Adopted May 2007
BACKGROUND: Tree protection ordinances are frequently modified with restrictions to protect or maintain a quantifiable canopy coverage, to preserve historic species, and to serve as natural amenities and buffers from encroaching development. Overly restrictive tree protection ordinances can negatively impact private property rights as well as add unexpected costs to development. Finding a balance between maintaining natural amenities, property rights, real estate value and land use is possible with consideration of these factors when proposing legislation effecting natural resources.
POSITION: REALTORS® view trees as natural amenities that enhance all aspects of a municipality including traditional neighborhoods. REALTORS® support flexible, performance-based, non-prescriptive tree protection ordinances that balance legitimate development and construction concerns with environmental and aesthetic values that trees can provide. REALTORS® support the primary principle of protecting private property rights and do not feel that property owners should be harmed or penalized by legislation directed at limiting the use and appreciation of private property. REALTORS® support collaboration between local officials, planners, the community and the development industry to create tree protection ordinances in order to mitigate the negative impact that burdensome legislation could impose on private property owners.