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Gardeners & Homeowners

Florida legislation introduced to do away with local tree ordinances & restoration

Many local tree ordinances protect native vegetation and require that lost trees be replaced with native species. Florida State Senator Greg Steube of Sarasota and House Representative Katie Edwards of Davie have filed legislation to take away municipal home rule on regulating trees. The legislation would eliminate local tree protection ordinances and prevent municipalities from having any say regarding the removal, trimming, harvesting or replacement of trees on private property in their community. The legislation goes so far as to prevent municipalities from regulating the destruction of shrubs including Palmettos, which we now know may be hundreds if not thousands of years old. Florida Association of Counties, Florida League of Cities and 1000 Friends of Florida have come out against this state removal of “home rule” from local municipalities.

Text of Senate Bill 574
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Text of House Bill 521
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Similar legislation undermining local tree protection was initiated in Texas.

Efforts to dismantle home rule are occurring on several fronts in many states.

News reports
Herald Tribune
Tallahassee Democrat

Sun Sentinel
The Ledger