SNELLVILLE – If you cut down a tree without permission in the city, expect to pay a heavy price in the near future.
That’s the word from city officials who, following two tree-cutting sprees committed by shopping plaza owners, are in the process of adding more teeth to an already existing ordinance designed to prevent unwarranted tree removal by commercial property owners.
“In spite of Snellville’s long-standing ordinances prohibiting the arbitrary removal of trees, we have recently had some violations of those ordinances,” said Councilman Dave Emanuel. “While some violators plead ignorance, I believe they were in fact subscribing to the philosophy that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. It may be easier, but it will become a lot more expensive.”
Currently the fee for cutting down trees without permission is a minimum of $356 per tree per day. Under the new measure, which still awaits formal review and approval, violators would pay $995 per tree per day. Also under the proposed ordinance removal of any tree without the approval from the city’s Planning Director is prohibited.
“I’ve proposed raising the fine to $995 per tree per day, for any tree removed prior to the Planning Director approving a tree removal permit,” Emanuel said. “We will also be updating all business property owners of our revised tree removal requirements and fine amount. Our intent is not to raise revenue, but to preserve our trees.”
If you think a commercial business is cutting down a tree without permission, call the Snellville Planning Department at 770-985-3513.