(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or nongovernmental entity, without a Heritage Tree removal permit issued by the Mayor, to top, cut down, remove, girdle, break, or destroy any Heritage Tree.
(b)(1) The Mayor shall issue a Heritage Tree removal permit under this section where the applicant has:
(A) Shown that the Heritage Tree in question is a Hazardous Tree; or
(B) Shown that the Heritage Tree in question is of a species that has been identified, by regulation, as appropriate for removal.
(2) The Mayor may issue a Heritage Tree removal permit under this section where the applicant has averred in the Heritage Tree removal permit application that the applicant will relocate and replant, in compliance with any applicable regulations, the Heritage Tree to an identified new location within the District, without significant harm to the tree; provided, that it shall be a violation of subsection (a) of this section if a Heritage Tree that is relocated and replanted pursuant to this paragraph dies within 3 years of replanting.
(c) A violation of subsection (a) of this section, or a failure to comply with the conditions contained in a Heritage Tree removal permit, shall constitute a violation subject to a fine of not less than $300 per each inch of the circumference of the Heritage Tree in question.
(d) The Mayor may increase the fine described in subsection (c) of this section by regulation.