Sunday, May 29, 2011

Freedoms Lost - #2942 - Albemarle Church Fined $100 Per Branch For Excessive Tree Pruning - Charlotte Observer

Every two to three years, Eddie Sales trims and prunes the crape myrtles at his church, Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church. But this year, the city of Charlotte cited the church for improperly pruning its trees. "We always keep our trees trimmed back because you don't want to worry about them hanging down in the way," said Sales, a church member. The church was fined $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning, bringing the violation to $4,000. "I just couldn't believe it when I heard about it," Sales said. "We trim our trees back every three years all over our property, and this is the first time we have been fined." The fine will be dropped if the church replaces each of the improperly pruned trees, said Tom Johnson, senior urban forester for city of Charlotte Land Development Division. "When they are nonrepairable, when they have been pruned beyond repair, we will ask them to be replaced," Johnson said. "We do that for a number of reasons but mainly because they are going to come back unhealthy and create a dangerous situation down the road." Charlotte has had a tree ordinance since 1978, and when trees are incorrectly pruned or topped, people can be subject to fines, Johnson said.

Trees planted as a result of the ordinance are subject to the fines if they are excessively trimmed or pruned. These include trees on commercial property or street trees. They do not include a private residence. "The purpose of the tree ordinance is to protect trees," Johnson said. "Charlotte has always been known as the city of trees. When we take down trees, we need to replace these trees." Individuals who would like to trim their trees should call the city foresters to receive a free permit to conduct the landscape work. Read more........ AW: You have to read this entire story to believe it, if the people in Charlotte don't stand up for their individual property rights, more freedoms and liberties will be taken away.  City of Charlotte Tree Ordinance and Guidelne, Chapter 21-62 of City Code: Trees on Private Property (c) No tree equal to or larger than two (2) inches caliper may be trimmed, pruned, or removed from the tree save area, and no tree equal to or larger than eight (8) inches caliper may be trimmed, pruned, or removed from the tree protection zone, without a permit. No grading, demolition, trenching, or other activity which may adversely affect trees in this zone may proceed prior to approval and issuance of necessary permits by the City.  Link to this section.........

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