Thu., February 24, 2011 4:35pm (EST)

House OK's Cutting Trees By Billboards
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Currently companies can trim trees within 500 feet of the signs. The legislation allows them to cut the trees in a smaller 350 feet zone. (photo by Rob Koziura via flickr)
Currently companies can trim trees within 500 feet of the signs. The legislation allows them to cut the trees in a smaller 350 feet zone. (photo by Rob Koziura via flickr)
The state house passed a bill that would allow the clear-cutting of trees in front of billboards. It's a measure bill board companies have been trying to pass for years.

The bill lets companies cut trees on state right of way property obscuring motorists’ view of the signs.

Its sponsor Republican Jon Burns says it will help business in the state.

"These signs direct us to restaurant and other small businesses. And the spin-off from the job market in our state is tremendous."

Burns says about ten thousand jobs are affected by outdoor advertising. Currently companies can trim trees within 500 feet of the signs. The legislation allows them to cut the trees in a smaller 350 feet zone.

Opponents say the bill is a giveaway of valuable state property and would create eyesores on Georgia’s roadways.

It’s not a done deal in the house. It was given a motion of reconsideration, so house members could take up the issue a gain next week.