BREAKING NEWS Legislative Alert: Tree trimming preemption to abolish city and county tree protections

BREAKING NEWS Legislative Alert: Tree trimming preemption to abolish city and county tree protections

“Tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property”
“…A local government may not enforce an ordinance or regulation governing the pruning, trimming, or removal of trees on residential property which requires a permit, an application, the provision of notice, a fee, or a fine when either of the following applies:

The residential property is in a county that is subject to a tropical storm watch or warning or a hurricane watch or warning or is experiencing a tropical storm, a hurricane, or a declared state of emergency, and the property owner has determined that a tree on his or her property is damaged,diseased, or pest-infested, or presents a danger to others or property.

The property owner has obtained from an arborist who is certified by a certification program of the International Dociety of Arboriculture proof that the tree is damaged, diseased, or pest-infested, or presents a danger to others or property.

A local government may not require a property owner to replant a tree that has been removed in accordance with this section…”

— From SB 1400 as of 2/27/2019

Keep up with current status of SB1400 here

“Latest spat about St. Pete Pier is over signs”

“Latest spat about St. Pete Pier is over signs”

Photo: City of St. Petersburg
“Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and the City Council get into a testy discussion over the number and type of signs…the quarrel is about the signs that will sprout throughout the 26-acre Pier District…

For some council members, it was about what they viewed as a possible proliferation of signs at the new Pier. And to their horror, that some might be digital…

The issue was raised by Council member Ed Montanari, who had enlarged diagrams attached to the agenda item seeking council approval for funds to design the foundations and installation for wayfinding signs at the Pier.

‘I was shocked by the number of signs that are going to be out there. I counted 91. … When I looked at the descriptions, there are four signs out there that look like the digital billboards that we discussed last October and they are called directory kiosks.’ he said. ‘I want to get more information of what can be displayed on these kiosks.’

‘When I see the number of signs out there, the first thing that came to mind to me was the Las Vegas strip’ he said, later explaining that he came up with his count by totalling dots on the diagrams he had enlarged…

‘If we need 91 signs on the Pier in order for people to find their way around, we have too much stuff. … This is clutter,’ she said. ‘I too was troubled by the addition of digital kiosks. … I don’t see where they are really necessary…’

[The matter was deferred.]”

— Waveney Ann Moore, Tampa Bay Times

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“High Tech Murals in Miami: New Wynwood mural uses technology to teach people about Florida’s environment”

“High Tech Murals in Miami: New Wynwood mural uses technology to teach people about Florida’s environment”

Video: WPLG

“Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is well-known for its amazing murals, but now they are going high-tech…

On the surface, the mural is impressive in its own right…

An alligator, a coyote, a manatee and more than a dozen other animals near extinction or symbolic to our state are featured in the mural…

‘People can actually scan each of these animals and species and explore the mural, and it would actually bring to life a 3D environment with video education about each of these species,’ [Linda Cheung, founder of Before It’s Too Late] said…

Juan Carlos Gallo is still developing the app and working to make adjustments so the software can recognize the images both during the day and at night. ”

— Roy Ramos, WPLG

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“Who Will Benefit from Miami’s New Rails-to-Trails Park?”

“Who Will Benefit from Miami’s New Rails-to-Trails Park?”

Artist’s Rendering
“Miami’s newest infrastructure project happened after Meg Daly broke both her arms.

‘I couldn’t do anything for myself for a while,’ Daly says. After three weeks of getting driven to physical therapy, she decided to hop on Miami’s Metrorail, a mostly elevated rail system.

‘I ended up taking the train, getting off and then walking below the train above me,’ Daly says. That’s when she noticed the undeveloped land beneath the train. ‘I was like: Why aren’t we doing something with this land?’

Photo: Meg Daly
So she thought of the idea for the Underline, a 10-mile, 120-acre linear park with a walking and biking path that will be built under the rail tracks. The Underline, plans to connect South Miami, Coral Gables and downtown Miami, follows in the footsteps of projects such as New York City’s High Line and Atlanta’s BeltLine. Daly founded the nonprofit Friends of the Underline in 2015 in order to partner with Miami-Dade County — who owns the land — and secure funds for ongoing operations.

After years of planning and having discussions with the community, the Underline broke ground on Nov. 1, 2018, with the first half-mile segment now under construction. The management, maintenance and programming of the Underline will be run by the Underline Management Organization, a nonprofit represented by Friends of The Underline, Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and three municipalities…”

— Adina Solomon, Next City

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“Lawmakers move to revive National Scenic Byways Program”

“Lawmakers move to revive National Scenic Byways Program”

“Lawmakers move to revive National Scenic Byways Programis a voluntary, community-based program administered through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to recognize, protect, and promote America’s scenic roadways got a major boost in Congress on February 6 as the House of Representatives passed a bill to restart the dormant National Scenic Byways Program, while companion legislation was introduced in the Senate.
‘We are thrilled with Congress’ support for scenic byways,’ said Mark Falzone, president of Scenic America. ‘The National Scenic Byways Program is a proven winner: it protects places with historic, scenic and cultural significance and contributes to local economies by promoting them as destinations.’

The House Bill, H.R. 831, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Rep. Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana, passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 404 – 19.

‘As Rhode Islanders know, our state is home to some of the most beautiful scenic byways in the country,’ said Rep. Cicilline. ‘This bipartisan bill will allow us to capitalize on our state’s natural beauty and generate millions of dollars in new economic activity. I’m pleased that this bill passed the House today and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.’

‘Louisiana’s historical byways weave through her natural beauty and help tell the story of our history and unique culture. They are critical to preserving our heritage, growing our economy for the future and caring for our rural communities,’ said Rep. Graves.

The Senate bill, S. 349, also enjoys bipartisan support and is sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland.

‘I am proud that my home state of Maine boasts not only three National Scenic Byways, but also the Acadia All-American Road. These roadways provide Mainers and tourists alike with spectacular views and memorable experiences, while at the same time spurring much-needed economic activity in the surrounding areas,’ said Senator Collins. ‘The National Scenic Byways Program represents a true win-win scenario by protecting precious corridors and providing tangible benefits for local communities.’

‘Maryland is home to 18 designated byways, and the reopening of this program will be beneficial to future development and maintenance of these important routes,’ said Senator Cardin. ‘This program helps direct visitors to areas of interest along our scenic byways, and generates revenue for the surrounding communities.’

‘We applaud the exemplary leadership of Rep. Cicilline and Rep. Graves resulting in today’s passage of scenic byways legislation in the House,’ said Falzone. ‘And we extend our sincere appreciation to Senator Collins and Senator Cardin for their visionary support of our country’s scenic roadways and rural economies. We look forward to helping pass their bill in the Senate.’

Since its inception in 1991 the program has bestowed the National Scenic Byway designation on 150 roads around the country, but the last round of designations occurred ten years ago and Congress officially pulled support for the program in 2012.

National Scenic Byways have been shown to generate significant economic activity for nearby communities, many of which are small and rural in nature. A 2010 report from the University of Minnesota showed a $21.6 million economic impact from traveler spending along both the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway and nearby Lake Country Scenic Byway. A 2013 study of Scenic Byway 12 in Utah found that the byway generated nearly $13 million annually in local spending.

A recent survey found that 44 state scenic byways across the country are prepared to take advantage of the legislation as soon as the program is reopened. ‘The National Scenic Byway designation means these roads are sought out by both domestic and international travelers, and it’s critical that we provide local byways with the opportunity to seek the national recognition and reap the well-established benefits,’ said Falzone.

Scenic America encourages the public to reach out to their Members of Congress in support of this bill by visiting:

Allied organization statements on passage of H.R. 831 and introduction of S. 349:

‘The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) strongly supports the long-overdue revival of the National Scenic Byways Program nominations process, which will reinvigorate one of this country’s most important programs for connecting Americans to the scenic and cultural treasures of the nation. Landscape architects, as stewards of the built and natural environments, welcome today’s action in the House of Representatives and hope that it will soon be matched in the Senate so that this remarkable collection of roadways can be expanded and the benefits of Scenic Byway designation can be brought to even more places whose scenic, cultural, and historic qualities represent the best of American life.’

Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. ASLA Executive Vice President

‘As part of the coalition that helped create the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991, the American Motorcyclist Association is excited about today’s passage of H.R. 831, the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019. Today’s vote moves us one step closer to reopening the National Scenic Byways Program, which has preserved and enhanced many motorcyclists’ favorite roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching from North Carolina to Virginia, and the Beartooth Highway between Montana and Wyoming. The AMA thanks Congressman David Cicilline for sponsoring this important legislation.’

Wayne Allard VP of Government Relations American Motorcyclist Association

‘We applaud the leadership of Representatives Cicilline and Graves in championing legislation to revitalize the Scenic Byway program. For over 100 years, the GCA has embraced roadside beauty and the need to enhance and protect the scenic character of our communities and countryside. The Scenic Byway program will help limit the visual blight of billboards while providing economic opportunities for tourism and recreation important to sustaining small towns.’

Anne Neal Petri President The Garden Club of America

‘We applaud Congressional action to revive a program of great importance to those touring our wonderful nation and seeking its stories — historic, natural and cultural. Byways are the roads Americans love and have been championed by Charles Kuralt, George H.W. Bush, Jay Rockefeller, Jim Oberstar and many more. New byways offer economic sustainability to rural communities and connect those communities with public lands and waters.’

Derrick A. Crandall Outdoor Solutions USA

‘So many of America’s roadways, in particular, the designated Scenic Byways, tell the story of history and culture of the Native Americans. There are still so many more scenic routes to establish just as there are many untold Native American stories yet to tell.’

Camille Ferguson Executive Director American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association”

— Scenic America

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