|Action||Amend Vegetation Control Regulations on State Rights of Way|
|Comment Period||Ends 2/2/2022|
The VDOT regulation should not be fast-tracked. We need county-wide prioritization and agreement on planning and preserving tree cover, not piecemeal rules for each utility or business. Deforming and/or removing a large percentage of the branches, no matter what the diameter is an issue. This simplistic rule of trunk or branch diameter cutting does not consider the intent of our green spaces or the long term health of the tree.
This past year we had a terrible event when a different utility (Dominion/Asplundh) removed half of the branches that provided foliage of one of our zoning required mature buffer trees. The workers would not stop cutting even with us screaming at them to stop. I have requested but been unable to access the parameters of the contract between the utility and the subcontractors. Workers should not be permitted to remove double the amount of foliage that is recommended as the maximum for any single year, no matter what diameters the branches are. Hopefully our tree will live following this overzealous pruning. The Sweetgum is a vital part of absorbing water following rains and thereby preventing flooding of our parking area. As a business, we at Frog Pond Early Learning Center are opposed to fast tracking regulations for the purpose of increasing the size of tree trunks or limbs that yet another utility can remove without the planning input of citizens. Contract parameters for pruning in public ROW should be transparent and follow guidelines set by each jurisdiction.