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E-M:/ Det. News on Trees and Development

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <ritaj@flint.umich.edu>

Hello Michigan -  This article in today's Detroit News discusses 
ordinances designed to save trees and associated increased 
development costs. ---Rita 

"Spare the woodlands, suburbs warn builders
New laws protect trees, but drive up cost of homes
By Gene Schabath / The Detroit News

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP --The tranquility of the Brycewood subdivision 
was shattered last summer with the buzz of chain saws gnawing into 
trees. It was a racket Lydia Amersdorfer and other residents had 
dreaded. The developer, they had heard, wanted to build condominiums 
at the site. She and other residents feared the woods and wildlife 
surrounding their neighborhood would be lost to suburban sprawl. Days 
later, the stand of trees, including a century-old oak, "lay there 
like dead soldiers," Amersdorfer said. The incident galvanized 
Brycewood residents, and now a committee is drafting an ordinance 
requiring developers to retain at least 30 percent of the canopy of a 
woods. If the canopy can't be preserved, developers will have to 
replace the trees. If the effort succeeds, Chesterfield Township will 
join a growing list of communities -- Canton Township, Shelby 
Township, Grosse Pointe Farms, Sterling Heights, Novi, Oakland 
Township and West Bloomfield Township -- that have put tree-
preservation laws on the books. Residents and city officials say the 
ordinances are working. But saving trees is not without a price for 
consumers. Tree ordinances force builders to reduce the number of 
houses that can be built in a subdivision and increase construction 
costs, builders say.  ....."

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