Lobbyist: Tree Bill Unlikely to Move Forward

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A portion of a house bill that would put Raleigh’s tree ordinance in jeopardy could be pulled for lack of support.

House Bill 1191 would prohibit municipalities from enacting laws governing trees on private property, making the city’s tree conservation ordinances illegal.

Erin Wynia, a lobbyist for the North Carolina League of Municipalities, said that league members have been meeting with legislators and a lot of lawmakers are not in support of the bill and would not like it to move forward.

The bill was recommended by the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission and is now in the Agriculture Committee.

The city’s tree ordinance requires that when properties larger than 2 acres are developed, 10 percent of the trees must be conserved. If the bill becomes law, developers would be able to clear cut the property. Other parts of Raleigh’s landscaping ordinance could also be in jeopardy, including the required planting of street trees and trees as buffers between commercial and residential properties.

Staffers for the bills four sponsors — Sate Reps. James Langdon, Jimmy Dixon, Mark Brody and Larry Pittman — said that they could not confirm that the language would be pulled. Agriculture Committee Vice Chair Charles Graham also said he could not confirm a change in the bill’s language would take place.

The Agriculture Committee meets on Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

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