Expedited Bill No.
25-14
Concerning: Forest
Conservation
Amendments
Revised:
7123114
Draft
No.l
Introduced:
May 6. 2014
Enacted:
Julv
29. 2014
Exe~we:
_________________
__________________
Sunset Date:
_N~o~n:.=:e
___________
Ch, ___ Laws of Mont
Co. ____
E~e:
I
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President
at
the request ofthe Planning Board
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
exempt certain stream restoration projects from certain requirements of the forest
conservation
laW;
exempt
certain
maintenance or retrofitting of stonnwater management structures
from
certain
requirements ofthe forest conservation law; and
generally amend the forest conservation law.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter
22A,
Forest Conservation - Trees
Sections 22A-3, 22A-4, 22A-5, 22A-ll, 22A-12, 22A-20
~oldface
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.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The
County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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ExPEDITED BIU
No. 25-14
1
See. 1. Sections 22A-3, 22A-4, 22A-5, 22A-ll, 22A-12, and 22A-20 are
amended as foUows:
22A-3.
Definitions.
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3
4
*
*
*
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Developed area
means the portion of
~
property which
has
been altered from its
natural state
Qy
the construction of
~
building, recreational facility, road or alley,
rail line, athletic field, stonnwater management facility. parking lot, [[or]] utility or
similar improvement.
Developedproperty
means
~
property that contains
~
developed area.
Development application
means an application, as described in Section 22A-4, filed
with the Planning Board, Planning Director, Board of Appeals, Hearing Examiner, or
Department ofPermitting Services, for plan approval or sediment control permit.
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*
*
Stream Restoration Project
means an activity that:
ill
ill
is designed to stabilize stream banks or enhance stream function or
habitat located in an existing stream, waterway, or floodplain;
avoids and minimizes impacts to forests and provides for replanting on-
site an equivalent number of trees to the number removed
Qy
the
project;
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19
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ill
may be perfonned under
~
municipal separate s10nn sewer system
permit,
~
watershed implementation plan
growth
offset, or another plan
administered
~
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the State or local government to achieve or maintain
water quality standards; and
ffi
is not perfonned to satisfy stonnwater management, wetlands
mitigation, or any other regulatory requirement associated with
development application.
~
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*
*
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-14
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22A-4.
to:
(a)
Applicability
Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Chapter, this Chapter applies
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31
a person required by law to obtain an [[initial]] approval or amendment
to !ldevelopment plan [approval], diagrammatic plan [approval], project
plan [approval], preliminary plan of subdivision [approval], or site plan
[approval];
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*
22A-5.
Exemptions.
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*
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The requirements or Article II do not apply to:
*
(t)
(1)
*
*
a modification to an existing non-residential developed property if:
no more than [5000] 5,000 square feet of forest
[will
be cleared]
is ever cleared [[in]]
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m
one [[event]] time or cumulatively [[over
multiple events from the first exemption]] after an exemption is
issued;
(2)
the modification does not [affect] result in the cutting, clearing. or
grading of any forest
in
a stream buffer or located on property
in
a special protection area which must submit a water quality plan;
[and]
(3)
the modification does not require approval of a [new] preliminary
plan of subdivision [plan.]; and
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(il
the modification does not increase the developed area
Qy
more
than
50%, and the existing development is retained;
(y)
maintaining or retrofitting an existing stormwater management structure
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53
if:
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ExPEDITED BILL
No.
25-14
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ill
the clearing of vegetation or removal and trimming oftrees is for
the maintenance or retrofitting of the structure and in the original
limits of disturbance for construction of the existing facility, or
within
any maintenance easement for access to the facility; and
ill
(y)
~
the tract is not included in
~
previously approved forest
conservation plan; [[and]]
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stream restoration project for which the applicant for
~
sediment
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control permit has:
ill
executed
~
binding maintenance agreement of at least 5 years
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with the affected
property
owner or owners;
ill
agreed to replace every tree removed and plant the new trees
[rm:t]
before the end of the
first
planting season after final
stabilization; and
ill
(w)
conflnned that the tract is not included in
~
previously approved
forest conservation plan[[J]: and
cutting or clearing any tree by an existing airport operating with all
applicable permits to comply with applicable provisions of any federal
law or rewlation governing the obstruction of navigable airspace if the
F ederal Aviation Administration has determined that the tree creates a
hazard to aviation.
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22A-ll.
(b)
Application, review, and approval procedures.
...
...
...
Project requiring development plan, project plan, preliminary plan of
subdivision, or site plan approval.
..
(2)
*
*
Forest conservation plan.
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EXPEDITED BILL
No.
25-14
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(A)
Application.
[Upon notification] After being notified that
the forest stand delineation is complete and correct, the
applicant must submit a forest conservation plan to the
Planning Director.
If the development proposal will
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require more
than
one of the approvals subject to this
subsection, the applicant must submit a preliminary forest
conservation plan to the Planning Director in conjunction
with the
:first
approval and a final forest conservation plan
in conjunction with the last approval. If only one approval
subject to this subsection is required, an applicant[, with
the approval of the Planning Board, may) must submit a
preliminary forest conservation plan
at
the time of the
development [approval] application and a
final
forest
conservation plan before [issuance of] a sediment control
permit is issued for the tract, but no later
than
~
record plat
is submitted.
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*
(C)
*
*
[Condition of approvalJ Approval.
The Planning Board
must review and act on the forest conservation plan [will
be reviewed by the Planning Board) concurrently with the
development plan, project plan, preliminary plan of
subdivision or site plan, as appropriate. [The] Compliance
with the preliminary forest conservation plan, as [may be)
amended by the Board, must be made a condition of any
approval of the first applicable development application.
Compliance with the
final
forest conservation plan, as
amended
Qy
the Board, must
be
made
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~
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condition of any
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-14
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(
approval of the last development application.
For a
development plan, a Planning Board recommendation
to
the District Council on the preliminary forest consetVation
plan must
be
made under Section 59-D-l.4. A final forest
conservation plan must be approved
2Y
the Planning Board
or Planning Director,
as
appropriate, before the Planning
Board approves a record plat.
(d)
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Project requiring a sediment control permit only.
(3)
Issuance ofsediment control permit.
A sediment control permit
must not
be
issued to a person who must comply with this Article
unti1[:
(A)] a
final
forest conservation plan, if required, is approved[;
and
(B)
any financial security instrument required under this
Chapter is provided].
22A-12.
.Retention, afforestation,
and
reforestation requirements.
(g)
In lieu fee.
(1)
General.
If a person satisfactorily demonstrates that the
requirements for reforestation or afforestation on-site or off-site
cannot be reasonably accomplished, the person must contribute
money to the forest consetVation fund at a rate specified [by the
County Council] by law or Council resolution, but not less
than
the rate required under Section 5-1610 of the Natural Resources
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ExPEDITED BIll
No. 25-14
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Article of the Maryland Code. [The requirement to contribute
money must be met
within
90 days
after
development project
completion.] Any in lieu fee payment must be made before any
land disturbing activity, as defined in Chapter
19,
occurs on
section ofthe tract subject to the forest conservation plan.
~
*
(i)
*
*
*
Financial Security.
*
(4)
Amount required.
(A)
*
If [the] financial security is required under subparagraph
(l)(A) [of this subsection], the security instrument must be
in an amount equal to the estimated cost of afforestation,
reforestation, and maintenance applicable to the section of
the tract subject to the land disturbing activity.
If the
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applicant sells an individual lot before providing the
required financial security, the Planning Director may
allow the new lot owner to provide
~
financial security that
applies to the requirements specific to the development of
that lot
The instrument must include a provision for
adjusting the amount based on actual costs. The financial
security instrument must be submitted to the Planning
Director before any land disturbing activity occurs on the
tract The Planning Director must notify the obligee of any
proposed adjustment and provide the opportunity for an
informal conference.
*
*
*
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ExPEDIlED
BILL No. 25-14
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22A-20.
(b)
Hearings
and
appeals.
*
*
*
Forest conservation plans and variances approved by the Planning
Board
A person aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Board on
the approval, denial, or modification of a forest conservation plan
(including a request for a variance) may [[appeal the
final
administrative
action on the development approval under the Maryland Ru1es of
Procedure and any other law applicable to the proceeding]] seek judicial
review of the decision in the Circuit Court under the applicable
Marvland
Rules
of
Procedure
governing
judicial
review
of
administrative agency decisions. A party aggrieved by the decision of
the Circuit
Court
may appeal that decision to the Court of Special
Appeals.
(c)
Forest stand delineations,. exemptions from Article
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!l.
and forest
conservation plans [approved] reviewed
by
the Planning Director.
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(1)
Appeal to Planning Board.
After the Planning Director issues a
written decision on a
natural
resource inventory/forest stand
delineation. exemption from Article II. or forest conservation
plan, an applicant may appeal the decision to the Planning Board
within
30 days.
(2)
Hearing; decision.
The Planning Board must hold a de novo
hearing on the appeal. The Board must adopt a written resolution
explaining its decision.
For purposes of judicial review, the
decision ofthe Planning Board is the
final
agency action.
(3)
Appeal.
After receiving the Planning Board's decision, an
applicant may [[appeal the decision
within
30 days under the
Maryland Rules of Procedure]] seek judicial review of
the
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ExPEDITED BILL NO.
25-14
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decision
in
the Circuit Court under the applicable M8.Q'land Rilles
of Procedure governing iudicial review of administrative agency
decisions. A party aggrieved by the decision of the Circuit Court
may appeal that decision to the Court of Special Appeals.
(d)
Administrative enforcement process.
*
(4)
*
*
Appeal.
After receiving the Planning Board's decision, an
aggrieved person may [[appeal the Board's action
within
30 days
under the Maryland Rilles of Procedure))
seek
judicial review of
the decision in the Circuit Court under the applicable Maryland
Rilles of Procedure governing judicial review of administrative
agency decisions.
A party aggrieved by the decision of the
Circuit Court may appeal that decision to the Court of Special
Appeals.
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*
Sec. 2.
*
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Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this legislation is necessary for the immediate
protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes
law.
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ExPEDITED BIlL
No. 25-14
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Approved:
Approved:
cmg~'t~
~~
P-4
eM/'/.
Date
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
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This is a co"ect copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
,<
Date
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