Chesapeake Bay Tree Replacement Bill Passes Senate, Heads Back to House

February 27, 2018

HB 494 (Hodges), which authorizes any locality within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during development processes, passed the Senate with amendments on February 23 by a 38-0 vote.

Currently, only localities with a population density of 75 person per square mile are authorized to adopt these kinds of tree planting and replacement ordinances.  HB 494 expands this authorization to any locality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, regardless of population density.

Previously, HB 494 was reported from the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee and passed the full House by a unanimous vote (98-0). After crossover, the bill was referred to the Senate Local Government Committee where it was reported 13-0 before ultimately passing the full Senate. Today, HB 494 was taken back up by the House of Delegates, and the Senate amendments were accepted unanimously. The bill will now be sent to Governor’s desk.

VACo has been pleased to support this bill and speak on its behalf and we are grateful to Delegate Keith Hodges for his hard work.  We eagerly await Governor Ralph Northam’s signature on this important piece of legislation.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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