Table of Contents


1. Organize with BBC:

Sign up or email , get on sign up on the Whatsapp chat or Signal group and print the flier linked to the QR code to share with neighbors, elected officials, and candidates for office.

Whatever social ills they may, mistakenly, be thought to proxy, plants are not the right target for regulation. Localities (and HOAs) should not be allowed to have a say over what a person grows in their yard, or how they tend or don't tend it. If they can identify a specific harm to other individuals or society, they should regulate that harm in a way that doesn't involve a proxy war that destroys the environment.

HB528 started with the intention to protect from police power certain plants. The HOA lobby inserted a line that innovated over the position the state had so far taken by:

  1. giving discretion to the subjective non-expert judgement of the enforcers;
  2. affirmatively exempting from protection a vaguely defined group of plants;
  3. expanding police power from certain property, to certain behaivours (leaving unattended for a purpose).

The effect of these precedents would have been to strengthen the alienation of people from eachother and, especially for those who have been systematically marginalized, to alienate people from the environment that sustains health. Even under the best of circumstances, the approach of HB528 would have walled off the health and beauty of natural landscapes inside gated communities and treated it as a deviant privilege that exposes the resident to heightened surveilance and enforcement. The better approach would be to recognize the environmental apartheid that has been set up in this country and roll back the powers that enable it, and replace aesthetic policing over the natural basis of our life processes with protection, education, and resourcing.

While this site leans left (you are welcome to send us conservative arguments to include), this is not a left-right isssue. In Harrisonburg, all of our Republican officials support our position, including our current and former elected representatives: Ted Byrd, Tony Wilt, Mark Obenshain.

2. Harrisonburg Exclusionary TGW Case Study.

2.1. Harrisonburg Will No Longer Allow Natural Landscaping.

As of August, 2023, Harrisonburg Department of Community Development reversed its years-long support of natural landscapes. According to a Zoning Inspector:

"… there was discussion that … the way we have been interpreting the ordinance might have been too lenient … [T]he Deputy City Attorney … [said] that the intent for the section about planned intentional and maintained areas … was intended for gardens and intentionally planted flowers and …, not so much just natural growth and … so we are now pulling back on that."

  1. Posted September 15, 2023

    "[cut everything down] either under 12 inches or at 12 inches, regardless of what we classify the grass as, then that's a good plan to deal with." (full transcripts)

  2. What this means for you:

    Anyone could make an anonymous complaint about your yard, forcing you to try to meet an unspecified arbitrary standard within 5 days on first notice and to face destruction of your landscape without notice thereafter. One person was told to cut down day lilies, another to cut down peonies over a holiday weekend, another to mow lilly turf flowers, Community Development actually did mow a polinator habitat planted by Public Works that hadn't yet bloomed, and zoning inspectors have been unable to justify their violation rulings in many other cases.

    Such abuses led to the 2018 re-write in the first place. The state of Maryland recently passed a law banning HOAs from telling people what they can plant, for similar reasons. Whatever the Deputy City Attorney may claim to have had in mind when drafting the re-write, what matters is what council thought they were voting on. The re-write envisioned natural landscapes up to and including allowing full succession over the years from turf to forest in addition to exempting public right of ways and storm water best management practices (BMPs). In the deliberation of the 2018 rewrite, City Council was clearly shown succession in residential neighborhoods, and insisted that the ordinance not allow anonymous complaints.

    Contact City Council and demand that they clarify that "planned, intentional, and maintained" means just that, and that the final arbiter of it should be the resident, not zoning inspectors who by their own action and admission don't know a peony from a pony. The best way would be to simply repeal the ordinance, which was not enforced on occupied properties before 2000– in part because Virginia law did not allow it before that time. Life was just fine in Virginia without lawn ordinances, and people still had lawns.

2.2. History leading up to the August natural landscape ban.

On Monday, September 5, WHSV TV viewers saw a report of Interracial Couple Harassed in Broadway. That night, a similar incident took place in Harrisonburg [and later, the same victims were targeted the night the press reported the KKK leafleting in Old Town. While we are naturally moved to sympathy for the victims of these offenses, we should realize that laws currently on our books may be giving support to their attackers. Exclusionary aesthetic ordinances and practices have driven residential segregation and, with it, inequities reflected in measures like the racial wealth gap and disparate mortality and morbidity impacts of COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, aesthetic ordinances got their start in exclusionary housing practices, which started within living memory of the defeat of Reconstruction democracy through the use of terror. J. C. Nichols was not the first to use exclusionary housing practices, but he was the most prominent in bringing them to what persists to this day in the form of exclusionary zoning, aesthetic nuisance ordinances, and homeowner associations and departments of community development to enforce them. Nichols' objective was to “develop whole residential neighborhoods that would attract an element of people who desired a better way of life, a nicer place to live and would be willing to work in order to keep it better.” While his objective might sound reasonable to some, its racist impact was finally recognized by the newspaper that once made its achievement possible. His reasoning can be heard reflected in any Planning Commission discussion. His prescription for zero tolerance enforcement foreshadowed broken windows policing that would be discredited generations later.

The lasting harm his ideas caused led to his name being removed from the Plaza District he designed.

J. C. Nichols

2.2.1. Community Development versus the community.

Rather than agree that the caller could have the same, Community Development mowed it down. It was a pollinator habitat Public Works had planted.

Tall Grass and Weed ordinances were not enforced on occupied property in Harrisonburg before 2000. The first enforcement made headlines, and came with assurances that Harrisonburg was not going to start aesthetic lawn enforcement. A few years later, a zoning inspector described the absurdity of calls, people mean-spiritedly tattling on their neighbors and exaggerating a few Solo cups as piles of trash. Soon after the interview, the zoning inspector ceased to be working for the city. All voice mail complaints from the summer of 2022 were similar to what he described.

The Virginia General Assembly started approving enabling legislation for Tall Grass and Weed enforcement on occupied property around 2000. The General Assembly passed an omnibus bill enabling enforcement state-wide in 2014. Harrisonburg's code had grown out of agrarian language authorized by the city charter. By 2012, the 15 inch height requirement was being enforced as a stringent lawn ordinance. A complaint that an unfounded violation warning on June 12th 2012,the 45th anniversary of Loving vs Virginia, might have been racially motivated was followed by a crackdown and even harsher enforcement in July 2012. The crackdown started a decade of resistance and effort to roll back the tall grass and weed ordinance. It was successively rolled back for storm water BMPs and paper alleys and in 2018, all areas “planned, intentional, and maintained” were exempted. Each success correlated with increases in community health as indicated by decreasing incarceration rates.

2.2.2. Lawn norms are induced, regulations have unintended consequences.

Measurements of maximum height of grass at curb before, and after the 2012 Harrisonburg Tall Grass and Weed crackdown. The Director of Community Development who requsted the crackdown, resigned. Former Mayor Degner who defended the snow ordinance, and moved the Tall Grass and Weed crackdown, hasn't come close to winning an election since.

Cost to Winchester is based upon and allocation of staff time from all departments involved in going through the process of exercising the spot blight process, which includes having a city council hearing, shutting off utilities, and boarding up the property. Note, this is an expensing of overhead costs, not a marginal cost incurred. Extra revenue would not have a direct impact until it resulted in adding more positions. Winchester has had at least thirty such properties since the enactment of spot blight powers in 2015. Harrisonburg, with a slightly larger non-student population, has had none.

Insight into what drove this divergence between Winchester and Harrisonburg might be contained in the words of Pastor Costella Forney, speaking at Northeast Ministers Alliance MLK JR Celebration , on the tenth anniversary of Harrisonburg's Martin Luther King, Jr. Way street renaming: "We're working on some things, over here in the Northeast Community, … we still have dreams, we still have goals, we still have things that we can accomplish here, and just because we had a little slump doesn't mean that there's still not a little flicker, and we can fan that flicker and it will turn into a flame again. we need to get red hot, back here in this community, like we used to be."

While the causes of "blight" are complex and unique to each locality, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a prescription for the problem different from giving localities more enforcement tools. His prescription was billions of federal dollars spent into existence, and used by the communities to hire the people in the blighted areas to rebuild their neighborhoods, by themselves, for themselves in community-led community development. Even without the dollars, this page contains the traces of what that community leadership alone was able, for a time, to sustain. In the present moment, we see trillions of federal dollars spent into existence, and the best of the bills in the General Assembly shape the structures through which those federal funds can flow to the people for whom they are intended, shaping our communities into just, verdant, and resillient centers of life and power. We are poised to "finish the job" that was carried forward in Harrisonburg's Northeast Community from the generations.

  1. February, 2018: Eric Campbell appointed Harrisonburg's first Black City Manager.

    Upon being appointed, Eric Campbell was advised that he should bring in his own leadership team. He didn't. When a blatant violation of the letter of the tall grass and weed ordinance was brought to him, he said: "City Council has asked us to enforce a lawn ordinance, and there is a traditional way of doing that."

    By July, 2023, complaints have dwindled and most are logged as unfounded by a new generation of zoning inspectors. While most people no longer get TGW notices as a result of complaints, the law is still on the books, leadership in Community Development bends Virginia FOIA law to proactively shield the identity of complainers that the General Assembly rejected this year, while the addresses of victims are stigmatized by a record of the complaint.

    In both exclusionary zoning and the broken windows policing that worked to maintain the exclusionary gradient between wealth and poverty, profit motives and property rights were put ahead of people, as Martin Luther King, Jr. warned. The radical revolution in values our times call for is to shift to seeing our fellow human beings as members of a beloved community in which we mutually depend on each other's full agency and participation to survive and prosper. A big step in dismantling what Nichols built is to take the enforcement power away from the institutions designed to administer exclusionary zoning and practice: in Harrisonburg, our Department of Community Development. The bulk of its enforcement time was spent on a few aesthetic ordinances: signs, inoperable vehicles, trash in yards, and tall grass and weeds. The General Assembly has already neutralized signage enforcement and in the last year a new philosophy at Public Works has replaced enforcement with advice and assistance for trash in yards. What remains to be repealed is the embattled Tall Grass and Weed ordinance. With enforcement power moved out of Community Development, the door will be open to tapping the creativity of the newly hired zoning administrators in cooperation with their colleagues in Public Works and Parks and Recreation for adaptation to a new model for city government interacting with city residents, as the Business Service Manager, Harsit Patel, at Public Works says is already happening in his department after the impact of COVID-19 on their staffing.

    Popular support for a change in Community Development is overwhelming. The local newspaper started carrying regular columns on natural landscapes by Marlene Condon and the local TV station's favorable coverage is embraced by support from the public that has increased over already high levels, consistent with research indicating that aesthetic enforcement norms are endogenous. Councilman Chris Jones who was perceived as having flagged in his support for a repeal saw his electoral support eroded to the point of losing his primary bid by one vote, one vote that stayed home because of the tall grass and weed issue. In his second attempt for an unexpected opening for a two year seat, his strong statements on public spaces, especially for the new immigrant community, led to an e-mail to a decade old list of hundreds of TGW repeal supporters with the subject "Vote Chris Jones." He won by a dozen flipped votes. Even prominent opponents have softened. Planning Commissioner Kathy Whitten, for example, in the August 10th Planning Commission meeting defended overgrown paper alleys as ecosystem amenities and habitats for wildlife. A decade ago, during the business garden effort, then Chair of Planning Commission, Deb Fitzgerald, warned that we were asking people to re-imagine lawns and that Harrisonburg wasn't ready for that. The data say Harrisonburg is ready now.

    And then … #+BEGIN_EXPORT html <figure> <img src="russrage.png" height="300"> <figcaption aria-hidden="true"> July 11, 2023, a month before his guidance to staff that residents of Harrisonburg took to be a ban on natural landscapes, the Deputy City Attorney is confronted about alt-right social media posts bearing his name.</figcaption> </figure> #+END_EXPORTh

2.3. Code enforcement complaints mapped.

The following maps contains aesthetic nuisance ordinance complaints, with random jitter error added to locations to help protect privacy of the victims. Tall Grass and Weed complaints tend to be unfounded and on the boundaries of less diverse neighborhoods; couch complaints are in student neighborhoods; trash complaints are in LIDC neighborhoods originating from staff, untill a successfull policy change that has since been overruled by higher level Community Development staff.

<p> The following maps contains aesthetic nuisance ordinance complaints, with random jitter error added to locations to help protect privacy of the victims. Tall Grass and Weed complaints tend to be unfounded and on the boundaries of less diverse neighborhoods; couch complaints are in student neighborhoods; trash complaints are in LIDC neighborhoods originating from staff, untill a successfull policy change that has since been overruled by higher level Community Development staff. </p>

2.4. Code enforcement complaints over time.

Violations notices have dropped to near zero over time, though unfounded anonymous complaints are still logged, primarily for tall grass and weeds.


Quality of record keeping has improved substantially over time.



The majority of Tall Grass and Weed complaints are now unfounded and don't result in a negative contact with the city.



2.5. Sentiments toward natural yards in Harrisonburg

2.5.1. Everyone agrees with us!

  1. Exit Poll, 2023

    The following poll was taken during early voting from about noon to closing on Saturday, October 28, and at the end of early voting from about 1:00 to closing in Harrisonburg and then again at the Lucy Simms precinct from around 1:00 to closing on election day. People were polled after they finished voting. All people were counted, including those who couldn't be reached after they voted at early voting. During regular voting there were too many voters to contact so only those contacted and who refused to answer were coded as 0.

    The question:
    "Recently, Maryland told homeowner's associations that they can no longer ban natural landscapes. Should Virginia follow Maryland and stop localities from banning natural landscapes?"
    "In Virginia, localities must get affirmative permission from the General Assembly in order to do things. Before 2000, they were not able to regulate landscapes on occupied properties. In 2014 the General Assembly passed an omnibus bill allowing all localities to regulate landscapes on occupied properties. In August of this year, Harrisonburg's Assistant City Attorney decided that "planned, intentional, and maintained" did not mean "natural." He told the zoning inspectors they had been too lenient and should only allow turf grass less than 12 inches, delineated gardens, and planted flowers. No natural yards."
    "If the General Assembly repealed the enabling legislation that allows the Assistant City Attorney to do this, would you be disappointed, or relieved?"

    Voters for whom no data was available were marked as zero. Those who engaged, but couldn't decide, were marked as -1 or +1 based on their apparant inclination. Those who answered unequivocally were marked as +3 or -3. Those who answered but were on the fence were marked as -2 or +2. Positive numbers favored repealing the enabling legislation that allows tall grass and weed ordinances.

    Exit Poll Results:

    Degree of support: Don't repeal No answer Repeal
    Early Voting: 4 12 38
    Simms: 12 37 84
    Total: 16 49 122
    Degree of support: -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
    Early Voting: 4 0 4 6 2 3 35
    Simms: 12 0 4 31 1 8 76
    Total: 16 0 8 37 3 11 111

    More informally, when people in a group are asked what percent of people they think would oppose repeal of lawn ordinances, most think more than two thirds would oppose, nearly all think more than a quarter would oppose. When asked how they themselves feel, more than 90 percent support reapealing lawn ordinances, consistent with this and other systematic surveys.

    1. It is never about the grass.

      Those who oppose repealing lawn ordinances fall into three groups:

      • Democartic party activists who are afraid of spending political capital going against the established norms (that in Virginia didn't exist before 2000) of a perceived "silent majority" (that surveys show doesn't exist).
      • People in exclusive wealthy neighborhoods who want a tool to be able to force people away from "their" neighborhoods.
      • Retired people ageing in place in LIDC neighborhoods who feel their meager resources pressured by marginalized people being forced into their neighborhoods and by gentrifiers who start projects that the retirees then have to maintain. This group overwelmingly supported employing youth in the community to help maintain the neighborhood, which would address their key proximate concern, as well as root issues.

      Nature is a collateral casualty of a battle between people trying to marginalize others, and people trying to defend themselves against being marginalized. The people in the LIDC communities that, by definition, lose out in this power struggle face compounded damage because of these collateral consequences: heat islands, flooding, mental health issues, and more. Programs meant to mitigate community-wide harms of our ongoing climate and ecological crises end up being pumps moving resources from low income, to high income. Harrisonburg's stormwater utility credits, for example, flow to high social and economic status households while everyone has to pay the stormwater utility fee. Rich neighborhoods get to enjoy park-like settings, tree canopies, pollinator habitats, and stormwater BMPS while LIDC neighborhoods are pressured to mow everything down and cut down their trees as they age out of being able to keep up with raking leaves for fear of their property being labeled an "eyesore" and acted against by the city.

      Taking an enforcement route to felt problems of communities overburdened by forces of marginalization, while ignoring the underlying issues, at best shifts those felt problems which crackdowns only make worse. This was a hard lesson learned from the mass incarceration that followed the 1995 crime bill. The Biden administration shows a path to a positive alternative to this anti-nature, anti-people arms race of marginalization through its executive order on environmental justice, the American Climate Corps, and the guidance and specific examples in the EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant.

  2. WHSV No Mow May poll

    On May 7, 2022, WHSV aired a story on No Mow May two days after the Daily News Record ran a well-received Open Forum by Russ Leinbach titled A Turf Lawn Or Biodiversity? . On their Facebook page, WHSV asked if viewers would consider participating in No Mow May. The 158 responses to the post were coded and analyzed. Notable features are that Harrisonburg overwhelmingly supported No Mow May with support of 90%. Support in Harrisonburg featured acceptance of difference, whereas being different was viewed negatively outside Harrisonburg.

    Supports No Mow May:

    Yes No
    119 39
    survey%20analysis-1.png survey%20analysis-2.png
    survey%20analysis-3.png survey%20analysis-4.png
    survey%20analysis-5.png survey%20analysis-6.png
    survey%20analysis-7.png survey%20analysis-8.png
    survey%20analysis-10.png survey%20analysis-11.png
    survey%20analysis-12.png survey%20analysis-13.png
    survey%20analysis-14.png survey%20analysis-15.png

3. Legislative Priorities

Posted January 25, 2024, udptades February 3

3.1. Repeal Virginia Code § 15.2-901:A.3 and D and § 15.2-1215.

Enabling legislation that allows banning natural landscapes. See HB528.

  1. TODO:
    1. there was a TGW crackdown in 2012, concurrent with the creation of the business garden special use permit which was halted so it could be made consistent with the crackdown.
    2. it is never about the grass- indicated by the picture of the already cut grass that a landlord was pressured to mow with a power mower.
    3. the back yard of that property had been mats of maculated knapweed and wire grass when the tenants moved in. All plants were identified, posted on a web site, and invasive exotics were targeted for removal. All the knapweed and wiregrass were removed by hand, and English Ivy prevented from getting to trees. All remaining plants were not grass and could not grow past 12 inches, except goldenrod used a screen and peonies given by the neighbors late mother to the landlord's late mother. Community Development demanded that everything be cut, including the peonies to less than 12 inches within 5 days, over a long July 4th weekend, as just one of many stories that can be told of what this yard endured.
    4. the crackdown had sharp and lingering effects on uses other than foreclosed properties, the stated reason for it,
    5. the graphs show enforcement stopped after our street renaming was passed, followed by missing data.
    6. the graphs show incarceration rates plummeting after our street renaming, during the 7-11 project which pre-figured the creation of natural green spaces as mentoring projects including people with barriers to employment cited in EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant guidance. The plug was pulled in part for fear of the TGW ordinance.
    7. Incarceration rates plummeted again as pressure built to repeal the crackdown.
    8. TGT was incrementally rolled back under Mayor Ted Byrd, first with paper alleys (the segment in front of above targeted yard being omitted from consideration in staff's map of alleys to retain for possible bike/ped infrastructure), then with Stormwater BPMs. There was much excitement for the rollout of the stormwater BMP, hailed as a possible de facto repeal of TGW. Applications faced hurdles though and that was chilled– including public comment being removed from the Stormwater Advisory Committee, and a 3 minute limit being placed on appeals on the day above yard filed such as appeal. On that day, SWAC was instructed to ignore what was in the guiding documents regarding the storm water utility credit, and they did.
    9. council in 2018 was responsive to a petition, which turned into one of our mailing lists, in which 85% of 180 people asked on the bridge over Blacks Run on Valley 4th, signed that TGW should be reconsidered.
    10. add preliminary data that suggests a possible chilling effect from the existence of the TGW ordinance on uptake of state and county ecological and storm water programs administered by the city which include having to let the city in to inspect.
    11. enforcement briefly became consistent with the plain reading of the law and there is now a proliferation of amazing natural yards around the city – that are now in limbo with the Assistant City Attorney's ruling after he was asked about an alt-right letter in the Daily Cavalier under his name in front of City Council.

3.1.1. HB 528 Property Owners' Assoc. Act; managed conservation landscaping, unreasonable restrictions prohibited.

HB528 was the pivotal bill in the 2024 Virginia General Assembly first session. It has been stricken from the docket as a bill and instead sent as a letter to the Housing Commision, and will be brought back in 2025 because the key opponent of the bill, The Community Associations Institute, inserted language that made passing the bill worse than not passing it. A precedent for a stronger bill is the HOA solar bill that was passed originally as 2020 SB504. Environmental organizaitons are making this their top priority for the coming year. See coverage in the Daily News Record.

  1. Negotiating HB528

    Get on or on the Whatsapp chat or Signal group to negotiate a pivotal bill for natural landscapes in Virginia with implications for Amercian Climate Corps projects, Inflation Reduction Act environmental projects, pushing back exclusionary zoning, and more. See the latest draft language of the bill, being heard Thursday afternoon in Richmond. Jitsi link will be kept open all night and through the subcommitte hearing so you can drop in and organize with anyone who is there and be present in the room as we go door-to-door to delegates and lobbyists at the General Assembly building, 201 N 9th St. Richmond Thursday morning.

    HB528 was supposed to let HOA residents have natural landscapes. With this sentence, it will hinder natural landscapes.

    23 … "Managed conservation landscaping" does not include turf grass lawns or other plantings left

    24 unattended for the purpose of returning to a natural state.

    An even bigger problem is that localities looking for a pretext to stop a resident from having a natural landscape will cite this as model language. Here is what Harrisonburg says:

    Sec. 16-6-58. - Weeds, etc., on lots.


    (1)"Grass, weeds, or foreign growth" shall not be interpreted to include planned, intentional and maintained areas of ornamental grasses, ground covers, ferns, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers, wildflowers, or trees.

    Here is the justifiction for the new policy instituted in August, interpreted by voters in Harrisonburg as a ban on natural landscapes:

    "planned intentional and maintained areas … was intended for gardens and intentionally planted flowers and …, not so much just natural growth.

    Harrisonburg's language is more permissive, yet code enforcers already use the discretion it allows to ban natural landscapes. They would welcome, and our natural landscapes would be thwarted by, the new language that more closely matches how they are now enforcing. This language could even head off a court victory, like the one that won a better bill in Maryland.

  2. What this language does:
    • Cuts off a legal path to Maryland's statute.
    • Cuts off a practical path for others to get to established landscapes some are now trying to protect.
    • Requires drenching the soil with herbicides or killing the soil in some other way to get beyond turf.
    • Forbids meadows and similar ecosystems that are intended to reach a low-maintainance steady state.
    • Forbids existing now-mow solutions like fine red fescue or buffalo grass.
    • Puts under a cloud any plantings vulnerable to invasives that might take several seasons to control.
    • Forbids Marlene Condon's yard.
    • Codifies additional paths to exclusionary housing practices.
    • Forbids No Mow May.
    • Forbids Leave The Leaves.
    • Forbids Bee City USA.
    • Other things we missed? Please share.

    Rather than delete that line, Delegate Krizek has offered to pull the bill (pulling a line after having negotiated with stakeholders is not considered good form in the General Assembly). This is an active negotiation happening right now and overnight. Please get on the jitsi link and help shape this negotiation.

    See context for why this is more than just a lawn bill at

  3. Reframe HOA and municipal plant regulation

    Guiding principles (help shape these) to consider in working to revise and pass this bill next session:

    • Authorities empowered to keep people in their place, should not have authority over plants.
    • Re-frame to specifying enforcement job as punishing propagation of an anti-nature norm (easily identifiable mowed turf lawns) rather than punishing deviations from those norms (departures from lawn norms, including subtle and subjective, unless they can prove they have earned the privilege of living in a less ecologically harmful way that takes expert knowledge to identify).
    • In deciding matters that pertain to occupied property, presume in favor of the person who lives there, including letting them have a messy lawn outside, if it means the diference to keeping their life together inside – as in aging in place.
    • Incorporate into all assumptions that federal funds spent into existence were not a COVID-19 fluke, but rather increasingly how things will be if humanity is to survive.
    • Departing from harming nature should not carry a risk of losing a big investment or a home.
    • Programs for improving nature should not entail contact with law enforcement or code enforcemnt officials. Contacts should be people who only have power to help and do not report their contacts to other authorities under any circumstances.

3.2. Ban High-PAH parking lot sealants.

Developmental toxicant and potent carcinogens raising lifetime cancer risk of kids 38 time, like second hand smoking, and threatening endangered ecosystems while not really doing much and having far less toxic close substitutes.

3.5. Complementary Bill: HB 170 Trees; conservation during land development process.

Delegate Keys-Gamarra

3.6. Complementary Bill: SB 304 Zoning; development and use of accessory dwelling units.

Senator Saddam Azlan Salim

3.7. Complementary Bill: HB 900 Zoning; developmental and use of accessory dwelling units.

Senator Srinivasan

3.9. Complementary Bill: HB 208 Comprehensive plan; healthy communities strategy.

Delegate Shelly Simonds

3.10. Complementary Bill: HB 644 Gas-powered leaf blowers; local prohibition or regulation, civil penalty

Delegate Richard C. "Rip" Sullivan, Jr.

3.11. Complementary Bill: SB 305 Gas-powered leaf blowers; local prohibition or regulation, civil penalty.

Delegate Saddam Azlan Salim

3.14. Oppose: HB 1054 Vegetative growth on certain property; maintenance.

Delegate Barry D. Knight

This bill adds to a section that should be repealed entirely and reinforces outdated lawn aesthetics and exclusionary thinking.

Read and provide comments for Counties, Cities and Towns
Referred to Subcommittee: Subcommittee ​#1. Meets 7:30 AM Friday House Committee Room B - 205

These legislative priorities are practical steps toward Building Better Communities by breaking down the division between people and between people and nature. In place of these, we could get on the path to Build Back Better by harnessing the guidance and federal funding of the EPA Climate Reduction Grant that could be made permanent by combining it with a Job Guarantee built on the American Climate Corps.

The guiding document Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program: Implementation Grants General Competition indicates on page 9 "Update building and zoning codes …" as a GHG reduction measure example. A benefiting locality in which the legislative body meets twice a month, as in the case of Harrisonburg's City Council, could, for example, repeal an exclusionary zoning ordinance in order to encourage broad community adoption of capital expenditure projects for "new green space and/or community beautification," in a worker-centric way that includes individuals with barriers to employment. This draws on examples of expected direct and indirect benefits to Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities listed on pages 35 and 36 of the cited guiding document and would be both squarely within the scope of the program and permissible under the Dillon Rule. It would also be achievable well within the grant deadlines. There is also time for some Environmental Justice General Assembly measures like banning high PAH parking lot sealants to be on its way to the Governor's desk before the grant's March 1 deadline.

While a large portion of the scoring is dedicated to capital infrastructure directly related to GHG reduction subject to a cost-effectiveness test, the LIDC section carries nearly 15% of the available points and contributes to the attainment of the global, potentially disqualifying, goal of also being consistent with program objectives including "Result in benefits (and do not result in negative impacts) to low-income and disadvantaged communities (LIDC), such as CAP and HAP reductions, equitable economic growth, and improved quality of life outcomes, where applicable" on page 8 of the implementation guiding document. My reading of the guidance is that, to get better than a B, how we reduce GHG emissions counts.

The guidance repeatedly stresses meaningful community involvement where "[m]eaningful involvement means people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health; the public's contribution can influence the regulatory agency's decision; community concerns will be considered in the decision-making process; and decision makers will seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected", as stated on page 36 of the guiding document for 10 possible LIDC points.

Author: pg

Created: 2024-04-24 Wed 01:55