BW tree law may have loophole

BLYTHEWOOD – Whether it’s a loophole or a misinterpretation of the law, some residents and some Council members say the Town’s Landscaping and Tree Preservation Ordinance allows developers to abuse the ordinance in ways that can affect large areas of land.

The stated purpose of the ordinance is to prevent “indiscriminate, uncontrolled and excessive destruction, removal and clear cutting of trees upon lots and tracts of land…” All residential, commercial or industrial lot owners wishing to remove trees of certain kinds and sizes must comply with a complex list of rules and regulations, the ordinance states.

At issue is Section 155.390 which lists exceptions to the ordinance. One of those exceptions, (H), states that those projects are exempt “which have received major subdivision or site plan approval prior to the effective date of this subchapter and amended major subdivision and site plans.”

Town Attorney Jim Meggs suggested that Council might want to review the ordinance to be sure it is clear in regard to section (H).

Town Council will hear public testimony at their March meeting regarding amendments to Ordinance and amendments to repeal section 155.390 (H) exempting certain projects from landscaping and buffer yard requirements (Sections 155.380, et seq.)

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 26, 2018 at The Manor. The issue is also expected to be discussed at Council’s annual retreat on Saturday, March 10.

The texts related to this amendment are available for public inspection in the office of the Town Clerk at Town Hall during regular working hours, and also will be available at the public hearing.  Please call Town Hall at 803.754.0501 for further information.

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