AUSTIN – Last week, Sen. Donna Campbell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security, petitioned the Texas Attorney General for an advisory opinion on the legality of municipal tree ordinances. The request seeks clarification as to whether these types of ordinances violate the takings clause of the Texas Constitution.

“Private property rights are a cornerstone of Texas government, and yet some of the state’s largest cities have effectively seized control of the trees on private lands through regulation,” said James Quintero, director of the Center for Local Governance. “This kind of overregulation has no place in the Lone Star State.”

“The Texas Constitution protects citizens from government taking private property without just compensation,” said Robert Henneke, director of the Center for the American Future. “Municipal tree ordinances violate this provision by restricting the use of land without paying the owner. Trees are part of the natural resources that belong to a private property owner. I applaud Sen. Campbell for seeking this opinion and for recognizing the constitutional rights at issue with this type of municipal overreach.”  

To schedule an interview with Mr. Quintero or Mr. Henneke, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.

James Quintero is director of the Center for Local Governance and leads the Think Local Liberty project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 
The Honorable Robert Henneke is General Counsel and Director of the Foundation’s Center for the American Future.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.