T&E ITEM 1
April 1,2013
Worksession 3
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee
~ichael
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney
SUBJECT:
Worksession 3:
Bil141-12, 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). Transportation, Infrastructure,
Energy and Environment Committee worksessions were held on January 28 and February 25.
Bill
41-12 would require certain applicants to obtain a permit 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.
Background
What does the current state law require?
The current State roadside tree law and regulations)
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, \vithin the right-of-way of a public road", to get a permit
from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR may issue a permit 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 permit 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;
lSee State
law,
©20-22,
and regulations,
©23-32.
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• if the tree is in the right-of-way of an unsurfaced road and the abutting landowner removes
the tree for the landovvner's own use;
• to cut or clear land for an electric generating station;
• for routine maintenance of a public utility right-of-way; or
• to cut or clear a public utility right-of-way or land for a new utility transmission or
distribution line.
State regulations also require permittees to adhere to specific tree care standards (see ©28-30).
Unless DNR waives the requirement, if a permittee removes a roadside tree the permittee must plant a
replacement tree that is on DNR's recommended tree list. Anyone seeking to remove a roadside tree
must obtain the consent of the property owner.
What would Bill
41-12
require?
Bill 41-12 closely mirrors the requirements in state law
and regulations, but allows the County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) to enforce them.
Under Bill 41-12, a person seeking to cut, clear, or do other tree work on a roadside tree would need
to get a permit from DPS. Bill 41-12 would define roadside tree as a "single-stem plant that has a
woody stem or trunk that grows all, or in part, in the right-of-way of any County or State public
road or shared use trail."
Roadside tree
would include the tree's critical root zone. Bill 41-12
closely follows the State law's exceptions to the permit requirement.
Is Bill
41-12
more stringent than state law?
As
noted above, state law allows the County to
enact a more stringent roadside tree law. The sponsors of this Bill crafted it to closely mirror state law.
For a comparison showing where Bill 41-12 goes beyond state law, see ©34-44. In a January 25 letter,
DNR staff indicated that they did not believe Bill 41-12 was more stringent than state law (see ©81 ).
2
In some respects, Bi1l41-12 as introduced is more stringent than the state law. For instance,
as introduced, Bill 41-12 would define "roadside tree" to include the critical root zone (though the
Committee pared the definition of roadside tree back to essentially the state definition). Bill41-12
would also be stricter than state law in that state law allows an abutting landowner to cut down a
tree without a permit if the tree is in a right-of-way that does not have an improved surface, but
County law would require a permit in that case.
In many other respects, Bill 41-12 and state law are similar. The Bill, however, has a few
provisions that on first glance appear to be less stringent than state law. For instance, state
regulations specify the information that must be on the permit,3 the fee schedule, and specific
roadside tree care standards, induding where limb cuts should be made, what tree clearance for
overhead facilities should be, ground disturbance requirements, and protection of tree roots. Bill
41-12 does not replicate these requirements, but instead directs the County Executive to develop
regulations that are at least as stringent as the state law.
2It
is important to note that Council staff is unaware of any provision of state law that requires or authorizes DNR to
approve the County's law. However, to achieve the goal of a unified regulatory program administered by the County,
cooperation from DNR staff will be needed.
JFor instance, name and address of permittee, type of tree care permitted, and any limitations on the permit.
2
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In our view, the County law would be more stringent that the state law if the County law
mirrors the state law but requires a more vigorous replanting/replacement requirement (see page 5
for further discussion of this issue).
First Committee worksession
At the January 28 worksession on Bill 41-12, Committee members discussed many issues
and made several recommendations, including amending the Bill to:
• ensure that the definition of roadside tree excludes the critical root zone;
• clarify that the Bill would not apply to an expanded definition of a utility's routine
maintenance in its right-of-way; and
• require a County permit to remove a stump in the right-of-way (Councilmember Floreen
dissented from this recommendation).
These amendments are shown in Draft 12 on
©
1-12A.
Second Committee worksession
At the Committee's February 25 worksession, Committee members reviewed the legal
background for this Bill with Executive branch staff but did not discuss or recommend any
amendments to the Bill.
Previous Issues for Committee Discussion
Before the second Committee worksession, Council
staff
summarized the following issues:
1) Is County legislation needed?
This is the first question that Committee members should
discuss. Several speakers questioned whether Bill 41-12 was unnecessarily duplicative of state law.
Some landowners obtain the appropriate state permit before removing or performing tree work on a
roadside tree, but almost certainly others do not. For instance, in 2011 the latest data that staff has
DNR issued 112 private roadside tree care permits. For the same year, DNR issued 189 total permits,
including private, government, and utility permits. Data from DNR indicates that the number of
permits issued is trending up. But, by its own admission, because of inadequate staffing DNR rarely, if
ever, follows up or supervises tree care practices on any private permit. (DNR does follow up on
permits issued to utilities.)
Other speakers alleged violations of tree care work standards on roadside trees. Simply put,
there appears an apparent lack of adequate enforcement and follow-up for the State permit. (See
Conservation Montgomery statement on ©45.) Currently, to get a building permit, DPS requires the
permittee to submit an affidavit declaring that either no roadside trees are involved in the permit;
roadside trees are in the area, but they would not be affected by the proposed construction; or roadside
trees are
in
the area and will be affected by the construction and the permit applicant has received the
appropriate permit from DNR (see ©33). However, there are limits to what DPS can require. The
3
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County Attorney has indicated that in order to enforce County roadside tree requirements, the County
needs an appropriate legal basis in either state or County law or regulations. Since the County does not
now have the authority to enforce State law\ the County would have to enact its own law to effectively
offer more protection to roadside trees.
To further clarify this issue, Council staff posed a series of questions to Executive branch staff:
Under the current state and County laws, does the County (DOT, DPS, or anyone else) have the
authority to disapprove any action taken with respect to a roadside tree located on a County
right-of-way by a private party other than a public utility (i.e. an abutting landowner)?
Is the County's approval regularly sought for such actions? Is it regularly given?
Does the answer depend on who "owns" the tree in question? Does it depend on the nature of
the County's right-of-way (fee simple, easement, etc.)?
What is the purpose and effect of the "roadside tree affidavit" that DPS requires applicants to
file? Is that affidavit required by state law, by County law, or simply as a matter of County
practice?
At this point we have not received answers to these questions from Executive branch staff.
2) Should trees in certain parts o/the right-ol-way be excluded/rom
41-12? Councilmembers
Floreen and Riemer expressed concerns that, because homeowners will not know where the County's
right-of-way begins, they may not know to apply for a permit or otherwise unintentionally violate the
law. Councilmembers Floreen and Riemer questioned whether the Bill's scope could be narrowed to
include only trees that are between the paved road and sidewalk. After further reflection, Council staff
does not believe that trees within the right-of-way, but inside of a sidewalk, can be excluded from the
law's scope. Those trees are clearly covered by the state roadside tree law, and to exclude them from
Bill 41-12 could violate the state law's stringency requirement. However, as Executive branch staff
have suggested, certain permit requirements could be tailored to the differing needs ofthose locations.
3) Should agricultural activities be exempt from the County law?
The Council heard
testimony and received correspondence from the Soil Conservation District and the Farm Bureau
urging the Council to exempt routine maintenance on public rights-of-ways and agriculturally assessed
properties from the permit requirement (see ©56-57 and 58-61). At its first worksession, the
Committee directed staff to review whether the County's agricultural areas could be excluded from
Bill 41-12.
It
is not clear that the County law can directly exclude all rights-of-way in agricultural
areas without running afoul of the state's stringency requirement. After further review, Council
staff believes that the County could exclude rights-of-way in "prescriptive easements" from the bill.
These easements are addressed in current County Code §49-6:
49-6. Roads used for 20 years may be declared public highways.
(a)
Whenever any road has been used by the public for 20 or more years, though
the road may never have been condemned or granted as a public highway, the
4S
tate law (Nat. Res. Art. §5-404(b); see ©21) allows DNR to transfer authority to the County to enforce state law.
Committee Chair Berliner expects to send a letter to DNR Secretary Griffin, assuming that this Bill will be enacted,
proposing a Memorandum of Understanding between DNR and the County to give the County clear-cut authority to
enforce the state and County laws, eliminating the need for a state permit.
4
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(b)
County Executive may by Executive order published in the County Register
declare the road to be a public highway.
The public right-of-way of a road declared as a public highway under
subsection (a) must include permanent maintenance easements which extend
10 feet beyond each pavement edge.
Council stafI believes that excluding these easements would address many concerns raised about
rights-of-way in the agricultural areas. Therefore, we recommend inserting the following
amendment on ©6 after line 93:
LQl
cutting or clearing a tree that is in the right-of-way of a road declared as a public
highway under Section
49-6Ca).
4) How should the County law apply in municipalities?
Bill 41-12 would apply to state or
County rights-of-way in any municipality where the County is responsible for maintaining trees in the
right-of-way. The City of Takoma Park requested an exemption from the County law because it
enforces its own tree permitting process. Council staff believes that the County law already does not
(and probably cannot) apply to any municipality that maintains its o\\-n rights-of-way. Therefore, the
amendment proposed by the Takoma Park City Attorney on ©73, while not inconsistent, probably is
unnecessary.
5) Should homeowners be allowed to perform reasonable care to street trees without a
permit?
As introduced, Bill 41-12 would require a permit for any tree work on a roadside tree,
including protecting the health ofthe tree (see the definition of "tree work" on ©4, lines 66-73, and ©8,
line
156).
Neighbors of the Northwest Branch urged the Council to amend the Bill to allow property
owners to take reasonable care of a tree without a permit.
An
issue arises, however, if a property
o\\-ner believes that they are performing "reasonable care" for a roadside tree when in fact they may
take actions that would harm the tree. For instance, applying a certain amount of mulch to a tree can be
very beneficial; improperly applying too much mulch can kill it. Council staff recommends leaving the
protection language in the Bill. At the first Committee worksession, Permitting Services Director
Diane Schwartz Jones noted that they intend, if this Bill is enacted, to issue an omnibus permit to
homeowners seeking to trim trees in the right-of-way to minimize the burden on each homeowner of
obtaining routine permits.
As
introduced, Bill 41-12 would require each permittee that removes a roadside tree to pay a fee, to be set
by Method 3 regulation, into a tree replacement fund. (For the criteria and formula to set that fee,
based on the current District of Columbia law, see ©9, lines 199-207.) DPS would use that fund to
replant appropriate trees in suitable locations. State law requires a person who removes a roadside tree
to plant a tree, unless DNR waives that requirement, but we are not sure how consistently it is
enforced. The Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (BIA) opposed the County
taking on the replanting responsibility.
6) Should the County or the permittee be responsible for street tree replanting?
5
At
the tirst worksession, Council staff noted that a legal issue arose after the hearing on whether the fee under this provision
must be treated, for notice and hearing purposes, as a tax. The County Attorney concluded (see opinion, ©77), and County
staff concurs, that this fee need not be treated as a tax and can properly be enacted as a fee.
5
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Speaking with staff at DNR, it became clear that, in their view, allowing a permittee to pay
into a fund instead of replanting a tree is less stringent than state law. To address this issue, Council
staff drafted an amendment that would require a permittee who wants to remove a roadside tree to
replant a tree (as required by state law) and also pay a fee that corresponds to the value of the tree
that was lost less the value of the tree that was replanted. The fund in which these fees are paid
would be used to plant more roadside trees.
Our research into formulas used to determine a tree's value revealed that it is not a simple
calculation and depends on highly variable factors. What appears to be an often used method of
valuing large trees is termed the "trunk formula method" and is used for trees that, due to their size,
cannot be transplanted (i.e., large trees). This method uses the following factors in determining
replacement cost: diameter, species, condition, and location. Because of the variable nature of these
factors, we don't believe it is practical to legislate all of these factors, but any fee should take them
into account. The amendment on ©82 reflects this.
6
8) Additional amendments
After further review, several additional amendments to Bill 41-12
could help the bill more closely mirror state law. These amendments, which
staff
recommends, start on
©85.
Additionally, Council staff suggests, at PEPCO's urging, the following additional clarifying
amendment to the language Committee members already endorsed which exempts a utility's routine
maintenance in its right-of-way from the requirement to obtain a right-of-way and roadside tree work
permit:
Revise ©4, line 75:
ill
The following activities are not subject to this subsection and do not require
~
right-of-way and roadside tree work permit:
Comprehensive staff
redraft
Following the legal discussion Vvith Executive branch staff at the February worksession,
Committee Chair Berliner assigned Council staff to produce a comprehensive redraft that would
narrow the Bill to its essential elements and primarily give DPS the regulatory authority it believes it
needs to protect trees in the County rights-of-way. The staff redraft starting on ©86 would do that.
In this redraft (draft 13), the original text (and included amendments) from ©87, line 35, to
©96, line 274, (now shown in italics) would be deleted and replaced by the highlighted text on ©86,
lines 11-14, and ©96-100, lines 275-364.
This redraft would:
• maintain the definition of "roadside tree" and the requirement to obtain a permit before
working on a roadside tree or beginning any construction that would affect or threaten a
roadside tree, but leave the details to Executive regulations;
6
information,
see:
http://www.ag-econ.ncsu.edu/faculty/vanderhoevenlTREELOSS.PDF
Plt.J2§.:!/u1~"1ter!§i~H.l"t~I!.!le_s.~e
.e<il.I/..pJlb
IicatLQ11§l0...9.f
u
m~n
ts!S
P6
t
4.
p4.f.
For
further
and
6
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• continue the state-required exemption for tree work by a public utility on its transmission or
distribution lines, but not its other facilities (substations, office bUildings, etc.);
• require a permittee who removes a roadside tree both to plant another tree, from a County
list, at or near the site, and also to pay into a tree replacement fund in an amount set by
regulation (the requirement for an added payment would be more stringent than the state
law);
• require each new roadside tree planted on a County right-of-way to
be
on the County
recommended tree list, thus controlling the quality ofthe replacement trees; and
• direct the Executive to adopt regulations to implement the County law that are at least as
stringent as the state law.
This redraft does not exempt any rural or agricultural roads because state DNR staff has
indicated that doing so would make the County law less stringent than the state law. The narrow scope
of this redraft, and the need to conform to the state law, would in our view render moot several of the
issues listed
in
the preceding section of this memo.
Council staff recommendation:
enact the staff redraft starting on ©86.
This packet contains:
Bil141-12
Legislative Request Report
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement
State roadside tree law
State regulations
DPS Affidavit
Comparison of Bill 41-12 and state law
Selected testimony
Conservation Montgomery
Mark Buscaino
Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Assoc.
Montgomery County Farm Bureau
Montgomery Soil Conservation District
Neighbors ofthe Northwest Branch
Pepco
Renewing Montgomery
Takoma Park memos
County Attorney memo
DNR letter
Replanting amendment
Conforming amendment
Comprehensive staff redraft
F:\LAW\BILLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\T &E Memo 3.Doc
Circle #
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12
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Bill No.
41-12
Concerning:
Streets and Roads ­
Roadside Trees - Protection
2/21/2013
Draft No . ..:.::.12=--_
Revised:
Introduced:
December 11, 2012
Expires:
June 11! 2014
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive:
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ _ ___
-------------
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmembers Berliner and EIrich
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
require a permit for certain activities affecting roadside trees;
require certain persons to pay into a roadside tree replacement fund under certain
circumstances;
require the County Executive to adopt regulations specifYing certain roadside tree
protection, conservation, and replacement standards; and
generally amend the law regarding streets and roads.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 49, Streets and Roads
Sections 49-35 and 49-36
By adding
Chapter 49, Streets and Roads
Section 49-36A
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfi"om existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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Bill 41-12
1
2
Sec.
1.
Sections 49-35 and 49-36 are amended and Section 49-36A is
added as follows:
49-35. [Permits for grading and construction] Right-of-way and roadside tree
work permit.
(a)
(1)
A person must not construct any road, sidewalk, shared use path,
curb and gutter, driveway, or drainage structure[, or]; begin any
such construction (including clearing, grading,
and tree
3
4
5
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7
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9
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cutting)[,t or perfonn any tree work on any roadside tree,
without a pennit from the Director of Pennitting Services. Any
pennit issued for roadside tree work must comply with Section
49-36A.
(2)
In this Section and Sections 49-36.\ 49-36A, and 49-37, unless
otherwise specified, Director refers to the Director of Pennitting
Services and Department refers to the Department of Pennitting
Services.
*
*
*
(b) The County Executive must collect
f!
fee, set
.Qy
Method
J.
regulation,
for each right-of-way and roadside tree work pennit application.
w
[(c)]
@
*
*
*
*
*
*
[(d)]
ill
Any violation of this Section is a Class A violation.
[(e)]
ill
[Half] The Director must refund half the fees required by this Section
[must be refunded] to the applicant if a pennit is rejected or withdrawn
[prior to the commencement of] before construction begins.
If an
applicant proposes to undertake a project using materials, standards, or
specifications superior to those required under this Article, the fees
26
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Bill 41-12
27
28
charged must be computed on the estimated cost of the project as if it
met those requirements.
29
30
31
32
33
34
[(f)1
{g}
[(g)1
{h}
49-36A.
Roadside tree work.
*
*
*
*
*
*
!ill
Definitions.
In this Section, the following words have the meanings
indicated:
Certified arborist
means g person who is certified as an arborist
Qy
the
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
International Society of Arboriculture or who the Director finds has an
equivalent level of experience and training.
Critical root zone
means the minimum area beneath g tree (typically g
concentric circle not less than 1.5 feet per diameter/inch of the tree,
measured at 4.5 feet above ground level) that must be protected to
preserve sufficient root mass to give the tree g reasonable chance of
long-term survival.
Licensed tree expert
means g person licensed under Title
~
Subtitle
~
of
42
43
44
45
the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code or any successor
provISIOn.
Pesticide
means a:
46
ill
chemical or biological preparation used to kill, inhibit, or regulate
growth on g targeted plant, plant spore, or plant seed, including:
fA}
47
48
49
50
51
52
an herbicide;
an insecticide;
g tree growth regulator; and
g fungicide; or
tID
©
.em
ill
substance or mixture of substances intended:
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Bill 41-12
53
54
(A)
ill.)
to l2revent, destroy, rel2el, or mitigate
~
l2est;
for use as
~
l2lant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; or
for use as
adhesive.
~
55
56
57
©
spray adjuvant, such as
~
wetting agent or
Recommended County tree list
means
~
list of trees aPl2roved
Qy
the
58
59
Director after consulting the Chief of Tree Maintenance in the
Del2artment of Transportation. The recommended tree list must include
each tree that the Department identifies as suitable for planting on
specific sites and conditions in the right-of-way of
~
l2ublic road.
Roadside tree
means any single-stem l2lant that has
~
60
61
62
63
woody stem or
trunk that grows all, or in part, in the right-of-way of any County or
State public road or shared use trail.
[[Roadside tree
includes the tree's
critical root zone.]]
Tree work
means any activity affecting
~
roadside tree, including:
64
65
66
67
68
69
ill
ill
ill
{i)
removal of
~
roadside tree or
~
remaining stump;
l2lanting pruning, root-l2runing, or trimming
~
roadside tree;
application of pesticide directly to or in the [[critical root zone
oft]
right-of-way abutting
~
roadside tree;
70
71
protection of
~
roadside tree; or
treatment that may adversely affect the health or growth of
roadside tree.
~
72
73
74
75
76
77
ill
(Q)
Applicability; exceptions.
ill
The following activities do not reqUIre a right-of-way and
roadside tree work permit:
(A)
cutting or clearing
~
public utility right-of-way or land for
an electric generating station licensed under Sections 7­
78
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Bill 41-12
79
204, 7-205, 7-207, or 7-208 of the Public Utilities Article
of the Maryland Code, or any successor provision, if:
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
ill
any required certificate of public convenience and
necessity has been issued under Section
5-1603(0
of
the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code
or any successor provision; and
(ii)
the cutting or clearing is conducted in
minimizes the loss of forest;
~
way that
ill)
routine maintenance· of
~
public utility right-of-way. and
cutting or clearing any tree by a public utility as necessary
to comply with applicable vegetation management
requirements or to maintain. repair. replace. or upgrade
any public utility transmission or distribution line,,;. or
88
89
90
91
92
93
{g
cutting or clearing
~
public utility right-of-way or land for
~
new transmission or distribution line.
~
94
95
m
A licensed tree expert need not obtain
performed on:
(A)
~
permit for work
96
97
98
99
tree that is uprooted or truncated because of
~
storm or
vehicular collision;
ill)
~
tree branch that is broken and contacts
~
telephone, cable
television, electric power, or other wire carrying electric
current; or
{g
~
100
101
102
tree or tree branch that
~
certified arborist or licensed tree
expert finds is endangering
~
person or property.
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Bill 41-12
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{£l
ill
A certified arborist or licensed tree expert who provides tree
work under paragraph
ill
must, within one week after an action
is taken, give the Department:
CA)
notice of the property address, if available, and general
area where the action was taken; and
an
~
proposed plan to upgrade the work, if necessary, to the
tree work standards in this Section and applicable
regulations.
The Department must approve, modify, or reject the proposed
plan, after reviewing the actions taken, within 14 days after
receiving the information. If the Department does not act on the
proposed plan within 14 days, the plan is approved
l2y
default.
The Department may require further information, and may extend
this deadline once for an additional
II
days in extenuating
circumstances. The Director also may extend this deadline at the
request of the applicant.
Right-or-way and roadside tree work permit required.
ill
The Department must not issue
~
building or related permit to an
applicant for any demolition, clearing, pre-construction activity,
construction. or development that is likely to result in the
trimming, pruning, root-pruning, cutting, removal, or injury of
~
roadside tree unless the applicant first obtains
~
right-of-way and
roadside tree work permit from the Department.
ill
[[AJJ
Except as providedin subsection (b)(l), a right-of-way and
roadside tree work 12ermit is required for any tree work on
utility located in
~
right-of-way, such as a:
~
F:\LAWlBlLLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee Rec.Doc
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Bill 41-12
129
130
CA)
ill.)
sewer;
water or gas
~
storm drain;
electric, telephone, or television cable or conduit;
sidewalk;
driveway;
sump pump;
131
132
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135
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140
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147
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149
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153
(g
CD)
.em
ill
ill)
lli2
gutter outflow line; or
ill
roadway or similar structure.
ill
A person may receive
~
right-of-way and roadside tree work
permit to perform tree work if the person:
®
ill.)
holds title to the land where the roadside tree is located;
owns property abutting the right-of-way at the point where
the tree is located
(g
is
~
government agency that has an easement for the public
right-of-way where the tree is located;
CD)
is responsible for providing tree care to the tree; or
is an authorized agent of any of these.
.em
@
Permit issuance and administration.
ill
After receiving an application for
~
right-of-way and roadside
tree work permit, the Department may meet with the applicant
and conduct an on-site examination ofthe proposed tree work.
ill
The Department should consult with the Chief of Tree
Maintenance in the Department of Transportation regarding any
application under which the applicant would perform tree work.
F;\LAW\8 ILLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Connnittee Rec.Doc
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Bill 41-12
154
155
156
157
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161
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167
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172
173
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175
176
177
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179
(3)
The Department may issue
~
pennit if the applicant shows that
the proposed tree work is necessary to:
(A)
protect the health of the tree;
eliminate or reduce
health;
!£}
~
ill)
hazard to property, public safety, or
improve or prevent
~
deteriorated tree condition;
improve the overall appearance of the right-of-way; or
gm:y
out
~
development which has received all other
(D)
ilil
applicable development approvals.
ill
The Department may issue:
(A)
~
pennit for
~
specific tree or group of trees for specific
tree work for
~
tenn not to exceed
1
year after the pennit is
issued; and
ill)
~
pennit for
~
comprehensive and continuing program of
general tree work.
ill
A pennit issued under paragraph (4)(B) must specify the
~
of
tree work
i!
covers, as allowed
by
the license of the person who
will supervise the program.
®
If the Department denies
~
pennit application, the Department
must notify the applicant ofthe reason.
ill
The Department may:
(A)
modify any tenn or condition of
~
pennit to best achieve
the objectives ofthis Article; or
ill)
suspend or revoke
~
pennit if the holder violates
~
condition of the pennit or
~
provision of this Section or the
Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code.
F:\LAW\BILLS\I24 1 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee Rec.Doc
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Bill 41-12
180
181
182
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186
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205
ill
Tree workperformance; inspection; replacement.
ill
Each permittee must take all necessary measures to protect
~
roadside tree from damage during all phases of clearing,
construction, or development of
9:
building or other structure,
including installing protective fencing, avoiding soil compaction,
and protecting critical root zones in the right-of-way.
ill
A permittee must repair any damage
~
tree sustains during
construction or development, including any broken limb, root, or
scarred trunk, and any damage caused
!2y
soil compaction.
ill
(A)
Before any bond filed with the Department under this
Chapter is released, or
ill
no
bond has been filed) before
any certificate of occupancy or similar final approval is
issued, the Department must inspect each affected roadside
tree to determine, after consulting the Chief of Tree
Maintenance in the Department of Transportation, whether
the tree has
9:
reasonable chance of achieving the typical
maximum age of
~
roadside tree in that location.
au
If the Department does not find that an affected tree has
9:
reasonable chance of achieving the typical maximum age
of
~
roadside tree in that location, or if the permittee has
removed
~
roadside tree, the Department must require the
~
permittee to
an amount set
!2y
regulation into
~
tree
replacement fund maintained
!2y
the Department of
Transportation.
(g
The amount of payment must be set
!2y
Method
J
regulation; must be proportionate to the cost of replacing
F:\LAWIBlLLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee Rec.Doc
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Bill 41-12
206
207
208
209
210
211
each affected tree, using
f!
replacement ratio specified
.!2y
regulation that takes into account the survival rate of
newly-planted trees; must be computed according to the
size of the affected tree; may consider the species, age,
rarity, and historical value (if
.ill1Y1
of the affected tree; and
must not be less than $35 per circumference/inch of the
affected tree.
(ill
212
213
The permittee must
Pf!Y
the required amount within 30
days after the Director notifies the permittee that the
payment is required. The Director may treat any unpaid
funds as
f!
lien on the property where the affected tree is
located, and must not issue
f!
certificate of occupancy or
similar final approval for the site until full payment is
received.
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
ill
Use Q{pesticides.
ill
Any permittee who applies
f!
pesticide directly to
f!
roadside tree
must be certified and licensed as required
.!2y
the State
Department of Agriculture, and must comply with applicable
state regulations.
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
ill
Any permittee who applies
f!
pesticide must only use
f!
pesticide
that is registered for that use
.!2y
the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the State Department of Agriculture. Any
permittee who applies
f!
pesticide must follow the manufacturer's
label directions for proper use.
ill
Before applying
f!
pesticide, a permittee must notify the
Department of the approximate time and place of application.
F:\LAW\BILLS\1241 Street, And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee RecDoc
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Bill 41-12
232
233
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240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
ill
ill
Unless the Department directs otherwise,
~
permittee must not
@l2ly
an herbicide to
~
tree ifthe tree is Q feet tall or higher.
A permittee must remove dead plant material resulting from the
application of an herbicide if removal is necessary for safety
reasons.
(Q)
A permittee must take reasonable precautions in selecting and
applying
~
pesticide on or near
~
roadside tree to:
(A)
avoid the use of an herbicide on vegetation that contributes
to soil retention, especially at
£!
highway cut or fill and any
other area with
~
steep slope; and
ill)
prevent stream pollution and damage to any adjoining
property.
(g)
Roadside tree planting.
ill
Any tree that is planted on
~
public right-of-way must be of
£!
species and variety from the recommended County tree list and
must conform to the American Standard for Nursery Stock or
standards that the Director identifies as equivalent.
m
Each roadside tree planting must comply with
~
planting plan
approved
.Qy
the Department after consulting the Chief of Tree
Maintenance in the Department of Transportation. The planting
plan must cover:
(A)
stump removal, including
£!
requirement to fill in any
resulting hole;
ill)
(Q)
(D)
size and
~
of planting stock;
planting specifications;
spacmg;
®
F:\LAw\BILLS\124I Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee Rec.Doc
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Bill 41-12
258
259
ill}
(E)
(Q)
specIes;
proximity to overhead wires;
care and maintenance; and
any other site consideration.
The County Executive must adopt regulations under
at least as stringent as applicable state roadside tree
260
261
262
263
264
265
(H)
!hl
Regulations.
Method
2.
that are
standards and requirements. These regulations may specifY further:
266
267
268
269
ill
ill
criteria for right-of-way and roadside tree work pennit issuance;
roadside
tree
work
standards
and
practices,
including
construction practices that will minimize damage to roadside
trees;
ill
{1}
Approved:
criteria for the use of pesticides; and
roadside tree planting requirements.
270
271
272
Nancy Navarro, President, County Council
Date
273
Approved:
274
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
275
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
276
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
F:\LAw\STLLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft 12 Committee Rec,Doc
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 41-12
Streets and Roads Roadside Trees
-
Protection
DESCRIPTION:
Would require certain applicants to obtain a permit 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
Need to better protect and maintain roadside trees in County rights-
of-way. .
To authorize the County to supplement state regulation and
protection of roadside trees.
Departments of Permitting Services, Transportation, Environmental
Protection
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7905;
Amanda MihiU, Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7815
.
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL I]\tIPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Class A.
F:\LA \v\BILLS\124I Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\LegislatiYe Request Report.Doc
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ROCKVILLE, IvfARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
January 14,2013
TO:
FROM:
Nancy Navarro, President, County Council
Jennifer
A.
Joseph
F.
Beach,
HUghe~ector,
Office of Management and Budget
~~~r,
Department
ofFinanc~
SUBJECT:
Council Bill 41-12 - Streets and.Roads - Roadside Trees - Protection
Please find attached the fiscal impact statement and economic impact statement
for the above-referenced legislation.
.
JAH:dh
c: Kathleen Boucher, Assistant ChiefAdministrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Joy Nurmi, Special Assistant to the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Public Information Office
Joseph F. Beach, Director, Department of Finance
Michael Coveyou, Department of Finance
. Dob Hoyt, Depmtment of Environmental Protection
Art Holmes, Department of Transportation
Diane Schwartz Jones, Department of Permitting Services
Alex Espinosa, Office ofManagement and Budget
Amy Wilson, Office of Management and Budget
Dennis Hetman, Office of Management and Budget
Ayo Apollon,
Office
ofManag(:l11ent
and Budget
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Fiscal Impact Statement
Council Bill 41-12, Streets and Roads - Roadside Trees - Protection
1. Legislative Summary
The proposed bill requires certain applicants to obtain a permit for certain roadside tree
activities as part of the existing right-of-way pennit issued by the Department of
Permitting Services (DPS); authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create
a tree replacement fimd to pay for needed roadside'trees; and directs the County
Executive to adopt regulations further specifying roadside tree work standards.
The Department of Permitting Services will administer the law. The Department of
Transportation's Chief of Tree Maintenance will manage the consultations pertaining to a
recommended county tree list that will include each tree the Department identifies
as
suitable for planting on specific sites and conditions in the right-of-way of a public road.
2.
An
estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether
the revenues or expenditures are assumed
in
the recommended or approved budget.
Includes source of information, assumptions, and methodologies useq.
ill
The Department ofPennitting Services (DPS) estimates additional staffing will be
necessary to meet the required reviews and inspections:
II
1 Certified kborist (Grade 26)
I!I
.25 Senior Permitting Services Specialist (Grade 26)
BI
2 Senior Permitting Services Inspectors (Grade 23)
Ii
.30 Senior Permit Technician (Grade 19)
First year expenditures are projected at $347,075 consisting of $258,687
in
personnel
costs and $88,388 in operating costs ofwhich $71,464 are one-time costs for vehicles and
equipment. DPS estimates the bill will generate an additional 500 permits per year at a
minimum of $135 per permit for projected additional annual revenues of $67,500. DPS
has indicated they can absorb the fractional positions within existing staff.
• The Depal1ment of Environmental Protection (DEP) does not anticipate any measurable
fiscal impact from the proposed bill.
• The Department of General Services (DGS) estimates the cost of an average county
project
will
increase between $2,000 and $12,500 with consultant costs comprising an
estimated $1,500 to $5,000 per project and construction costs an estimated $500 to
$7,500 per project. DGS notes it will take several iterations of the proposed projects
in
order to accurately project a predictable cost. For the purpose ofthe FY15-20 CIP, each
project
will
be budgeted and scheduled using the high end projections given
implementation ofthe bill. DGS estimates permit fee costs of $250 to $1,500 per project
and assumes five project starts per year.
" The Department of Transportation (DOT) does not anticipate additional costs associated
with the proposed changes. Projects that currently need NRIJFSD and forest
conservation plan (FCP) approval through M-NCPPC will continue to follow the current
permit issuance process andW'.t1r-therefore be exempt from requirements of the proposed
bill. Any projects small enough to be covered under the proposed bill of 40,000 square
feet and less will be required to have tree replacement and stump grinding or tree
protection. All ofthese activities are currently completed on most DOT projects of this
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size. Montgomery County Code;Chapter 49 exempts DOT from the permit process
when conducting routine tree maintenance and emergency tree maintenance
in
the
County right-of-way. Consequently) this bill will
~ave
little or no effect on DOT's tree
maintenance programs.
The proposed bill creates a Tree Replacement Fund for fees collected as a result of tree
distUrbance and as the source of funds to pay for needed roadside trees. DOT would
manage this fund.. The tree replacement fund would have additional work hours
attributed to office staffto maintain the:fund and to the :field operations portion of the
planting program. DOT has a $100,000 annual planting program where the additional
tree planting completed as a consequence of the replacement fund can be implemented
into the current program efficiently and with relative ease and negligible costs. With
respect to revenue, DOT
has
indicated the number ofpayments to the tree fuUd cannot be
predicted.
.
.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least the next 6 :fIScal years.
e
DPS projects expenditures of $347,075 dupng year one and $276,331 annually thereafter
for a six year total of$1,728,730. The bill is estimated to generate an additional 500
permits per year at a minimum of $135 per permit for projected additional annual
revenues of $67,500 or $405,000 for six years.
DOS estimates the cost of an average county project
""ill
increase between $2,000 and
$12,500 for a six year total between $12,000 and $75,000. DOS notes it will take several
iterations of the proposed projects
in
order to accurately project a predictable cost.
a
4. An actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that would
affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
Not applicable. The proposed bill does not affect retiree pension or group insurance
costs.
5. Later actions that may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the
bill
authorizes
future spending.
The proposed bill requires the County Executive to amend the law regarding streets and
roads and adopt regulations that are at least as stringent as applicable state roadside tree
standards and requirements specifying road side tree protection, conservation, and
replacement standards. The County Executive's amendments in addition to potential
state actions may cause expenditures to change on imposed mandatory requirements
particularly ifthe County adopts requirements that are more stringent than statewide
requirements.
6.
An
estimate of the staff time needed to implement the bill.
.
.
DPS estimates additional staffing willbe necessary to meet the required reviews and
inspections:
II
II
II
..
1 Certified Arborist (Grade 26)
.25 Senior Permitting Services Specialist (Grade 26)
2 Senior Permitting Services Inspectors (Grade 23)
.30 Senior Permit Technician (Grade 19)
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For the certified arborist job class the enactment of the bill includes an additionall,550
hours oftime or the equivalent of 1 work
year~
.
- 150 hours or
Yz
hour per plan for review of rougbly 300 existing
DNR
permits for tree
removal
- 500 hours or
Yz
hour per plan for review of rougbly 1,000 existing ROWand sediment
control pennits that affect critical root zone
- 250-hours or
Yz
hour per plan for review of approximately 500 existing activities not
currently requiring a
DPS
ROW or sediment control permit such as house additions,
plumbing, and utility activities outside ofthe right of way
- 300 hours for blanket permits as specified
in
the proposed bilL
- 250 hours for administration of exceptions as specified in the proposed bill for
emergency work and certain utility work
- 100 hours to work with other agencies on administration, technical support,
construction standards and training
For the 2 semor permitting inspector posItions the enactment of the bill includes an
additional 3,050 hours of time for inspection staff or the equivalent of2 work years.
- .1,500 hours or.I.5 additional inspections for roughly 1,000 existing ROWand sediment
control permits that affect critical root zone
- 1,000 hours or 2 inspections per permit for approximately 500 existing activities not
currently requiring a
DPS
ROW or sediment control permit such as house additions,
plumbing, and utility activities outside ofthe right ofway
- 300 hours for blanket permits
- 250 hours for adminisU'ation of exceptions for emergency work and certain utility work
7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties.
DPS
projects the need for 3 additional staff to meet the required number ofreviews and
inspections ..
DPS
will absorb the fractional positions within existing staff.
8,
An
estimate of costs when an additional appropriation is needed.
No additional appropriation is required in FY13,
In
FY14 and beyond additional
appropriation will be required to cover estimated costs for
DPS
($276,331). Additional
. costs for DGS ($75,000) will be reflected in the cost of CIP projects. Costs will be offset
by increased revenues.
9. A description of
any
variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
Article
I,
Section 49-35 (b) states the County Executive must collect a fee for each right­
of-way and roadside tree work pennit. This fee would be set by method 3 regulation and
must be proportionate to the cost of replacing each affected tree using a replacement ratio
specified by regulation that takes into account the survival rate ofnewly planted trees;
must be computed according to the size of the affected tree, may consider the species,
age, rarity, and historical value (if any) ofthe affected tree; and must not be less than $35
per circumference/inch ofthe affected tree. All listed fee calculation variables have a
potential impact on revenue estimates.
The proposed bill also defines a recommended County list of approved trees, Any tree
that is planted on a public right-of-way must be a species and variety from the
@
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recommended County tree list and must conform to the American Standard for Nursery
Stock. The breadth of criteria for an approved tree will affect the volume of permits and
thereby corresponding revenues and cost estimates.
DOT has indicated the number ofpayments to the tree fund cannot be predicted.
10. Ranges of revenue or expenditures that are nncertain or difficult to project.
See #9
11.
If
a bill
is
likely to have no fiscal impact, why that is the case.
Not applicable.
12. Otherfiscal
i~pacts
or comments.
Not applicable.
13. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Rick Brush, Department of Pennitting Services;
Donald Scheuerman Jr., Department of General Services;
Stan Edwards, Department of Environmental Protection; .
R Keith Compton, Department of Transportation;
Brett Linkletter, Department of Transportation;
Amy Wilson, Office of Management and Budget;
Dennis Hetman, Office of Management and Budget
Date
\
1(,\
(l3
@
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Economic Impact Statement
Council Bill 41-12
Streets and Road, - Rqadside Trees - Protection
Background:
This proposed legislation would:
• require a permit for certain roadside tree activities as part of the existing right-of­
way permit issued by the Department of Permitting Services (DPS);
• authorize the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a tree replacement
fund to pay for needed roadside trees;
• direct the County Executive to adopt regulations further specifying roadside tree
work standards;
• amend Chapter 49, Sections 49-35 and 49-36, of the Montgomery County Code;
• require the Department of Permitting Services to administer the law; and
• require the Department of Transportation's Chief of Tree Maintenance to manage
the consultations pertaining to a recommended county tree list that will include
eacH tree the Department identifies as suitable for planting on specific sites and
conditions in the right-of-way of a public road.
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
Estimates of permit activity, permit costs, and additional development costs as a
result of the subject legislation per the Departments of Permitting Services,
Transportation, and General Services (see Fiscal Impact Statement).
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
The number of projects subject to the new permitting requirements, the cost of
permit fees, and the additional consultation and construction costs required to .
comply with the terms of the subject legislation and resulting regulations.
3. The Bill's positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, saving,
.
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
Based on preliminary estimates of permit costs, additional development costs, and
the number of projects subject to the new permitting requirements, the legislation
is not expected to have a material or quantifiable impact on employment,
spending; saving, investment income, or property values in the COlUlty.
Development costs may increase based on the legislation because of the permit
fees and the costs of compliance with the legislation. TIle cost per project will
vary based on the location, scope, nature, and other Gircumstances of each project.
However, using the estinlate of the potential number of new permits from DPS
and the range of cost impact per County project by DGS the table below indicates
a range of potentially increased development costs.
Page 1 of2
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Economic Impact Statement
Council Bill 41-12
Streets and Road, - Roadside Trees - Protection
Tolal Costs
Per
Number of
.
Project (including
Permits
Low Range
High Range
500
$
500
$
Permit Fee
Total
Permit Fees
Costs
Per Project
135
$
135
$
67,500
67,500
Fees
$
1,067,500
6,317 ,500
$
2,000
12500
$
4.
If
a Bill
is
likely to have no economic impact, why is that the case?
See item #3.
5. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis: David Platt and Mike
Coveyou, Finance and Richard Brush, Department of Permitting Services.
Page 2 of2
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SUBTITLE 4. TREES AND FOREST NURSERIES
PART I. ROADSIDE TREES
5-401. Definition.
In this subtitle, roadside tree means any tree or shrub growing within the right-of­
way of any public road. [An. Code 1957, art. 66C, § 359; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4, § 1;
2009, ch. 289.]
5-402. Powers of Department generally; establishment of State forest nurseries.
The Department may plant trees along the roadsides, make rules and regulations
governing the planting, care for and protect any roadside tree, and establish one or more
State forest nurseries for the propagation of trees for any roadside planting. [An. Code
1957, art. 66C, § 358; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4, § 1; 2009, ch. 289.]
5-403. Plans for planting or care of trees.
(a)
Application.-
If the governing body or the road supervisors of any county of
the State, the Department of Transportation, the council of any municipality, or any
organization or person applies to the Department to plant, care for, or protect any
roadside tree, the Department shall evaluate the application and inform the applicant
concerning the advisability of the requested planting, care, or protection. If, in the
judgment of the Department, the requested planting, care, or protection is advisable, the
Department shall prepare and submit to the applicant a plan for the same, including an
estimate of the cost.
(b)
Approval and implementation ofplan.-
Any plan to plant, care for, or protect
roadside trees may not become operative until the applicant approves the plan and has·
guaranteed to the Department the cost of the work. When the applicant approves a plan
the Department has prepared, and the applicant has guaranteed payment of the cost in a
manner satisfactory to the Department, the Department shall perform, or cause to be
performed, the specified planting, care, or protection of roadside trees.
(c)
Payment ofunexpended balanees.-
The Department, without being requested
as provided in subsection (a) or guaranteed as provided in subsection (b), may plant, care
for, and protect roadside trees and pay for the work out of any unexpended balance of the
amount appropriated for the purposes of this subtitle. However, no tree may be planted
under the provisions of this section without the consent and approval of the owner of the
land on which planted.
Cd)
More stringent loeallaw allowed.-
Except as provided in subsection (e) of
this section, a county or municipality may adopt a local law or ordinance for the planting,
care, and protection of roadside trees that is more stringent than the requirements of § § 5­
402 and 5-406 of this subtitle if the local law or ordinance does not conflict with the
provisions of §§ 5-402 and 5-406 of this subtitle.
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(e)
Exceptions.-
A county or municipality may not adopt a local law or ordinance
for the planting, care, and protection of roadside trees that applies to:
(1) The cutting or clearing of public utility rights-of-way or land for electric generating
stations licensed under
§
7-204,
§
7-205,
§
7-207, or
§
7-208 of the Public Utility
Companies Article, provided that:
(i) Any required certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity have been issued in
accordance with
§
5-1603(f) of this title; and
(ii) The cutting or clearing of the forest is conducted so as to minimize the loss offorest;
(2) The routine maintenance of public utility rights-of-way; and
(3) The cutting or clearing of public utility rights-of-way or land for new transmission or
distribution lines.
(f)
Stop work order.-
A county or municipality that adopts a local law or
ordinance in accordance with subsection (d) of this section may issue a stop work order
against any person that violates any provision ofthe local law or ordinance. [An. Code
1957, art. 66C,
§§
360-362; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4,
§
1; 2009, ch. 289.]
5-404. Authority of enforcement.
(a)
Forest wardens and others.-
Forest wardens and other persons having police
powers in the State, in addition to their regular duties, shall enforce the law for the care
and protection of roadside trees. In the enforcement of these laws, they possess the same
powers as a peace officer to arrest with a warrant.
(b) County or municipality.-
The Department may authorize a county or
municipality to enforce
§§
5-402 and 5-406 of this subtitle. [An. Code 1957, art. 66C,
§
363; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4,
§
1; 2009, ch. 289.]
5-405. Payment by Department to forest warden for making required examinations,
planting and care oftrees, etc.; reimbursement of Department by applicant for
payments.
For his services in making examinations, as provided in
§
5-403 (a) of this
subtitle, the Department shall pay the forest warden upon presentation and approval of his
accounts with vouchers, for services in planting roadside trees, trimming, spraying, or
otherwise caring for existing roadside trees, as provided in § 5-403 (b) of this subtitle.
The applicant who guarantees the cost of work shall reimburse the Department for the
services ofthe forest warden and his helpers upon presentation of the forest warden's
accounts with vouchers, and upon the approval of the Department. The applicant shall
pay for the forest warden's services in examining conditions serving as a basis for permits
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applied for under § 5-406 of this subtitle, for issuing permits, and for supervising work
authorized by the permits. The Department shall determine the rate to be paid under this
section. [An. Code 1957, art. 66C,
§
364; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4, § 1; 2004, ch. 25,
§
6.]
5-406. Permit to cut down or trim trees; exceptions; prohibited conduct without
permit; penalty.
(a)
Application for permit required.-
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this
section, any person who desires to cut down or trim any roadside tree shall apply to the
Department for a permit.
(b)
Exceptions.­
(1) A person may remove a tree or its branches without first obtaining a permit
from the Department if the tree is unrooted or its branches broken so as to contact
telephone, telegraph, electric power, or other wires carrying electric current, or if the tree
or its branches endanger persons or property.
(2) A tree may be cut down and removed by an abutting landowner for the
landowner's own use without first obtaining a permit if the tree is standing within the
right-of-way of a public road which has not been surfaced with either stone, shell, gravel,
concrete, brick, asphalt, or other improved surface.
(c)
Prohibited cofJduct.-
A person may not cut down, trim, mutilate, or in any
manner injure any roadside tree, except as authorized by this section, without a permit
from the Department.
(d)
Restriction by county or municipality to issue buildingpermit.-
A county or
municipality may not issue a building permit to an applicant for any clearing,
construction, or development that will result in the trimming, cutting, removal, or injury
of a roadside tree until the applicant first obtains a permit from the Department in
accordance with this section.
(e)
Penalty.-
A person who trims, cuts, removes, or injures a roadside tree in
violation of a regulation adopted under § 5-402 of this subtitle or a permit issued under
this section or who fails to obtain a permit as required by this section is liable for the
imposition of a penalty:
(1)
Not exceeding $2,000 for a first offense; and
(2) Not exceeding $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense.
[An. Code 1957, art. 66C,
§
365; 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., ch. 4,
§
1; 2009, ch. 289.]
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Title 08 DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL
RESOURCES
Subtitle 07 FORESTS AND PARKS
Chapter 02 Roadside Tree Care
Authority: Natural Resources Article, §§5-209 and 5-406, Annotated Code of
Maryland
.01 Purpose.
The purpose of these regulations is to implement Natural Resources Article, § 5-401--5-406,
Annotated Code of Maryland, to ensure the proper care of roadside trees in the interest of
promoting and maintaining healthy trees and safe, unobstructed, and aesthetically pleasing public
roads and rights-of-way .
.02 Definitions.
A.
In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) "Director" means Director of the Maryland Forest Service.
(2) "Dripline" is a line extending from the outer reaches of a tree crown vertically to the
ground.
(3) "Forest Service" means the Maryland Forest Service.
(4) "Licensed tree expert" means a person licensed under Natural Resources Article, §5­
415 et seq., Annotated Code of Maryland.
(5) "Person" includes the State, a county, municipal corporation, or other political
subdivision of the State. or their units, or an individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor,
administrator, fiduciary, or representative of any kind, or a partnership. firm, association, public or
private corporation, or other entity.
(6) "Pesticide" means a:
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
Page 2
(a) Chemical or biological preparation used to kill, inhibit, or regulate growth on
targeted plants, their spores or seed, including:
(i) Herbicides,
(ii) Insecticides,
(iii) Tree growth regulators, and
(iv) Fungicides;
(b) Substance or mixture of SUbstances intended for:
(i)
Preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating pests,
(ii) Use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant, or
(iii) Use as a spray adjuvant such as a wetting agent or adhesive.
(7) "Public road" means a road the title to which, or the easement for the use of which, is
vested in a public body or governmental agency.
(8) "Recommended tree list" means a list of trees approved by the Forest Service and
those recommended by the Forest Service that are suitable for planting on specific sites and for
specific conditions within the right-of-way of a public road.
(9) "Right-of-way of a public road" means that land the title to which, or an easement for
which, is held by the State, county, or a municipality for use as a public road.
(10) "Roadside tree" or "tree" means a plant that has a woody stem or trunk that grows
all, or in part, within the right-of-way of a public road.
(11) "Roadside tree care expert" means an individual representing a governmental
agency who:
(a) Is designated to supervise that government's roadside tree planting and
maintenance operations;
(b) Has passed the Forest Service's examination for Roadside Tree Care
Experts; and
(c) Has been approved by the Forest Service as qualified to supervise that
government's tree care program.
(12) "Tree care" means:
(a) Removal of a roadside tree;
(b) Planting or maintenance, or both, of a roadside tree;
(c) Application of pesticide to a roadside tree; or
(d) Treatment that may affect the health or growth of a roadside tree.
(13) "Tree care crew" means a unit from a public or private entity whose purpose is to
maintain roadside trees as defined in §8(10) of this regulation, characterized by a service truck
and supervised by a licensed tree expert.
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
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(14) "Tree care standards" means tree care approved by the Forest Service and in
accordance with the roadside tree care standards set forth in Regulations .07-.09 of this
chapter.
.02-1 Incorporation by Reference.
A.
In this chapter, the following document is incorporated by reference.
B. Document Incorporated. American Standard for Nursery Stock, ANSI Z60.1-1996, (American
National Standards Institute, Inc. November 6, 1996) .
.03 Permit Required.
A.
A person may cut down or prune a roadside tree without a permit if the tree:
(1) Is uprooted or its branches are broken to contact telephone, telegraph, electric power,
or other wires carrying electricity, or if the tree or its branches are an immediate danger to person
or property; or
(2) Stands within the right-of-way of a public road which has not been surfaced with either
stone, shell, gravel, concrete, brick, asphalt, or other improved surface material, and only if the
tree is cut down and removed by, or at the request of, the abutting landowner for the landowner's
own use.
B. Except as provided in §A of this regulation, a person shall obtain a permit to perform tree care
to a roadside tree.
C. A person providing tree care under §A(1) of this regulation shall inform the Forest Service, by
calling or writing within 1 week of the action taken, of the place or general area where that action
was taken, and provide a proposed plan to upgrade the work, if necessary, to tree care
standards. The Forest Service shall approve, modify, or reject a proposed plan within 2 weeks
after an examination of the work.
.04 Types of Roadside Tree Care Permits.
A.
Roadside tree care permits are of two types:
(1) Permits issued for a specific tree or group of trees for specific tree care operations for
a term not exceeding 1 year from the date of issuance; and
(2) Permits issued for comprehensive and continuing programs of general tree care such
as those administered by State agencies, counties, municipalities, corporations, and public
utilities.
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
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B. Permits issued under §A(2} of this regulation are issued only for specified types of tree care,
based upon the skills of those supervising the program.
C. For tree care not authorized in a permit issued under §A(2} of this regulation, a permittee shall
obtain a separate tree care permit.
D. Permits are issued for a calendar year, and may be renewed upon application .
.05 Issuance of Roadside Tree Care Permits.
A.
A request for a roadside tree care permit:
(1) May be made by:
(a) A person owning title to the land on which the tree or trees are located,
(b) A governmental entity possessing an easement for the public road right-of­
way in which the tree or trees are located,
(c) A person responsible for providing tree care to the tree or trees,
(d) A person whose property abuts the right-of-way at the point at which the tree
or trees are located,
(e) A public utility. or
(f)
An authorized agent of one of the entities in §A(1)(a)-----(e) of this regulation;
and
(2) Shall be made by an applicant to the appropriate office of the Forest Service.
B. Following a request for a permit, a representative of the Forest Service shall meet with the
applicant and conduct an on-site examination of the proposed tree care.
C. For permits authorizing continued tree care programs under Regulation .04A(2) of this chapter,
an examination is necessary only as specified in the permit. An examination is not required for
the renewal of the permit.
D. The Forest Service may issue a permit for tree care if the applicant shows that the proposed
tree care will meet one of the following conditions:
(1) Eliminate a hazard to property, public safety, or health;
(2) Improve or prevent a deteriorated tree condition; or
(3) Improve the general aesthetic appearance of the right-of-way.
E. Unless exempted by the Forest Service, if a tree is removed it shall be followed by replanting
of a species on the recommended tree list that is suitable to the location.
F. Roadside tree care permits shall specify:
(1) The name and address of the permittee;
(2) The area where the tree care will occur;
(3) The particular tree or trees involved;
(4) The type of tree care permitted;
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
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(5) The term of the permit;
(6) Whether supervision of the tree care is required; and
(7) Limitations or conditions on the tree care or planting considered advisable by the
Forest Service.
G. Except for a tree care permit issued to a government agency for which tree care is provided
under the supervision of a roadside tree care expert, the Forest Service shall provide supervision
for the tree care work.
H.
If
the Forest Service denies a permit, the Forest Service shall notify the applicant of the
reasons for denial within 10 days of receipt of the application for the permit.
I.
The Forest Service may:
(1) Modify the terms and conditions of a permit in accordance with provisions and
objectives of the roadside tree care laws and regulations; or
(2) Suspend or cancel a permit for a violation of a:
(a) Condition of the permit, or
(b) Provision of Natural Resources Article, §5·401 et seq., Annotated Code of
Maryland, or implementing regulation.
J.
Request for Hearing.
(1) A person whose request for a roadside tree care permit is denied, or whose roadside
tree care permit is suspended or reVOked, has the right to be heard regarding the denial or
suspension or revocation of the permit. after submitting a request in writing not later than 10 days
after the date on which the denial or suspension or revocation notice is served.
(2) The Director shall schedule a hearing within 10 days from receipt of a request and
render a decision within 10 days from the date of the hearing .
.06 Fees.
A. Fees for roadside tree care permits are calculated according to the following schedule:
(1) If Forest Service supervision of the proposed tree care is required for a permit under
Regulation .04A(2) of this chapter, the fee for issuing the permit, and for supervising work
authorized by the permit, is:
(a) $2,500 per year per tree care crew, or
(b) $250 per month per tree care crew;
(2) The fee for issuing the permit and for supervising work authorized by the permit under
Regulation .04A( 1) of this chapter is $25; and
(3) A fee is not required for a tree care permit issued to an applicant that is a government
agency.
B. If a permit request is denied, a fee is not required.
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C. Billing for tree care crews is made either annually or quarterly. at the option of the tree care
crew .
.07 Roadside Tree Care Standards.
A. General Requirements. Unless the Forest Service grants an exception, treatment of roadside
trees authorized by permit shall be performed according to the following standards:
(1) Branches to be removed shall be cut back to a live lateral branch at least 1/3 the
diameter of the severed branch;
(2) Cuts shall be made sufficiently close to the trunk or parent limb without cutting into the
branch collar or leaving a protruding stub;
(3) Proper pruning techniques shall be followed at all times;
(4) Except when directed by the Forest Service, pruning cuts shall be left unpainted for
aesthetic reasons;
(5) If the painting of cuts is required, only materials nontoxic to the cambial layer shall be
used;
(6) Dangerous deadwood and broken limbs which are located within the scope of the
work as defined in the permit shall be removed;
(7) Except when authorized by the Forest Service or when the tree is being removed,
climbing hooks or spurs are prohibited;
(8) Chips resulting from roadside tree care may:
(a) Be broadcast on a right-of-way except in ditches, waterways, turf, and
surfaced areas, and
(b) Not exceed 6 inches in depth on the right-of-way;
(9) The wrapping or winding of cable, wires, and other attachments around a tree,
fastening attac.hments to a tree to bruise or injure a tree, or cavity work performed on a tree. is
prohibited; and
(10) When trees are removed, replacement of those trees according to a plan may be
required by the Forest Service.
S.
Tree Clearance for Overhead Facilities.
(1) In addition to the requirements of §A of this regulation, a person who trims a tree to
provide clearance for utility wires, cables, or other facilities shall:
(a) Allow sufficient clearance for 2 years growth normally expected after
trimming, unless otherwise directed by the Forest Service;
(b) Take into account the health of the tree; and
(c) Make proper cuts that direct growth away from overhead wires and facilities in
compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
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(2) If a trimmed tree dies within 1 year or is in poor condition of growth as a result of that
trimming, the permittee shall, if required by the Forest Service. remove the tree and plant
replacement trees.
(3) Replacement trees shall be:
(a) Furnished by the permittee;
(b) In good condition;
(c) Of a recommended size and species; and
(d) Properly planted at locations to be determined by the Forest Service.
C. Ground Disturbance Requirements.
(1) The requirements set forth in this section:
(a) Are intended to protect roadside trees during construction, installation, and
maintenance of a structure requiring excavation;
(b) Apply to underground utilities such as:
(i)
Sewers,
(ii) Water and gas pipes,
(iii) Storm drains,
(iv) Electric, telephone, and television cables or conduits,
(v) Sidewalks,
(vi) Driveways, or
(vii) Roadways or similar structures.
(2) A permittee shall take all necessary measures to protect roadside trees from damage
during construction and associated activities.
(3) Damage sustained by a tree, such as broken limbs, roots, or scarred trunks, including
compaction damage, shall be repaired by the permittee.
(4) The Forest Service shall supervise the measures taken to protect and repair roadside
trees under this section.
D. Protection of Tree Roots.
(1) When an underground project subject to §C of this regulation encounters the roots of
a roadside tree, a permittee, in accordance with the guidelines in §D(2)----(15) of this regulation
or other criteria approved by the Forest Service. shall tunnel or bore under the tree or modify the
project to protect the tree's root system.
(2) For trees under 6 inches in diameter as measured 4
1/2
feet above average ground
level, all machine digging shall stop at the dripline of the tree, or where specified by the Forest
Service.
(3) For trees over 6 inches in diameter as measured
4112
feet above average ground
level, all machine digging shall stop when roots of 1 inch or more in diameter are encountered, or
when specified by the Forest Service.
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
Page 8
(4) Roots 1 inch or more in diameter may not be cut without approval of the Forest
Service.
(5) A tunnel or other method of modification of the project under or around the tree shall
be used if considered necessary by the Forest Service.
(6) The procedure noted in §D(5) of this regulation also shall be used to approach the
tree from the opposite side.
(7) At least 24 inches of undisturbed earth shall remain over the tunnel or bore, or above
other type of installation.
(8) For operations using shallow trenching techniques up to 12 inches deep, care shall be
taken to minimize root damage and protect the trunk of the tree.
(9) Roots 1 inch or larger, damaged during construction, shall be sawed off close to the
tree side of the ditch. Clean cuts shall be made at all tfmes.
(10) Installations affecting roadside trees shall be completed in as short a time as
possible to prevent the drying out of exposed roots.
(11) If considered necessary, the exposed root area within the ditch shall be watered and
fertilized as directed by the Forest Service.
(12) Tunnels shall be refilled and the soil tamped tightly to original firmness.
, (13) Trenches shall be filled to achieve and maintain original grade.
(14) Excess soil shall be removed from the site or disposed of as directed by the Forest
Service.
(15) Unless otherwise directed by the Forest Service, the ground shall be fertilized and
reseeded, cover shall be restored, and other procedures shall be followed as necessary to
prevent erosion around trees. '
E. Violations of Roadside Tree Standards.
(1) The Forest Service may require a person who fails to comply with §C or D ofthis
regulation to:
(a) Remove and replace a tree which dies within 1 year after the treatment
activity is completed;
(b) Document for 3 years the condition of a tree which shows decline within 1
year after the treatment activity is completed; and
(c) Remove and replace a tree which dies after 3 years following the completion
of the treatment activity, if the tree has been the subject of the documentation in §E(1 )(b)
of this regulation.
(2) The value of a tree to be replaced is determined as of the date of the violation .
.08 Use of Pesticides.
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
Page 9
A.
The use or application of a pesticide to a tree on a public road right-of-way in the State is
controlled as follows:
(1) A person applying a pesticide to a roadside tree shall have acquired certification and
licensure required by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and shall adhere to regulations in
COMAR 15.05.01;
(2) A person applying a pesticide shall apply only those pesticides registered for that use
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and
shall follow the manufacturers label directions for proper use;
(3) Before the time of pesticide application, the Forest Service shall be notified by a
permittee of the approximate time and place of application;
(4) Except when authorized by the Forest Service, a tree may not be treated with
herbicides unless it is 6 feet or less in height;
(5) Dead plant material resulting from the application of an herbicide shall be removed if
necessary for aesthetic or safety reasons, or both;
(6) Reasonable precautions shall be taken to:
(a) Avoid the use of herbicides on vegetation which contributes to soil retention,
particularly at highway cuts and fills and other areas with steep slopes, and
(b) Prevent the pollution of streams, and damage to adjoining properties .
.09 Roadside Tree Planting.
A. Trees to be planted on a public road right-of-way are subject to the conditions in §§B and C of
this regulation, in addition to conditions imposed by local ordinances.
B. Trees shall be of a species and variety from the recommended tree list, and shall conform to
the American Standard for Nursery Stock.
C. Roadside tree planting shall comply with a planting plan approved by the Forest Service, which
may include:
(1) Stump removal;
(2) Size and type of planting stock;
(3) Planting specifications;
(4) Spacing;
(5) Species;
(6) Proximity to overhead wires;
(7) Care and maintenance; and
(8) Other site considerations.
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Roadside Tree Care Regulations
Page 10
.10 Penalties.
Noncompliance with the provisions of this regulation constitutes a violation of law subject to the
penalties provided in Natural Resources Article,
§
5-1301, Annotated Code of Maryland.
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Department of Permitting Services
255 Rockville Pike, 2nd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850-4166
Phone: 311 in Montgomery County or (240) 777-0311
Fax (240)-777-6262
httpJlwww.montgomerycountymd.gov/permittingservices
Affidavit For Residential/Commercial Building Permit
Property Address _______________________________________________________
Building AP #(s)
_ _ _ _ _ _ __
Demolition
#
________________
To be signed by the PROPERTY OWNER - original signature required
Natural Resources Article Section 5-406(d) provides:
A county or municipality may not issue
a
building permit to an applicant for any clearing, construction, or development that will result in the
trimming, cutting, removal, or injury of
a
roadside tree until the applicant first obtains
a
permit from the
Department
(Maryland State Department of Natural Resources)
in accordance with this section.
I, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, declare and affirm that: (please choose only ONE)
Property Owner
(please print)
o
The building permit for which I am applying does not involve any roadside tree(s).
o
There is (are) a roadside tree(s) located within the area of building permit for which I am
applying, however, the construction will not result in the trimming, cutting, removal, or injury to
the tree(s).
o
There is (are) a roadside tree(s) located within the area of the building permit for which I am
applying and the clearing, construction, or development will result in the trimming, cutting,
removal, or injury to the tree(s). I have applied for a Tree Care Permit 'from the Maryland
Department of Natural Resources and understand that my building permit will not be issued
until a copy of the issued Tree Care Permit is submitted to DPS.
Property Owner Signature
Date
Page 1 of 1 Revised
10/13/2011
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Bill No. _ _ _ _
--=!...!-'-=-_ __
Concerning:
Streets and Roads ­
Roadside Trees - Protection
Revised:
12-6-12
Draft No. -'-11'---_
Introduced:
December 11, 2012
Expires:
June 11. 2014
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmembers Berliner and EIrich
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
require a permit for certain activities affecting roadside trees;
require certain persons to pay into a roadside tree replacement fund under certain
circumstances;
require the County Executive to adopt regulations specifYing certain roadside tree
protection, conservation, and replacement standards; and
generally amend the law regarding streets and roads.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 49, Streets and Roads
Sections 49-35 and 49-36
By adding
Chapter 49, Streets and Roads
Section 49-36A
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
QQ.ubJe underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law uncif.fected by bill.
The County Council/or Montgomery County, Maryland approves the/ollowing Act:
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Bill 41-12
1
Sec. 1. Sections 49-35 and 49-36 are amended and Section 49-36A is
added as follows:
49-35. [Permits for grading and construction] Right-of-way and roadside tree
work permit.
(a)
(1)
A person must not construct any road, sidewalk, shared use path,
curb and gutter, driveway, or drainage structure[,
such
construction
(including clearing,
or]~
2
3
4
5
6
begin any
and
tree
7
8
9
grading,
cutting)[,]~
or perform any tree work on any roadside tree,
without a permit from the Director of Permitting Services. Any
permit issued for roadside tree work must comply with Section
49-36A.
(2)
In this Section and Sections 49-36.1 49-36A, and 49-37, unless
otherwise specified, Director refers to the Director of Permitting
Services and Department refers to the Department of Permitting
Services.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
*
(b)
*
*
~
The County Executive must collect
fee, set
121
Method
J
regulation,
for each right-of-way and roadside tree work permit application.
19
w
[(c)]
@
[(e)]
20
21
*
*
*
*
*
*
[(d)]
W
Any violation of this Section is a Class A violation.
22
23
24
ill
[Half]
The Director must refund half the fees required by this Section
[must be refunded] to the applicant if a permit is rejected or withdrawn
[prior to the commencement of] before construction begins.
If an
25
applicant proposes to undertake a project using materials, standards, or
specifications superior to those required under this Article, the fees
charged must be computed on the estimated cost of the project as if it
- 2­
F:\LAw\BILLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft I I Comparison To State Law.Doc
26
.
27
@
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Bill 41-12
28
29
30
met those requirements.
[(f)]
(g)
[(g)]
{hl
*
*
*
*
*
*
31
32
33
34
49-36A.
Roadside tree work.
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
Licensed tree expert
means
!!
person licensed under Title
the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code
Subtitle
1
of
Pesticide
means a:
ill
chemical or biological preparation used to kill, inhibit, or regulate
growth on
!!
targeted plant, plant spore, or plant seed, including:
(A)
an herbicide;
an insecticide;
!!
tree growth regulator; and
!!
fungicide; or
48
49
50
51
ili2
.e.g
(D)
52
ill
substance or mixture of substances intended:
53
54
®
ili2
to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate
!!
pest;
for use as
!!
plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; or
-3­
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Bill 41-12
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{Q
for use as
adhesive.
§:
spray adjuvant, such as
§:
wetting agent or
Recommended
list
means
§:
list of trees approved
Qy
the
58
59
The recommended tree list must include
suitable for planting on
specific sites and conditions in the right-of-way of
§:
public road.
Roadside tree
means any
60
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that has
§:
woody stem or
trunk that grows all, or in part, in the right-of-way of any County or
State public road.
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66
. Tree work
means any activity affecting
§:
roadside tree, including:
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ill
ill
ill
removal of
§:
roadside tree·
planting pruning, root-pruning, or trimming
§:
roadside tree;
application of pesticide directly to
roadside tree;
72
ill
@
treatment that may adversely affect the health or growth of
roadside tree.
§:
73
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75
Applicability;· exceptions.
ill
The following activities do not reqUIre
roadside tree work permit:
(A)
§:
right-of-way and
76
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cutting or clearing
f!
public utility right-of-way or land for
an electric generating station licensed under Sections 7­
204, 7-205, 7-207, or 7-208 of the Public Utilities Article
ofthe Maryland Code, or any successor provision, if:
-4­
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Bill 41-12
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ill
any required certificate of public convenience and
necessity has been issued under Section 5-1603(t) of
the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code
or any successor provision; and
83
84
85
(in
the cutting or clearing is conducted in
minimizes the loss of forest;
§:
way that
86
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88
ill)
routine maintenance of
§:
public utility right-of-way; or
cutting or clearing
§:
public utility right-of-way or land for
§:
new
(Q
89
90
91
transmission or distribution line.
§:
ill
A licensed tree expert need not obtain
performed on:
permit for work
92
93
94
CA)
§:
tree that is uprooted
ill}
§:
tree branch that is broken and contacts
§:
telephone, cable
95
television, electric power, or other wire carrying electric
current; or
a
-
or tree
-
tree
- - -
branch
is endangering
§:
person or property.
96
97
98
99
ill
A certified arborist or licensed tree expert who provides tree
work under paragraph
ill
must, within one week after an action
is taken, give the Department:
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
CA)
notice of the property address, if available, and general
area where the action was taken; and
ill}
§:
proposed plan to upgrade the work, if necessary, to the
tree work standards in this Section .and applicable
regulations.
-5­
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Bill 41-12
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The Department must approve, modifr, or reject the proposed
plan, after reviewing the actions taken, within 14 days after
receiving the information.
(£1
Right-or-way and roadside tree work permit required.
ill
The Department must not issue
f!:
building or related permit to an
applicant for any demolition, clearing, pre-construction activity,
construction, or development that is likely to result in the
trimming, pruning, root-pruning, cutting, removal, or injury of
f!:
roadside tree unless the applicant first obtains
f!:
right-of-way and
roadside tree work permit from the Department.
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ill
Aright.:.of-way and roadside tree work permit is required for any
tree work on
f!:
utility located in
f!:
right-of-way, such as a:
®
sewer;
water or gas
~
storm drain;
electric, telephone, or television cable or conduit;
sidewalk;
driveway;
.em
.cg
CD)
@
ill
ill
ill
roadway or similar structure.
-6­
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Law.D~\
A person may receive
f!:
right-of-way and roadside tree work
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Bill 41-12
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136
137
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139
pennit to perfonn tree work ifthe person:
CA)
@)
holds title to the land where the roadside tree is located;
owns property abutting the right-of-way at the point where
the tree is located
(Q
is
£!
government agency that has an easement for the public
right-of-way where the tree is located;
140
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CD)
is responsible for providing tree care to the tree; or
is an authorized agent of any of these.
.em
@
Permit issuance and administration.
ill
After receiving an application for
£!
right-of-way and roadside
tree work pennit, the Department may meet with the applicant
and conduct an on-site examination of the proposed tree work.
ill
The Department may issue
£!
pennit if the applicant shows that
the proposed tree work is necessary to:
®
@)
eliminate or reduce
£!
hazard to property, public safety, or
health;
(Q
improve or prevent
£!
deteriorated tree condition;
improve the overall appearance ofthe right-of-way; or
CD)
.em
ill
The Department may issue:
F:\lAWlBILLS\1241 Streets And Roads-Roadside Trees\Draft II Comparison To State
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Bill 41-12
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[§)
®
£!
permit for
£!
specific tree or group of trees for specific
tree work for
£!
term not to exceed
1
year after the permit
issued; and
.em
ill
£!
permit for
£!
comprehensive and continuing program of
general tree work.
A permit issued under paragraph (4)(B) must specify the
~
of
tree work
it
covers, as allowed
!2y
the license of the person who
will supervise the program.
If the Department denies
£!
permit application, the Department
must notify the applicant of the reason.
ill
The Department may:
®
modify any term or condition of
£!
permit to best achieve
the objectives of this Article; or
.em
suspend or revoke
£!
permit if the holder violates
£!
condition of the permit or
£!
provision of this Section or the
Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code.
ill
Tree workperfOrmance; inspection; replacement.
ill
Each permittee must take all necessary measures to protect
£!
roadside tree from damage during
ill
A permittee must repair any damage
£!
tree sustains during
construction or
including any broken limb, root, or
scarred trunk, and any damage caused
!2y
soil compaction.
~
8
~
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Bill 41-12
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8i1l41-12
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ill
Use gfpesticides.
ill
Any permittee who applies
§:
pesticide directly to
§:
roadside tree
must be certified and licensed as required
Qy
the State
Department of Agriculture, and must comply with applicable
state regulations.
m
Any permittee who applies
§:
pesticide must only use
§:
pesticide
that is registered for that use
Qy
the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the State Department of Agriculture. Any
permittee who applies
§:
pesticide must follow the manufacturer's
label directions for proper use.
ill
ill
ill
Before applying
§:
pesticide,
§:
permittee must notify the
Department ofthe approximate time and place of application.
Unless the Department directs otherwise,
§:
permittee must not
apply an herbicide to
§:
tree ifthe tree is
Q
feet tall or higher.
A permittee must remove dead plant material resulting from the
application of an herbicide if removal is necessary for safety
reasons.
@
A permittee must take reasonable precautions
in
selecting and
applying
§:
pesticide on or near
§:
roadside tree to:
(A)
avoid the use of an herbicide on vegetation that contributes
to soil retention, especially at
§:
highway cut or fill and any
other area with
§:
steep slope; and
ill}
prevent stream pollution and damage to any adjoining
property.
(g)
Roadside tree planting.
- 10­
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Bill 41-12
240
241
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ill
Any tree that is planted on g public right-of-way must be of g
species and variety from the recommended County tree list and
must conform to the American Standard for Nursery Stock
ill
Each roadside tree planting must comply with g planting plan
approved
Qy
the
The planting
plan
®
lID
{9
ill)
ill)
[E}
stump removal,
size and
~
ofplanting stock;
planting specifications;
spacmg;
speCIes;
proximity to overhead wires;
care and maintenance; and
any other site consideration.
(Q)
!ill
ill
RegJdlations.
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~
Conservation Montgomery
TESTIMONY
Regarding Montgomery County Council
Bill 41-12,
Streets and Roads -- Roadside Trees - Protection
Delivered to
Montgomery County Council
by Arlene Bruhn
On behalf of Conservation Montgomery
January 17, 2013
President Navarro and Members of the Council:
I would like to take this opportunity to answer some questions that have arisen regarding
the street tree bill.
First -- Why do we need this bill? We already have a State Law.
The State
law
is not working. The Department of Natural Resources does not have staff to
enforce it. There is only one ranger to patrol the whole County. It often takes two weeks or
more to get a site inspection..
What makes the County
think
it can do better?
The County already requires right-of-way permits. Protecting roadside trees
will
be part of
the permit. The County has several inspectors who already enforce right of way permits
and who can investigate quickly.
Next -- But why should the County get involved with trees?
The trees along County roads are significant County assets. They are the backbone of our
green infrastructure. They are essential to our quality of life. They enhance property values.
They attract new residents to the County. These are tough economic times. We know trees
promote retail business and home sales.
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Next -- Will a homeowner still be able to remove the tree in front of
his
house? Why
bother replanting? We've got plenty of trees.
There is nothing in this bill that prevents a property owner from removing a street tree.
However.
if
he chooses to do so, he
will
be required to contribute to a fund for replanting
nearby.
We require this because we stand at a crossroads with respect to clitllilte change. We face
increasing C02 emissions. More traffic makes our urbanizing areas centers for
air
pollution.
Large expanses of brick and concrete transform densely built commercial zones into
tmhealthy heat islands. We need trees to stay cool in summer and absorb C02. We need
trees
in
winter to shelter us from harsh winds. The cheapest way to mitigate climate change
is to plant trees.
What about property rights?
Please understand: I value independent initiative and self-reliance. But I also value limits
and common sense. Running roughshod over a County street tree is not an inalienable right
granted by our County charter. Our shaded sidewalks and walking paths are cherished
community spaces that bring added value to our neighborhoods. We must sustain our
walkable communities, and it's absolutely right that street trees have the strongest
protections.
Allow me in closing to quote Thomas Jefferson:
"1 am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws ... But laws and institutions must go
hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more
enlightened, ... , new truths discovered..., institutions must advance ... to keep pace with
the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted
him
when a boy
as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of
his ...
ancestors." --
Thomas
J
effirsoll
Thank you,
Respectfully submitted,
Arlene P. Bruhn
7820 Glenbrook Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-986-5927
a.p.bruhn@verizon.net
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From Conservation Montgomery
State Roadside Tree Law and Bill 41-12
Issues and Responses
Introduction:
Bill 41-12 gives Montgomery County control of its street trees - control it currently does
not have. For a fee based on the tree(s) removed, the Bill allows any needed removal of
street trees. The fee would then be used by the County to replant street trees based on
resident demand and County-identified need.
Several questions have surfaced regarding the Bill- the need for it, its utility, and impact.
Below is list of those issues and responses to them.
Issues and Responses:
1. This bill is not needed because the State Roadside Tree Law (RTL) provides adequate
protection for the County's rights-of-way, or street trees.
Maryland's State Forester has clearly stated that his office does not have adequate
staff to enforce the RTL. Also, there are many cases of tree damage, destruction
and abuse associated with new home construction and property improvement
projects that have been reported by County residents over the years. The County
needs to be responsible stewards of its street trees for the benefit of all county
residents, and it must be realistic in its assessment of how that resource is treated
by those who do not own it.
2. The bill is not needed because the County already has jurisdiction over the street trees
in its rights-of-way.
State law gives State DNR jurisdiction over street trees in Montgomery County,
not Montgomery County itself. The 1914 law does not deny that the trees are a
County asset, but it does assert jurisdiction over them. In addition, only the State
has enforcement authority for the Roadside Tree Law through the DNR police.
The
law
and
associated
regulations
may
be
found
at:
http://v,'\vw.dnr.state.md.us/forests/programapps/nevwtlaw.asp
3. The bill is not needed because the RTL already requires builders and developers to
replant street trees if removed.
This is untrue. Replacements may be required at the discretion of the State
Forester, not Montgomery County arborists. Also, when the State Forester does
require a replacement, the ratio is one tree removed for one tree replanted with no
consideration given to the size of the tree removed. (See DNR regulations: Title 8,
Chapter 02, Subsection 07, A., 10)
®
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For example, the requirement to replace, a large, healthy, mature oak 70 feet in
height would be satisfied by planting a 7-foot-tall maple. The County is clearly
not getting an equal value for an asset lost. This is a good deal for the person
removing the tree, and a very bad deal for Montgomery County.
4.
It
is alleged that the bill will use fee moneys to hire an arborist to track it, thereby
eliminating any benefit in additional plantings of trees.
There will be little additional staffing needed. The bill creates a fee-based-system
that requires payment, based on the diameter and/or canopy size of the tree
removed, into the County's planting fund. These moneys would be used to plant
trees under various planting contracts already managed by county staff.
Bill 41-12 will require little if any additional staffing because it is based on a fee
system. If a tree is removed a fee is paid, and with those fees the County plants
street trees -- which it does annually. The planting contract it currently has can
be expanded to plant more trees with little or no impact to staff executing this
contract at present. Contracting costs should also decrease if tree numbers
increase, along with increased satisfaction from County residents who have been
on a list to receive a street tree for months or even years.
In addition, County oversight costs will be reduced. County staff would not be
required to approve developers' choice of trees to replant in the right-of-way, nor
inspect trees for proper planting procedures, inspect them for mortality two years
after planting, nor wrangle with a property owner or developer to get a tree
replanted if it dies years after planting.
5. The bill will create duplicative and confusing permitting requirements for those who
need to remove a County-owned street tree.
The bill is as stringent or more stringent than the RTL, and as such, DPS would be
able to get a blanket permit from DNR to place all permitting authority for street
tree removals and plantings within existing County processes, thereby
streamlining the permitting process.
Regulations regarding removal of trees along State rights-of-way and along rural
road rights-of-way/easements however, would remain unchanged. This bill
impacts only street trees within County-owned rights-of-way.
6. Most builders comply with the RTL, therefore no additional laws are required.
For builders (or anyone else) complying with the existing RTL, this Bill will have
minimal impact. The required County permit will be subsumed under the County
right-of-way permit that is already required. The principal modification is that the
2
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process for replacements is streamlined.
formula for canopy replacement.
It
is a fee-based system and a fair
7. County DPS already requires tree protection, therefore, a new law is not needed.
DPS requirements for tree protections are guidelines and therefore unenforceable.
\\Thile some builders comply with these guidelines, others do not. This law will
rectify this problem and will not impact persons already complying with tree
protection standards.
8. Fees will have to be paid to remove hazardous trees that may be dead or dying.
The bill does not require a permitee to pay for the removal of a hazardous tree.
9. Homeowners will be required to get a permit to care for a roadside tree, e.g., to mulch
it, to apply anti-gypsy moth tape, etc., even to water it.
\\Then the County plants a street tree they do so only with the permission of the
adjacent homemvner, with the hope that that homeowner will water and care for
that tree until it becomes established. The County would be hard pressed to
prevail in any actions against homeowners who properly care for their street trees.
10. This bill will restrict adjacent property owners in the Agricultural District who need
to clear the road rights of way for passage of farm equipment.
Funding needs to be restored for proper roadside vegetation maintenance. The
goal would be to ensure that any roadside tree removal is indeed necessary for
farming.
Most trees along agricultural district roads would not be subject to this law. For
those that are, the goal would be to ensure that any roadside tree removal is
indeed necessary for the clearance of moving farm equipment from place to place,
or for farming the adjacent lands.
11. Volunteer (trash) trees in the rights-of-way will make enforcement impractical.
The Bill is intended to protect and replace County-planted trees and those planted
by permit. While some volunteer trees may grow into a desirable street tree, many
do not, and a visit by a County arborist may be needed to make that
determination.
3
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13
'.
TESTIMONY OF MARK BUSCAINO
41-12:
ROADSIDE TREES- PROTECTION
JANUARY
17, 2013
My name is Mark Buscaino, a County resident,Executive Director.of Casey Trees and a
professional arborist. I'm testifying in support of Bill 41-12
Montgomery County's residents value their street trees. They provide numerous
benefits we know about - such as cooling and stormwater mitigation - and some we
.. don't - such as increasing the life of asphalt roadways. Bill 41-12 is designed to ensure
the County's street trees remain plentiful by:
.
1) Establishing a "pay to play" system where street trees may.be removed so long
as the appropriate fee is paid;
. 2) Placing the responsibility for replanting trees with the County, and;
. 3) ReqOiring a sensible number of replacements for trees removed.
1) Pay toPlay:
This bill
does
not
eliminate one's ability to remove a tree to build a home, construct
a driveway, etc. It allows tree removal so long as the required fee is paid into the
County's tree replacement fund. This
pay
to
play
mechanism was adopted in
response to concerns that the bill would make it impossible to remove a tree, or
onerous from a permitting standpoint. While imperiect in that trees are not truly .
"protected" as the Bill's title suggests, it is perhaps the best way to give flexibility for'
tree removals while ensuring that trees removed
will
be replaced. .
.
2) Replanting decisions placed with the County
Currently, when someone removes a street tree they can plant the replacement tree·
.themselves. This requires County staff to choose or approve the tree species and
location, inspect the tree after it's planted - and if it dies...,. try to get the person to
replant it which may require a bond. This system is costly, inefficient,. and a poor
use of taxpayer dollars. Washington DC has tried the same system now for·10
years and it has failed.
.
Bill 41-12 simplifies this by collecting a fee which the County uses to plant street
trees based on its own identification of need or resident requests. This reduces staff
time and cost per tree planted, and is far more efficient. It takes the County out of
the equation by creating a simple transaction (remove the tree, pay a fee) that is
finite, understandable and streamlined.
CaseyTrees"
WASHINGTON
DC
3030 12th Street NE ' W DC 20017
202.833.4010· f202.833.4092· caseytrees.org
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TESTIMONYOF MARK BUSCAINO
. BILLS 41-12
JANUARY 17, 2013
PAGE.20F3
Furthermore, this is an equitable system where the County responds to resident
street tree planting requests on a first-come, first-served basis. This ensures that
people who really want a street tree get one, which is a good County investment
because those people will water and care forthat tree, ensuring its survival.
If the person or developer removing the street tree wishes to replant, the County
would allow it after review of location and tree type, but this would not reduce the
required fee. The County would, however, if requested by the
property owner,
add
their request to the others received by,residents county-wide. This eliminates the
inequity of allowing someone who removes a large tree from getting a replacement
quicker than someone who has been on the waiting list for months or perhaps years ..
It
also eliminates the conflict created when a developer plants a tree with County
dollars which ultimately may not be wanted by the person who purchases the lot.
Finally,.and perhaps most important, developers have clearly stated that they want a
simple system minimizing County involvement because time is money. However,
when developers use tree removal fees to replant right-of-way trees the system
slows down. The County must approve the tree, its location, and the County must
follow up to ensure, the tree is planted according to the agreement - which should
require a bond - yet another step and more costs .. Better the developer plants trees
within the property itself with their own resources eliminating County involvement
altogether.
3) Replacement formula
Currently, removal of a 30 inch diameter tree -or any tree - requires one tree to be.
planted in its place. This is bad deal for the County, unfair to residents who benefit,
from that street tree, and; it provides absolutely no disincentive to removing trees
, when altemative solutions exiSt.
'
Using the 30" diameter tree as an example, the proposed legislation mandates
payment into the fund which would allow the county to plant 12 trees instead of one. '
If that seems like a lot, consider the size of the trees planted and removed in the
.
.illustration shown on Attachment 1.
As the illustration shows, even this replacement formula does not truly "replace"
what the County has lost, and furthermore this replacement scenario does not take
into account time.
Very few street
trees
survive the 60-70 years needed
to
reach
a
diameter of 30 inches. In DC, only
5%
of the city's 130,000 street
trees
are 30
inches in diameter
or
greater.
Using this as a guide, growing another 30" diameter
tree might well take
more than
12
replacements. And, one must also consider the
time lost in accrued benefits when that 30" diameter tree is removed and those
planted to replace it reach 30" - if they ever reach it at all.
My last comment deals with concerns about "double-permitting" with MD.;.DNR State
Permits. The State does not have adequate staff to review and address street tree
@.
removals, and this bill equals or exceeds State requirements. If passed, therefore, the
County could obtain a blanket permit from the State, essentially acting as their agent,
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TESTIMONY OF MARK BUSCAII\JO
BILLS
41-12
JANUARY
17,2013
PAGE30F3
eliminating the dual State-County permit process. The State should have no objection
because again, the County's requirements are equal or greater than what the State
requires, and again, the State has inadequate staff to enforce/monitor.
Conclusion
Bill 41-12 makes sense. It protects aCounty resource that is beloved by its residents,
but does not eliminate one's ability to remove a County-owned tree if it must go. When a
tree does need to be removed, it requires fee be paid that will ensure the County ca.n
plant a reasonable number of replacement trees to make up for tree canopy lost. And,
when replanting, the County would do so in an efficient and effective manner that
responds equitably to resident street tree planting requests on a first-come, first-served
basis.
a
I urge you to pass thisbill, and thank you for the opportunity to testify.
,
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Attachment 1:
Tree Replacement Scenario
Bill 41-12
47" Circumference
Existing Tree:
. 63" Circumference
Replacements:
8
Tree5;
4.7" Circumference Each
6
Trees;
4.7" Circumference Each
ExlstlngRee:
79"
Circumference
&utlacements:
10
Trees;
4.7" Circumference Each
Existing Tree:
94"
Circumference
Replacements:
12
Tree5;
4.7" Clrcumference Each
Figure Drawn to Scale
Author: MK Potts, Casey Trees
Date: January 2013
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EllA
Testimony
January 17,2013
Bill 35-12 Canopy Tree Bill
Bill 41-12 Roadside Tree Bill
let us take a moment to recognize the process that these bills followed to get to where we are today
and what that may tell us. Taking the bills one at a time, first, the Roadside Tree Bill:
Some in the environmental community report trees in the right-of-way, owned by the County, may be
disturbed, damaged or removed without proper consideration. Council Members Berliner and Eirich
sought insight from County staff and invited both the environmental community and the building
community in for discussion. The dialogue continues even to this day. In spite of everyone's best effort,
however, there remains a disconnect. We cannot agree that a real problem exists. It seems every
instance brought to our attention of a roadside tree problem involved a utility or the County and not a
builder. Is there a problem with builders? This is like the famous Groucho Marx line "Who are you going
to believe, me or your lying eyes?"
Well our "lying eyes" see the following:
1.
Builders have to obtain a DNR permit to disturb a tree in the Right-of-way that says, on the
permit, that the applicant must get permission from the owner of the right-of-way to disturb the
tree, the permit does not grant that right.
2. If we want to remove a tree, we are required to consult with a licensed tree expert and replace
trees removed and meet with the State Forester
3. The right-of-way and the trees are owned by the County
4. If we need to disturb the right-of-way we have to get a right-of-way permit from the County and
an Erosion and Sediment Control permit.
5. If we want to build a house, we have to get a building permit
6. On the building permit is a check-off that we have complied with the DNR permit.
7. We are required further to include an affidavit that we comply with the DNR permit.
8. If a R-O-W permit is required, we meet with the DPS inspector on-site to before we can proceed
9. DPS inspects the site numerous times to make sure we comply with our permits and before any
R-O-W bond can be released
If there are problems of compliance, DPS can identify the problem and seek corrective action before
they issue a final inspection.
We are told, through hearsay, that the State believes they do not have the manpower to enforce the
State law. Our experience tells us otherwise. But if that were true, the County still owns the tree, grants
the R-O-W permit, grants the Sediment Control Permit, grants the Building Permit, inspects the site,
grants the final inspection, releases any bonds and issues a U&O permit. And of course we are back to
the first question, is there really a problem with builders?
We find the argument that the County should have the right to regulate its trees compelling. If the bill
only moved the permit from the State to the County; no problem. However, in addition to ADDING a
new permit process (since they cannot eliminate the State Permit), this bill adds an application fee, a
tree removal fee, a tree replacement fee and protection for tree canopy on private property (though I
understand this clause will be removed). Easily many thousands of dollars. Instead of the builder
havin~
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responsibility to plant a replacement tree, the County takes over that responsibility. Well we already
know what are "lying eyes" can see concerning the maintenance and replacement of County street
trees, and it's not good.
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we would have to explain to our buyer why their street tree remains
unplanted.
This is a law that serves no appreciable purpose.
As to the Canopy Bill, we have been working over two years with Conservation Montgomery and DEP to
consider the best way to preserve and replace canopy within the urbanized parts of the County. This bill
unfortunately does not reflect any element of agreement with us and I do not think it addressed the
objectives of the environmental community. This bill comes down to a tax on disturbing any canopy
(not trees, just the ground under the tree canopy) on any lot for any reason with no opportunity to
mitigate on-site or off-site. You can avoid the disturbance (by not building) or pay the tax.
If
you have
no trees on your property, there is no tax. If you have trees on your property, well ... there may be an
incentive to change that because you will have to pay a fee to work under the canopy, even, by the way,
if the canopy is on your neighbor's property or in the R-O-W.
Unfortunately,for the homeowner and the builder, there is no real opportunity to avoid the tax since
most of the disturbance occurs to meet County requirements for 100% storm water storage on-site,
setback reqUirements, utility requirements, etc. Fortunately for the County, builders prefer to save
trees to avoid the cost of removing mature trees, unless they are dangerous and should be removed,
and homeowners like to plant trees.
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even without this bill, the County may be getting more tree
canopy over the long run.
If you want to charge a canopy Impact Tax, well let's see if we can agree on an appropriate amount.
Otherwise, please reject this bill.
Thank You.
5. Robert Kaufman
Director of Government Affairs
MNCBIA
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY FARM BUREAU
24110 Laytonsville Road
Gaithersburg Maryland 20882
301 253-1501
I
January 8, 2013
The Honorable lsiah Leggett
Montgomery County Executive
101 Monroe Street
Rockville Maryland, 20850
Dear COWlty Executive Leggett:
RE:BilI 41-12 Streets and Roads-Roadside
Trees-Protections
On behalf of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau-MCFB Board of Directors we are
submitting our comments regarding Bill 41-12 Streets and Roads-Roadside Trees­
Protections. The MCFB cannot support this Bill 41-12 unless
it
is amended as outlined in
this letter to address the needs of the agricultural commWlity in Montgomery COWlty.
The MCFB was very encouraged by the trimming of roadside trees that the Department
of Transportation-DOT completed during the summer of2012. Many County farmers
have provided positive comments regarding the trimming that was done on several rural
roads. Many rural and rustic roads are still in need of tree trimming to insure the safe
movement of vehicles and farm equipment. The Department of Transportation staff
should be commended for the good work they did last year and the MCFB encourages the
DOT to continue these tree trimming efforts this year 2013. UnfortWlately it appears the
DOT efforts for trimming roadside trees will be negatively impacted by the Bill 41-12.
It
is our understanding that the Department ofPermitting Services will issue the Right-of­
way and roadside tree work permit. The MCFB thinks this means that if the DOT plans
to conduct tree trimming again in 2013 the DOT will need to obtain a permit from the
DPS before any tree work can be done. This outcome does not make any sense to us and
we strongly oppose this requirement if this represents the correct reading of Bill 41-12.
We understand the Bill 41-12 will require a Right-of-way and roadside tree work permit
for performing any tree work on any roadside tree. The MCFB understands that an
exception is proposed in the Bill 41-12 for cutting or clearing a public utility right-of-way
or land and this exemption includes routine maintenance. The MCFB is concerned that
Bi1141-l2 appears to prevent the type of trimming of roadside trees done last year by the
DOT as discussed above unless DOT obtains the permit from the DPS.
The MCFB respectfully recommends the Bill 41-12 be amended so that tree cutting.
clearing. and routine maintenance on all public rights-of-ways (All public roads whether
they are
In
Fee or Prescriptive rights-of-ways) and all agriculturally assessed properties
needs to be added into the Exceptions section ofthe Bill 41-12.
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During the County Council public hearing on June 12,2012 regarding the withdrawn Bill
16-12, Council member Nancy Floreen acknowledged that the rural and rustic roads in
the Agricultural Reserve are very different from the types of roads down county and
therefore, the rural and rustic roads should be looked at differently for the purposes of
tree trimming and routine maintenance. The MCFB strongly agrees with Council
member Nancy Floreen and the amendments listed above attempts to address what
Council member Nancy Floreen was advocating last year.
Thank you for considering the views of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau regarding
Bill 41-12.
Respectfully Submitted,
Lonnie Luther, President of Montgomery County Farm Bureau
Cc: County Council Members
Arthur Holmes, Director, DOT