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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 30, 2009
Introduced by Reps. Duncan, Umphlett, Anthony, Knight, Forrester and Hayes
S. Printed 4/30/09--H.
Read the first time March 3, 2009.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 48-23-205 SO AS TO LIMIT THE AUTHORITY OF COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES TO RESTRICT OR REGULATE CERTAIN FORESTRY ACTIVITIES, AND TO PROVIDE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF CERTAIN PERMITTED REGULATIONS.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 23, Title 48 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 48-23-300. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) 'Development' means any activity, including timber harvesting, that is associated with the conversion of forestland to nonforest or nonagricultural use.
(2) 'Forestland' means land supporting a stand or potential stand of trees valuable for timber products, watershed or wildlife protection, recreational uses, or for other purposes.
(3) 'Forest management plan' means a document or documents prepared or approved by a forester registered in this State that defines a landowner's forest management objectives and describes specific measures to be taken to achieve those objectives. A management plan shall include silvicultural practices, objectives, and measures to achieve them, that relate to a stand or potential stand of trees that may be utilized for timber products, watershed or wildlife protection, recreational uses, or for other purposes.
(4) 'Forestry activity' includes, but is not limited to, timber harvest, site preparation, controlled burning, tree planting, applications of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, weed control, animal damage control, fire control, insect and disease control, forest road construction, and any other generally accepted forestry practices.
(B) A county or municipality must not adopt or enforce any ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, or permit related to forestry activities on forestland that is:
(1) taxed on the basis of its present use value as forestland under Section 12-43-220(d);
(2) managed in accordance with a forest management plan;
(3) certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Forest Stewardship Council, the American Forest Foundations Tree Farm System, or any other nationally recognized forest certification system;
(4) subject to a legally binding conservation easement under which the owner limits the right to develop or subdivide the land; or
(5) managed and harvested in accordance with the best management practices established by The State Commission on Forestry pursuant to Section 48-36-30.
(C) This section does not limit, expand, or otherwise alter the authority of a county or municipality to:
(1) regulate activities associated with development, provided that a county or municipality may defer consideration of an application for a building permit, a site disturbance or subdivision plan, or any other approval for development that if implemented would result in a change from forest land to nonforest or nonagricultural use, for a period of up to:
(a) one year after the completion of a timber harvest if the harvest results in the removal of all or substantially all of the trees from the specific area included in a building permit, site disturbance or subdivision plan in item (1), and the removal qualified for an exemption contained in subsection (B); or
(b) five years after the completion of a timber harvest if the harvest results in the removal of all or substantially all of the trees from the specific area included in a building permit, site disturbance or subdivision plan in item (1), and the removal qualified for an exemption contained in subsection (B) for which the permit or approval is sought and the harvest was a willful violation of the county regulations;
(2) regulate trees pursuant to any act of the General Assembly;
(3) adopt ordinances that are necessary to comply with any federal or state law, regulation, or rule; or
(4) exercise its development permitting, planning, or zoning authority as provided by law.
(D) A person whose application for a building permit, a site disturbance or subdivision plan, or any other approval for development is deferred pursuant to the provisions contained in this section may appeal the decision to the appropriate governmental authority."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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