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Detroit council OKs land sale for tree-growing

Published on December 12, 2012 3:01AM

Last changed on December 12, 2012 9:30AM

DETROIT (AP) -- A company that wants to put vacant Detroit land to agricultural use has received permission to buy about 170 acres of residential lots on the city's east side.

City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to approve the sale for Hantz Woodlands, a large-scale tree-growing project that was proposed earlier this year.

Some neighborhood activists and nonprofit leaders have opposed the plans, saying they amount to a land grab.

Most of the city-owned lots being sold are vacant. John Hantz, a Detroit resident who runs a network of financial services businesses, plans to clean them up and demolish blighted buildings on some lots.

Hantz also has discussed large-scale urban farming plans in Detroit, but those have been delayed in part as the city works to develop new agricultural zoning rules.

Copyright 2012 The AP.


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