Expedited Bill No.
25-14
Concerning: Forest
Conservation
Amendments
Revised:
7123/14
Draft No.
-L
Introduced:
May 6, 2014
Enacted:
July 29,2014
Executive:
August 5, 2014
Effective:
August 5, 2014
Sunset Date: -'N'-"o=n=e_ _ _ _ __
Ch,
~
Laws of Mont Co.
2014
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 stormwater 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-11, 22A-12, 22A-20
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.
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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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-14
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Sec. 1.
Sections
22A-3, 22A-4, 22A-S, 22A-ll, 22A-12,
and
22A-20
are
amended as follows:
22A-3.
Definitions.
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, stormwater management facility, parking lot, [[or]] utility or
similar improvement.
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Developed property
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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12
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*
*
*
Stream Restoration Project
means an activity that:
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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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20
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ill
may be performed under
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municipal separate storm sewer system
permit,
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watershed implementation plan
growth
offset, or another plan
administered
Qy
the State or local government
to
achieve or maintain
water quality standards; and
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is not performed to satisfy stormwater management, wetlands
mitigation, or any other regulatory requirement associated with
~
development application.
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*
*
-2­
*
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-14
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22A-4.
Applicability
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Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Chapter, this Chapter applies
to:
(a)
a person required by law to obtain an [[initial]] approval or amendment
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to
~development
plan [approval], diagrammatic plan [approval], project
plan [approval], preliminary plan of subdivision [approval], or site plan
[approval];
*
22A-5.
Exemptions.
*
*
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The requirements or Article II do not apply to:
*
(t)
*
*
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a modification to an existing non-residential developed property if:
(l)
no more than [5000] 5,000 square feet of forest [will be cleared]
is ever cleared [[in]] at one [[event)) time or cumulatively [[over
multiple events from the first exemption]] after an exemption is
issu~
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(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]
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(3)
the modification does not require approval of a [new] preliminary
plan of subdivision [plan.].;, and
ffi
the modification does not increase the developed area
Qy
more
than 50%, and the existing development is retained;
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M
maintaining or retrofitting an existing stormwater management structure
if:
-3­
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ExPEDITED BILL
No.
25-14
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ill
the clearing of vegetation or removal and trimming of trees 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
the tract is not included in !! previously approved forest
conservation plan; [[and]]
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(y)!! stream restoration project for which the applicant for !! sediment
control permit has:
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ill
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executed!! binding maintenance agreement of at least 5 years
with the affected property owner or owners;
agreed
to
replace every tree removed and plant the new trees
[[in)] before the end of the first planting season after final
stabilization; and
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ill
(w)
conflnned that the tract is not included in !! previously approved
forest conservation plan[[J]; and
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cutting or clearing any tree by an existing airport 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 tree creates a
hazard to aviation.
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22A-l1.
(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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ExPEOnE> 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
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 approval] Approval.
The Planning Board
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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 conservation
plan must be made under Section 59-D-1.4. A final forest
conservation plan must be approved
Qy
the Planning Board
or Planning Director, as appropriate, before the Planning
Board approves
~
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
until[:
(A)] a
final
forest conservation plan, if required, is approved[;
and
(B)
any financial security instrument required under this
Chapter is provided].
*
22A-12.
(g)
*
*
*
Retention, afforestation, and reforestation requirements.
*
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 conservation 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
(lXA)
[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
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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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-14
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22A-20.
Hearings and appeals.
*
(b)
*
*
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 Rules of
Procedure and any other law applicable to the proceeding]] seek judicial
review of
the
decision in the Circuit Court under the applicable
Maryland Rules
of Procedure
governing
judicial review
of
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administrative agency decisions. A party aggrieved by the decision of
the Circuit Court may appeal that decision to the Court of Special
Appeals.
(c)
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Forest stand delineations1. exemptions trom Article
!.l..
and forest
conservation plans [approved] reviewed
by
the Planning Director.
(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 pmposes 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 Maryland 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.
(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 Rules of Procedure]] 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.
...
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:
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Approved:
cnU~~~
~/h~
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
211
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
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