Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't touch that tree

You know you're not in Charlotte when ...

... when you see a poster on a tree that there has to be a public hearing before it can be chopped down.

I saw this on a street tree over the weekend in Cambridge, Mass. Read the close-up below. Seems it's state law in Massachusetts (home, you'll remember, to godless groups and their advisers who hold fund-raisers for godless N.C. candidates).

And you know you're not in Charlotte when, if you mention the sign to a Cambridge friend, she says, "They ought to require hearings any time anyone wants to cut down a tree."

Even I wouldn't go that far. Some trees are diseased. Some were just planted in the wrong place. Some are -- should I say this? -- Bradford pear trees.
However, trees are amazing resources and plenty of folks here waste them without batting an eye. Even Charlotte's tree ordinance -- which we are lucky to even have and which gets praise around the state for simply existing -- doesn't protect very many large trees.
The tree ordinance for residential subdivisions protects Heritage Trees, those approaching the size of champion trees for each species. But it doesn't require saving remarkably big, old or otherwise significant trees.

An Observer story from June says the city's considering strengthening its commercial tree ordinance. No follow-up story on whether that happened. I'll try to get an answer later today. But I am safe, I think, in predicting that it wouldn't require public hearings before any street tree gets cut down.

Have to run out now to -- get this -- talk to a college class about blogging.

35 comments:

barkomomma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Not true, at all. I have been in the process of dealing with the city about cutting down a tree on my land in Dilworth for a year. Not sure what the point of your article was. To diss the north?

Anonymous said...

Please get the Web site staff to fix the promo to your blog on the home page.
It says, "Only in Charlotte ... there's a poster a tree saying the tree may be chopped down."
Sigh.

James Thomas Shell said...

Do you really think it's alright to take away individual's property rights? What has happened to individual rights?

If you want to get to a point of trying to curb Local Government Authoritarianism come check out my website. I think the idea needs to spread.

http://thehickoryhound.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Why does your article say "Only in Charlotte" when this is a picture of a tree in Massachusetts?? And why are you writing about a tree anyways?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what the purpose of this article is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we need more rules and regulations. We need to get approval for everything we do. that makes for a happy society. rules, rules everywhere.....

Anonymous said...

the point obviously is that in Mass. people care about trees, while here in Charlotte, they go down all willy-nilly...per developers' desires. So - to you who suggests her point was to "diss the north" get over yourself. Anybody who has to perpetuate the whole north versus south thing just likes to be offended and will find offense anywhere. Sad for you.

Perhaps homeowners have some resistance, but any developer wanting to clear some land seems to have carte blanche to do so. It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You might not believe this...but Gastonia already has this ordinance in it's historic neighborhood ( York-Chester ) Now they will let you have a sofa on your front porch but you better not touch a tree!!

Tajblues said...

If were not going to save historic buildings, then there is certainly no use in saving trees, regardless of thier significance.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to do a bit more research before 'blogging' about things you know nothing about. First, the City of Charlotte Chapter 21 (Tree Ordinance) was originally adopted in 1978, the Tree Ordinance protects trees in the public right of way, and those on private property as they relate to development. (Same as Massachusetts) Also, The City Arborist oversees protection, planting, and maintenance of trees on public properties and street trees in the public right-of-way. Permits are required to plant or remove any trees in the right-of-way. (Same as Massachusetts) I could go on pointing out how Charlotte has the same laws in place to protect and preserve trees. And third, Sec. 21-126 Hearings and appeals. The decision of the city arboristor seniorurban forester to deny an application for a variance from the requirements of this chapter shall entitle the person submitting the application (petitioner) to a public hearing before the tree advisory commision.....Here is a link to the page where all this information can be found: http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/City+Engineering/Use+Our+Services/Land+Development/City+of+Charlotte+Tree+Ordinance.htm

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Link was cut off....
http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/City+Engineering/Use+Our+Services/Land+Development/City+of+Charlotte+Tree+Ordinance.htm

Anonymous said...

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/City+Engineering/Use+Our+Services/Land+Development/City+of+Charlotte+Tree+Ordinance.htm

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As someone that moved to Charlotte from the North I can say that I felt the author's sole point was to try to insult people in MA... "(home, you'll remember, to godless groups and their advisers who hold fund-raisers for godless N.C. candidates)"... that quote lost the race for Dole... maybe she should let it go too

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as a slur against people who live in Mass., although I don't see the point in mentioning the "godless" thing at all. That said, there needs to be stronger ordinances in Charlotte that protect trees, especially mature trees that have been here longer than Charlotte has. We've lost an enormous amount of our old trees to unrestricted development and clear cutting for residential and business areas. There's an old saying, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." All the old trees we've lost cannot be replaced in our lifetime.

Whatever the point of this commentary is, it's time we paid more attention to the issue.

Anonymous said...

2 minutes of my life I won't get back

GodPole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Another former MA resident here...

It might be worth pointing out that the tree in question is on public property, not private property, so this is not a personal property rights issue in any way. That's not to defend the overkill with public meetings, but this isn't the case of some guy trying to work on his property and being held back by government.

Also, Cambridge has FAR fewer trees than Charlotte. If you have a million trees and want to cut one down, no biggee, but if you have a small fraction of that, then it becomes a bigger deal. To some folks anyways.

Anonymous said...

This whole The Naked City blog is just filler, like most Observer content (including Tonya Jameson).

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sip said...

it must be a slow news day.

i, like others, am struggling to reconcile the purpose of this blog. seriously. and what does the "godless" group have to do with anything?

how about - save a tree - cancel your oBServer subscriptions.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Two words that fixed a tree problem in the past, huricane Hugo.

Anonymous said...

I find it quite interesting that some previous comments have been "removed by a blog administrator".

charlesbright said...

The real story is missing here. I have no waggish thoughts when I say that the true story is that of penny wise and pound foolish. To hold a public meeting would require the expense of what? - some 60 man hours, and the expense of what? - some 40 hours of unnecessary hydrocarbon infusion into our atmosphere. I submit to you that it does far more damage to the environment and humanity to hold a public meeting on a tree than it does to cut the tree down.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Silly posters. The diss was of the Liddy Dole ad, not people in Massachusetts.

I love Charlotte's trees and want to see more of them saved and nurtured. I'm sure we can find a way to do that and still uphold property rights and encourage good development.

charlesbright said...

And by the way, Mary. I find your picture to be most attractive with a very coming and pleasant smile. Ignore the "Anonymous" fools. I do.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the New Censorship: Anything we don't like will be "removed by a blog administrator."

Anonymous said...

I have never read a comment section in any newspaper with as many posts removed "by blog administrator." I am a curious person and I can not imagine what one would say that would be removed. Certainly not as many times as with this article. The article itself was worthless. Maybe you still have too many columnists at the Observer.

Cato said...

And you know you're not in Charlotte when, if you mention the sign to a Cambridge friend, she says, "They ought to require hearings any time anyone wants to cut down a tree."

The only logical inference that can be made from that sentence is that you wouldn't be in Charlotte when you're having that conversation with a Cambridge friend.

For that matter, the whole post is a feast of non sequiturs. Charlotte is widely known for its extraordinary tree canopy - even after the past 15 years of breakneck development. How much benefit would be even get from a more restrictive tree ordinance? That is, aside from the warm fuzzies that Mary and her buddies get from telling others how to live.

I think she's just short-timing it until the next round of McClatchey buyouts. Not even trying anymore.

Mary Newsom said...

This is a reminder: I delete comments that are insulting and uncivil. Robust debate ("Your ideas are ridiculous!") is great. Crude remarks or personal sniping (as in, "You're dumb as a stump and ugly, too.") is out of bounds.