19A NCAC 02E .0611      BEAUTIFICATION AND REPLANTING REQUIREMENTS FOR SELECTIVE VEGETATION REMOVAL PERMITs

(a)  Any site with a valid selective vegetation removal permit issued pursuant to G.S. 136-93(b) qualifies for a beautification and replanting plan as set forth in G.S. 136-133.1(e).

(b)  For future selective vegetation removal applications at replanted sites, replanted materials may be removed only if partially blocking the view to a sign face.  In this case, the Department shall require plant substitutions on a one for one basis. All requests for plant substitutions shall be approved by the Department and installed according to the rules in this Section.

(c)  Submittal of a site plan shall be in accordance with G.S. 136.133.1(c).

(d)  This Paragraph applies to all replanting plans except mitigating replanting plans as specified in Rules .0603(b)(6) and .0609(b)(4) of this Section.  The caliper inches of existing trees to be removed, according to the applicant's site plan shall equal the caliper inches to be replanted by the applicant at the outdoor advertising site from which existing trees are requested to be removed.  If the caliper inches of existing trees from the site plan exceed the density of the Departments replanting site design, the excess caliper inches of trees shall be delivered by the applicant to the Department according to the schedule described in Subparagraph (g)(6) of this Rule.  If plant material other than trees is proposed, the Department may consider such substitution for the required caliper inches.  (e)  For sites that qualify according to the replanting criteria described in this Rule, the Department shall consult with the applicant and any local government that has requested to review and provide comments on selective vegetation removal applications pursuant to G.S. 136-93(d) or has notified the Department of its desire to review and provide comments on beautification and replanting plans.  The local government shall be given 15 days to review and provide comments on beautification and replanting plans.  If the local government does provide comments on a beautification and replanting plan, the Department shall take the comments into consideration.  If the local government does not make appropriate request for a review, the criteria stated in the rules in this Section shall be followed for replanting determination.

(f)  In consideration of differences in outdoor advertising sign structure heights, business facilities, or agritourism activities, the Department shall maintain on file regionalized landscape design plans and plant lists as a guide for applicants.  The applicant may submit one of the Department's plans or a proposed beautification and replanting plan prepared and sealed by a North Carolina licensed landscape architect.  The Department's written approval, based on the current edition and subsequent amendments and editions of the American Standard for Nursery Stock ANSI Z60.1 approved by the American National Standards Institute and published by the American Horticulture Association that is hereby incorporated for a minimum of a 1.5 caliper inch replanted tree, of the beautification, replanting, and maintenance plan shall allow the applicant to proceed with requested vegetation cutting, thinning, pruning, or removal at the site. If plant material other than trees is proposed, the Department may consider such substitution for the required caliper inches. Copies of the Standard are available for inspection in the office of the State Roadside Environmental Engineer, Division of Highways, Raleigh, N.C. Copies of the Standard may be obtained free of charge from this website of the American Horticulture Association: www.americanhort.org. The mailing address for AmericanHort is 2130 Stella Ct, Columbus, OH 43215.

(g)  The approved beautification and replanting plan becomes a part of the selective vegetation removal permit pursuant to G.S. 136-93(b) and 136-133.1(e).  All permit requirements shall continue to apply until all replanting and establishment requirements are satisfied and accepted in writing by the Department.  The Department shall approve the replanting portion of the selective vegetation removal permit in writing and detail the requirements of the beautification and replanting plan.  The requirements include the following:

(1)           The work for initial plantings and all future replacements by the permittee or any of their employees, agents, or assigns shall be in accordance with the current edition and subsequent amendments and editions of the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations-Transplanting ANSI A300 (Part 6), approved by the American National Standards Institute and published by the Tree Care Industry Association, Inc. that is hereby incorporated, Association, Inc., except as stipulated in the rules in this Section. Copies of the Standard are available for inspection in the office of the State Roadside Environmental Engineer, Division of Highways, Raleigh, N.C. Copies of the Standard may be obtained from the Tree Care Industry Association, Inc. for a twenty dollars ($20.00) cost. The Tree Care Industry Association, Inc. (TCIA) can be contacted at 136 Harvey Road, Suite 101 Londonberry, NH 03053 or at this website: www.tcia.org.  Initial and replacement planting may be considered acceptable if the plants have been placed in the plant hole, backfilled, watered, mulched, staked, and guyed.  All plants of one species that are shown on the plans to be planted within a bed, shall be planted concurrently and the entire group shall be completed before any plant therein is considered acceptable.  Replacement planting consists of replacing those plants that are not in a living and healthy condition as defined in these Rules;

(2)           The permittee shall adhere to erosion control requirements, according to North Carolina General Statutes, Article 4, Chapter 113A entitled:  Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973;

(3)           All plant materials shall be approved in writing by the Department prior to arrival at the site or prior to excess trees being furnished and delivered to the Department. The approval shall be based on the current edition and subsequent amendments and editions of the American Standard for Nursery Stock ANSI Z60.1 approved by the American National Standards Institute and published by the American Nursery and Landscape Association Horticulture Association that is hereby incorporated;

(4)           All work is subject to Division of Highways inspection and shall be scheduled with the Department.  A minimum 48-hour notification shall be provided to the Department by the permittee before entering the right-of-way for any beautification and replanting plan requirements;

(5)           Grinding or other mechanical removal of all cut stumps (to a minimum depth of four inches below ground level) shall be completed in the area of replanting during the preparation of the site, prior to initial planting;

(6)           All initial and replacement plantings shall be installed during the first planting season (November 1 to March 15) contemporaneous with or following the selective vegetation removal.  If replanting cannot be completed by the March 15 deadline, the replanting shall occur during the next planting season. The same dates (November 1 to March 15) apply when the permittee provides the Department with excess plant material at a site where existing caliper inches exceeds the site design capacity;

(7)           The permittee shall contact the Department to schedule a final replanting acceptance inspection upon completion of any plant material installation.  For one year from the date of the initial planting acceptance for the entire replanting plan, and the permittee shall establish all plant materials according to these provisions.  Establishment for all initial or replacement plants shall begin after they are planted.  The permittee shall be responsible for the area around plantings for a distance of six feet beyond the outside edges of the mulch.  Establishment shall include cutting of grass and weeds; watering; replacement of mulch; repair or replacement of guy stakes, guy wires, and water rings; and other work to encourage the survival and growth of plant material.  The permittee shall remove and dispose of dead plants from the replanting plan site during the establishment period.  Prior to the end of the one-year establishment period, the permittee is responsible for contacting the Department to schedule a site meeting with Departmental officials to identify plants to be replaced that are not in a living and healthy condition.  Plants do not meet the living and healthy condition requirement and need replacement if 25 percent or more of the crown is dead, if the main leader is dead, or if an area of the plant has died leaving the character of its form compromised, lopsided, or disfigured. The permittee shall replace, during the planting period, plant material needed to restore the planting to the original quantity, size, and species of plant material.  Any desired changes in plant material proposed by the permittee shall be requested in writing to the Department.  The Department shall notify the permittee in writing of the approved changes to the replacement plantings;

(8)           At the conclusion of the one-year establishment period, the Department shall issue a written acceptance of the permittee's work and release the bond.  Then a one-year observation period shall begin during which the permittee shall maintain stability of the original and replacement plantings to promote their continued livability and healthy growth.  The permittee is responsible for replacement of plants not meeting the living and healthy condition requirement during the observation period. Replacement shall occur in accordance with the dates of planting as stated in the rules in this Section;

(9)           After the one-year observation period concludes, the Department shall notify the permittee if the permit requirement conditions have been met successfully;

(10)         Replanted materials may be pruned according to the current edition and subsequent amendments and editions of the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations-Pruning ANSI A300 (Part 1), approved by the American National Standards Institute and published by the Tree Care Industry Association Inc. that is hereby incorporated, Association Inc., however, topping of trees or other vegetation is not allowed;

(11)         This Paragraph applies to all replanting plans except mitigating replanting plans as specified in Rule .0609(b)(4) of this Section. Excess plants or trees furnished and delivered to the Department, shall receive care and handling in accordance with digging, loading, transporting, unloading, planting, or otherwise handling plants, and the permittee shall exercise care to prevent windburn; injury to or drying out of the trunk, branches, or roots; and to prevent freezing of the plant roots.  The solidity of the plant ball shall be preserved.  Delivery of excess plant material shall be scheduled with the Department, allowing a minimum three days notification for each delivery. The permittee's responsibility for the furnished excess plants or trees ends at the time the plant material is delivered to, inspected by, and accepted by the Department;

(12)         For mitigating replanting plans according to Rule .0609(b)(4) of this Section, trees and other plant material for a proposed beautification and replanting plan taken from the Department's landscape design plans and plant lists or prepared and sealed by a North Carolina licensed landscape architect, may be of a projected mature height to reduce visibility limitations to outdoor advertising sign faces. As an alternative to replanting, mitigation by pruning for vegetative crown reduction at an existing beautification project may be allowed, if mutually agreed upon in writing by the Department and permittee. All pruning shall be performed by removing the fewest number of branches necessary to accomplish the desired objective but in consideration of normal seasonal regrowth for the type of vegetation. All pruning for purposes of mitigation shall be in accordance with the current edition and subsequent amendments and editions of the American National Standards for Tree Care Operations-Pruning ANSI A300 (Part 1), approved by the American National Standards Institute and published by the Tree Care Industry Association, Inc. In the case of vegetation mortality caused by pruning, replacement plantings shall be required according to this Rule;

(13)         Should the outdoor advertising structure related to the selective vegetation permit be sold or transferred, the new owner or permit holder is subject to the requirements in the General Statutes and rules in this Section, including those regarding planting, establishment, replacement or renovation plantings, minimum living and healthy condition, and observation; and

(14)         Willful failure to substantially comply with the requirements of this Rule for the beautification and replanting plan shall subject the permittee to penalties prescribed in G.S. 136-133.4.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 99E-30; 136-93; 136-93(b); 136-130; 136-133.4; 136-93.3;

Temporary Adoption Eff. March 1, 2012;

Eff. November 1, 2012;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2015.