NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some residents in the Park Circle Community are questioning the city's approval of development projects in their neighborhood after seeing large oak trees in the area cut down.
The residents are calling for more trees to be saved in the process.
While some say they welcome new homes like a development project underway on Rugheimer Avenue near Mosstree Road, they don't like seeing large trees cut down in front of their homes.
"Tree preservation, that's the entire issue about Park Circle it was here to have parks, land and preserve the trees," Park Circle resident Ashley Fallis said.
"Certainly some trees are going to have to be removed here and there, if you have a lot full of trees and you need to build a house on it," Park Circle resident Brian Knox said. "But it seems we are starting to get to the point where we are going to take away what makes the neighborhood distinctive and what a lot of us see as the the value of being in an older neighborhood."
Some questioned whether the tree removal is allowed, but the City of North Charleston confirmed Monday a site clearing permit for the area had been granted to Delpino Custom Homes.
That still doesn't set well with residents like Joseph Minihan, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1940s.
"In the back right behind me was all wood, we used to play in the lot and climb in the trees back there," Minihan said. "I know they need some changes but I think it's going too fast."
Delpino Custom Homes announced The Rugheimer Lot will feature three new homes scheduled to be complete the summer of 2016.
"Everyone needs to start going up to these developments in their neighborhood, checking their construction site boxes looking for permits to build, to remove trees," says Fallis.
She believes their should be a third-party arborist to oversee the tree removals. She would also like to see a concerned citizens group form to oversee future permits.
The city's urban forester says the permits were granted to tear down three trees on the lot because of damage. One of the trees is an oak with a cavity or hole in its trunk that measured nearly half of the tree's four-foot diameter. This was considered a safety issue. The forester says there was also damage to a second oak tree and a gum tree has also been removed.
However, an oak tree and pine tree still remain on this lot.
City leaders and the contractor say they will be planting nine new trees on the lot.
City officials recommend residents who want to know more about upcoming developments in their area contact their city council member or attend regularly-scheduled neighborhood meetings for general development inquiries.