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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Need to cut down trees so people can see your billboard? Bill would let you for just about nothing



One of the biggest problems facing the billboard industry is the tree. Trees growing next to highways can get in the industry's business, literally. Sometimes drivers passing by can't see the billboards for the trees.

Right now Florida law says that billboard companies can cut down trees growing on the state's roadsides for up to 500 feet from a billboard — so long as they get a permit from the state, pay money to a fund for planting more trees elsewhere, and tear down a certain number of billboards that don't meet state standards.

State Sen. Greg Evers wants to change all that. Evers, R-Baker, is sponsoring a bill that would let billboard companies decide for themselves whether they want to make up for chopping down trees that belong to taxpayers.

The billboard companies would still need a permit, which would cost no more than $25. But that's all. Read more here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:37am]


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