PROPERTY OWNERS' RIGHTS/TREE ORDINANCES.

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 496 (Public) Filed Monday, April 5, 2021
AN ACT PROVIDING THAT COUNTIES AND CITIES SHALL NOT ADOPT ORDINANCES REGULATING THE REMOVAL OF TREES FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT THE EXPRESS AUTHORIZATION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Intro. by Boles, Hunter, Brody, Moffitt.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (May 12 2021)
H 496

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 10 2021 - More information

    House Committee substitute deletes the content of the 2nd edition and instead provides the following.

    Enacts GS 160A-205.4, prohibiting the adoption or enforcement of city ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property or regulating trees on land owned or operated by a public airport authority without express statutory or local act authority. Prohibits the use of the following by a governing body as the basis for adopting or enforcing ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property: (1) general police powers; (2) any powers authorized by GS Chapter 160A (governing cities), GS Chapter 153A (governing counties), or GS Chapter 160D (governing local governments); or (3) any other general or local law, except one that expressly authorizes a governing body to adopt ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property. Enacts GS 153A-145.9 and GS 160D-920.1 making the provisions of new GS 160A-205.4 applicable to counties and local governments, respectively. Makes conforming repeals of GS 153-123(h) and GS 160A-175(h), which prohibits the enforcement of county or city ordinances regulating trees on land owned or operated by a public airport authority. 

    Amends GS 106-921, which governs forestry activities, explicitly providing for the unenforceability of local government regulations regulating the removal of trees from private property unless such regulation is expressly authorized by local act or statute. Makes technical changes. 

    Provides for the continued validity of local acts authorizing ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property and any ordinances adopted under that authority before the act becomes law.

    Prohibits the enforcement of any ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property that were adopted before the date the act becomes law without express statutory authorization.

    Effective June 30, 2022. 


  • Summary date: May 6 2021 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends GS 160D-921 which provides that the statute does not limit, expand, or otherwise alter the authority of a local government to regulate activity associated with development and that allows a local government to deny a building permit or refuse to approve a site or subdivision plan for the specified time period. Makes a conforming change by amending the provisions setting the allowable delay time periods related to timber harvests to specify that they apply to harvests resulting in the removal of protected trees that were protected under local government regulations that were authorized by local act of the General Assembly.


  • Summary date: Apr 5 2021 - More information

    Enacts GS 153A-145.9, applicable to counties, and GS 160A-205.4, applicable to cities, prohibiting counties and cities from adopting ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property within the county's jurisdiction, or the city's corporate limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction, without express statutory authority granted by either a general or local law. Deems all other bases invalid for the adoption of ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property by a local governing body.

    Provides for the continued validity of local acts authorizing ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property and any ordinances adopted under that authority before the act becomes law.

    Repeals any ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property that were adopted before the date the act becomes law without express statutory authorization.


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