Sunday, May 22, 2011

Austin tree-cutting rules chopped - Austin, TX

Capitol Digest: Austin tree-cutting rules chopped; House gives early OK to Senate map

Austin, San Antonio tree-cutting rules chopped

Prodded by a private property rights argument, the Texas Senate voted Friday to block Austin and other cities from enforcing their tree-cutting ordinances outside their city limits.

The move was led by Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay.

On a 24-7 vote, the Senate let stand an earlier vote to amend House Bill 1665 — a bill dealing with public notice requirements near Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene — to prohibit cities such as Austin and San Antonio from enforcing their tree- and brush cover-protection restrictions in their extraterritorial jurisdictions. Those restrictions protect trees and ground cover from being clear-cut by developers.

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