Controversial SB294 is defeated

On March 13, the Georgia Senate failed to pass a bill that had significant implications to local tree, landscape and stream buffer ordinances. Although it would not have affected the current state regulations for streambanks and buffers, it would have prevented municipalities from enacting more restrictive or protective streambank ordinances beyond the state minimum. It also would have precluded local governments from enacting or enforcing tree removal ordinances that affect individual homeowners, such as the City of Atlanta's tree ordinance.

Conservation groups and supporters of tree ordinances are likely breathing a sigh of relief.

SB294 was primarily authored by senator Chip Pearson, of Dawnsonville, and was strongly opposed by such groups as the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Athens Grow Green Coalition.

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