COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A Columbus judge issued an injunction blocking the tree cutting on Georgia right of ways. House Bill 179 was passed by the Georgia legislature and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal in 2011.
The law greatly enhanced the outdoor advertising industry's ability not only to cut existing trees on the right of way, but also prevent tree planting as part of local beautification projects.
"The law includes a prohibition on planting within 500 feet of a billboard so there are beautification projects here and across the state of Georgia that might not be able to happen because of this new law," says Dorothy McDaniel, Executive Director, Trees Columbus, Inc
The city of Columbus, Columbus Gateways and Trees Columbus filed a lawsuit in superior court challenging the constitutionally of the new law because of its adverse effect on the city.
Under the terms of the new law, trees previously planted as part of beautification