On Point: The Battle Over Property Rights in Texas Has Come Down to … Trees?

The strangest political phenomenon in recent memory is playing out right now in Texas: Trees have become one hot talking point. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott added an odd emergency item to his special-session agenda: "Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land." (Reporters have pointed out that Abbott had his own private battle with the city of Austin in 2012 related to a pecan tree on his property. Coincidence?) His proposal would make it easier for citizens to mow down more sources of shade at will. And it would negate city ordinances, like Dallas', that say otherwise. The issue is getting special attention in Dallas this week because of several instances where property owners mowed down their sources of shade. It prompted city columnist Robert Wilonsky to write the following: "You can't make this stuff up: Last week, a tree-trimming company massacred dozens of live oaks on Forest Lane. Which would almost be hilarious — I mean, really, it's called Forest Lane — except it's anything but. The perps just up and decapitated the suckers — around 100, per the latest estimate — and left them for dead, or close enough, all because some out-of-town self-storage company wants its units visible from LBJ Freeway..."This is illegal because the city of Dallas says so. But that may not be the case by year's end. Your governor has other ideas."Read the rest of his thoughts here.– Dom DiFurio  Continue reading...

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