Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Editorial: What's value of these trees?; Salisbury, NC

Editorial: What's value of these trees? Salisbury, NC - Salisbury Post:
There are patches of woods you could clear-cut in Rowan County, and residents probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow as long as the saws didn't crank up at the crack of dawn.

But if those woods are within or adjacent to a municipal area such as Salisbury or Spencer or Landis or Granite Quarry, nearby residents aren't just likely to raise an eyebrow. They'll probably raise a ruckus, which is what has occurred with a developer's plans to clear-cut a 40-acre tract in Spencer along South Rowan Avenue.

The landowner, Craft Development, initially planned to develop the parcel. Company officials now say that a changed financial picture and regulatory hurdles mean that plan is out, and the company will harvest the timber to get a return on its investment. So is this a case where development codes have, in effect, backfired and may result in a denuded eyesore, at least until the loblolly seedings bulk up? It doesn't sound that simple, and the site's future seems about as clear as mud right now. But one thing's certain: The impact of this clear-cutting won't stop at the property line. The parcel contains mature hardwoods, as well as streams and a pond, and has stood unmolested for many years. It is, in short, the type of woodsy sanctuary that might once have been taken for granted in Rowan County. But such urban oases are increasingly giving way to asphalt and brick, here and across the Piedmont.

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