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Question About Fallen Trees On My Creek

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Question About Fallen Trees On My Creek

Old 02-13-2020, 12:39 PM
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Default Question About Fallen Trees On My Creek

All these legal questions floating around on here have refreshed something that's been on my mind for a while - wanted to see if anyone here has dealt with this and how it was handled..

So, I live on a small tidal creek in Mount Pleasant, SC - on the other side of the creek is a golf course. We've had an issue with a couple of trees that have fallen in on the golf course side the last couple of years. It came up in our HOA meeting, that they were hindering navigation, and I volunteered to get it handled - I assumed it would be a quick phone call. Called and talked to the GM of the golf course, he told me that it wasn't really their issue, they lease the land from the Development Authority. I contacted someone at the Development Authority and they told me that they in turn lease the land from the SC State Ports Authority. Turns out there is some 99 year lease deal that the SPA has passed down to these jokers. You can't get anywhere with the SPA; they're dealing with bigger issues than clearing trees from our little creek. I've been around and around with the golf course and the Development Authority, to no avail. Meanwhile, I see people over at the golf course cutting trees all the time, but they refuse to touch anything on/near the water.. From what I can gather, either/all of them *could* do it, they just choose not to.

After several months of dead end phone calls, my neighbors and I gave up, got a group together and cleared a good chunk of the fallen trees from the creek - it was extremely tough and dangerous work (and this is coming from someone that's spent a career in surveying and sitework). We're talking 24-36" waterlogged oak trees, and I was the only person under the age of 70 or so, so I was voluntold to handle most of the heavy lifting. If we could access these trees from the golf course side before they fall, it would be much easier - but then it would be trespassing I guess.. anyway, boating season is right around the corner and now there are 3-4 more trees that have fallen in. I know another conversation will take place at our next HOA meeting and I'll be requested to help again. But - before that happens, I'd like suggestions for how to get this golf course to clean up their mess. I'd rather not go on the news or any of that, and my fiancee is an attorney - albeit not that kind of attorney - she's also tried to help and gotten nowhere.

Anyone have any ideas?
Old 02-13-2020, 12:44 PM
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For future use: sneak over at night and fell the trees onto the course before they fall.
Old 02-13-2020, 01:02 PM
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Is this in Bayview.
Old 02-13-2020, 01:05 PM
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I bet you are having a tough time since the course doesn't own the land and the trees are not in play. Is it a private course by chance with neighbors who are members and might know the grounds crew? Maybe somebody needs a few rainy day hours?
Old 02-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bikem View Post
Is this in Bayview.
Lol - that didn't take long..
Old 02-13-2020, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Water Intrusion View Post
Lol - that didn't take long..
I grew up there and my mom is still there. Not sure what you can do but the trees must be falling from erosion issues or dying from salt water intrusion. No one uses the boat ramp anymore do they? About a year ago I launched a kayak there and a guy started yelling at me like I was crazy. My mom still pays for her key and has for over 40 years. Great neighborhood hope everything works out for yall.
Old 02-13-2020, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bikem View Post
I grew up there and my mom is still there. Not sure what you can do but the trees must be falling from erosion issues or dying from salt water intrusion. No one uses the boat ramp anymore do they? About a year ago I launched a kayak there and a guy started yelling at me like I was crazy. My mom still pays for her key and has for over 40 years. Great neighborhood hope everything works out for yall.
Haha - I read this post and was like wth.. clicked your name - turns out we're buddies. Haven't seen you since you moved to Folly! Hang on - I'll text you in a sec.

Good to hear from you man!

But yea - the next door neighbor can be a pain to some people supposedly - don't want to bash too much as he may be a member on here. You're always welcome to use my dock to launch.
Old 02-13-2020, 01:38 PM
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Soon as you said you know me I knew who you were and we need to get together for a beer. I'm a pro at river tree removal but I don't think my methods will go over well in MTP.
Old 02-13-2020, 03:52 PM
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In Ga you are not responsible to clear trees that fall outside your property line. I wouldn't touch a tree that isn't on my property.
Old 02-13-2020, 06:01 PM
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The lessee usually has some responsibility for upkeep on property they lease, so the golf course saying they don't have to do it because its just a lease is likely BS. But, it would be more expensive to make them do it than to try and get permission from the golf course to go on their property and do it yourself.
Old 02-13-2020, 06:04 PM
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I would at least trim enough so I could get my boat through. Overall... sounds like a bigger problem.
Old 02-14-2020, 05:48 AM
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I think I would approach the Golf course owner and talk about the liability aspect. Whats gonna happen if some one gets hurt from one of these trees.

Just had this issue with my street. Some big rotten trees were falling into the roadway on a blind curve. Big 100 lb plus limbs and some entire trees up to 75 feet tall. After the county/code enforcement and others got involved the property owner hired a tree service to cut them down. It all came down who would be liable in the case of a injury. Once I made the county aware it was a life safety issue something we had been dealing with for years got fixed damn quick. Funny what a simple e-mail does for getting something on the record.

That liability discussion gets people moving cause once it becomes apparent something has been made public all involved tend to start trying to cover their ass.
Old 02-14-2020, 05:59 AM
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Cut the trees, pile them in the club house and set the whole shit on fire.
Old 02-14-2020, 06:06 AM
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I think I would approach the Golf course owner and talk about the liability aspect. Whats gonna happen if some one gets hurt from one of these trees.

Just had this issue with my street. Some big rotten trees were falling into the roadway on a blind curve. Big 100 lb plus limbs and some entire trees up to 75 feet tall. After the county/code enforcement and others got involved the property owner hired a tree service to cut them down. It all came down who would be liable in the case of a injury. Once I made the county aware it was a life safety issue something we had been dealing with for years got fixed damn quick. Funny what a simple e-mail does for getting something on the record.

That liability discussion gets people moving cause once it becomes apparent something has been made public all involved tend to start trying to cover their ass.
Old 02-14-2020, 06:11 AM
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The golf course isn't going to do anything. They don't have to.

You and your neighbors are just going to have to clean these trees up yourself if you want them gone. You're just going to be spinning your wheels trying to go about it any other way. You might be able to find someone with a small barge to come up in there and do it for you, like a little dock company, for a decent price.
Old 02-14-2020, 06:11 AM
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Watch a couple episodes of American Loggers on tv and fell the trees onto their property at night. Two hours of cutting will save years of trouble. No one is on a golf course at night.
Old 02-14-2020, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
I think I would approach the Golf course owner and talk about the liability aspect. Whats gonna happen if some one gets hurt from one of these trees.

Just had this issue with my street. Some big rotten trees were falling into the roadway on a blind curve. Big 100 lb plus limbs and some entire trees up to 75 feet tall. After the county/code enforcement and others got involved the property owner hired a tree service to cut them down. It all came down who would be liable in the case of a injury. Once I made the county aware it was a life safety issue something we had been dealing with for years got fixed damn quick. Funny what a simple e-mail does for getting something on the record.

That liability discussion gets people moving cause once it becomes apparent something has been made public all involved tend to start trying to cover their ass.


perhaps a tree fell while someone was transiting the creak and nearly hit them/their boat

Last edited by mystery; 02-14-2020 at 08:41 AM.
Old 02-14-2020, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by captbone View Post
Watch a couple episodes of American Loggers on tv and fell the trees onto their property at night. Two hours of cutting will save years of trouble. No one is on a golf course at night.
Nobody but Mitch Cumstein and the Dean's 15 year old daughter. Night Putting....putting at night.
Old 02-14-2020, 09:01 AM
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Fire comes to mind
Old 02-14-2020, 09:36 AM
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Contact the golf course manager and have him/her sign a letter allowing your HOA to access the trees from the golf course side of the creek. Then ask the manager if the golf course would be willing to share the cost of having the trees disposed of.

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