Davidson Pursues Tree Ordinance Legislation that Would Negatively Impact Housing Costs

State Senator Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg) has introduced legislation that would grant the Town of Davidson the authority to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit the removal of heritage trees, defined as a native tree with a diameter greater than 30 inches at breast height, from a property being developed for single family or duplex housing.

The Davidson Board of Commissioners has long complained about its inability to prohibit tree removal on residential development, per its local authority under state law. If adopted, SB 259 would dramatically increase the cost of single-family development in the Town, which already imposes illegal design and inclusionary zoning requirements on home builders.

Local government tree ordinances across North Carolina have proven to be restrictive and burdensome in many instances. While some local governments have obtained authority to adopt tree protection ordinances by local act, others have enacted tree ordinances without such authority. In general, some tree ordinances are far too restrictive and have a major adverse financial impact on housing. Look for more on this topic in future weeks.

REBIC opposes this legislation, and will work our colleagues at the North Carolina HBA and the NC Realtors® to ensure it does not become law.

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