September 16, 2019 /
Jona Elwell

Tell Your Councilmember to Vote NO on Sursum Corda Temporary Amendment Act of 2019

What we are asking

Take Action! Protect D.C.’s Heritage Trees. Please tell your councilmember TODAY not to support Councilmember Allen’s proposed “Sursum Corda Cooperative Association Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2019”! We made it super easy with our fillable online form

What is happening

  • Councilmember Allen is introducing emergency legislation tomorrow (Tuesday, September 17) asking for a special exception to the Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2016.
  • The bill is called the “Sursum Corda Cooperative Association Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2019”. It is emergency legislation that only requires a yes/no vote by the Council upon introduction.

What the emergency legislation says

  • This bill will allow the Toll Brothers Development Company to remove all of the Heritage Trees on their Sursum Corda Housing Development site near North Capitol Street.
    • Heritage Trees are large, mature trees that are 100 inches in circumference or more.
  • The developer (Toll Brothers Development Company) will be paying $270,000 to compensate for the removal of the Heritage Trees.  Toll Brothers Development Company is a national development company that makes $5.8 billion a year in revenue and is a Fortune 500 company.  These trees legally can not be removed without mayoral consent if they are healthy.


  • If this emergency legislation passes, it opens the door for other developers to also ask for this special exception. Take Action! Protect D.C.’s Heritage Trees.
  • This legislation also allows developers who were already told that they could not remove their Heritage Trees to go and ask for a special exception.
  • Having the option for a legislative exception implies the current removal exceptions can be circumvented.
  • Long term could remove the teeth from this law, passed in 2002 and fought for decades before that. 


Other Facts