A reenactment clause was added to each bill. They will come up again in the 2022 session for reenactment. This clause allows for the bills to remain as they are, or to be changed if desired. A stakeholder group was created at the end of the 2021 session, chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Natural Resources to evaluate the bills further and report its recommendations back to the House and Senate by November 1, 2021. I’ll keep an eye out for this report and pass it along when it is released. The House Bill will be referred to its Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns. The Senate bill will be referred to its Local Government Committee.
As of now, the House Committee members for our City are: Askew and Guy
As of now, the Senate Committee members for our City are: DeSteph and Kiggans
There could be changes to these members after the November 2 election.
2- Write your local House and Senate representatives and ask them to support reenacting their respective bills during the 2022 session. You can find your representatives here: https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov There could be changes to these members after the November 2 election.
“A. Any locality with a population density of at least 75 persons per square mile or any locality within the Chesapeake Bay watershed may adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during the development process…”
“3. That the provisions of the first enactment of this act shall not become effective unless reenacted by the 2022 Session of the General Assembly.”
“In Arlington and Virginia Beach, two of the most recent municipalities to conduct tree canopy assessments, canopy is holding steady on municipal property but trending downward on private property due to infill, redevelopment, and homeowner removal.
Loss of biodiversity is another critical challenge we face which may impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution, and other major forms of environmental stress. Trees provide food, habitat, shelter, and breeding areas need- ed to restore and sustain Virginia’s wildlife biodiversity.
SOLUTION We need to prioritize the preservation of intact forests as well as individual mature trees during development. For example, during the engineering process, consider how to protect natural resources first and adjust site plans accordingly….”
Why is the legislation needed?
Virginia state code currently limits the amount of canopy a locality may require a developer to plant/replace/preserve.
For example, under current law, for a residential parcel zoned for 10 or fewer units per acre, the locality may not require a tree canopy greater than 20% in 20 years’ time. For a commercial parcel, the maximum tree canopy a locality can require is 10%. That’s right, there is a maximum amount of trees a locality can require to be replaced.
What does HB 2333 do?
It exempts a locality from those caps if they’re using trees to achieve a water quality (i.e. Bay TMDL) or quantity (i.e. flood mitigation) goal.
Have capacity to help?
Share this email with others who might be interested — HOAs, civic leagues, local government, tree stewards, healthcare companies, nurseries, tree care companies, botanical gardens, small and large businesses – anyone that has a stake in increasing tree canopy in the Bay watershed.
What is the deadline for signing?
We’ll leave the letter open until the bill is on the House Counties, Cities and Towns subcommittee #2 docket, which could be as early as next Thursday.
Thanks for your consideration. We hope you will join us. Please don’t hesitate to call if I can answer any questions about the bill.
Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Brock Environmental Center | 757.644.4113