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Vienna Council pumps brakes on tree-canopy proposals

Elected officials wonder if they're legally empowered to take certain steps

The Vienna Town Council on an unusual 3-3 tie vote declined to set an Oct. 23 public hearing regarding proposed town-code amendments pertaining to tree canopy.

Some Council members were wary of the variety of options slated to be presented at the hearing, saying the town might not be authorized by the legislature to enact some of the proposed provisions.

“As we look at draft legislation, need to look at all the options,” said Council member Charles Anderson.

“I don’t think we should put before the public things we can’t legally do,” said Council member Ed Somers, who voted against the public hearing along with Council member Nisha Patel and Mayor Linda Colbert.

The Vienna Planning Commission is slated to hold a Sept. 27 public hearing on the proposed code revisions and pass its recommendations to the Council.