1360 WCHL - Chapel Hill-Carrboro's News, Talk, and Tar Heels Station:
At Monday’s public hearing, planning consultant and Chapel Hill resident Scott Radway told the Town Council that while he often supports the town’s initiatives, he can’t stomach the new tree protection guidelines.
The proposed changes aim to protect the town’s tree canopy as a whole, instead of focusing on individual trees. Property owners would be required to maintain a percentage of canopy coverage based on the size of their lot. If trees are cut down, those larger than 36 inches would need to be replaced with species that grow to a minimum height of 20 feet to replenish the canopy.
Applicants would have the option of paying a mitigation fee of up to $1,000 per tree instead of replanting. The plan would apply to both residential and commercial property, though most small one and two family lots would be exempt from the regulations.