City to consider removing many trees on James, Johns islands

A Charleston zoning board will meet Wednesday to determine the fate of dozens of trees on James and Johns Islands.

A Charleston zoning board will consider removing 31 grand trees on James and Johns islands and whether to allow new construction to encroach upon the root systems of 21 others.

None of the 10 requests before the city's Board of Zoning Appeals-Site Design are a record in terms of number of protected trees involved, but the potential impact of all of them on James and Johns islands has triggered a social media campaign urging "tree huggers" to attend.

The board will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday at 75 Calhoun St. to consider requests to remove the following:

Three grand trees at 521 and 525 Folly Road.

Nine grand trees at 1566 River Road.

Two grand trees at Jhenry Cut on Johns Island.

Seven grand trees on Harborview Road at Stiles Point.

Ten grand trees on River Road, east of Brownswood Road.

The city's zoning ordinance protects grand trees, defined as being at least 24 inches in diameter about 4 feet from the ground, from being cut down without the board's permission. The board considers the existing trees' impact on the overall property and can require property owners to plant new trees for every one cut down.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.