Significant Floor Actions

1H.B. 7 (Phelan), relating to a tree planting credit to offset tree mitigation fees imposed by a municipality.  Passed the House.  As passed, the bill would:

  1. a city that imposes a tree mitigation fee for tree removal that is necessary for development or construction on a person’s property must allow that person to apply for a credit for tree planting under this section to offset the amount of the fee.
  2. an application for a credit under (1), above, must be in the form and manner prescribed by the city.
  3. to qualify for a credit under the bill, a tree must be: (a) planted on property for which the tree mitigation fee was assessed or mutually agreed upon by the city and the person planting the tree; and (b) at least two inches in diameter at the point on the trunk 4.5 feet above ground.
  4. for purposes of determining a mutually agreed upon planting location, the city and the person planting the tree may consult with an academic organization, state agency, or nonprofit organization to identify an area for which tree planting will best address the science-based benefits of trees and other reforestation needs of the city.
  5. the amount of a credit provided to a person under the bill must be: (a) applied in the same manner as the tree mitigation fee assessed against the person; and (b) at least 50 percent of the amount of the tree mitigation fee assessed against the person.
  6. as long as the municipality meets the requirement to provide a person a credit under (1), above, the bill does not affect the ability of or require a city to determine: (a) the size, number, and type of trees that must be planted to receive a credit under the bill, except as provided by (3)(b), above; (b) the requirements for tree removal and corresponding tree mitigation fees, if applicable; or (c) the requirements for tree planting methods and best management practices to ensure that the tree grows to the anticipated height at maturity.
  7. the bill does not apply to property within five miles of a federal military base in active use as of September 1, 2017.
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League. 

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