CANTON TWP., MI -- brothers Gary and Matt Percy could face nearly fifty percent a million dollars in penalties because that removing an ext than 1,400 tree from their building without permission native Canton Township.

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The two very own a 16-acre home off the Yost Road, eastern of Belleville roadway in Canton Township v the on purpose of creating a Christmas tree farm on the plot, according to your attorney, Michael J. Pattwell.

But the township calls for land owners to gain permission and promise brand-new tree plantings before cutting under existing forestry, particularly for landmark or historical trees.

The township had an arborist compare the parcel come an adjacent property v the comparable forestry to estimate how many trees were removed.

"They identified particular plots," Kolb said. "They figured out the number or kind of trees and also did part math to figure out about how countless trees."

The arborist approximated 1,385 trees with trunk diameter of six inches or much more were removed. That could mean $225 come $300 every tree in penalties. Anther 100 landmark tree were likewise removed, the township estimated, an interpretation another $450 each.

"Canton Tree Police confirmed up," claimed Pattwell. "Canton Township's tree removed ordinance prohibits landowners from removing tree from personal property without government permission, which might be acquired by one of two people payment into the township's so-called tree fund or on-site replacement with trees of particular designated trunk diameters.

"Canton Township specifies 'trees' as 'any woody plant with at least one well-defined stem and having a minimum diameter at breast elevation of three inches.' The Percy thoreau was offered historically by a local farmer for dairy pasture, so lot of the vegetation on the parcel was invasive buckthorn, scrub brush and dead ash trees."

Pattwell disputes the township's an approach of estimating the variety of trees removed by researching what he called "nearby residential or commercial property with a various land history and distinguishable characteristics."

He additionally points out an exemption in the township ordinance, which states "all agricultural/farming operations, advertisement nursery/tree farm yard operations and occupied lots of much less than two acres in size, including utility companies and also public tree trimming agencies, chandelier be exempt from all permit requirements of this article."

Although the floor is zoned "heavy industrial," Pattwell said, the brothers believed they to be in the clean under the farming exemption once they eliminated the trees.

"The Percy brothers believed they were working out a state and also local exemption for farming when they cleared the land, however city officials come on-site and signaled instantly their intention come levy large fines in excess of $700,000," Pattwell said. "But that's no what this instance is about. We room talking here around a package of former pasture land surrounded totally by commercial activity.

"This situation is about misguided overreach. That is unavoidably about whether world who own property are enabled to usage it ... We contend the Percy brothers exercised a farming exemption in the local tree removal law to clean the historical pasture behind your business and develop a Christmas tree farm."

But Kolb stated the brothers to be "specifically called at least twice critical year" the if they to be to remove the trees, they required a permit.

The brothers have actually not yet been fined, however Pattwell request the township because that a settlement figure, Kolb said.

The township's settlement market is about $450,000. Under the ordinance, the Percys could have received a credit transaction to reduce the fees by paying into the township's tree fund and planting brand-new trees, Kolb said.

The two very own a advertisement trucking company in Canton Township, and also Montgomery Farms, a tree specialization firm that operates in Albion and Hillsdale, Pattwell said. The trucking company, A.D. Carry Express, has been in the township since the so late 1980s.

The Percys' alternatives include: payment money right into the tree fund to plant trees throughout the township, planting replacement tree or a combination of both, Kolb said.

The Percys are working to solve the matter, Pattwell said, yet are ready to take it to court. Additionally, lock are moving forward to tree 2,500 Christmas trees on the home they cleared, through 1,000 planted therefore far.

"Landmark tree replacement: whenever a tree removal permit is issued because that the removal of any landmark tree v a (diameter at breast height) of six inches or greater, together trees shall be relocated or replaced by the allow grantee. Every landmark/historic tree the is removed shall be changed by three trees through a minimum caliper of four inches. Together trees will certainly be of the species from section

Replacement of other trees: whenever a tree removal allow is issued because that the removal of trees, various other than landmark/historic trees, v a (diameter at breast height) of six inches or better (excluding boxelder (acer negundo), ash (fraxinus spp) and cottonwood (populus spp)), together trees shall it is in relocated or replaced by the allow grantee if an ext than 25 percent of the total inventory of regulated trees is removed."

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