilities; government and quasi-governmental facilities.
4   Only if required by the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, or Town Council.
 
(Ord. 00018, passed 4-11-00; Am. Ord. 00052, passed 9-12-00; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 06019, passed 4-12-06; Am. Ord. 06086, passed 1-9-07; Am. Ord. 07071, passed 11-13-07; Am. Ord. 08003, passed 2-12-08; Am. Ord. 11008, passed 2-8-11; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14; Am. Ord. 16028, passed 4-13-16; Am. Ord. 16082, passed 10-11-16; Am. Ord. 16085, passed 10-11-16; Am. Ord. 18076, passed 11-13-18; Am. Ord. 19026, passed 5-14-19; Am. Ord. 19028, passed 5-14-19; Am. Ord. 19051, passed 8-13-19)    Penalty, see § 156.231