Proposed changes to Greenville’s tree preservation + protection ordinance

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Street in downtown Greenville, S.C.

We know what’s on your mind right now…turkey, mashed potatoes, mac + cheese, pumpkin pie, and trees. Ok ok, so maybe that’s what’s on the mind of Edward Kinney, the City of Greenville’s Senior Landscape Architect.

On Tues., Dec. 1 from 5-6 p.m., after you’ve eaten more leftover turkey sandwiches than you can comprehend, the City of Greenville will be hosting a third virtual public meeting to provide residents another opportunity to view proposed changes to the city’s tree preservation + protection ordinance. During the meeting, Kinney will give a brief presentation on these proposed changes and then open the floor for a focused Q+A session

Here’s an overview of some of the *poplar* topics discussed over the past fews months + how they currently read in the most recent draft –

🌳 Single Family Homes

The proposed changes in the new tree ordinance would not apply to existing homeowners (or anyone who purchases or builds a home within city limits before June 30, 2021). Additionally, if a “tree is in a dangerous or deteriorating condition and poses a risk to health, safety, or welfareyou can remove it from your property without any penalties or mitigations.  

🌳 Fee-in-lieu-of Program

The new ordinance proposes a 1:1 tree replacement requirement. (If you cut down a 20” tree, you must replace it with 20” of trees – two 10” trees, four 5” trees, etc. – otherwise, you must pay $50/inch as part of the fee-in-lieu-of program. This proposal is in line with the more progressive canopy saving ordinances nationwide, including Atlanta.) This program would be applicable to both commercial + multifamily developments and newly constructed single family homes

🌳 Affordable Housing

Developments that include affordable housing will have the same responsibilities as those that do not offer affordable housing.  

So, what’s next for the City of Greenville’s new tree preservation + protection ordinance?

Tues., Dec. 1 – Virtual open house meeting with Q+A session

Wed., Dec. 2-Thurs., Dec. 17Barring any major changes from the virtual open house, a final draft of the ordinance will be publicly posted for two weeks. 

Thurs., Dec. 17 – Ordinance will go to the city’s planning commission for approval (or recommendations) 

Mon., Jan. 11 – First reading by City Council 

Mon., Jan. 25 – Second reading by City Council 

Still have questions? Submit them here before the meeting on Dec. 1.