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Carrboro Townwide News

Posted on: November 3, 2018

Tree Harvesting to begin off Seawell School Road near railroad crossing

The 70-acre property is located in the Town of Chapel Hill (3.9 acres) and the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ)  of the Town of Carrboro (65 acres).  The road under construction provides access to the Carrboro ETJ portion of the property.  There will be a separate entrance established for the work on the Chapel Hill portion of the property.  

Plans to timber the site were outlined years ago through the owner's participation in the state-authorized voluntary Present-Use Value program that established a forest management plan for the property.  Early in 2018, the owner communicated the plan to timber the property.  Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle worked to negotiate a different outcome for the property and stated "once we heard of Mr. Craig's plans, our Board of Aldermen asked that I meet with him to find a resolution that did not include logging this property. I worked toward this end diligently over the past several months, but ultimately he decided to exercise his right to log on his property. I know the members of the Board of Aldermen are all disappointed with this outcome.”


In response to the property owner's request, the Town of Chapel Hill issued a timber harvesting permit in compliance with Town standards for a site at 9901 Seawell School Road.  Forestry activities within the 65-acre Carrboro ETJ are not subject to permitting or local land use regulations. 

The Chapel Hill permit allows clearing of 1.6 acres of the 3.9-acre property in Chapel Hill, leaving a buffer of trees along the stream that runs through the property.  The owner is required to replant the site by March 2020 if natural regeneration is not successful.  

Within the Carrboro ETJ, 34.5 acres will be cut, leaving buffers along streams and along Seawell School Road.  The plan calls for replanting in pine, with some areas possibly left to regenerate in hardwoods.

Timbco Timber Harvesting is the timber purchaser with Dannie’s Logging, out of Creedmoor, carrying out the logging.  Bernard & Dryman Forestry Consultants, Inc. is coordinating the  timber sale.  The current plan anticipates that the road and loading deck site will be completed so that cutting will begin on Tuesday, November 6, with one truck entering and exiting the site every hour to 1 ½ hours.   The timeline projects completion of logging in three weeks to a month.
Logging operations are exempt from driveway permit requirements as specified in NCGS Section 136-92.1.  A North Carolina Forest Service representative will visit and inspect the site once or twice weekly throughout the course of the project.  Only incidental encroachments into the Norfolk Southern railroad right of way are expected; the forestry consultant will coordinate communication and compliance with any requirements with Norfolk Southern.  

Tree Harvesting in Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Last spring, a different property owner clear-cut trees at another location in Chapel Hill at the northeast corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.  This property owner who also has timber rights received a forestry permit for 14.8 acres.  A copy of the forestry plan can be found at 

The plan calls for the replanting of Loblolly pines where natural regeneration is not successful.  This replanting is required prior to December 2019.

Near this tree harvesting site, trees were removed during construction of the Chapel Hill Retirement Residence at 700 N. Estes Drive.  This will be a three- to four-story 152-suite facility for seniors at the northeast corner of N. Estes and Somerset drives.

Property tax records indicate that the parcels on Estes Drive and Seawell School Road are the only two in Chapel Hill that are currently enrolled in the county's use value program for forestry, where periodic timber harvesting is planned.

Property tax records identify approximately 43 properties in Carrboro's jurisdiction in the Present-use value program; staff is assessing these properties further for plans for periodic timber harvesting.

NC Forestry Information:

The practice of forestry as defined by NC General Statute 105-277.2-.7 is permitted only after an applicant submits a plan for harvesting and replanting consistent with the most current Forest Practice Guidelines Related to Water Quality published by the NC Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, or its successor agency.

Logging in North Carolina 

NC State Law on Regulation of Forestry Activities

Practicing Forestry under Local Regulations (pdf)

Forest Practice Guidelines Related to Water Quality

Local Information: 
The Town of Carrboro regulates silviculture as a land use within town limits.  For more information about property in Carrboro, plese contact Marty Roupe at or 919-918-7333.

Chapel Hill's Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO) regulates property owners to harvest timber from their land, if this work is done in a manner consistent with provisions for the practice of forestry as defined by NC General Statutes and Forest Practice Guidelines published by the state.

Chapel Hill Tree Ordinance -

For more information about the portion of the property that lies in Chapel Hill, please contact Judy Johnson at or 919-969-5078.


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