Vol. 27 Iss. 16 - April 11, 2011

Chapter 200
Final Regulation

Title of Regulation: 24VAC30-200. Vegetation Control Regulations on State Rights-of-Way (amending 24VAC30-200-10, 24VAC30-200-30, 24VAC30-200-40).

Statutory Authority: §§ 33.1-12 and 33.1-351 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: May 11, 2011.

Agency Contact: Robert H. Hofrichter, Assistant Director of Land Development, Department of Transportation, Maintenance Division, 1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 786-0780, FAX (804) 786-0628, or email


The amendments (i) replace references to the recently repealed Land Use Permit Manual (24VAC30-150) with references to the new Land Use Permit Regulations (24VAC30-151), (ii) remove division names in the documents incorporated by reference section to accommodate changes in division names and transfer of responsibilities within VDOT, and (iii) make other minor technical corrections.

24VAC30-200-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agent" means the person, firm, or corporation representing the permittee.

"Board" means the Commonwealth Transportation Board as defined in § 33.1-1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Certified arborist" means an individual who has taken and passed the certification examination sponsored by the International Society of Arboriculture and who maintains a valid certification status.

"Cutting" means to completely remove at ground level.

"Daylighting" means to prune or remove vegetation to improve the motorists' view of an outdoor advertising structure or business.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its employees.

"Federal-aid primary highway" means any highway as defined in § 33.1-351 of the Code of Virginia.

"Inspector" means any employee designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner or local government official, to review and approve or deny the permit application and landscape plan, inspect the work performed under authority of this chapter, and make a final approval concerning the work performed.

"Interstate system" means any highway as defined in § 33.1-48 of the Code of Virginia.

"Land Use Permit Manual" Regulations" means the manual (24VAC30-150) maintained regulations (24VAC30-151) promulgated by the board for the purpose of authorizing activities within the limits of state rights-of-way.

"Limited access highway" means any highway as defined in § 33.1-57 of the Code of Virginia.

"Local beautification project" means any project in a locality that includes installation of plant materials, using public or other funds, in any public right-of-way within a city or town, or on a highway or street in a county with the county manager form of government.

"Local government official" means an employee of a local government delegated authority by the city or town council or county board of supervisors where the public right-of-way is within the jurisdictional limits of a city or town on a highway or street not within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner under § 33.1-353 of the Code of Virginia, or on a highway or street in a county with the county manager form of government.

"Permittee" means the person, firm, or corporation owning the outdoor advertising sign, advertisement, or advertising structure or the business for whom the vegetation control work is being performed.

"Pruning" means to remove branches from healthy vegetation in a manner that is acceptable using the natural method under the standards and guidelines listed in 24VAC30-200-40 published by the American National Standards Institute, the American Association of Nurserymen, and the International Society of Arboriculture.

"Specifications" means the current Virginia Department of Transportation's Road and Bridge Specifications (effective January 2002).

"Unsightly" means vegetation to be selectively removed at VDOT's or the local government official's discretion.

24VAC30-200-30. Special provisions.

A. The permittee shall attach two each 8" x 10" color glossy photographs (a closeup and a distant view) with the permit application showing the vegetation to be controlled, the highway, and the sign or business.

The permit for selective pruning or tree cutting, or both, will be inspected by the department or local government official and approval or denial given.

A permit may be denied any applicant, and all permits issued by the board or local government official may be revoked whenever, in the opinion of the inspector, the safety, use, or maintenance of the highway so requires or the integrity of the permit system so dictates.

If, during or before work begins, it is deemed necessary by the department or local government official to assign inspectors to the work, the permittee shall pay the department or local government issuing the permit an additional inspection fee in an amount that will cover the salary, expense and mileage allowance, equipment rental, etc., of the inspector or inspectors assigned by the department or local government for handling work covered by this chapter. Said inspection fee to be paid promptly each month on bills rendered by the department or local government.

The absence of a state or local government inspector does not in any way relieve the permittee of his responsibility to perform the work in accordance with provisions of § 33.1-371.1 of the Code of Virginia, this chapter, or permit.

B. The inspector or local government official shall be notified at least seven days in advance of the date any work is to be performed and when completed, in order than an inspection may be made.

C. No trees, shrubs, vines, or plant material, except as covered by this chapter, shall be cut or disturbed. Stubs and dead wood in trees covered by this chapter must be removed, whether occasioned by present requirements or not.

Pruning of trees shall only be performed by qualified tree workers who, through related training or experience or both, are familiar with the techniques and hazards of arboricultural work including trimming, maintaining, repairing or removing trees, and the equipment used in such operations. The supervisor, a certified arborist, and tree workers shall be approved by the inspector or local government official, prior to issuance of a permit to perform work under this chapter. The certified arborist supervising the work shall remain on-site whenever work is underway.

All brush, wood, etc., shall be chipped and beneficially used or removed immediately and disposed of in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-80-10 et seq.) (9VAC20-81) of the Virginia Waste Management Board.

D. All access and work shall be accomplished from the abutting property side of rights-of-way on interstate and other limited access highways, except where a local beautification project has allowed landscape plant material to be planted within a median area. Plant material in median areas may be relocated to other areas within the local beautification project limits in accordance with an approved landscape plan. All work performed on VDOT rights-of-way shall comply with the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (part of 24VAC30-310-10 et seq.). Any damage caused to property owned by the Commonwealth shall be repaired or replaced in kind when work is complete.

All work done under this chapter on the right-of-way shall in all respects be subject to department or local government official directions and shall be completed to the satisfaction of the inspector or local government official, or his representative.

E. The department or local government official reserves the right to stop the work at any time the terms of this chapter are not satisfactorily complied with, and the department or local government official may, at its discretion, complete any of the work covered in the permit at the expense of the permittee. If it is in the best interest of traffic safety, the department or local government official may complete or have completed at the expense of the permittee any of the work that must be done to properly protect the traveling public.

F. The permittee shall immediately have corrected any condition that may arise as a result of this work that the department or local government official deems hazardous to the traveling public or state maintenance forces even though such conditions may not be specifically covered in this chapter or in the Land Use Permit Manual (24VAC30-150-10 et seq.) Regulations (24VAC30-151).

G. Permittees and their agents to whom permits are issued shall at all times indemnify and save harmless the Commonwealth Transportation Board, local city or town councils, local boards of supervisors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia and its employees, agents, and officers from responsibility, damage, or liability arising from the exercise of the privilege granted in such permit except if political subdivisions are the applicants. Then special arrangements will be made whereby the agent of the political subdivision performing the work will indemnify and save harmless the board and others. All work shall be performed by the permittee at his expense. All permit and inspection fees shall be paid to the department or local government official by the permittee.

H. The permittee agrees that if the work authorized by this chapter including any work necessary to restore shoulders, ditches, and drainage structures to their original condition, is not completed by the permittee to the satisfaction of the department or local government official, the department or local government official will do whatever is required to restore the area within the right-of-way to department standards, and the permittee will pay to the Commonwealth or local government official the actual cost of completing the work. When the permittee is a political subdivision, this requirement will be satisfied by a sum certain that will appear in the permit.

I. Road and street connections and private and commercial entrances are to be kept in a satisfactory condition. Entrances shall not be blocked. Ample provisions must be made for safe ingress and egress to adjacent property at all times. Where entrances are disturbed, they shall be restored to the satisfaction of the department or local government official.

J. Road drainage shall not be blocked. The pavement, shoulders, ditches, roadside and drainage facilities, shall be kept in an operable condition satisfactory to the department or local government official. Necessary precautions shall be taken by the permittee to ensure against siltation of adjacent properties, streams, etc., in accordance with the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 10.1-560 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and Virginia Erosion and Sediment Regulations (4VAC50-30-10 et seq.).

K. Any conflicts with existing utility facilities shall be resolved between the permittee and the utility owners involved. The permittee shall notify and receive clearance from the utility owner or owners and comply with the Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act (§ 59.1-406 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) before proceeding with work in the vicinity of utilities.

L. Where landscape is disturbed on state rights-of-way or local street and roads not under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner in accordance with § 33.1-353 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be replaced with a minimum of two inches of topsoil and reseeded according to department specifications.

24VAC30-200-40. Listing of documents incorporated by reference.

Information pertaining to the availability and cost of any of these publications should be directed to the division indicated by in writing to the Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, or to the agency address indicated.

1. 24VAC30-150, Land Use Permit Manual (1983), Asset Management Division, 24VAC30-151, Land Use Permit Regulations (2010), VDOT

2. VDOT Road and Bridge Specifications (effective January 2002), Scheduling and Contract Division, VDOT

3. 24VAC30-310-10, Virginia Supplement to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Virginia Work Area Protection Manual), Traffic Engineering Division, VDOT

4. 4VAC50-30, Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 203 Governor St., Richmond, Va. VA 23219

5. 9VAC20-80 9VAC20-81, Solid Waste Management Regulations, Waste Division, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 E. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23240 VA 23219

6. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard for Tree Care Operations, Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance-Standard Practices - ANSI A300-1995 (effective June 1, 1995), Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintaining, and Removing Trees, and Cutting Brush-Safety Requirements - ANSI Z133.1-1994 (effective August 1, 1994), American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, New York NY 10036

7. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American Standard for Nursery Stock - ANSI Z60.1-1996 (effective November 6, 1996), American Association of Nurserymen, 1250 I Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005

8. Tree Pruning Guidelines (effective 1995), International Society of Arboriculture, P.O. Box GG, Savoy, Illinois IL 61874

VA.R. Doc. No. R11-2161; Filed March 22, 2011, 9:42 a.m.