|Action||Amend Vegetation Control Regulations on State Rights of Way|
|Comment Period||Ends 2/2/2022|
Please do not fast track changes to "vegetation control" in VDOT right of ways. "Daylighting" billboards and businesses by removing trees and tree parts for the purpose of benefiting private business ignores the very real and necessary ecological services that those trees are providing, such as shading areas to prevent heat islands, cleaning the air we breath, cleaning the water we drink. It also ignores the social benefits of trees which include increased property value and beauty. This proposed amended regulation should not be fast tracked as it must not ignore the public good these trees are providing. The regulation should explore the cost-benefit of removing the "offending" vegetation.
Furthermore, this proposed amended regulation seeks to treat two things equally that may arguably not be equal. A billboard is the only means of communicating a message to the public (and thus is arguably more important to keep clear), whereas a business can be found online, via Google Maps, recommended from friends, etc. The visibility needs differ in that regard significantly.
VDOT's paved road infrastructure benefits us all, but we as resident and customers of VDOT must also ask that VDOT respect the natural resources in their right of ways and retain as much of it as possible to preserve their important ecosystem services. To fast track this change and not further explore additional facets of this regulation is a mistake.