Tree Ordinance and Removal
The City of North Charleston believes in Tree Protection. The reason is to prevent the clear cutting of building sites, a practice which destroys the balance of nature, leads to sedimentation and erosion, contributes to air and water pollution, and unnecessarily robs the community of valuable natural resources.
Trees provide communities with many economic, ecological, and social benefits. Trees shade and cool, increase property values, prevent stormwater runoff and soil erosion, reduce energy use, clean the air and enhance wildlife habitats. These benefits are why it is important to create and sustain urban forest, maintain undeveloped land and plant trees for future generations.
Planting and protecting trees has become one of the City of North Charleston's most important planning and environmental issues. The City adopted regulations to replace, protect, and preserve trees in 1991 following the considerable loss and damage of trees due to Hurricane Hugo. The tree preservation ordinance requires protection of trees on large tracts of woodlands and offsite mitigation if trees are destroyed during construction.
Because any healthy existing tree greater than ten (10) inches in DBH (diameter breast high) is a valuable natural resource, by virtue of its age, size and contribution to the environment, all said trees meeting this measurement shall be referred to as "significant trees" and protected to the extent practical and feasible.
Removal of existing significant trees shall be prohibited prior to securing a grading and/or building permit. However, in the event that a tree poses a severe or imminent threat to public safety or property, the zoning administrator or his designee may waive the requirements of this section. Written findings must later be issued, outlining the threat, which initiated the removal. The zoning administrator or his designee may require replacement of any trees, which are removed, where it is determined that the threat resulted from negligence. www.municode.com
Permits for Docks
The scenic beauty and historic heritage of a community is among its most valued and important assets. In addition to its natural beauty, the Ashley River area reflects elements of our cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history. It is the intent of the Ashley River Scenic Districts I, II, and III to safeguard the heritage and scenic beauty of the City of North Charleston, Charleston County, and Dorchester County by preserving the view shed of National Historic Landmarks and Properties on the National Registrar of Historic Places which have been confirmed by the South Carolina Department of Archives and history; to promote conservation and provide protection by promoting the stabilization of the banks of the Ashley River which is tidally influenced and subject to periodic flooding; to preserve water quality by protecting the natural environmental qualities of the land and water; to improve property values in Ashley River Scenic Districts I, II, and III; to foster civic beauty; to preserve scenic areas; and promote the use and preservation of the Ashley River Scenic Districts I,II, and III for the education, welfare, and pleasure of residents of the City of North Charleston, Charleston County, and Dorchester County and of the state and nation as a whole. www.municode.com
If you desire to build or erect a new dock or modify an existing dock you must inform the Department of Planning & Management to verify compliance of the above ordinance.
Failure to do so may result in a fine or possible removal of structure. For more information on this matter please contact the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) or call 740-2573.