Port Royal Town Council approved the first of two votes Wednesday for an amendment requiring new fees for developers who can't replace trees that are cut.
Under the amendment, trees 4 inches to 35 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet high would cost $100 an inch to remove. Trees 36 inches in diameter or larger would cost the same per-inch fee, but could require an arborist's assessment.
Live oaks 36 inches in diameter or larger could require an arborist's assessment and would cost $1,500 to remove for a residential property and $4,500 for a commercial property.
Fees would go into the town's tree-replacement fund. The fund would be used for such things as buying, protecting and maintaining wooded areas in town and other tree-related projects.
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Town manager Van Willis said town officials realized they couldn't typically replant what is removed on commercial sites and decided it was easier to plant trees throughout the town rather than specific sites.
He said the town also needs new trees as its current canopy ages.
The final vote on the fees is scheduled for June 10.
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