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Mixed Use Spirit Square and Main Library Redevelopment


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5 hours ago, RANYC said:

Are these developments allowed to cut down the trees lining the property along North Tryon?

I'll take a wild guess here....

When I moved to Charlotte 16 years ago one of the narratives I'd often hear was about the beautiful tree canopy, a "city in a forest". While this may still hold true on a large scale view, it is abundantly clear that there is little care in the city government to actually enforce any kind of tree preservation ordinance, not only when it comes to commercial development, but also with homeowners.

Here is a 200? year old tree, clearly not rotten or diseased, cut down presumably because somebody didn't like it. I'm all for personal freedoms and such, but to be so short sighted as to destroy something that was here long before you and would have been here long after you just really drives me nuts. Especially when it impacts so many different facets of the local environment around it. (the pure aesthetic beauty of large mature trees, the shade, co2/oxygen respiration, native environment for wildlife, etc etc etc)

https://i.imgur.com/CbAwkIS.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/DVt4H1E.jpg

I see this again and again and again all over town.

 

image.thumb.png.047a05362efe689df2f8bde11f43d231.png

Gold District Magnolia.jpg

 

Even the large Magnolia that was just cut down in southend was a perfect example where it could have been a natural centerpiece for that intersection which is super busy with apartments, restaurants, breweries, etc... a ton of active street life. Plop a bench or two under these beauties and boom, instant "quality of life" for the neighborhood. Instead, of course, there were cut down. Good grief Charlotte.

 

Edited by Matthew.Brendan
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Tada! An RFQ has been released to select a design team for redevelopment of the Main Library, $93 million, 110,000 SF.

The development agreement was approved, it is in permitting. First tower will break ground Q1 2022

Get excited, and pour one out for the library!

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15 minutes ago, RANYC said:

h...our thriving, mature, resilient trees are the true emblems of local heritage and authenticity.

The willow oaks that were planted all over Charlotte aren't super resilient. They only live around 75 - 120 years and then then fall over and squish everything below them when a thunderstorm rolls through. They aren't like Sequoia trees that live thousands of years and even thrive when a fire rolls though.  The tree death won't be over until every single willow oak in areas like Myers Park and Dilworth have finished falling over in our lifetime. Given there are houses below, the chances of people getting killed or hit is relatively high. I'm on my second home that has been hit by a massive healthy 75 - 80 year old willow oak. The first home had to be completely demolished and we were lucky to be in the only room still standing. The second home, angles were favorable and it leaned on the house. I won't buy a house with trees that big ever again.

The straight line winds with our summer thunderstorms are no joke. It pretty much constant now that a tree falls over during any decent wind event in the inner ring neighborhoods. 

Edited by CLT2014
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I believe there was a plan to remove the trees from in front of the Carolina Theatre renovation as the lobby/hotel went up.  Seems like the 4 story lobby has been framed in and glass installed without removing the trees.  I hope the trees continue to win.

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12 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

The willow oaks that were planted all over Charlotte aren't super resilient. They only live around 75 - 120 years and then then fall over and squish everything below them when a thunderstorm rolls through. They aren't like Sequoia trees that live thousands of years and even thrive when a fire rolls though.  The tree death won't be over until every single willow oak in areas like Myers Park and Dilworth have finished falling over in our lifetime. Given there are houses below, the chances of people getting killed or hit is relatively high. I'm on my second home that has been hit by a massive healthy 75 - 80 year old willow oak. The first home had to be completely demolished and we were lucky to be in the only room still standing. The second home, angles were favorable and it leaned on the house. I won't buy a house with trees that big ever again.

The straight line winds with our summer thunderstorms are no joke. It pretty much constant now that a tree falls over during any decent wind event in the inner ring neighborhoods. 

Correct on the willow oaks.  They were planted because they grow fast and big.  If those willow oaks were white oaks, we wouldn't have this discussion about having to cut down 100 yr old trees all the time.  Same with the thousands of stupid bradford pears that were planted when the big housing boom started in the 80's.  They are all past their life expectancy and need to be cut down.

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50 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

The willow oaks that were planted all over Charlotte aren't super resilient. They only live around 75 - 120 years and then then fall over and squish everything below them when a thunderstorm rolls through. They aren't like Sequoia trees that live thousands of years and even thrive when a fire rolls though.  The tree death won't be over until every single willow oak in areas like Myers Park and Dilworth have finished falling over in our lifetime. Given there are houses below, the chances of people getting killed or hit is relatively high. I'm on my second home that has been hit by a massive healthy 75 - 80 year old willow oak. The first home had to be completely demolished and we were lucky to be in the only room still standing. The second home, angles were favorable and it leaned on the house. I won't buy a house with trees that big ever again.

The straight line winds with our summer thunderstorms are no joke. It pretty much constant now that a tree falls over during any decent wind event in the inner ring neighborhoods. 

Sorry to hear about your situation. 

Can't speak for what you did or didn't do, of course, but if one happens to be on a property with these massive gems, they do require work and active risk mitigation.

UF School of Horticulture has a substantive online portal full of tree mitigation approaches and practices.  Yes, sometimes removal is necessary, but often fall-over risk can be mitigated with preventative pruning, like thinning/reducing a top-heavy canopy and ensuring plenty of root space.  People let trees grow in unbalanced ways or implement land uses within certain ranges of the tree that make them more vulnerable to fall-over because of compressing the root space. 

 

Why Bradford Pears Are The Worst Tree | Southern Living - YouTube

Edited by RANYC
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We cut down one of two massive old oaks (I think someone told me that. Didn't get that merit badge I guess) when a test showed it was rotting from the inside out and had become a danger. If it fell it might very well have hit my grandsons bedroom. No question as to the right decision in these cases although I'm sure some neighbors thought we were dumb. It made us very sad.

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I echo the other stories here.  110' willow oak that appeared as healthy as this a few feet above ground fell (with no rain softening the ground) and punched through our master bathroom and flattened the car parked in the driveway. 

Neighbor across the street had "healthy" Oak topple into another "healthy" oak and both hit the rear of the house pinning their son in his bed and the entire second story and attic had to be demoed and rebuilt. 

 Not related, but I've been here > 40 years and haven't heard anyone seriously describe Confederacy as "heritage" since highschool.

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4 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

I echo the other stories here.  110' willow oak that appeared as healthy as this a few feet above ground fell (with no rain softening the ground) and punched through our master bathroom and flattened the car parked in the driveway. 

Neighbor across the street had "healthy" Oak topple into another "healthy" oak and both hit the rear of the house pinning their son in his bed and the entire second story and attic had to be demoed and rebuilt. 

 Not related, but I've been here > 40 years and haven't heard anyone seriously describe Confederacy as "heritage" since highschool.

broader point about the state of NC.

believe me, plenty of sympathizers statewide.

point was we have plenty in nature to celebrate which give us a sense of common heritage, than any flags or other symbolisms of past events.

but thanks for amplifying that line from my post - was fairly tangential to my point about the importance of trees as compelling parts of our distinctive landscape.

Edited by RANYC
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1 hour ago, RANYC said:

Sorry to hear about your situation. 

Can't speak for what you did or didn't do, of course, but if one happens to be on a property with these massive gems, they do require work and active risk mitigation.

UF School of Horticulture has a substantive online portal full of tree mitigation approaches and practices.  Yes, sometimes removal is necessary, but often fall-over risk can be mitigated with preventative pruning, like thinning/reducing a top-heavy canopy and ensuring plenty of root space.  People let trees grow in unbalanced ways or implement land uses within certain ranges of the tree that make them more vulnerable to fall-over because of compressing the root space. 

Why Bradford Pears Are The Worst Tree | Southern Living - YouTube

First time I was hit by a tree in a neighbors yard that backed up to my house. Even if the neighbor's tree was poorly maintained, unless you took the time to document that and send them multiple letters requesting them to thin the canopy, you (and your insurance) is responsible for anything that crushes your house. If you maintained records, you might have a case to sue them (assuming you aren't dead). The problem in areas like Dilworth and Myers Park is the houses can be relatively dense and the trees are massive. You could get hit by a tree 3 houses away.

Second time, the tree was on my property, but was during Hurricane Florence and the arborist said the tree was healthy but the wind must have just gotten it. The tree was shorter and close to the house so it leaned rather than crushed.

Many of the trees in Charlotte area located in medians and the strip between the road and sidewalk. This is part of the "compressed root space" problem, which is why so many of the trees along roadways are giving out in center city.

After seeing so many trees fall down (I know more people that have had houses squished in this town than people that have been in major car accidents), our third house was clear of any 40 foot tall trees that had the house in the "squish zone," whether on our property, on the road, or on a neighbor's lot. 

Edited by CLT2014
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I mean we are getting tangential here, but confederacy heritage has no more to do with Charlotte than michigan militia with Detroit,  the "don't tread on me" NH people to Boston, the national separatist ranchers in Oregon a few years ago to Portland

My highlighting of that tangential fact was because it's a derisive statement that Charlotte is inconsequential without trees, comprised mainly of a collection of wholly negative attributes otherwise.

To try and pull it back on topic, this streetview pic from last winter shows the existing Willow Oaks remaining for the Carolina Theatre construction project.   The N Tryon corridor streetscape plan from 2001 will insists that Willow Oaks be planted in consistent protective trees wells like exists.  The land use plans that I believe should be submitted soon will indicate a tree protection or replacement plan.

This rezoning plan indicates the only place where there is deviation from UMUD tree ordinance (and more restrictive streetscape plans) It will be on 5th and 6th to allow rideshare "drop off" zones taking part of the setback.

https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2021Petitions/Documents/Site_Plans/2021_163_siteplan.pdf

Edit:  forgot to attach image on trees surviving construction on N Tryon

CarolinaTheatreStreetTrees.GIF

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34 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

I mean we are getting tangential here, but confederacy heritage has no more to do with Charlotte than michigan militia with Detroit,  the "don't tread on me" NH people to Boston, the national separatist ranchers in Oregon a few years ago to Portland

My highlighting of that tangential fact was because it's a derisive statement that Charlotte is inconsequential without trees, comprised mainly of a collection of wholly negative attributes otherwise.

To try and pull it back on topic, this streetview pic from last winter shows the existing Willow Oaks remaining for the Carolina Theatre construction project.   The N Tryon corridor streetscape plan from 2001 will insists that Willow Oaks be planted in consistent protective trees wells like exists.  The land use plans that I believe should be submitted soon will indicate a tree protection or replacement plan.

This rezoning plan indicates the only place where there is deviation from UMUD tree ordinance (and more restrictive streetscape plans) It will be on 5th and 6th to allow rideshare "drop off" zones taking part of the setback.

https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2021Petitions/Documents/Site_Plans/2021_163_siteplan.pdf

Never said "inconsequential," you're projecting that.  You're also seeing derision where none intended or explicitly stated (let's just assume all of us "geeking out" on UP-Charlotte at least "like" the city).

Just last year, big controversy about removing statue to Judah Benjamin, cabinet officer to the Confederate States, right on Tryon Street in vicinity of all these trees we're talking about.  State law protecting such "monuments" from  being torn down.

Also just now renaming streets.  So this isn't as far back in the past as you're saying - but glad you've not heard anything about it in 40 years.

When I get a second, will take a look to see if Detroit has any monuments to the militia on public lands and if those monuments are protected at state-level, just to confirm whether Charlotte isn't any different.  Will come back to you.

Maybe not so tangential after all.  Thanks for magnifying.

I do appreciate the link to the site plan!

Edited by RANYC
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1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

First time I was hit by a tree in a neighbors yard that backed up to my house. Even if the neighbor's tree was poorly maintained, unless you took the time to document that and send them multiple letters requesting them to thin the canopy, you (and your insurance) is responsible for anything that crushes your house. If you maintained records, you might have a case to sue them (assuming you aren't dead). The problem in areas like Dilworth and Myers Park is the houses can be relatively dense and the trees are massive. You could get hit by a tree 3 houses away.

Second time, the tree was on my property, but was during Hurricane Florence and the arborist said the tree was healthy but the wind must have just gotten it. The tree was shorter and close to the house so it leaned rather than crushed.

Many of the trees in Charlotte area located in medians and the strip between the road and sidewalk. This is part of the "compressed root space" problem, which is why so many of the trees along roadways are giving out in center city.

After seeing so many trees fall down (I know more people that have had houses squished in this town than people that have been in major car accidents), our third house was clear of any 40 foot tall trees that had the house in the "squish zone," whether on our property, on the road, or on a neighbor's lot. 

You make good points.  Not disputing you.  Willow trees do have pretty shallow root systems - so not as anchored as others.  They're breath-taking though...leave a huge impression on visitors.  I suppose as we densify, the city will have to think long and hard about its tree and canopy strategies.   Willows adjacent to big lots and deep setbacks may have worked based on past land use policy, but if we're to see less and less of that going forward, we'll have to rethink things.  Perhaps we'll need more in the way of public squares or plazas for incorporating willow oaks, and use alternative trees for medians and streetscapes and landscaping among dense structures.

On the other hand, perhaps willows adjacent to mid-rise and high-rise structures aren't as much of a threat.

I liken living with these gems to perhaps living in vulnerable parts of the Cali hills with mudslide and brush-fire risks.  People are warned and still flirt with beautiful dangers.

Edited by RANYC
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Our clay soil prohibits a taproot below a few feet. Upturned trees, even the largest sort, are obviously anchored only a few feet below surface level. Large crown, high wind in late summer and early autumn with full foliage, persistent rain providing saturated soil all lead to these results. The dominant species here is elegant, dramatic, beautiful and dangerous. The calculation normally is in favor of those first three. 

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3 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

Our clay soil prohibits a taproot below a few feet. Upturned trees, even the largest sort, are obviously anchored only a few feet below surface level. Large crown, high wind in late summer and early autumn with full foliage, persistent rain providing saturated soil all lead to these results. The dominant species here is elegant, dramatic, beautiful and dangerous. The calculation normally is in favor of those first three. 

Could we say that the event of a large tree falling over onto the side of a mid-rise or high-rise isn't as catastrophic as falling onto and then crashing through the roof of a 2-story home?

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16 hours ago, atlrvr said:

I echo the other stories here.  110' willow oak that appeared as healthy as this a few feet above ground fell (with no rain softening the ground) and punched through our master bathroom and flattened the car parked in the driveway. 

Neighbor across the street had "healthy" Oak topple into another "healthy" oak and both hit the rear of the house pinning their son in his bed and the entire second story and attic had to be demoed and rebuilt. 

 Not related, but I've been here > 40 years and haven't heard anyone seriously describe Confederacy as "heritage" since highschool.

Not great to hear.

 

I have a substantial (100'+) Willow Oak on the property line that has recently been taking shots at the garage roof with seemingly healthy looking branches. Would an arborist be able to tell without a doubt whether or not it was a risk or is it kind of a crapshoot with willows?

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20 minutes ago, a2theb said:

Not great to hear.

 

I have a substantial (100'+) Willow Oak on the property line that has recently been taking shots at the garage roof with seemingly healthy looking branches. Would an arborist be able to tell without a doubt whether or not it was a risk or is it kind of a crapshoot with willows?

The irony to my story is the family across the street that had two oaks fall did have an arborist come about 12 months earlier.  They had 5 willow oaks on the property (2 city street trees, 1 in the side yard, and 2 in the rear yard)

The arborist said that only the side-yard tree was showing signs of de-densification in the trunk and recommended for removal.  The other 4 trees had no signs of health issues.  They did not remove the 1 tree as it didn't pose a threat to the house.

The two that fell were the rear trees that were healthy, and the un-healthy tree was completely fine.  This was during higher winds, but modest rain.

I'm no expert, and can only tell what i've observed from our own willow oak falling, and seeing the condition of my neighbors trees after they fell, but the "rot" happens at the very base of the trunk and root structure, and between that, and the root system not being very deep (i assume because of Tarhoosiers point on clay soil) it doesn't take much decay for them to become very unstable.....meaning, decay below ground before it moves high enough inside the trunk to be detected.

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22 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

The willow oaks that were planted all over Charlotte aren't super resilient. They only live around 75 - 120 years and then then fall over and squish everything below them when a thunderstorm rolls through. They aren't like Sequoia trees that live thousands of years and even thrive when a fire rolls though.  The tree death won't be over until every single willow oak in areas like Myers Park and Dilworth have finished falling over in our lifetime. Given there are houses below, the chances of people getting killed or hit is relatively high. I'm on my second home that has been hit by a massive healthy 75 - 80 year old willow oak. The first home had to be completely demolished and we were lucky to be in the only room still standing. The second home, angles were favorable and it leaned on the house. I won't buy a house with trees that big ever again.

The straight line winds with our summer thunderstorms are no joke. It pretty much constant now that a tree falls over during any decent wind event in the inner ring neighborhoods. 

This is exactly correct. Willow/Pin oaks, are native to the southeast, but they weren't as prevalent in Meck until after the cotton fields were developed. They are not native in Western NC and almost all of Georgia due to the red clay soil which doesn't hold their roots well, and they go through cycles of replenishment as we are seeing now. Charlotte has a tree infrastructure which needs replacing, in the case of the south Charlotte area, these trees are one storm away from being deadly missiles. The canker worm prevalence in this area is more destructive in Myers Park than the developer. People paying premium prices WANT tree coverage.

I agree there should be more preservation of large magnolias (which aren't native), but we are going to lose them as we become more densly population. Even when these are removed, Charlotte generally has a better enforcement of replacement landscaping than our rival cities. We also have a much better climate for growing trees vs Nashville, Dallas, etc. I would like the expansion of new more bug hardy trees, some of which are more able to be grown here with warming climate: the magnolia, cypress and live oak, and other hardy trees like the Maple.

Edited by CarolinaDaydreamin
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1 hour ago, CarolinaDaydreamin said:

This is exactly correct. Willow/Pin oaks, are native to the southeast, but they weren't as prevalent in Meck until after the cotton fields were developed. They are not native in Western NC and almost all of Georgia due to the red clay soil which doesn't hold their roots well, and they go through cycles of replenishment as we are seeing now. Charlotte has a tree infrastructure which needs replacing, in the case of the south Charlotte area, these trees are one storm away from being deadly missiles. The canker worm prevalence in this area is more destructive in Myers Park than the developer. People paying premium prices WANT tree coverage.

I agree there should be more preservation of large magnolias (which aren't native), but we are going to lose them as we become more densly population. Even when these are removed, Charlotte generally has a better enforcement of replacement landscaping than our rival cities. We also have a much better climate for growing trees vs Nashville, Dallas, etc. I would like the expansion of new more bug hardy trees, some of which are more able to be grown here with warming climate: the magnolia, cypress and live oak, and other hardy trees like the Maple.

Depressing news about the willow oaks - really love them.  Hopefully they can still have a place in tree-canopied public squares/piazzas or adjacent to high-rises.

Would live oaks work here as street trees?  Warm enough to get the street covering from ramifying live oaks akin to what you see further south - or are we a couple generations of warming removed from that?

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1 hour ago, RANYC said:

Depressing news about the willow oaks - really love them.  Hopefully they can still have a place in tree-canopied public squares/piazzas or adjacent to high-rises.

Would live oaks work here as street trees?  Warm enough to get the street covering from ramifying live oaks akin to what you see further south - or are we a couple generations of warming removed from that?

The ring of trees surrounding BofA stadium are Live Oaks from South Carolina planted in 1996...

We can grow them with proper planting and early maintenance.

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On 9/13/2021 at 4:35 PM, RANYC said:

 

but thanks for amplifying that line from my post - was fairly tangential to my point about the importance of trees as compelling parts of our distinctive landscape.

If it was merely tangential, then why include it at all? I'm southern, so I welcome newcomers from other areas because it's the  hospitable thing to do. But, people who take unnecessary  jabs at the south can hopefully find I-77 or I-85 north on their own.

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4 minutes ago, jednc said:

If it was merely tangential, then why include it at all? I'm southern, so I welcome newcomers from other areas because it's the  hospitable thing to do. But, people who take unnecessary  jabs at the south can hopefully find I-77 or I-85 north on their own.

I'll like the city, inhabit the city, and be critical where I feel critique is warranted in the hopes of improving the city, and can assure you that my choice of habitation will take absolutely no guidance or urging or suggestion from you.  Yes, I can find the interstate system.  Sorry you wasted effort with your post.  Thanks.

Suggesting that the lovely trees of Charlotte are essential to its distinction, and that they are a source of unifying heritage as opposed to other sources of so-called heritage that still occupy our public spaces and are deeply offensive to some...you call that a jab?

...Now back to the Library and Spirit Square!

Edited by RANYC
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