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Tree ordinance back on front burner

POSTED: February 13, 2010 1:00 a.m.

The Richmond Hill City Council discussed the proposed tree ordinance during a called meeting Tuesday at City Hall. The ordinance looks to require a minimum of 40 percent tree canopy tree coverage that developers and builders must incorporate into future projects.

Feedback from council members was positive, but no vote was taken. A yet-to-be-scheduled public hearing will take place before the ordinance reaches the point where it could be activated with a vote from council at a regularly scheduled council meeting.

A tree ordinance has been in the works for a couple years, but the previous city council tabled it for an undetermined amount of time last year. The motion to table was proposed in February 2009 by then-Mayor Richard Davis, who said the City should hold off on mandating the ordinance due to the dip in the housing industry. Davis said the ordinance may prove expensive for local homebuilders, who are already suffering enough from the economic downturn.

Mayor Harold Fowler, who took office last month, campaigned on bringing the tree ordinance back to life. He said it will help Richmond Hill grow in a positive manner.

The newly-revised ordinance has adopted many of the traits of the tree ordinance that Bryan County uses. Another campaign promise of Fowler’s was to get city and county ordinances on the same page, and this appears to be a step toward that.

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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