C.2 Tree Cutting Provisions

1. Purpose
1.1. The purpose of this rule is to establish clear and defined rules for tree and shrub pruning and removal, maintenance requirements for damaged trees, and to establish consequences for violations of this rule.
2. Responsibilities
2.1. The Architectural and Environmental Control Department (AECD) of the POA is charged with the responsibility for protecting the natural environment of Big Canoe. To this end, the AECD is charged with the responsibility for administering, and enforcing these tree and shrub removal and pruning provisions.
3. Definitions
3.1. “Vista Pruning” is defined as removal or pruning of trees and shrubs for view. 

3.2. “Tree/shrub removal” is defined as removing a tree/shrub for purposes other than view.

3.3. “Authorized cutting” is defined in the General Declaration of the Covenants and Restrictions as “No deciduous tree measuring six inches or more in diameter at a point two feet above the ground level, no flowering trees, and no evergreens may be pruned or removed without the written approval of the POA, unless located within 10 feet of a building, within three feet of a driveway, or one foot from a walkway.” Removal outside of these guidelines without authorization from the POA will be considered a violation.

3.4. “Thinning” is defined as the deliberate control of stand density by removing trees that are too close together to promote healthy growth.

3.5. For the purpose of these Rules and Regulations, “flowering trees” referenced in paragraph 3.3 above are defined as Mountain Laurel, Dogwoods, and Native Azaleas and “evergreens” referenced in paragraph 3.3 above are defined as those listed in the Approved Plant List. Loblolly Pines are not listed as approved evergreens in the Approved Plant List.

3.6. Damaged trees shall be defined as any fallen, leaning, broken or dead trees.

3.7. Fallen trees shall be defined as any tree that is no longer standing independently erect and resting on the ground.

3.8. Leaning trees shall be defined as any tree that is no longer standing independently erect, but not resting on the ground and has evidence of disturbance of the root ball e.g. lifting.

3.9. Broken trees (snags) shall be defined as any tree that has lost all or most of its canopy, but its remaining trunk is still standing independently erect.

3.10. Dead trees shall be defined as any tree that shows no signs of life but is still standing independently erect.
4. Rules
4.1. Prior to any cutting of any kind within Big Canoe except as permitted by the General Declaration of the Covenants and Restrictions, an owner/builder must request and receive permission in writing from the AECD.

4.2. No Vista Pruning shall be permitted without the prior written approval of the AECD in compliance with the rules and procedures of Vista Pruning.

4.3. All Vista Pruning will be supervised by a representative of the POA in accordance with standard procedures as dictated in the Vista Pruning guidelines in the Architectural and Environmental Control Standards. Owners are authorized to select the tree service of their choice provided the service/contractor is both licensed and insured in the tree removal business. Owners, supervisors and the tree service will be required to sign documentation once approved Vista Pruning is completed acknowledging and accepting that the work was done in accordance with established procedures.

4.4. Pruning trees/shrubs for the health of the plant is permissible provided it is not for obtaining a view.

4.5. All thinning must receive written permission from the AECD prior to being conducted.

4.6. The following minimum maintenance standards shall be met within 120 days after any event in which trees have been damaged:
4.6.a. For all lots, a corridor seventy-five (75) feet wide on both sides of any road, as measured by line of sight from the edge of pavement, shall be addressed as follows:
All visible root balls must be remediated by one or more of the following methods:
• forced back as much as possible into its original location which is the preferred method;
• disguised by an AECD approved landscape plan;
• moved outside the seventy-five (75) foot corridor;
• moved to an off- site location. 
All visible fallen trees must be remediated by one or more of the following methods:
• have trunks touching the ground, including cutting them into sections if necessary to achieve complete ground contact, and cutting the remaining trunk as close to the ground as possible.
•  moved outside the seventy-five (75) foot corridor;
• moved to an off- site location;
• branches from fallen trees must be cut and laid on the ground or moved outside the seventy-five (75) feet corridor. 
All visible leaning trees must be cut down and remediated to meet the standards of fallen trees.
Dead and Broken trees (snags) may remain in place as long as they pose no real threat, as determined by the POA, to property, POA right of way, driveways, other healthy trees, people, or pets. Downed canopy material must be cut and laid on the ground or moved outside the seventy-five (75) foot corridor.
4.6.b. For lots contiguous to the Big Canoe Golf Course:
4.6.b.i. The POA shall be responsible for the clean-up of the golf maintenance easement area thirty (30) feet from the property line.

4.6.b.ii. The Property Owner shall be responsible for the clean-up, as described above, up to the nearest structure but not to exceed forty-five (45) feet from the golf maintenance easement area for a
total of seventy-five (75) feet from the property line.
4.6.c. The POA will be responsible for the tree clean-up of all rights of way within the defined corridor.

4.6.d. By written resolution, the POA Board of Directors may prescribe additional clean-up requirements following devastating events including but not limited to, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, or ice storms.
4.7. Requests for appeal are outlined in Section 7 below.
5. Enforcement
5.1. Violations of the above rules and regulations by Property Owners, Tenants, or their Guests will subject the Property Owners to sanctions as provided in Section 6 of these rules.
6. Schedule of Fines for Tree Cutting Provisions Violations
6.1. Unauthorized removal or destruction of any trees or shrubs, including those planted by the owner on property owned by the violator will result in a fine of $1,000 per tree or shrub.

6.2. Unauthorized pruning, removal, or destruction of any trees or shrubs (without regard to size) on property NOT owned by the violator, including on POA green space or on vacant lots will result in a fine of $3,000 per tree or shrub. Each property owner is responsible for the location of all property lines prior to any pruning removal or destruction of trees or shrubs.

6.3. Unauthorized pruning of trees or shrubs including those planted by the owner, on property owned by the violator to enhance the view (Vista Pruning as defined in the Architectural and Environmental Control Standards) will result in a fine of $500 per tree or shrub.

6.4. Property not remediated by owners within the 120 days allowance will be remediated by POA personnel or contractors hired by the POA. The property owner will be billed for all associated costs regardless of who performs the work. Should the Owner not allow access to the property, sanctions will be in accordance with Rule A.1, General Enforcement Procedures.

6.5. The AECD will investigate the violation and impose the sanctions in accordance with the above schedule.
7. Appeals Process
7.1. Notice of an appeal of these tree cutting provisions violations shall be made in writing to the Appeals Panel via the AECD within 10 days of receipt of the written notice of the violation. The purpose of the appeal shall be to provide the violator the opportunity to contest the facts of the investigation including the number of trees/shrubs affected. Appealing the fine will not change the amount per tree/shrub, although the total amount may be adjusted if there is a change in the number of trees/ shrubs.

7.2. The Appeals Panel shall be authorized to require replanting to replace the damaged tree(s) or shrub(s) with like kind and size as approved by the AECD at the violator’s expense. The landscape plan must be done by a professional landscape company. Consideration may be given to deducting this expense from the total fine imposed once receipts are presented to the Appeals Panel.

7.3. Further appeal of these tree cutting provisions violations shall be made to the POA Board in accordance with Section 2.1 (a) of Rule A.1
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