Many residents in a Fayetteville neighborhood are furious with a recent operation to clear 15 acres of trees and foliage near their homes. The city's community development authority also has expressed frustration, calling it an unprecedented case of deforestation.
"We're just as irritated as the neighbors are," said Brian Wismer, Director of the Fayetteville Community Development Authority. "They (the property owner) came in and did that, unauthorized by the city."
The property owner did not want to formally comment on the story, but indicated he has owned the land for several years and has been trying to sell it, without success.
"From what we understand," said Wismer, "the reason (for the deforestation) was to make the property more visible to potential developers. There's certainly better ways to do that, and they didn't follow the proper procedures."
As a penalty for the action, a three-year development moratorium will be imposed on the property owner. Wismer said the city may try to intervene in helping restore greenery to the land.
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