Charlotte buying vacant land to save trees

Charlotte City Council is set to spend $376,000 to buy land in northeast Charlotte as part of the city’s tree save program.

The 23-acre parcel is set back from Plott Road, near Robinson Church Road. The money for the purchase comes from a fund that developers can pay into in lieu of meeting tree save and tree planting requirements at certain new developments.

The money is used for buying land and preserving trees. The land in question was logged in 2009, removing 18 acres of mature trees. About five acres of mature forest are left on the site, and the rest is regenerating with young trees, the city said.

“The city will donate a conservation easement to the Catawba Lands Conservancy to ensure stewardship and maintenance of the property in perpetuity,” staff members wrote in a summary of the purchase. The land is owned by Bee Sting Development, LLC, based in Statesville.

City Council is set to vote on the land purchase Monday. The deal could then close by March 2017. After that, the city’s Tree Ordinance Mitigation Fund will have a balance of just over $1 million to buy more land.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo