The Virginia General Assembly convened January 10, 2024 and several bills were introduced in the Senate and House of Delegates that deal with native and invasive plants. The first step is to assign the bills to committees, then to subcommittees. Bills must pass the committee to be referred to the House or Senate for a full vote. Note that bills move very quickly in the Virginia General Assembly.
Invasive plant species; retail sales. Requires, for the retail sale of any invasive plant species on a list established by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, such plant be accompanied by conspicuous signage that identifies the plant as invasive and includes the words “Plant with caution: invasive plant species. May cause environmental harm. Ask about alternatives.”
Property Owners’ Association Act; managed conservation landscaping; unreasonable restrictions prohibited. Provides that no association shall prohibit an owner from installing managed conservation landscaping, defined in the bill, upon such owner’s property unless such prohibition was recorded in the declaration for the association. The bill allows associations to establish reasonable restrictions concerning the management, design, and aesthetic guidelines for managed conservation landscaping features.
Local prohibition on the sale of English ivy; civil penalty. Authorizes any locality to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the sale of English ivy, with violations punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $50 for a first violation and not to exceed $200 for a subsequent violation within 12 months.
Invasive plant species; retail sales; civil penalty. Requires, for the retail sale of any invasive plant species for outdoor use on a list established by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, such plant be accompanied by conspicuous signage that identifies the plant as invasive. The bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to designate the format, size, and content of such signage no later than October 1, 2024, and requires the Commissioner to issue a stop sale order and mark or tag a plant in a conspicuous manner when an invasive plant is for sale at a retail outlet without appropriate signage.
All proposed changes to the Code of Virginia for these bills are identified at Virginia’s Legislative Information System. Text additions are usually in italics.
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