From the Argus
Brighton City Council member Jon Stoppels doesn't believe the city has sufficient rules to protect trees and has been pushing hard to get an anti-clear-cutting ordinance on the books as soon as possible.
His fellow council members don't see the rush and held off holding a first reading of a proposed clear-cutting rule. On Thursday, the council voted 5-2 to send the proposed tree ordinance to the Planning Commission for review, which council members said was the standard procedure. Stoppels and council member John Tunis voted against the motion.
"I don't think Brighton has a problem with trees," council member Kate Lawrence said. "I don't think there's been clear-cutting to a catastrophic degree."
Council member Kathy Jones agreed. She said she wasn't comfortable having a first reading of the clear-cutting ordinance until the commission had reviewed it first.
By moving quickly on the matter, she said she feared the city was having a "knee-jerk reaction" to one incident in which a property owner cleared some trees and shrubs from his small parcel on Grand River Avenue.
City resident Elizabeth Walker raised concerns about how the rule might affect her. She owns 7 acres of heavily wooded property in the city and believes the new ordinance targets her.
"I'm going ballistic, listening to this tree ordinance discussion," Walker told the council.
"There are so many questions about it," she added.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.