Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney.
Amanda Mihill, Legislative
Expedited Bill 53-10, Forest Conservation - Conforming
Expedited Bill 53-10, Forest Conservation - Conforming Amendments, sponsored by the
Council President at the request of the Planning Board, was introduced on October 26,2010. A
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
Environment Committee worksession is tentatively
scheduled for November 22. Action is tentatively scheduled for November 30.
In 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:
• 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.
In addition, current County law requires the Planning Board to approve certain forest
conservation variances. The Planning Director approves the forest conservation plans to which
those variances are attached. Sending those variances to the Planning Board creates unnecessary
delays for property owners and clogs the Board's agenda. Bill 53-10 would amend County law
to authorize the Planning Director to approve these variances.
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).
This packet contains:
Corrected Expedited Bill 53-10
Legislative Request Report
Planning Board transmittal memorandum and staff report
F:\LAW\SILLS\1053 Forest Conservation\Public Hearing Memo.Doc