Governor Ron DeSantis signed a special bill on June 2019 that effectively prohibits local governments from requiring a permit to trim or cut trees on private property.
House Bill 1159: Private Property Rights came into effect on July 1, 2019 and specifically states, “HB 1159, prohibits local governments from requiring a notice, application, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation for the pruning, trimming, or removal of a tree on residential property if the tree presents a danger to persons or property, as documented by a certified arborist or licensed landscape architect.”
When it was first passed, the City of Winter Park suspended all enforcement of its tree preservation ordinance, but following further discussion at the August 26 City Commission meeting, the city has re-instituted enforcement of its tree preservation ordinance effective Monday, September 9.
All protected tree species on private property will again require a tree removal permit unless excluded as part of HB 1159 regulations. They are only requiring permits for trees on residential property that are not considered dangerous by a certified arborist or landscape architect.
Winter Park has been a member of the Tree City USA program with The Arbor Day Foundation for years and actively promotes their value for their trees and in preserving their mature tree canopy.