The Leon County Commissioners recently approved a new policy that establishes a procedure to designate new canopy roads.
After a discussion by Commissioner Dozier, the county approved the adoption of the proposed designation procedure for new canopy roads with a slight amendment.
Commissioner Dozier expressed concerns with a term outlined in the canopy roads policy that states 100% of landowner’s consent is required to apply for the canopy road designation. She suggested changing the percentage rate to 90%, arguing it would provide a little more flexibility to work with landowners.
The policy formalizes a process for determining eligibility based on a scenic and historical assessment, road attributes, and landowner and community support. Additionally, it allows for the Board to make a request to the Canopy Roads Citizen Committee (CRCC) to evaluate and determine if a specific road or road segment should receive a canopy designation.
The new policy provides the ability for citizens to seek designation through an application process of affected landowners with frontage on the road. The restrictions on development of property is from 100 feet from the center of the road, as the trees are protected under the Canopy Road Protection Zone (CRPZ).
The CRCC was established in 1993 as a joint standing committee by the County and City Commissions, to expand the number of designated canopy roads. These efforts are in support of a conservation element of the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan. The committee serves to make recommendations to the county and city on matters related to canopy roads.
Over time the CRCC has received requests from citizens to examine roads for canopy road status, however until now there were no formal procedures in place to direct these efforts. The CRCC contends an updated policy will “provide consistency and transparency for future additions to the canopy road system.”
Below is a timeline of canopy road designation and protections:
- 1972: Five canopy roads were designated by Ordinance No. 72-114.
- 1975: The CRPZ was established as 35’ from the centerline of the roads by Ordinance No. 75-3.
- 1982: The CRPZ was expanded from 35’ to 50’ from the centerline of the roads by Ordinance No. 82-46.
- 1992: Understory protection measures were established and the CRPZ was expanded to the current protection of 100’ from the centerline of the roads by Ordinance No. 92-10.
- 1993: The CCRC was established as a joint standing committee by the Board of County Commissioners and City Commission.
- 2001: Sunny Hill Road was added to the canopy roads system by Ordinance No. 01-19.
- 2002: Old Centerville Road was added to the canopy roads system by Ordinance No. 02-14.
- 2007: Pisgah Church Road was added to the canopy roads system by Ordinance No. 07-05.
Leon County Canopy Road Map