Florida Senate - 2019                             CS for SB 1400
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Albritton
       578-03809-19                                          20191400c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to private property rights; amending
    3         s. 163.3209, F.S.; deleting a provision that
    4         authorizes electric utilities to perform certain
    5         right-of-way tree maintenance only if a property owner
    6         has received local government approval; creating s.
    7         163.3214, F.S.; prohibiting certain local government
    8         ordinances or regulations from requiring a permit,
    9         application, notice, fee, or fine for certain
   10         activities regarding trees on residential property;
   11         prohibiting a local government from authorizing the
   12         removal of certain trees during a specified time
   13         period; authorizing a local government to enforce
   14         ordinances or regulations pertaining to the replanting
   15         of trees under certain circumstances; providing
   16         applicability; providing an effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 163.3209, Florida Statutes, is amended
   21  to read:
   22         163.3209 Electric transmission and distribution line right
   23  of-way maintenance.—After a right-of-way for any electric
   24  transmission or distribution line has been established and
   25  constructed, no local government shall require or apply any
   26  permits or other approvals or code provisions for or related to
   27  vegetation maintenance and tree pruning or trimming within the
   28  established right-of-way. The term “vegetation maintenance and
   29  tree pruning or trimming” means the mowing of vegetation within
   30  the right-of-way, removal of trees or brush within the right-of
   31  way, and selective removal of tree branches that extend within
   32  the right-of-way. The provisions of this section do not include
   33  the removal of trees outside the right-of-way, which may be
   34  allowed in compliance with applicable local ordinances. Prior to
   35  conducting scheduled routine vegetation maintenance and tree
   36  pruning or trimming activities within an established right-of
   37  way, the utility shall provide the official designated by the
   38  local government with a minimum of 5 business days’ advance
   39  notice. Such advance notice is not required for vegetation
   40  maintenance and tree pruning or trimming required to restore
   41  electric service or to avoid an imminent vegetation-caused
   42  outage or when performed at the request of the property owner
   43  adjacent to the right-of-way, provided that the owner has
   44  approval of the local government, if needed. Upon the request of
   45  the local government, the electric utility shall meet with the
   46  local government to discuss and submit the utility’s vegetation
   47  maintenance plan, including the utility’s trimming
   48  specifications and maintenance practices. Vegetation maintenance
   49  and tree pruning or trimming conducted by utilities shall
   50  conform to ANSI A300 (Part I)—2001 pruning standards and ANSI
   51  Z133.1-2000 Pruning, Repairing, Maintaining, and Removing Trees,
   52  and Cutting Brush—Safety Requirements. Vegetation maintenance
   53  and tree pruning or trimming conducted by utilities must be
   54  supervised by qualified electric utility personnel or licensed
   55  contractors trained to conduct vegetation maintenance and tree
   56  trimming or pruning consistent with this section or by Certified
   57  Arborists certified by the Certification Program of the
   58  International Society of Arboriculture. A local government shall
   59  not adopt an ordinance or land development regulation that
   60  requires the planting of a tree or other vegetation that will
   61  achieve a height greater than 14 feet in an established electric
   62  utility right-of-way or intrude from the side closer than the
   63  clearance distance specified in Table 2 of ANSI Z133.1-2000 for
   64  lines affected by the North American Electric Reliability
   65  Council Standard, FAC 003.1 requirement R1.2. This section does
   66  not supersede or nullify the terms of specific franchise
   67  agreements between an electric utility and a local government
   68  and shall not be construed to limit a local government’s
   69  franchising authority. This section does not supersede local
   70  government ordinances or regulations governing planting,
   71  pruning, trimming, or removal of specimen trees or historical
   72  trees, as defined in a local government’s ordinances or
   73  regulations, or trees within designated canopied protection
   74  areas. This section shall not apply if a local government
   75  develops, with input from the utility, and the local government
   76  adopts, a written plan specifically for vegetation maintenance,
   77  tree pruning, tree removal, and tree trimming by the utility
   78  within the local government’s established rights-of-way and the
   79  plan is not inconsistent with the minimum requirements of the
   80  National Electrical Safety Code as adopted by the Public Service
   81  Commission; provided, however, such a plan shall not require the
   82  planting of a tree or other vegetation that will achieve a
   83  height greater than 14 feet in an established electric right-of
   84  way. Vegetation maintenance costs shall be considered
   85  recoverable costs.
   86         Section 2. Section 163.3214, Florida Statutes, is created
   87  to read:
   88         163.3214Tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential
   89  property.—
   90         (1)From March 1 through June 1 of the calendar year, a
   91  local government may not do either of the following:
   92         (a)If the property owner has obtained documentation from
   93  an arborist certified by the International Society of
   94  Arboriculture that the tree is a danger to persons or property
   95  and the tree is not a listed endangered species, enforce an
   96  ordinance or regulation governing the pruning or trimming of
   97  specimen, heritage, or patriarch trees, as defined by local
   98  ordinances or regulations, or the pruning, trimming, or removal
   99  of other trees on residential property which requires a permit,
  100  an application, the provision of notice, a fee, or a fine.
  101         (b)Authorize the removal of specimen, heritage, or
  102  patriarch trees, as defined by local ordinances or regulations.
  103         (2)A local government may enforce ordinances or
  104  regulations pertaining to the replanting of trees that have been
  105  removed in accordance with this section.
  106         (3)This section does not apply to the exercise of
  107  specifically delegated authority for mangrove protection
  108  pursuant to ss. 403.9321-403.9333.
  109         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.