Updates from the Arbor
Editorial by Cissy Urbanovsky

NC General Assembly House Bill 198; What you need to know!

In the early Spring of 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 198, which provided for additions and amendments to the legislation governing the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Buried deep within the amendments, updates to General Statute 136-133.1 and 136-133.2 allowed for major changes to the protection of native canopy species throughout the state. You might be thinking, “what does native species canopy have to do with transportation?”. We’re wondering, too.

The bill’s language allows the outdoor advertising industry to significantly increase the permitted vegetation removal allowance to accommodate line of sight for billboards, specifically. From the bill,            “ Additionally revises vegetation that may be removed without a permit under subsection (g), except for native dogwoods and native redbuds, to include vegetation located within 300 feet on either side of the existing sign location (was within 200 feet on either side of the existing sign location as defined by previously described points A and B).” As a result, the Outdoor Advertisers Association now has the legal authority to increase the vegetation removal from sign viewing areas by 100 feet in all directions, and also allows for private property owners to indiscriminately remove vegetation from sign areas when utilizing the OAAA as a designee, and at a fee of $100.00 per caliper inch for protected native species, dogwood and redbud trees.. 

What unfortunately is not represented within the updated legislation are the voices of the citizens who know that living trees benefit our state more than billboards. What does this mean for our area?  Expect to see advertisements more than trees! 

Where to Find Heartwood Out and About!

As Fall quickly approaches, cooler and milder weather means that our staff has the pleasure of spending more time in the public at community events.  Look for Heartwood at the Cornelius Parks and Recreation 11th annual LAKETOBERFEST!  Held on Saturday, October 14th, from 4pm-9pm at Bailey Road Park, this perfect Fall event includes Live Music, Local Beer & Wine vendors, Food Trucks, Kids’ Zone with Arts & Crafts, Free admission and FREE PARKING!  Save the date, and join the staff of Heartwood Tree while we support Cornelius Parks and Rec and Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists this Fall!

Have you seen us on your TV, Streaming Service, or Mobile Device?  Heartwood Tree is proud to partner locally with Spectrum Reach, NextStar Media and Queen City News!  View all of our streaming commercials and bonus content on our YouTube channel