The Council of the District of Columbia's Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold a public hearing on March 18, 2024, regarding the Tree Preservation Enhancement Act of 2023 (Bill B25-0472).

The bill, introduced by Chair Phil Mendelson, proposes changes to the law governing the removal of Special Trees and Heritage Trees, including:

  • increasing the number of trees that qualify as Special Trees by reducing the minimum circumference for a Special Tree from 44 inches to 25 inches
  • increasing the fee for the removal of a Special Tree from $55 per inch of tree circumference to $100 per inch of tree circumference, when the applicant is not receiving the homestead deduction for the subject property
  • allowing for the issuance of a permit for the removal of a Heritage Tree where an applicant makes a payment into the Tree Fund in the amount of either 1) $350 per inch of tree circumference or 2) $250 per inch of tree circumference if the applicant enters into a perpetual conservation easement for an area that is equal to three times the diameter of the Heritage Tree
  • increasing the fine from $300 per inch of tree circumference to $500 per inch of tree circumference of the Heritage Tree in question for a violation of the law or failure to comply with the conditions in the tree removal permit

If you have any questions regarding the bill, please contact Holland & Knight's Mid-Atlantic Land Use Team.

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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