Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative
Amanda Mihill, Legislative
Bill 41-12, Streets and Roads
Roadside Trees - Protection
Bill 41-12, Streets and Roads - Roadside Trees - Protection, sponsored by
Councilmembers Berliner and EIrich, was introduced on December 11, 2012. A public hearing
was held on January 17 (see select testimony and correspondence beginning on ©45).
Bill 41-12 would require certain applicants to obtain a pennit for certain roadside tree
activities as part of the existing right-of-way permit that the Department of Permitting Services
issues, would authorize the Department of Transportation to create a tree replacement fund to
pay for needed roadside trees, and would direct the County Executive to adopt regulations
further specifying roadside tree work standards.
This Bill would implement a 2009 state law (2009 Laws of Maryland Chapter 289,
codified at Maryland Code, Nat. Res. Art. §5-403(d)-(e)), which gave counties the authority to
supplement state laws governing roadside trees. County law, however, must be more stringent as
State law. This Bill was the subject of extensive pre-introduction discussions with staff from
relevant County Departments and other stakeholders.
What does the current state law require?
The current State roadside tree law and
require a person who cuts down any roadside tree, defined in state regulations as "a
plant that has a woody stem or trunk that grows all, or in part, within the right-of-way of a public
road", to get a pennit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR may issue a pennit
only if the proposed work will eliminate a hazard to property, public safety, or health; improve or
prevent a deteriorated tree condition; or improve the general aesthetic appearance of the right-of
way. A state pennit is not required:
• if the tree is uprooted or branches are broken and contact electricity wires;
• if the tree or branches are an immediate danger to person or property;
ISee State law,