Bill could prevent Charlotte from taking care of trees on private property

by: Jenna Deery Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tuesday night, a group of city leaders will discuss a state bill that would prevent cities like Charlotte from regulating trees on private property.

Some in Charlotte are against the idea and told Eyewitness News it could hurt everything from the environment to property values.

Dave Cable, director of the public-private partnership Tree Charlotte, said the city's long-standing tree ordinance has played a big role in protecting trees across the city.

Right now the group is working to meet the city council's goal of a 50 percent tree canopy by the year 2050.

Most of the trees are on private property.

Some state lawmakers who are a part of the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission, have proposed a bill that would eliminate local government's ability to take care of trees on private property.

If the law passes, the city of Charlotte could not do things like prune or cut down trees that are rotten or dangerous. 

The city would not be able to put cankerworm bands on trees or even plant new trees on private property that would fall on the property owner.

"I'm talking to as many legislators as I can, trying to understand what problem is it that we are trying to solve here,” Cable said.

Cable thinks the bill will cause the city to lose trees, which he said hurts the environment, the city's landscape and may lead to lower property values.

These are all thing homeowner Pat Douthit hopes lawmakers take into consideration.

"I definitely think the state needs to get out of the business of local government and let the local government do what we need to do," she said.

Cable thinks the bill was prompted by people who were upset after they were fined for violating tree ordinances in cities and towns across the state.

Channel 9 contacted lawmakers behind the bill to find out why they wrote it.  We are still waiting to hear back