Austin – Today, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 7, which would reform city regulatory authority over tree removal. This legislation restricts the authority of a city to enforce its tree ordinance in its extraterritorial jurisdiction, requires a municipality that imposes a mitigation fee to allow developers to apply for a credit for tree planting that offsets the fee, and allows a homeowner to remove a tree 10 inches or less in diameter without paying a fee.

“Cities have impermissibly enforced tree regulations in their extraterritorial jurisdiction, despite the fact that landowners in these areas have no ability to make their voices heard through a vote,” said Bryan Mathew, a policy analyst with the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “This bill significantly curtails that practice, and we look forward to continuing to build upon that progress. Ultimately, we stand for the principle that the private property owner owns his or her trees. Therefore, as a recent Attorney General opinion indicated, if a privately owned tree provides a public benefit, adequate compensation should be provided.”
For more information or to request an interview with Mr. Mathew, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.  

Bryan Mathew is a policy analyst with the Center for Local Governance at Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. 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.