The Destin City Council kicked off 2018 in typical fashion. On Tuesday, Jan. 2, the council voted 5 to 2 in favor of passing a new tree preservation and protection ordinance.

“What’s wrong with that?” you might ask. Most agree that protection of trees in Destin is both necessary and advisable, and the city’s initiative to that end is admirable. But most also agree the manner in which the city chose to accomplish such a worthy goal was vacuous.

Using borrowed language and format only a team of lawyers could decipher, the City managed to hamstring you, the individual homeowner. That’s right. The very people who’ve planted thousands of trees in hundreds of yards throughout Destin will now have to pay, should you ever have a need to remove one of those trees … on your property! And that includes any tree with a diameter more than two inches!

The process to craft the ordinance was a great sleight of hand, and the product is a masterpiece of complexity, obfuscation, confusion, overreach, and unenforceable mish-mash. See for yourself. (http://www.cityofdestin.com/DocumentCenter/View/10860) Page 61.

Oh yeah, it’s not like we didn’t try to work with them — we told them a year ago when we saw the first drafts and again last week. It seems, though, most on the Council don’t really care. Beware! These are the same people who think they can manage your electrical service.

Larry Szczur, Destin