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Support Tree Bills in General Assembly

Update 2:  Urge Governor Youngkin to sign HB529 and HB1100 into law to ensure our community is able to conserve and plant more trees that will benefit the health of all Virginians! Contact him today - 

Update: Both of these bills have been passed by the House and Senate and are now heading for the Governor's desk for signature.  Stay tuned for any Action Alerts asking folks to contact the Governor to urge him to sign these bills. 

There are several bills in the General Assembly that would give the City of Chesapeake the option to do more to protect trees and restore tree canopy during development.  Current state law limits how much Chesapeake can require of developers during construction.  HB 1100 would enable all counties, cities, and towns in Virginia to adopt tree conservation ordinances to conserve healthy mature trees during construction projects.  HB 529 would increase how much canopy must be replaced when trees are cut down during development.   Both these bills passed the House and will be heard by the full Senate this week.  Please reach out to your Senator today to ask them to support these bills.  Here is a quick action link to send them a message.  

Everyone agrees on the many benefits of trees for flood protection, summer heat mitigation, improving the environment, enabling healthier living, and improving the beauty of a place.  But the Chesapeake Bay Program Forestry Workgroup, the US Forest Service, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay recently released a Tree Cover Status Report that finds that the City of Chesapeake had a net loss of 332 acres of trees between 2014 and 2018, even factoring in tree planting efforts – about 80 acres per year lost.  Just in 2023, the Chesapeake City Council approved 20 development projects that will result in cutting down over 70 acres of mature trees, with the ultimate replanting of about 20 acres, for a net loss of 50 acres to zoning changes.  And that doesn’t count trees lost to by-right development, road construction, other infrastructure projects, or homeowners cutting down trees.  And this goes on year after year, with a cumulative snowball effect.   HB 529 and HB 1100 will give the City of Chesapeake the option to protect more trees and/or require more trees to be planted.  Ask your Delegate to support these bills today!



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