Supervisor Wants To Protect Trees

In the newest phase of Rosewood Estates between St. Andrews and Gulf Park Estates, crews work on the foundation of a new house underneath the shade of a live oak.

Builder Randy Bosarge says, "My goal is to leave as many trees as I can."

In fact, Bosarge says he only takes a tree down if it's within ten feet of the home's foundation. Otherwise Bosarge says the trees stay as an asset to the property.

"People are moving into the county so that they can have a nice wooded lot, and with these being one acre lots, the trees add value to the house and they also make the house look better."

That's why Supervisor John McKay favors an ordinance to protect large trees in certain developments, but McKay says he hasn't had much luck convincing the other supervisors.

"Hopefully, we can get something that will help us protect our major trees in subdivisions. Maybe that's the way we have to do it. Say in large developments, we require our planning department to mark all large trees ten inches or above, or something like that," McKay says.

Otherwise, he says, contractors can strip the land bare with no laws to stop them.

"In some developments, they go in and pretty much knock down all the trees without any concern for the size or quality of the tree, and I just believe many of these things bring value to the property, value to the community and value just to us as a neighborhood."

Bosarge says he has no problem with regulations to protect some trees. Along with such an ordinance, McKay also wants the supervisors to require developers to put open green space and parks in new housing areas.