Inside208

Senate Bill 1188 Update – More Than Just a Tree Issue – Action Needed

Posted on December 4, 2018 by Dene Westbrook

IMG_3051Last week legislation enacting the “Vegetation Removal Preemption Act”  (see previous blog HERE) saw swift action in the Senate. Senate Bills 1188-1194 were voted out of the Natural Resources committee on Wednesday afternoon and immediately taken up the next morning and passed by the full Senate 23-15.

A substitute bill for SB 1188 was adopted in committee and the bill was also amended on the Senate floor. Even with these changes the League is still strongly opposed to the legislation as it would:

  • Void reasonable local regulations put in place to protect the quality of life and property values of all residents and businesses.
  • Create uncertainty in the development process.
  • Require municipalities to set higher standards to have room to negotiate voluntary development and redevelopment deals, to get what is currently plainly stated regulations enacted in the best interest of the entire community when it comes to health, safety and economic investment.
  • Increase private development costs by requiring more time to get through the development process and requiring the use of more gray infrastructure (underground pipes and drains for storm water management). Costs that will ultimately be passed on to the local tax payer.
  • Undermine a municipality’s ability to address local matters of concern and importance within their community.
  • Undermine the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program that is telling communities to have clear, concise rules and regulations so a developer doesn’t have to guess.

The legislation has been referred to the House Local Government committee. It is not on the agenda of the currently posted committee hearing for tomorrow, Wednesday, December 5, at 8:15 a.m. The League is closely monitoring any updates to the agenda and will let you know if that changes. We do anticipate if this committee meets again, this legislation will be taken up!

Please contact the House Local Government Committee members and your local Representative now to urge them to oppose this legislation. Here is a list of the Representatives on this committee, with links to their contact information:

Find your state Representative HERE.

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Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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