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Timber Harvest Plan: Estes Drive & Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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Timber Harvest Plan Approved for
Northeast Corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

A Chapel Hill property owner with timber rights has received a forestry permit from the Town of Chapel Hill for the clear cutting of trees on 14.8 acres at the northeast corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A copy of the forestry plan can be found here.

 Timber Harvest

The tree harvest must follow the NC Forest Practices Guidelines, and specific requirements for this property, including:

  • Access to site by logging equipment and trucks limited to a location on North Estes Drive.
  • Limit timbering work to 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays and 8:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekends.
  • Where natural regeneration is not successful in harvested areas, replant with Loblolly Pines. Replanting is required prior to December 2019.
  • Work is to only remove the trees. Stumps will remain in place.

    The work is anticipated to take approximately 2 to 4 weeks depending on weather conditions.

    Additionally, the property owner has agreed to:

  • Establish a 30-foot buffer to help protect an ephemeral stream on the eastern edge of the property with selective cutting allowed;
  • Establish a 30-foot buffer adjacent to residents to the north with selective cutting allowed.

The Chapel Hill Land Use Management Ordinance requires a permit for the following activity:

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


Chapel Hill Tree Ordinance

NC Forest Service FAQs on Logging in North Carolina

NC State Law on Regulation of Forestry Activities (pdf)


More development in this area:

  • Chapel Hill Retirement Residence, 700 N. Estes Drive, a three- to four-story 152-suite facility for seniors at the northeast corner of N. Estes and Somerset drives. Construction is underway.
  • Estes Drive Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project – Constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities along Estes Drive from Marin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Caswell Road. Includes bike lanes and sidewalks on the north and south sides of Estes Drive and an off-road multi-use trail on the north side. Flags outlining easements on private property are placed along the project. Construction is anticipated in summer 2018.
  • North Estes Mixed-Use Center, 850 N. Estes Drive. Concept plan calls for 215 dwelling units, office and retail space and a three-level parking deck. This concept plan, for the lot to be forested, was reviewed by the Council in June 2017.


Helpful information:


For more information contact Judy Johnson at or at (919) 969-5078

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