Bill No. _ _ _
~....!=.
_ _ _ __
Concerning: Trees - Tree CanoDV
Conservation
Revised:
-:-'-'-==-:'-"'----:-~
Introduced:
_==,-,-,=...=..w~-,=-
_ _
Enacted:
----=-=.<--""=-=:=-'-7----­
Executive:
_~~...:..L.:::.:'-:'-'=-:-
_ __
Effective:
_---'""=.:..:=-='-'--="-'-'-_ _ __
Sunset Date:
-'-"'=_ _ _ _ __
Ch.
Laws of Mont. Co.
2013
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request ofthe County Executive
AN
ACT to:
save, maintain, and establish tree canopy for the benefit of County residents and
future generations;
(2)
[[maximize tree canopy retention and establishment;]]
[[(3)
establish procedures, standards, and requirements to mmlImze the loss and
disturbance of tree canopy as a result of development;]]
(4)]]
provide for mitigation [[when tree canopy is lost or disturbed]] to offset the
environmental impacts of development and address the loss of environmental
resources, including trees and potential growing space for shade trees;
[[(5)]]
establish [[a fund]] an account for shade tree [[canopy conservation]] planting
projects, including plantings of individual trees[[,]] groups of trees[[, or forests,]]
on private and public property; and
[[(6)]]
~
generally revise County law regarding tree canopy conservation.
(1)
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 55, Tree Canopy [[Conservation]]
Sections 55-1, 55-2, 55-3, 55-4, 55-5, 55-6, 55-7, 55-8, 55-9, 55-10, and 55-11
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface bracketsD
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bin.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill
Added by amendment
Deletedfrom 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
No. 35-12
1
Sec.
1.
Chapter 55 is added as follows:
{IArticle
1.
Purpose and General Provisions.
2
3
4
5
55-1.
Short title.
This Chapter may be cited as the Montgomery County Tree Canopy
Conservation Law.
55-2.
Findings and purpose.
{gl
Findings. The County Council finds that trees and tree canopy
6
7
8
9
10
constitute important natural resources. Trees filter groundwater,
reduce surface runofL help alleviate flooding. and supply necessary
habitat for wildlife. They cleanse the air, offset the heat island effects
g[
urban development. and reduce energy needs. They improve the
11
12
quality
g[
life in communities f2J!. providing for recreation,
compatibility between different land uses, and aesthetic appeal. The
Council finds that tree and tree canopy loss as
fl.
result
g[
development
and other land disturbing activities is
fl.
serious problem in the
County.
@
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Purpose. The purposes
g[
this Chapter are to:
ill
save, maintain, and establish tree canopy for the benefit
g[
County residents andfuture generations;
20
21
m
ill
maximize tree canopy retention and establishment;
establish procedures, standards, and requirements to minimize
the loss and disturbance
g[
tree canopy as
fl.
result
g[
development;
22
23
24
f!1l
provide .for mitigation when tree canopy is lost or disturbed;
and
25
26
ill
establish
fl.
fund for tree canopy conservation projects,
-2­
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BILL
No.
35-12
27
including plantings gf individual trees. groups gf trees. or
forests. on private and public property.
55-3.
Definitions.
28
29
30
31
32
In this Chapter. thefollowing terms have the meanings indicated:
Critical Root Zone
means the minimum area beneath
f!.
tree. The critical
root zone is typically represented
f2J!.
f!.
concentric circle centering on the tree
trunk with
f!.
radius equal in feet to
1.5
times the number gf inches
Q[
the
trunk diameter.
Development plan
means f!.plan or an amendment to f!.plan approved under
33
34
35
36
37
Division 59-D-1 gfChapter 59.
Director
!!l
Environmental Protection
means the Director Qj the
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40
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42
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44
Department
Q[Environmental
Protection or the Director's designee.
Director
!!l
Permitting Services
means the Director
Q[
the Department
Q[
Permitting Services or the Director's designee.
Forest conservation plan
means f!.plan approved under Chapter 22A.
Forest stand delineation
means the collection and presentation Qj data on
the existing vegetation on
f!.
site proposedfor development or land disturbing
activities.
Land disturbing activity
means any earth movement or land change which
45
46
47
48
49
may result in soil erosion from water or wind or the movement Qj sediment
into County waters or onto County lands, including tilling. clearing, grading,
excavating, stripping, stockpiling, filling. and related activities. and covering
land with an impermeable material.
Limits
50
51
!!l
disturbance
means
f!.
clearly designated area
In
which land
disturbance is planned to occur.
Limits
52
53
!!l
tree
canopy disturbance
means all areas within the limits Qj
disturbance where tree canopy orforest exists.
-3­
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No. 35-12
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55
56
57
Lot
means
f!
tract gfland, the boundaries gfwhich have been established
fu!.
subdivision gf
f!
larger parcel, and which will not be the subject gffurther
subdivision. as defined
fu!.
Section 50-1, without an approved forest stand
delineation andforest conservation plan.
Mandatory referral
means the required review
58
59
60
fu!.
the Planning Board gf
projects or activities to be undertaken
fu!.
government agencies or private
and public utilities under Section 20-302 gf the Land Use Article gf the
Maryland Code.
Natural resources inventory
means
f!
collection and presentation gfdata on
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64
the existing natural and environmental information on
f!
site and the
surrounding area proposedfor development and land disturbing activities.
Person
means:
{gl
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To the extent allowed
fu!.
law, any agency or instrument gfthe federal
government. the state, any county, municipality, or other political
subdivision gfthe state. or any gftheir units;
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@
An individual. receiver. trustee. guardian. executor. administrator,
fiduciary, or representative gfany kind;
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72
~
Any partnership. firm. common ownership community or other
homeowners' association. public or private corporation. or any gf
their affiliates or subsidiaries; or
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76
&l
Any other entity.
Planning Board
means the Montgomery County Planning Board gf the
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. or the
Planning Board's designee.
Planning Director
means the Director gf the Montgomery County Planning
77
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Department or the Director's designee.
Preliminary plan !!l.subdivision
means f!planfor f!proposed subdivision or
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BILL
No. 35-12
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83
resubdivision prepared and submitted/or approvall2J!. the Planning Board
under Chapter 50 before preparation gf
f!.
subdivision plat.
Project plan
means
f!.
plan or an amendment to
f!.
plan approved under
Division 59-D-2 gfChapter 59.
Public utility
means any water company, sewage disposal company. electric
company, gas company, telephone company, or cable service provider.
Qualified professional
means
f!.
licensed /orester, licensed landscape
architect, or other qualified professional who meets all gf the requirements
under Section OB.19.06.01A gf the Code gf Maryland Regulations or any
successor regulation.
Retention
means the deliberate holding and protecting gf existing trees and
forests on the site.
Sediment control permit
means
f!.
permit required to be obtained/or certain
land disturbing activities under Chapter 19.
Site
means any tract, lot, or parcel gfland, or combination gf tracts, lots, or
parcels gf land, under
f!.
single ownership, or contiguous and under diverse
ownership, where development is performed as part gf
f!.
unit, subdivision. or
project.
Site plan
means
f!.
plan or an amendment to
f!.
plan approved under Division
59-D-3 gfChapter 59.
Special exception
means
f!.
use approved under Article 59-G gfChapter 59.
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95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
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105
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107
Sub
watershed means the total drainage area contributing runoff to
f!.
single
point, and generally refers to the B-digit hydrologic unit codes.
Technical Manual
means
f!.
detailed guidance document adopted under
Section
55-13
and used to administer this Chapter.
Tree
means
f!.
large. woody plant having one or several self-supporting
stems or trunks and numerous branches that can grow to
f!.
height gfat least
-5­
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No. 35-12
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20 feet at maturity. Tree includes the critical root zone.
Tree canopr means the area gf one or many crowns gf the trees on
g
site
including trees infOrested areas.
Tree Canopr Conservation Fund means
g
special fund maintained
In!.
the
County to be used as specified in Section 55-14.
Tree canopr cover means the combined area gfthe crowns gfall trees on the
site. including trees in forested areas.
Tree canopr cover laver means the Geographic Information System (GIS)
layer, or shape file, that contains polygons outlining the aerial extent gftree
canopy in the County or any portion gfthe County.
55-4.
Applicabilitv.
118
119
120
Except as otherwise provided under Section
55-5,
this Chapter applies to any
person required
In!.
law to obtain
g
sediment control permit.
55-5.
Exemptions.
121
122
123
This Chapter does not
Bl2J2iJ!.
to:
{g1
any tree nursery activity performed with an approved Soil Conservation
and Water Quality Plan as defined in Section 19-48;
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125
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127
128
@
any commercial logging or timber harvesting operation with an
approved exemption from the requirements under Article II gf Chapter
22A;
f£l
cutting or clearing trees in
g
public utility right-or-way fOr the
construction or modification gf electric generation facilities approved
under the Maryland Code Public Utilities Article
it.
129
130
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132
133
134
ill
the person cutting or clearing the trees has obtained
f!.
certificate
gfpublic convenience and necessity required under Sections 7­
207 and 7-208 gfthe Public Utilities Article; and
m
the cutting or clearing gffOrest or tree canopy is conducted so as
-6­
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BIll NO. 35-12
135
to minimize the loss gfboth;
(d)
routine maintenance or emergency repairs gf any facility located in
public utility rights-or-way;
136
137
138
&l
routine or emergency maintenance gf an existing stormwater
management tacility, including an existing access road,
jf
the person
performing the maintenance has obtained all required permits;
139
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141
fJl
{gl
any stream restoration project
jf
the person performing the work has
obtained all necessary permits;
the cutting or clearing any tree
142
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145
fu!.
an existing airport currently
operating with all applicable permits to comply with applicable
provisions gfanyfederallaw or regulation governing the obstruction gf
navigable airspace
jf
the Federal Aviation Administration has
determined that the trees create
f!.
hazard to aviation;
{bl
146
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151
cutting or clearing any tree to comply with applicable provisions gfany
federal. state, or local law governing the safety gfdams; or
(jJ.
any non-coal surface mining conducted in accordance with applicable
state law.
152
Article
2.
Tree Canopy Conservation Requirements, Procedures, and Approvals.
55-6.
Tree Canopy
(gl
153
154
155
156
=
General.
Submissions. A person that is subject to this Chapter must submit to
either the Director gfPermitting Services or the Planning Director the
.following information on the amount gfdisturbance gftree canopy.
(J)
157
158
Any person required
fu!.
law to obtain
f!.
sediment control permit
.for land disturbing activity that is not subject to Chapter 22A
must submit
f!.
limits gftree canopy disturbance concurrently with
the sediment control permit application to the Director gf
Permitting Services under Section 55-7.
-7­
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160
161
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m
Any person engaging in activity that is subject to Chapter 22A
must submit fllimits
gftree
canopy disturbance concurrently with
any other plan required under Chapter 22A to the Planning
Director under Section 55-8.
fJll
Timing
gf
submissions.
The person must submit the limits
gf
tree
167
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175
canopy disturbance fOr review in conjunction with the review process
for
fl
sediment control permit, forest conservation plan, development
plan. project plan. preliminary plan
gf
subdivision. site plan. special
exception. or mandatory referral.
If
fl
natural resources inventory/fOrest
stand delineation is required, the person must include the aerial extent
gf
the tree canopy with the natural resources inventory/fOrest stand
delineation as specified in Section 22A-10.
ffl
@
Incomplete submissions.
The Director
gf
Permitting Services or the
Planning Director must not approve an incomplete submission.
Review
gf
submissions. Each submission required under this Chapter
must be reviewed concurrently with the review
gf
any submission
required under Article
I
gfChapter
19
or Chapter 22A.
176
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178
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180
&l
Coordination
gf
review. The Director
gf
Permitting Services and the
Planning Director may coordinate the review
gf
any infOrmation
submitted under subsection
(gl
with other agencies as appropriate. The
reviews
!!1f!.r
be perfOrmed concurrently. and in accordance with, any
review coordination required under Chapter
19
or Chapter 22A.
181
182
183
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185
{fl
Time .frame
gf
validity. An approved limits
gf
tree canopy disturbance
submission remains valid fOr:
186
187
188
ill
not more than
2.
years unless the Planning Director has approved
either
fl
final forest conservation plan or preliminary forest
conservation plan that includes the limits
gf
tree canopy
-8­
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BILL
No.
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190
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195
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disturbance;
m
ill
{gl
not more than
2.
years unless
g
sediment control permit has been
issued
flY-
the Director gfPermitting Services and remains valid;
or
J.
years
if
the accuracy gf the limits gf tree canopy disturbance
has been verified
flY-
g
qualified protessional.
The Director gf Permitting
Issuance gf sediment control permit.
Services must not issue
g
sediment control permit to
g
person that is
required to comply with this Article until:
198
199
ill
the Planning Board or Planning Director, as appropriate, or the
Director gf Permitting Services has approved an applicant's
limits gfdisturbance; and
the applicant
Pf!Y.§.
anyfee required under this Article.
200
201m
202
203
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205
206
207
55-7.
Tree Canopy
{g1
=
Submissions to the Director
g[Permitting
Services.
General. The limits gftree canopy disturbance information submitted to
the Director gf Permitting Services must document the extent gf the
existing area gf tree canopy and the total area gf tree canopy to be
disturbed
flY-
the proposed activity.
f.!2l
Incorporation gf limits gf tree canopy disturbance. The limits gf tree
canopy disturbance information for the subject property must be
incorporated in
Q
sediment control permit or the site plan submittedfor
Q
208
209
210
211
212
213
building permit.
@
The limits gf tree canopy disturbance. The limits
gf
tree canopy
disturbance informationfor the subject site must include:
ill
g
map delineating:
214
215
ill
(Jll
the property boundaries;
the proposed limits
gf
disturbance including
fillY
off-site
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BILL
No. 35-12
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areas;
{{;.l
the aerial extent gf existing tree canopy cover on the
subject site,
!:!J!.
to
45
feet beyond the proposed limits gf
disturbance:
(D)
the intersection gf aerial extent gf existing tree canopy
cover and the limits gfdisturbance; and
(E)
any additional information specified
f2J!.
regulation; and
m
f!.
table summarizing the square footage
(Al
{J}l
{{;.l
the property;
the limits gfdisturbance gfthe proposed activity;
the aerial extent gfexisting tree canopy cover;
the limits gftree canopy disturbance; and
any additional information specified
f2J!.
regulation.
The Director gf
(D)
(E)
@
229
230
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238
Modification to limits gf tree canopy disturbance.
gftree canopy disturbance
it
Permitting Services may approve
f!.
modification to an approved limits
ill
the modification is consistent with this Chapter, field inspections
or other evaluations reveal minor inadequacies gf the plan, and
modirying the plan to remedy the inadequacies will not increase
the amount gf tree canopy removed as shown on the final
approved plan; or
m
&1
the action
is
otherwise required in an emergency.
Qualification gfpreparer.
If
f!.
tree canopy cover layer developed
fu!.
the
239
240
241
242
County is available and is used without alteration,
f!.
professional
engineer. land surveyor, architect, or other person qualified to prepare
erosion and sediment control plans under Chapter
19
is also qualified
to prepare the limits gf tree canopy disturbance information under this
- 10­
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BILL No. 35-12
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244
Section. Otherwise. the limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance infOrmation
must be prepared
In!.
f!.
qualified professional as defined in Section
245
246
08.19.06.01
g[
the Code
g[
Maryland Regulations or any successor
regulation.
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
55-8.
Tree Canopy Submission to the Planning Director.
{gl
=
General. The limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance infOrmation submitted
to the Planning Director must document the extent
g[
existing tree
canopy and the total area
g[
tree canopy to be disturbed
In!.
the
proposed activity. The Planning Director
mill!.
use the information to
identifY the most suitable and practical areas for tree conservation and
mitigation.
@
254
Limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance.
A person that is subject to this
255
256
257
258
259
Section must submit the same limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance
information as required under Section 55-7.
ffl
Incorporation
g[
the limits
g[
tree canopy. the natural resources
inventory/forest stand delineation. and.forest conservation plan.
!f
an
applicant is required to submit
f!.
natural resources inventory/forest
stand delineation, the extent
g[
tree canopy must be incorporated into
that submission fOr the same area included in the natural resources
inventory/fOrest stand delineation.
260
261
262
!f
an applicant is required to submit
263
264
265
a .forest conservation plan. both the extent
g[
tree canopy and the limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance must be incorporated into that submission
fOr the same area included in the. forest conservation plan.
@
266
267
268
Modification to limits
g[
tree canopy disturbance.
canopy disturbance that is consistent with this Chapter
it...
The Planning
Director
mill!.
approve
f!.
modification to an approved limits
g[
tree
269
ill
field inspection or other evaluation reveals minor inadequacies
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No. 35-12
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271
272
273
274
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276
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278
Q[the plan. and modifying the plan to remedy those inadequacies
will not increase the amount Q[tree canopy removed as shown on
the final approved plan; or
m
{§l
the action is required because Q[an emergency.
Submission for special exception.
!J
g
special exception application is
subject to this Chapter. the applicant must submit to the Planning Board
any information necessary to satisfy the requirements Q[ this Chapter
before the Board Q[ Appeals considers the application for the special
exception.
55-9.
Tree Canopy
{gl
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
=
Fee to Mitigate Disturhance.
Objectives. The primary objective Q[ this Section is the retention Q[
existing trees. Every reasonable effort should be made to minimize the
cutting or clearing Q[ trees and other woody plants during the
development Q[
g
subdivision plan. grading and sediment control
activities. and implementation Q[the forest conservation plan.
[Ql
Fees paid for mitigation. Mitigation required to compensatefor the loss
or disturbance
!Q,.
tree canopy must take the form Q[fees set
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
f!J:.
regulation under Method
1.
which the applicant
~
to the Tree
Canopy Conservation Fund. Mitigation fees are based on the square
footage Q[tree canopy disturbed and, therefore. increase as the amount
Q[ tree canopy disturbance increases.
To provide credit fbr on-site
landscaping, mitigation fees must not be applied to the first J.percent Q[
the area Q[ tree canopy disturbed
Canopy identified as part Q[ any
forest delineated in an approved natural resources inventory/forest
stand delineation and subject to afbrest conservation plan is not subject
to mitigation fees under this Chapter.
Article
3.
Enforcement and Appeals.
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No. 35-12
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298
299
300
55-10. Inspections and notification.
(gl
Permission to gain access. The Director gfPermitting Services or the
Planning Director may enter any property subject to this Chapter to
inspect, review, and enfOrce.
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
ill
Plan to be on site; field markings. A
f.QJ2l!.
gf the approved limits gf
tree canopy disturbance must be available on the site [or inspection
f2J!.
the Director gf Permitting Services or the Planning Director.
Field markings must exist on site be[ore and during installation gf all
tree protection measures, sediment and erosion control measures.
construction. or other land disturbing activities.
f£l
Inspections.
ill
The Director gf Permitting Services must conduct field
inspections concurrently with inspections required [or
g
sediment control permit under Article
I
gf Chapter
19
[or any
activity subject to Section 55-7.
309
310
311
312
313
m
m
@
The Planning Director must conduct field
inspections
concurrently with inspections required [or a,[orest conservation
plan [or any activity subject to Section 55-8.
The Director gf Permitting Services or the Planning Director
may authorize additional inspections or meetings as necessary
to administer this Chapter.
Timing gf inspections. The inspections required under this Section
must occur:
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
ill
after the limits gfdisturbance have been staked andflagged. but
be[ore any clearing or grading begins;
m
after necessary stress reduction measures [or trees and roots
have been completed and the protection measures have been
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BILL
No. 35-12
324
325
326
327
installed, but betore any clearing or grading begins; and
ill
(gl
aOer all construction activities are completed. to determine the
level
gf
compliance with the limits gftree canopy disturbance.
Scheduling requirements. A person must request an inspection by:
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
ill
the Director gf Permitting Services within the time required to
schedule an inspection under Section
19-12;
or
m
ill
the Planning Director within the time required to schedule an
inspection under Section 22A -15.
Coordination. The Department gf Permitting Services and the
Planning Department must coordinate their inspections to avoid
inconsistent activities relating to the limits gftree canopy disturbance.
335
336
337
338
339
55-11.
Penalties and enforcement.
(gl
Enforcement authority. The Department gf Permitting Services has
enforcement authority .for any activity approved under Section 55-7
and the Planning Board has enforcement authority .for any activity
approved under Section 55-8.
340
341
342
@
Enforcement action.
The Director gf Permitting Services or the
Planning Director may issue
g
notice gf violation. corrective order.
stop-work order, or civil citation to any person that causes or allows
f!.
343
344
345
346
violation gfthis Chapter.
ffl
Civil penalty. The maximum civil penalty .for any violation gf this
Chapter or any regulation adopted under this Chapter is
$1.
000.
Each day that
g
violation continues is
f!.
separate offense.
347
348
349
@
Other remedy.
In
addition to any other penalty under this Section, the
Planning Board may seek any appropriate relief authorized under
Section 22A -16.
350
55-12.
Administrative enforcement.
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BILL NO. 35-12
351
(gl
Administrative order. In addition to any other remedy allowed
12J!.
law. the Planning Director may at any time, including during the
pendency
gf
an enforcement action under Section
55-11.
issue an
administrative order requiring the violator to take one or more
gf
the
following actions within the time specified
12J!.
the Planning Director:
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
ill
stop the violation;
stabilize the site to comply with a.forest conservation plan;
stop all work at the site;
restore or reforest unlawfully cleared areas;
submit
q
limits
gf
tree canopy disturbance, .forest conservation
plan, or tree save plan.for the net tract area;
m
ill
ill
ill
{§l
place .forested land, reforested land, or land with individual
significant trees under long-term protection
12J!.
q
conservation
easement, deed restriction, covenant, or other appropriate legal
instrument; or
(Jl
submit
q
written report or plan concerning the violation.
(Jzl
Effectiveness
gf
order. An order issued under this Section is effective
when it is served on the violator.
Article
4.
Administration
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
55-13.
General.
(gl
Regulations. The County Executive must adopt regulations, including
technical manuals, to administer this Chapter, under Method
2.
The
regulations must include procedures to amend
q
limits
gf
tree canopy
disturbance.
(Jzl
Technical manual. The technical manual must include guidance and
methodologies.for:
ill
preparing and evaluating maps gf the aerial extent gf the tree
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No. 35-12
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380
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384
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canopy and the limits gftree canopy disturbance;
m
ill
ill
f£l
providing protective measures during and after clearing or
construction. including root pruning techniques and guidance
on removing trees that are or may become hazardous;
monitoring and enfOrcing the limits gf disturbance and the
limits gftree canopy disturbance; and
other
appropriate
guidance .fOr
program
requirements
consistent with this Chapter and applicable regulations.
Administrative fee. The Planning Board and the County Executive
may each.
fu!.
Method
J.
regulation. establish
Q
schedule gffees to
administer this Chapter.
@
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
Reports.
On
or befOre March
1
gf each year. the Department gf
Permitting Services. the Planning Board. and the Department gf
Environmental Protection each must submit an annual report on the
County tree conservation program to the County Council and County
Executive.
M
Comprehensive plan .fOr mitigation. The Department gfEnvironmental
Protection must develop and maintain
Q
comprehensive County-wide
plan to mitigate disturbance to tree canopy. The Department gf
Environmental Protection should develop the plan in consultation
with the Planning Department. the Department gf Transportation. the
Department gf General Services. the Department gf Economic
Development, the Soil Conservation District, and other agencies as
appropriate.
(fl
Sediment control permit application. To prevent circumvention gfthis
Chapter. the Planning Director and the Director gf Permitting
Services may require
Q
person to submit an application .fOr
Q
sediment
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No.
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control permit enfOrceable under this Chapter
jf
that person:
406
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408
ill
limits the removal gf tree canopy or limits land disturbing or
construction activities to below requirements ,fOr
g
sediment
control permit; and
409
410
411
ill
later disturbs additional tree canopy or land on the same
property. or
In!..
any other means, such that in total.
g
sediment
control permit would be required.
412
413
414
415
416
417
55-14.
Tree Canopy Conservation Fund.
{gl
General. There is
g
County Tree Canopy Conservation Fund The
Fund must be used in accordance with the adopted County budget and
as provided in this Section.
f12l
Mitigation fees paid into the Tree Canopy Conservation Fund. Money
deposited in the Tree Canopy Conservation Fund to fulfill mitigation
requirements must be spent on establishing and enhancing tree
canopy.
including costs directly related to site identification.
418
419
420
421
422
423
424
425
acquisition. preparation. and other activities that increase tree
canopy, and must not revert to the General Fund The Fund may also
be spent on permanent conservation gf priority fOrests. including
identification and acquisition gf
g
site within the same subwatershed
where the disturbance occurs.
ffl
Fines paid into the Tree Canopy Conservation Fund.
Any fines
426
427
428
429
430
431
@
collected.fOr noncompliance with
g
limits gf tree canopy disturbance
or fOrest conservation plan related to tree canopy disturbance must be
deposited in
g
separate account in the Tree Canopy Conservation
Fund The Fund may be used to administer this Chapter.
Use gfthe Tree Canopy Conservation Fund.
ill
Anyfees collectedfor mitigation must be used to:
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f4l
f.!ll
establish tree canopy;
enhance existing tree canopy through non-native invasive
and native
invasive
species
management
control.
supplemental planting. or
f!.
combination
Q[
both;
IJ1
(D)
establish fOrest; and
acquire protective easements for existing fOrests or areas
with existing tree canopy that are not currently protected.
including forest mitigation banks approved under Section
22A-13.
m
The canopy established under paragraph (l)(A) should shade
impervious sU/:filces, manage stormwater runoU; and generally
increase tree canopy coverage. Trees native to the Piedmont area
Q[
the County should be used. if.feasible, to meet the mitigation
requirements
Q[
this Chapter.
ill
The establishment
Q[
tree canopy to satisfY the mitigation
requirements
Q[
f!.
project must occur in the subwatershed where
the project is located. Otherwise the tree canopy may be
established anywhere in the County.11
450
451
452
453
454
455
456
457
458
Article 1. Purpose and General Provisions.
55-1. Short title.
This Chapter may be citec:i as the Montgomery County Tree Canopy Law.
55-2. Findings and purpose.
W
Findings.
The County Council finds that it is in the public interest to
offset the environmental impacts of development and address the loss
of environmental resources. including trees and potential growing
space for shade trees. and conserye tree canopy throughout the
County. Trees and tree canopy constitute important environmental
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resources. Trees cleanse the air. offset the heat island effects of urban
gevelopment. reduce energy needs. and provide oxygen.
They
improve the quality of life in communities by providing for a greater
sense of well-being and increasing esthetic appeal and compatibility
between different land uses. Trees filter groundwater. reduce surface
runoff and soil erosion. help alleviate flooding. and supply necessary
habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The Council finds that the damage
to or loss of environmental resources as a result of development and
other land disturbing activities is a serious problem in the County. and
that establishing shade trees and tree canopy helps mitigate these
losses and increase the diversity of species and age classes of trees.
The Council finds that. given the expected survival rate of newly
planted shade trees. at least 3
ne\\'~bf!de
trees should be planted to
produce the canopy coverage of one mature shade tree.
(hl
Purpose.
The purposes of this Chapter are to:
save, maintain, and establish tree canopy for the benefit of
County residents and future generations; and
provide for mitigation when environmental resources. including
trees and potential growing space for shade trees. are lost or
disturbed as a result of development.
bv
establishing:
shade tree planting requirements and standards; and
a program to plant shade trees. including planting
individual trees or groups of trees. on private and public
property.
55-3. Definitions.
In this Chapter. the following terms have the meanings indicated:
Department
means the Department of Permitting Services.
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No. 35-12
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Director
means the Director of the Department of Permitting Services or the
Director's designee.
Limits of disturbance
means a clearly designated area where land
disturbance is expected to occur.
Person
means:
487
488
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491
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493
494
495
496
497
498
499
500
W
to the extent allowed by law, any agency or instrument of the federal
government. the state. any county. municipality. or other political
subdivision of the state, or a unit of any of them:
!hl
W
an individual. receiver. trustee, guardian. executor, administrator,
fiduciary, or representative of any kind;
any partnership, firm, common ownership community or other
homeowners' association. public or private corporation, or a affiliate
or subsidiary of any of them; or
@
any other entity.
Public utility
means any water company, sewage disposal company. electric·
company, gas company, telephone company. or cable service provider.
Sediment control permit
means a permit reguiredtQmbe obtained for certain
land disturbing activities under Chapter 19.
Shade tree
means a tree of large stature that is capable of growing to heights
greater than 50 feet.
Site
means any tract. lot. or parcel of land. or combination of tracts, lots, or
parcels of land. under a single ownership. or contiguous and under diverse
ownership.
Subwatershed
means the total drainage area contributing runoff to a single
point. and generally refers to the 8-digit hydrologic unit codes.
Technical Manual
means a detailed guidance document that may be adopted
under Section 55-9 and used to administer this Chapter.
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No. 35-12
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Tree canopY
means the area covered by the crown of one or more trees.
Tree Canopy Conservation Account
means a special account maintained by
515
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531
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537
538
539
the County to be used as specified in Section 55-10.
55-4. Applicability.
Except as otherwise provided in Section 55-5. this Chapter applies to any
person required by law to obtain a sediment control permit.
55-5. Exemptions.
This Chapter does not apply to:
W
(hl
any activity that is subject to Article II of Chapter 22A;
any commercial logging or timber harvesting operation with an
approved exemption from Article II of Chapter 22A;
W
(Q)
any tree nursery activity performed with an approved Soil Conservation
and Water Quality Plan as defined in Section 19-48;
cutting or clearing trees in a public utility right-of-way for the
construction or modification of electric generation facilities approved
under the Maryland Code Public Utilities Article if:
ill
the person cutting or clearing the trees has obtained a certificate
of public convenience and necessity required under Sections 7­
207 and 7-208 of the Public Utilities Article; and
ill
W
the cutting or clearing of forest or tree canopy is conducted so as
to minimize the loss of both;
routine maintenance of a public utility right-of-way. and cutting or
clearing any tree by a public utility as necessary to comply with
applicable vegetation management requirements. to maintain. repair.
replace. or upgrade any public utility transmission or distribution line.
or for a new transmission or distribution line;
ill
any activity conducted by the County Parks Department;
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566
(g)
routine or emergency maintenance of an existing stormwater
management facility,
includingm~
existing access road. if the person
performing the maintenance has obtained all required permits:
(bJ
any stream restoration project if the person performing the work has
obtained all necessary permits:
ill
cutting or clearing any tree by an existing airport currently operating
with all applicable permits to comply with applicable provisions of any
federal law or regulation governing the obstruction of navigable
airspace if the Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the
trees create a hazard to aviation:
ill
(k)
cutting or clearing any tree to comply with applicable provisions of any
federal. state. or local law governing the safety of dams:
any development activity permitted as a small land disturbing activity
under Section 19-5B: or
ill
any non-coal surface mining conducted in accordance with applicable
state law.
Article 2. Mitigation Requirements and Review.
55-6. Shade Tree Planting.
W
Alternatives.
An applicant for a sediment control permit must plant
~hade
trees on the affected property or. if the applicant opts not to plant
the required number oftrees. pay a fee under subsection (d).
!lil
Quantity.
The number of shade trees required to be planted under this
Section must be based on the square footage of the area in the limits of
disturbance.
ill
Unless modified or superseded by applicable regulations adopted
under Method 1. the number of shade trees planted must comply
with the following schedule:
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No.
35-12
Area (sa. ft.) of the Limits
of Disturbance
Emrn
Number of
Shade Trees
Reauired
1
§.QQ1
~
~
~
~
~
§
~
12
~
~
567
568
569
570
571
L2l
11JHU
~
~
If the area in the limits of disturbance exceeds 40.000 square
feet~he
minimummI1ldI11ber of shade trees required must be
prorated using the ratio of
15
trees per 40.000 square feet.
!£l
Planting.
Each planting of shade trees under this Section must conform
to the following requirements:
572
573
574
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576
577
578
579
580
581
582
583
584
585
ill
Each shade tree must be allowed at least 400 square feet. unless
applicable regulations adopted under Method 1 specify a smaller
amount. of open
~ldtface
area free of any impervious surface.
utility. stormwater management system. or other impediment to
root growth and development.
(2l
Shade trees may be planted anywhere on the subject property.
including outside the;! limits of disturbance if sufficient open
surface area is available entirely within the property boundaries.
Open surface area on an adjacent County right-of-way may be
included if no utility, public utility easement. or impervious
surface is located in that part of the right-of-way and the tree is
located on the affected property so that its stem will not grow into
the right-of-way.
(ill
Fees.
If the applicant concludes that any required shade;! tree cannot be
586
587
planted on the affected property because sufficient open surface area is
not available or for any other reason. the applicant must pay into the
Tree Canopy ConservationA9count a fee for each required shade tree
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that is not planted on the affected property. The fee must be equal to the
applicable rate the Department sets for bonding trees in the right-of­
vvay.
55-7.
Submissions.
W
Required submissions.
A person subject to this Chapter must submit to
the Director the fol1ovving information vvith each application for a
sediment control permit:
ill
a plan delineating:
CA)
the property boundaries:
the prooosed limits of disturbance, including any off-site
!Ill
(Q
600
601
any shade tree planting locations and the required open
surface area for each planting location:
602
603
ill
a table summarizing:
CA)
the square footage ofthe property;
the square footage of the limits of disturbance of the
proposed activity;
(Q
604
605
!Ill
606
607
608
the number of shade trees required under Section 55-6(b),
the number of shade trees to be planted. and the amount of
fees to be paid under Section 55-6(d): and
609
610
611
CD)
the open surface area surrounding each shade tree planting
location: and
m
!hl
any additional information §pecified by regulation.
A professional engineer. land surveyor,
612
613
Qualification of preparer.
architect. or other person qualified to certify an erosion and sediment
control plan under Chapter 19 is also qualified to submit the information
required under this Chapter.
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!£}
Incomplete submissions.
The Director must not accept an incomplete
submission.
!£U
Review of submissions.
Each submission required under this Chapter
must be reviewed along with any submission required under Article I of
Chapter 19.
620
621
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Coordination ofreview.
The Director may coordinate the review of any
622
623
624
625
626
627
information submitted under subsection Ca) with one or more other
agencies as appropriate. If the Director coordinates the review with
other agencies. the reviews must be performed concurrently and
accordance with any review coordination required under Chapter 19.
III
ill
Issuance of sediment control permit.
The Director must not issue a
sediment control permit to a person that is subject to this Chapter until:
628
629
630
631
ill
!ll
ill
(gJ
the Director has approved the applicant's planting plan:
the applicant pays any fee required under this Article: and
the applicant has satisfied all applicable requirements under
Article I of Chapter 19.
632
633
634
635
636
637
Validitv period.
An
approved shade tree planting plan remains valid for
the length of the associated sediment control permit.
ilil
Application requirement.
To prevent circumvention of this Chapter.
the Director may require a person to apply for a sediment control
permit if that person limits the removal of tree canopy or limits land
disturbing or construction activities below the requirements for a
sediment control permit and within the next 10 years disturbs
additional tree canopy or land on the same property. or conducts other
activities. such that in the aggregate a sediment control permit would
have been required.
55-8. Inspections.
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664
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668
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Permission to gain access.
The Director may enter any property
permitted under this Chapter to inspect the property and enforce this
Chapter while the permit is in effect.
!Jil
Plan to be on site: field markings.
A copy of the approved limits of
disturbance. including [[shade tree species,]] planting locations and
minimum open surface areas. must be available on the site for
inspection by the Director. Field markings must exist on site before
and during installation of all newly planted shade trees, sediment and
erosion control measures, construction, or other land disturbing
m
activities.
W
Inspections.
The Director must conduct field inspections for any
activity subiect to this Chapter along with any inspection required for
a sediment control pemlit under Article I of Chapter 19. The Director
may authorize additional inspections or meetings as necessary to
administer this Chapter.
@
Timing of inspections.
The inspections required under this Section
plust occur after all construction activities are completed to determine
the level of compliance with shade tree planting requirements.
Article 3. Administration.
55-9. General.
W
Regulations.
Except as otherwise provided, the County Executive
must adopt regulations. including a technical manual, to administer
this Chapter, under Method 2.
!Jil
Technical manual.
The technical manual must include guidance and
methods to:
ill
preserve trees onsite where possible:
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No. 35-12
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~
[[ill))
al
identify, map, and evaluate the suitability of planting site
locations, including acceptable shapes of open surface areas and
the use of County rights-of-way;
Ual))
ill
identify criteria for acceptable species, sizes, and health of
new ly planted shade trees:
[[ill]1
til
identify criteria for acceptable installation techniques: and
[[W))
ill
otherwise comply with program requirements, consistent
with this Chapter and applicable regulations.
W
Administrative fee.
The County Executive may, by Method 2
regulation, adopt a schedule of fees to administer this Chapter.
Reports.
On or before March 1 of each year, the Directors of
Permitting Services and Environmental Protection must jointly submit
an annual report on the County shade tree planting program to the
County Council and County Executive.
W
Comprehensive planting plan.
The Director of Environmental
Protection must adopt and maintain a comprehensive County-wide
shade tree planting plan to specify appropriate uses for funds in the
Tree Canopy Conservation Account. The Director should develop the
plan after consulting other County agencies and the Planning
Department.
ill
Survival and mortality analysis.
The Department of Environmental
Protection must collect data on shade trees planted under this Chapter,
and those planted under other programs. to evaluate and provide
guidance to the County's tree canopy programs.
W
Tree canopy plan.
The Director of Environmental Protection. after
consulting other County agencies. the Planning Department. the
Forest Conservation Advisory Committee. organizations representing
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development and environmental interests. and the public. must
propose to the Executive and Council recommendations regarding:
ill
ill
tree canopy goals for the County; and
a comprehensive strategy to increase the number of trees
planted in the County.
55-10. Tree Canony Conservation Account.
W
Established.
A Department assigned by the Executive must create a
County Tree Canopy Conservation Account. The Account must be
!lsed as provided in this Chapter and the adopted operating budget.
!!il
Use oerunds.
The assigned Department must use funds deposited in the
Tree Canopy Conservation Account only to plant and maintain shade
trees. including costs directly related to site identification, preparation.
and other activities that increase tree canopy. Funds deposited into the
Account must not revert to the General Fund and must not
be
used to
hire additional County staff or to supplant funds otherwise appropriated
to plant and maintain shade trees and enhance tree canopy.
(£.l
710
711
712
Fines.
Any fine collected for noncompliance with shade tree planting
713
714
715
716
717
718
719
requirements must
be
deposited in a separate account in the Tree
Canopy Conservation Account and must be used to administer this
Chapter.
UU
plantings.
ill
Shade trees native to the Piedmont area of the County should be
used. if feasible. to meet the mitigation requirements of this
Chapter.
720
721
ill
The planting of shade trees under this Chapter must occur in the
subwatershed where the proiect is located, if feasible. Otherwise
the shade trees may
be
planted anywhere in the County.
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No. 35-12
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In planting trees under this paragraph, the assigned Department
must give highest priority to those areas of the County, Sl1:ch as
central business districts and other urban and suburban areas, that
have relatively low tree canopy coverage.
55-11. Enforcement.
W
Compliance.
The Director may issue a notice of violation. corrective
order, stop-work order, or civil citation to any person that causes or
allows a violation of this Chapter.
[QJ
Civil penalty.
A violation of this Chapter is a Class A violation. The
maximum civil penalty for any violation of this Chapter or any
regulation adopted under this Chapter is $1.000. Each day that a
violation continues is a separate offense.
732
733
734
735
736
737
738
Sec. 2. Effective date; transition.
This Act takes effect on March 1,2014. County Code Chapter 55, as inserted
by this Act. does not apply to any application for a sediment control permit that is
accepted by the Director ofPermitting Services before that date.
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739
Approved:
740
741
-=f
'e26/B
Date
742
743
Approved:
744
745
746
747
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
748
749
750
~/;,. ~
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council