While agreeing with the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission that more trees along major routes into town would be most attractive — and similarly so as proposed by the outside study regarding how to enhance the downtown area — there’s a difference between the public purse pursuing such a goal, as along sidewalks and in medians, and government ordering business owners to do so on private property. That’s not to say business shouldn’t have aesthetic sensibilities; indeed, many such owners display them routinely.
However, when the planners propose mandating, if a company wants to expand/improve by 50 percent of square footage or value, that it essentially double the number of trees on property that faces a key traffic corridor, that may be a bit much. Not only that, if there is no room for such additions, or should they prefer to retain more parking than plant more trees, the business would have to contribute an equal amount to the City of Rome Tree Replacement Fund or plant a similar number of trees in another part of the city.
Oh ... is that where the funding for the added downtown entryway trees is to come from? Or will it pay to replace the lovely rows of Bradford pears of which some are already surely reaching their expected lifespan of 15 years?
A tax is a tax is a tax. Want business property owners to plant more trees along boulevards and such? Just give them a special credit on their property taxes for doing so and watch the forest appear.