We just build a new home in a brand new subdivision in Surfside Beach, SC. We went ahead and planted palm trees in our backyard around our pool and now have been served with an email violation telling us we have 10 days to remove them. I did not ask permission to plant them because there were already at least 3 other neighbors that had them and for even over a year. I may be guilty of not getting approval but I am willing to pay a fine. The HOA consisting of the developer and his wife are telling us we cannot have Palm Trees because he doesn’t like them. It’s not recorded in the county and not listed in the CCR’s. My palm trees are native to South Carolina and I don’t think he should have the power to tell us we cannot have Palm trees just because he doesn’t like them. He has abused his power as being the HOA (pretty much a one man show) and he’s been bullying the neighbors and us over these palm trees. I know there are some states that protect homeowner’s who want to plant palm trees. Is South Carolina one of those states? We all don’t want to have to sue the HOA if we don’t have to. Do you have any advice on this topic? Can we cite some South Carolina law protecting our right for Palm Trees?
Unfortunately, South Carolina does not have a law protecting the right to plant palm trees. That being said, your HOA board or developer cannot enforce rules selectively or rules that aren’t written in the governing documents (CC&Rs, bylaws, operating rules). You could try going through the correct approval process to secure permission for the palm trees. The board or developer can’t reject your request on the basis that they personally “don’t like it.” If you have a problem with your board, it may be worth exploring the idea of removing the board member. You will find information on how to do that in your bylaws.
For further guidance, it is best to consult a lawyer.
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice.