Yesterday in the House local government committee SB 1188, the “Vegetation Removal Preemption Act” aka the tree bill, was on the agenda. The committee hearing ended without a vote being taken because the legislation lacked support from committee members to move it. This was a small victory, but the push to oppose this legislation is not over! While the bill did not have sufficient support to be reported from committee, there’s an attempt to have it discharged to the House floor for consideration. Contact your State Representative and urge them to oppose a discharge vote.
The following are talking points you can use when communicating with your legislator:
- The bill was taken up in committee and did not have support to be voted out.
- Legislation is a statewide approach to a very singular issue in one community where the property owners ignored the site plan approval process, ignored getting a permit…ignored local ordinances. The issue should be worked out locally!
- The bill voids reasonable local regulations put in place to protect quality of life and property values for all residents and businesses.
- Legislation would create uncertainty in the development process. This undermines the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program that’s telling municipalities to have clear, concise rules and regulations.
- The bill will increase private development costs by requiring more time to get through the development process due to negotiating voluntary development agreements that currently are plainly stated regulations. It would also require the use of more gray infrastructure (underground pipes and drains) instead of allowing green infrastructure (natural vegetation) to be required. These increased costs will ultimately be passed on to the local tax payer.
- Legislation completely undermines a municipality’s ability to address local matters of concern, and importance, within their community.
Thank you to everyone who’s engaged and reached out to your legislator. It’s making a difference. Please keep it up!
Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.