Private property tree removal fees restricted in new law

Governor Greg Abbott is putting momentum behind a law that would curb cities' abilities to regulate tree removal. KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard.
Governor Greg Abbott is putting momentum behind a law that would curb cities' abilities to regulate tree removal. KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard.

AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) —  Property owners now have added protections when it comes to removing trees in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 7 Wednesday, which creates limits on local tree ordinances. The goal is to restrict “overagressive” tree removal fees, and directs municipalities to offer private property owners tree planting credits to offset those removal fees.

“Texas families that work hard for the dream of one day owning their own property should be able to do what they want with it,” Abbott wrote in a press release.

Abbott vetoed a similar bill during the legislative session, and during the special session called for the Legislature to take up the issue again and axe nearly all local tree-cutting ordinances.

The Senate passed a broad bill, but scaled it back so the House would accept it. The House voted 119-23 on Tuesday to send a less-sweeping version of the bill to the governor.

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