Expedited Bill No.
53-10
Concerning: Forest Conservation
Conforming Amendments
Revised:
11/30/2010
Draft No.
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Introduced:
October 26,2010
Enacted:
November 30,2010
Executive:
Effective: _--:-_ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
....:N..:..:o=n~e'":-_=--
_ _ __
ChI _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the Planning Board
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
reduce the threshold acreage of forest cut, cleared, or graded above which certain
activities cannot be exempted from the Forest Conservation Law;
(2)
clarify how money in the Forest Conservation Fund can be used;
(3)
identify certain vegetation that must be retained unless the Planning Board or
Planning Director authorizes a variance;
(4)
revise certain variance requirements; and
(5)
generally amend the County forest conservation law.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 22A, Forest Conservation
Sections 22A-5, 22A-8, 22A-9, 22A-12, 22A-21, and 22A-27
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deleted from existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deleted from existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Alaryland approves the following Act.'
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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Sec. 1. Sections 22A-S, 22A-8, 22A-9, 22A-12, 22A-21, and 22A-27 are
amended as follows:
22A-S. Exemptions.
The requirements of Article II do not apply to:
(a)
an activity conducted on an existing single lot of any size that is
required to construct a dwelling house or accessory structure (such as
a pool, tennis court, or shed) intended for the use of the owner, if the
activity:
(1) does not require a special exception;
(2) does not result in the cutting, clearing, or grading of:
(A) more than a total of [40,000] 20,000 square feet of forest;
(B) any forest in a stream buffer,
(C) any forest on property located in a special protection area
which must submit a water quality plan,
(D) any specimen or champion tree, or
(E)
any trees or forest that are subject to a previously
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approved forest conservation plan or tree save plan; and
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(n) any mmor subdivision under Section 50-35A(a)(2)-(3) involving
converSIOn of an existing recorded outlot created because of
inadequate or unavailable sewerage or water service to a lot or joining
two or more existing residential lots into one lot, if:
(1) the only development located on the resulting lot is a single
family dwelling unit or an accessory structure (such as a pool,
tennis court, or shed); and
(2) development does not result in the cutting, clearing, or grading
of:
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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(A)
(B)
(C)
more than a total of [40,000] 20,000 square feet of forest,
any forest in a stream buffer,
any forest on property located in a special protection area
which must submit a water quality plan,
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(D)
(E)
any specimen or champion tree, or
any tree or forest that is subject to the requirements of a
previously approved forest conservation plan or tree save
plan;
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(p)
the construction of a public utility or highway in a utility right-of-way
not exempt under subsection (0), or a highway right-of-way not
exempt under subsection (e), if:
(1)
(2)
the right-of-way existed before July 1, 1992;
forest clearing will not exceed a total of [40,000] 20,000 square
feet and
(3)
the construction will not result
grading of:
(A)
(B)
any forest in a stream buffer,
any forest on property located in a special protection area
which must submit a water quality plan,
(C)
(D)
any specimen or champion tree, or
any tree or forest that is subject to a previously approved
forest conservation or tree save plan;
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In
the cutting, clearing, or
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(s)
(1)
an activity occurring on a tract of land less than 1.5 acres with
no existing forest, or existing specimen or champion tree, and
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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the afforestation requirements would not exceed 10,000 square
feet; or
(2)
an activity occurring on a tract less than 1 acre that will not
result in the clearing of more than a total of [30,000] 20,000
square feet of existing forest, or any existing specimen or
champion tree, and reforestation requirements would not exceed
10,000 square feet. Forest in any priority area on-site must be
preserved; and
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22A-8. Utility lines.
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(b)
Calculation Rules; Exemption.
(1)
To determine the applicability of this Chapter under Section
22A-4 to proposed activities within a public right-of-way or
public utility easement, the calculation of land area must be
based on the limits of disturbance as shown on the sediment
control permit.
(2)
A public right-of-way, public utility easement, or privately
owned utility right- of-way is considered to be exempt under
Section 22A-5(0) if the proposed activity and any future stages
of the work on the utility line will not result in the cumulative
cutting, clearing, or grading of more than [40,000] 20,000
square feet of forest or the cutting, clearing, or grading of any
specimen or champion tree, or trees or forest that are subject to
a previously approved forest conservation or tree save plan.
Any later stages of the work must be identified at the time of
the initial sediment control permit application.
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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22A-9. County Highway Projects.
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(b)
If the forest to be cut or cleared for a County highway project equals
or exceed [40,000] 20,000 square feet, the constructing agency must
reforest a suitable area at the rate of one acre of reforestation for each
acre of forest cleared.
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22A-12. Retention, afforestation, and reforestation requirements.
(b)
Retention
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The following trees, shrubs, plants, and specific areas are
priority for retention and protection and must be left in an
undisturbed condition unless the Planning Board or Planning
Director, as appropriate, finds that the applicant qualifies for
variance under Section 22A-21 :
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Any tree, shrub, or plant that is rare, threatened, or
endangered under:
ill
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the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 in 16
U.S.C.
§§
1531
=
1544 and in 50 CFR
11.;.
the Maryland Nongame and Endangered Species
Conservation Act, Title 10, Subtitle 2A of the
Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code;
or
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(iii)
COMAR 08.03.08;
an
Any tree that is:
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part of
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historic site,
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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(ii)
(iii)
associated with
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historic [[site]] structure, or
designated
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the State or County as
State, or County champion tree; or
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national,
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Any tree with
ground, of:
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diameter, measured at 4.5 feet above the
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(ii)
30 inches or more; or
75% or more of the diameter, measured at 4.5 feet
above ground, of the current State champion tree
of that species.
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(e)
Standards for reforestation and afforestation.
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(2)
Off-site afforestation and reforestation.
In addition to the use
of other sites proposed by an applicant and approved by the
County, off-site afforestation or reforestation may also include:
(A)
Forest mitigation banks designated in advance by the
County.
(B)
Protection of existing off-site forest. Acquisition of an
off-site protective easement for existing forested areas
not currently protected in perpetuity is an acceptable
mitigation technique instead of off-site afforestation or
reforestation planting, but the forest cover protected must
be
2
times
the
afforestation
and
reforestation
requirements.
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22A-21. Variance.
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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(a)
Written request.
An
applicant may request in writing a variance from
this Chapter or any regulation adopted under it if the applicant shows
that enforcement would result in unwarranted hardship. A request for
a variance suspends the time requirements in Section 22A-l1 until the
Planning Board or Planning Director acts on the request.
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(e)
Approval procedures; Conditions.
The Planning Board [[or the
Planning Director for
£1
Forest Conservation Plan associated with
£1
sediment control plan]] must find that the applicant has met all
requirements of this Section before granting a variance. However. the
Planning Director may grant a variance
if..t~Director
is authorized to
approve the forest. conservation plan and the applicant meets all
requirements of this Section.
The Board or Director may impose
appropriate conditions to promote the objectives of this Chapter and
protect the public interest.
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22A-27. Forest [conservation
fund)
Conservation
Fund.
There is a County [forest conservation fund) Forest Conservation Fund.
Money deposited into the [fund) Fund must be used in accordance with the adopted
County budget and [in accordance with the following) this Section:
(a)
In lieu fees.
Money deposited in the [forest conservation fund instead
of planting) Forest Conservation Fund must be spent on the
reforestation and afforestation for which the money is deposited,
including costs directly related to site identification, acquisition,
design, [and] preparation, or maintenance of existing forests, and
achieving urban canopy goals, and must not revert to the [general
fund] General Fund. The permanent preservation of priority forests,
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 53-10
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including identification and acquisition of a site, may be substituted
for reforestation and afforestation at a rate of 2 acres of forest
preservation for each acre of planting required. Funds remaining after
all reforestation and afforestation requirements are satisfied may be
spent on any other tree conservation activity, including street tree
planting.
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Sec. 2. Expedited Effective Date
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The Council declares that this legislation is necessary for the immediate
protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes
law.
Approved:
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Nancy Floreen, President, County Council
/2...LffO
ate
Approved:
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Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
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This is a correct copy o/Council action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
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