This is where the development called “Hargrove” will get built with the initial homeowners expected to begin closing in December. Despite appearances Decatur’s arborist says the developer is adhering to the city’s tree ordinance by saving a handful of trees (to the right and left in this photo) and planning to replant a 45 percent canopy. Bill Banks for the AJC

Despite appearances, developer adhering to Decatur tree ordinance

At first glance, and despite signs proclaiming, “tree save area,” it appears every tree in sight has been removed from the four-acre tract at South Columbia Drive and Katie Drive in extreme southeast Decatur.

But in a recent interview City Arborist Kay Evanovich said that developer David Weekley Homes is adhering to Decatur’s four-year-old tree ordinance “to a T.”

Evanovich points out a clutch of trees have been saved on the property’s northwestern corner and along its western edge.

“According to our ordinance,” she said, “you have to save as much as possible and replant a minimum 45 percent canopy. I believe they are actually planting a little more than that.

“They submitted a development plan along with a tree replacement and protection plan,” Evanovich added. “I have reviewed and approved it, otherwise they couldn’t have started.”

The development, called “Hargrove,” will include 59 single-family homes and attached townhomes, with the initial homeowners expected to begin closing in December. The land had been commercial property for years that sat undeveloped and overgrown.

The replacement trees have to be a minimum 2.5 inches in diameter. They will be three to four years old, 10 to 16 feet tall and typically take 20 to 30 years to reach maturity.

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