November 22, 2010
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney . (
Amanda Mihill, Legislative
Expedited Bill 53-10, Forest Conservation -
Expedited Bill 53-10, Forest Conservation
Conforming Amendments, sponsored by the
Council President at the request of the Planning Board, was introduced on October 26, 20
public hearing is scheduled for November 23. Action is tentatively scheduled for November 30.
Bill 53-10 would:
• reduce the threshold acreage of forest cut, cleared, or graded above which certain
activities cannot be exempted from the Forest Conservation Law;
• clarify how money in the Forest Conservation Fund can be used; and
• identify certain vegetation that must be retained unless the Planning Board or Planning
Director authorizes a variance; and revise certain variance requirements.
The bill that the Planning Board transmitted to the Council would make numerous other changes
to remove inconsistencies, provide clarity, and make implementing the law more efficient. To
ensure that the Council can address the issues quickly, only the portions of the bill that would
conform existing law to state law and authorize the Planning Director to approve a variance was
The attached bill is a corrected version of the introduced bill. The bill introduced on October 26
did not incorporate changes already made to Section 22A-21 in Expedited Bill 34-09, Forest
Conservation - Enforcement, which the Council enacted, and the Executive signed, earlier this
year (©6-7, lines 133-146).
Issues for Committee Discussion
Should the forest conservation law conform to state law?
2009, the State forest
conservation law was amended to tighten certain exemptions. Bill 53-10 would conform County
law to state law by amending County law to: