A Georgia Superior Court is considering whether a new law allowing billboard companies to clear-cut trees is constitutional. That means the Georgia Department of Transportation temporarily halted so-called “vegetation management” permits.
The law went into effect July 1st. It allows billboard companies to remove any trees within 350 feet of a sign. It also requires them to lower signs above 75 feet once trees are removed.
The City of Columbus and two community organizations are challenging the law. Dorothy McDaniel with Trees Columbus says it prevents them from planting trees on public land like Veteran’s Parkway in Columbus.
“Last year we planted over 100 trees along this road. That was phase one. Phase two is scheduled to be planted this year, and there are some billboards located along phase two. So, this law would mean we could not plant those trees.”
The court’s injunction means no trees can be cut anywhere in the state until the judge rules.