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Charlotte City Council’s Environment Committee supports change to PCCO

A controversial proposed change to the city of Charlotte’s Post Construction Controls Ordinance is one step closer to becoming reality.

On Monday, the City Council’s Environment Committee voted 3-2 to recommend removing a natural-area requirement from the PCCO, a change that many in the construction industry would like to see but one that environmentalists say would represent a major step back for the city.

The idea to remove the requirement came from city staffers, who said it was duplicative of a requirement in a separate city ordinance.

Two committee members, council members Edwin Peacock and Nancy Carter, voted against the proposal Monday. Carter, for one, said she was concerned that removing the natural-area requirement would hurt water quality.

Opponents to the change have argued that removing the language from the ordinance would reduce the number of trees saved by developers. But city staff have argued that the change would not have a significant affect on the city’s tree canopy because in most cases the tree ordinance is more protective than the PCCO.

On Oct. 10, City Council members referred the proposal to the Environment Committee after Mayor Anthony Foxx vetoed the council’s decision to approve the change. Foxx then rescinded his veto after the council agreed to send the matter to the committee.

Council members are expected to vote on the change again at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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