Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland
21727
240-629-6300

Code Index | Title: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Title 16: Subdivisions

16.04 General Provisions
16.08 General Requirements
16.12 Procedures Generally
16.16 Design Standards
16.20 Improvements
16.24 Preliminary Plats
16.28 Final Plats
16.32 Modifications and Exceptions
16.36 Fees
16.40 Amendments
16.44 Appeals
16.48 Forest Conservation

Chapter 16.48 Forest Conservation

Sections:

Article 1. General Provisions

16.48.010 The initial state of subdivision submittal process.

  1. Information Required. At a minimum, the initial consultation with the commission charged with review of subdivision shall include the following items. Additional information may be required.
     

  2. A forest stand delineation, if required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland. If a forest stand delineation is required, it shall be complete and correct before a preliminary plan is submitted. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.1.1)

16.48.020 The preliminary subdivision plan.

  1. Information Required. At a minimum, the preliminary plan shall include the following items. Additional information may be required because of site-specific conditions.

    1. Proposed Development. A forest conservation plan, if required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland.
       

  2. Approval Procedure.

    1. If a forest conservation plan is required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, the preliminary plan shall not be approved until the forest conservation plan has been approved by the planning and zoning commission. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.12)

Article 2. Sediment Control

16.48.030 Application for permit.

The plans accompanying the application shall be prepared and certified by a professional engineer or land surveyor, including landscape architects or architect. The standards and specifications shall serve as the standards for erosion and sediment control in Frederick County for activities other than forest harvest operations. The plans shall contain the following:

  1. If required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, a forest stand delineation and a forest conservation plan. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.21)

16.48.040 Conditions for issuance of permit.

If a forest conservation plan is required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, the zoning administrator may not issue a permit until a forest conservation plan has been approved by the planning and zoning commission. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.2.2)

Article 3. Construction

16.48.050 Application for grading permit.

The plans accompanying the application shall be prepared and certified by a professional engineer or land surveyor, including landscape architects or architect. The plans shall contain the following:

  1. If required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, a forest stand delineation and a forest conservation plan. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.3.1)

16.48.060 Conditions for issuance of grading permit.

If a forest conservation plan is required by Section 12-202, Annotated Code of Maryland, the zoning administrator may not issue a permit until a forest conservation plan has been approved by the planning and zoning commission. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.3.2)

Article 4. Forest and Tree Conservation

16.48.070 Definitions.

In this section, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

  • "Afforestation" means the establishment of the tree cover on an area from which it has always or very long been absent, or the planting of open areas which are not presently in forest cover.

  • "Applicant" means a person who is applying for subdivision or project plan approval or a grading or sediment control permit, or who has received approval of a forest stand delineation or forest conservation plan.

  • "Approved forest management plan" means a document:

    • Approved by the Department of Natural Resources forester assigned to the county in which the property is located; and

    • Which operates as a protective agreement for forest conservation as described in the Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1607(e)--(f), Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Caliper" means the diameter measured two inches above the root collar.

  • "Champion tree" means the largest tree of its species within the United States, the state, county or municipality. "Champion tree of the state" means a tree which appears in the state forest conservation manual list of state champion trees.

  • "Commercial and industrial uses" includes manufacturing operations, office complexes, shopping centers, and other similar uses and their associated storage areas, yarding, and parking areas, and corresponds to Emmitsburg's zoning classification: B-1, B-2, IP, ORI and HS.

  • "Commercial logging or timber harvesting operations" means the cutting and removing of tree stems from a site for commercial purposes, leaving the root mass intact.

  • "Commission" means Emmitsburg's planning and zoning commission.

  • "Critical habitat area" means a critical habitat for endangered species and its surrounding protection area. A critical habitat area shall:

    • Be likely to contribute to the long-term survival of the species;

    • Be likely to be occupied by the species for the foreseeable future; and

    • Constitute habitat of the species which is deemed critical under Title 4, Subtitle 2A, Section 6, Section 4-2A-04 and Section 10-2A-06 of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Critical habitat for endangered species" means a habitat occupied by an endangered species as determined or listed under Section 4-2A-04, Section 10-2A-04 of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Declaration on intent" means:

    • A signed and notarized statement by a landowner or the landowner's agent certifying that the activity on the landowner's property:

      • Is for certain activities exempted under this chapter or Natural Resources Article, Section 5-103 and 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland,

      • Does not circumvent the requirements of this chapter or Natural Resources Article, Section 5-103 and 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland,

      • Does not conflict with the purpose of any other declaration of intent; or

    • The document required under COMAR 08.19.01.05 or this chapter.

  • "Department" means the town of Emmitsburg planning and zoning commission.

  • Development Project.

    • "Development project" means the grading or construction activities occurring on a specific tract that is forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater.

    • "Development project" includes redevelopment.

  • "Development project completion" means for the purposes of afforestation, reforestation, or payment into a fund:

    • The release of the development bond, if required;

    • Acceptance of the project's streets, utilities, and public services by the commission; or

    • Designation by the Commission or state that a:

      • Development project has been completed, or

      • Particular stage of a staged development project, including a planned unit development, has been completed.

  • "Forest" means a biological community dominated by trees and other woody plants covering a land area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or greater.

    • Forest includes:

      • Areas that have at least one hundred (100) trees per acre with at least fifty (50) percent of those trees having a two inch or greater diameter at 4.5 feet above the ground and larger; and

      • Forest areas that have been cut but not cleared.

    • Forest does not include orchards.

  • "Forest conservancy district board" means the forestry board created for each state forestry conservancy district under Natural Resources Article, Sec. 5601--6-610, Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Forest conservation" means the retention of existing forest or the creation of new forest at the levels prescribed by the town planning and zoning commission.

  • "Forest conservation and management agreement" means an agreement as stated in the Tax-Property Article, Section 8-211, Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Forest conservation technical manual" means the Maryland State technical manual incorporated by reference, used to establish standards of performance required in preparing forest stand delineations and forest conservation plans.

  • "Forest conservation plan" means a plan approved pursuant to Section 16.52.110.

  • "Forest cover" means the area of a site meeting the definition of forest.

  • "Forest management plan" means a plan establishing best conservation and management practices for a landowner in assessment of the resource values of forested property.

  • "Forest stand delineations" means the methodology for evaluating the existing vegetation on a site proposed for development, as set forth in the forest conservation manual.

  • "Forest slopes" means an area meeting the definition of forest and growing on an area with a slope of twenty-five (25) percent or more and covering an area of at least ten thousand (10,000) square feet.

  • "Growing season" means a period of consecutive frost-free days as stated in the soil survey for Frederick County. Published by the National Co-op Soil Survey Program, 16 U.S.C. Section 590 (a--f).

  • "High density residential areas" means areas zoned for densities greater than one dwelling unit per acre, including both existing and planned development and their associated infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, and water and sewer service, and corresponds to the Emmitsburg zoning classifications: RS, R-1, R-2 and R-3.

  • "Institutional development area" includes schools, colleges and universities, military installations, transportation facilities, utility and sewer projects, government offices and facilities, golf courses, recreations areas, parks, and cemeteries and corresponds to the Emmitsburg zoning classification: OS.

  • "Intermittent stream" means a stream in which surface water is absent during a portion of the year as shown on the most recent 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle published by the United States Geologic Survey as confirmed by field vegetation.

  • "Landscaping plan" means a plan:

    • Drawn to scale, showing dimensions and details for reforesting an area at least thirty-five (35) feet wide and covering two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet or greater in size;

    • Using native or indigenous plants when appropriate; and

    • Which is made part of an approved forest conservation plan.

  • "Local agency" means each unit in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of a county or municipal government, including an office or department of public works.

  • "Lot" means a unit of land, the boundaries of which have been established as a result of a deed or previous subdivision of a larger parcel, and which will not be the subject of further subdivision, as defined by Natural Resources Article Section 5-1601, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter without an approved forest stand delineation and forest conservation plan.

  • "Maintenance agreement" means the short-term management agreement associated with afforestation or reforestation plans required under Natural Resources Article, Section 6-1605, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this ordinance.

  • "Minor development project" means a project:

    • On less than five acres of land containing not more than four lots per acre; or

    • Substantively similar as defined by the Department and approved by the state.

  • "Mixed use development" means a single, relatively high density development project, usually commercial in nature, which includes two or more types of uses, and corresponds to the Emmitsburg zoning classification(s) of VZ.

  • "Net tract area" means the total area of a site, including both forested and nonforested areas, at the nearest one-tenth acre, reduced by the area found to be within the boundaries of the one hundred-year floodplain.

  • "Nontidal wetland" means an area that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and under normal conditions does support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, commonly known as hydrophytic vegetation.

    • The determination of whether an area is considered a no tidal wetland shall be made in accordance with the publication known as the "Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands," published in 1989 and as may be amended and interpreted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    • Nontidal wetlands does not include tidal wetlands regulated under Title 9 of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

  • "Off-site" means outside the limits of the area encompassed by the development plan, including any area(s) classified as one hundred-year plain.

  • "On-site" means within the limits of the area encompassed by the development plan, including any area(s) classified as one hundred-year plain.

  • "One-hundred-year flood" means a flood which has a one percent chance of being equalled or exceeded in any given year. Except for Class-III waters (natural trout streams), a body of water with a watershed less than four hundred (400) acres is excluded.

  • "One-hundred-year floodplain" means an area along or adjacent to a stream or body of water, except tidal waters, that is capable of storing or conveying floodwaters during a one hundred-year frequency storm event.

  • A one-hundred-year flood is a flood which has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Except for Class III waters (natural trout streams), a body of water with a watershed less than four hundred (400) acres is excluded.

  • "Perennial stream" means a stream containing surface water throughout an average rainfall year, as shown on the most recent 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle published by the United States Geologic Survey, as confirmed by field verification.

  • "Person" includes the federal government, the state, any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state, or any of their units, or an individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, fiduciary, or representative of any kind, or any partnership, firm, association, public or private corporation, or any of their affiliates, or any other entity.

  • "Planned unit development" means a development comprised of a combination of land uses or varying intensities of the same land use in accordance with an integrated plan that provides flexibility in land use design approved by Emmitsburg with at least twenty (20) percent of the land permanently dedicated to open space and correspond to Emmitsburg's zoning classification: OS.

  • "Project plan" means a construction, grading, or sediment control activity on an area of forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater by a local agency.

  • "Public utility" means any:

    • Transmission line or electric generating station;

    • Water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, or television cable service line.

  • "Reforestation" or "reforested" means the creation of a biological community dominated by trees and other woody plants containing at least one hundred (100) live trees per acre with at least fifty (50) percent of those trees having the potential of attaining a two inch or greater diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground, within seven years. Reforestation includes landscaping or areas under an approved landscaping plan that established a forest that is at least thirty-five (35) feet wide and covering two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of area.

  • "Regulated activity" means any of the following activities, when that activity occurs on a unit of land which is forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater:

    • Subdivision;

    • Grading;

    • An activity that requires a sediment control permit; or

    • Project plan of a local agency.

  • "Retention" means the deliberate holding and protecting of existing trees, shrubs or plants on the site according to established standards as set forth in the forest conservation manual.

  • "Selective clearing" means the careful and planned removal of trees, shrubs, and plants using specific standards and protection measures under an approved forest conservation plan.

  • "Stream buffer" means all lands lying within fifty (50) feet, measured from the top of each normal bank of any perennial or intermittent stream.

  • "Subdivision" means any division of a parcel of land into two or more lots or parcels for the purpose, whether immediate or future, or transfer of ownership, sale, lease or development.

  • "Timber harvesting" means a tree-cutting operation affecting 1 or more acres of forest or developed woodland within a one-year interval that disturbs five thousand (5,000) square feet or more of forest floor. Timber harvesting does not include grubbing and clearing of root mass.

  • Tract.

    • Except as provided in subsection (2) of this definition, "tract" means property subject to an application for a grading, or sediment control, permit or subdivision approval.

    • If property is included in a planned unit development, "tract" means the entire property subject to the planned unit development.

  • "Tract for a planned unit development" means the entire property subject to a planned unit development.

  • "Tree" means a large, woody plant having one or several self-supporting stems or trunks and numerous branches that reach a height of at least twenty (20) feet at maturity.

  • "Variance," as provided for in Section 16.48.200, means relief from Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland. Variance does not mean a zoning variance.

  • "Watershed" means all lands lying within an area described as a subbasin by the Department of the Environment under COMAR 26.08.02.08.

  • "Whip" means an unbranched woody plant greater than forty-eight (48) inches in height and having a diameter less than one inch caliper measured at two inches above the root collar. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.1)

16.48.080 Applicability.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (B) of this section, this article applies to:

    1. A person making application for a subdivision, project plan, grading, or sediment control approval on units of land forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater after the effective date of this article;

    2. A public utility not exempt under subsection (B)(5) and (6) of this section;

    3. A unit of country or municipal government, including a public utility or public work project, making application for a subdivision, project plan, grading, or sediment control approval on areas forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater.
       

  2. This article does not apply to:

    1. Any construction activity that is subject to Natural Resources Article Section 5-103, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    2. Any cutting or clearing of forest, or any other development activity, in areas governed by the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Law (Title 8, Subtitle 18 of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland);

    3. Commercial logging and timber harvesting operations; including any harvesting conducted under the forest conservation and management program under Section 8-211 of the Tax-Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland that were completed:

      1. Is completed before July 1, 1991; or

      2. Is completed on or after July 1, 1991, and the property on which the cutting or clearing is conducted is not the subject of an application for a grading permit for development within 5 years after the logging or harvesting operation. However, after this five-year period, the property shall be subject to this subtitle;

      3. Is subject to a declaration on intent signed by owner and or developer and approved by the local soil conservation district or sediment control agency;

    4. Agricultural activities not resulting in a change in land use category, including agricultural support buildings and other related structures built using accepted best management practices. However, a person engaging in an agricultural activity clearing forty thousand (40,000) square feet or more of forest within a one-year period, who wishes to receive an agricultural exemption, shall file a declaration of intent with the Department shall include:

      1. A statement that the landowner or his agent will practice agriculture on that tract for five years from the date of declaration; and

      2. A sketch map of the tract which shows the area to be cleared.

    5. The cutting or clearing of public utility rights-of-way licensed pursuant to Sections 54A and 54B or Section 54I of Article 78 of the Code, provided that:

      1. Any required certificates of public convenience and necessity have been issued in accordance with Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1604(F), Annotated Code of Maryland; and

      2. The cutting or clearing of the forest is conducted so as to minimize the loss of forest;

    6. Any routine maintenance of public utility rights-of-way;

    7. Any activity conducted on a single lot of any size provided that:

      1. The activity does not result in the cutting, clearing, or grading of more than forty thousand (40,000) square feet of forest; and

      2. The activity on the lot will not result in the cutting, clearing, or grading of any forest that is subject to the requirements of a previous forest conservation plan prepared under this subtitle;

      3. Is the subject of a declaration of intent filed with the commission as provided for in Section 16.48.090, stating that the lot will not be the subject of a regulated activity within five years of the cutting, clearing, or grading of forest.

    8. Any strip or deep mining of coal regulated under Title 7, Subtitle 5 or 5A of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    9. Any noncoal surface mining regulated under Title 7, Subtitle 6A of the Natural Resources Article, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    10. An activity required for the purpose of constructing a dwelling house intended for the use of the owner, or a child or a grandchild of the owner, if the activity:

      1. Does not result in the cutting, clearing, or grading of more than forty thousand (40,000) square feet of forest; and

      2. Is the subject of a declaration on intent filed with the department which states that transfer of ownership may result in a loss of exemption.

    11. A preliminary plan of subdivision or a grading or sediment control plan approved before July 1, 1991. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.2)

16.48.090 Declaration of intent.

  1. The purpose of the declaration of intent is to verify that the proposed activity is exempt under Natural Resources Article, Sections 5-103 and 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter.
     

  2. A person seeking an exemption under Section 16.48.080 shall file a declaration of intent with the commission.
     

  3. The declaration of intent is effective for five years.
     

  4. The existence of a declaration of intent does not preclude another exempted activity on the property subject to a declaration of intent, if the activity:

    1. Does not conflict with the purpose of any existing declaration on intent, and

    2. Complies with the applicable requirements for an exempted activity.
       

  5. If a regulated activity on the area covered by the declaration on intent occurs within five years of the effective date of the declaration of intent:

    1. There shall be an immediate loss of exemption; or

    2. There may be a noncompliance action taken by the Department, as appropriate, under this chapter.
       

  6. An applicant may apply for a regulated activity on that area of the property not covered under the declaration of intent if the requirements of this chapter are satisfied.
     

  7. The department may require a person failing to file a declaration of intent or found in noncompliance with a declaration of intent to:

    1. Meet the retention, afforestation and reforestation requirements established in this chapter;

    2. Pay a noncompliance fee of thirty (30) cents per square foot of forest cut or cleared under the declaration of intent;

    3. Be subject to enforcement actions appropriate under Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter; or

    4. File a declaration of intent with the department.
       

  8. In its determination of appropriate enforcement action, the department may consider whether failure to file a declaration of intent by a person required to file is a knowing violation of this chapter. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.3)

16.48.100 General requirements.

  1. A person who applies after January 1, 1993, for subdivision approval, for an area of land of forty thousand (40,000) square feet or more:

    1. Shall submit to the commission:

      1. A forest stand delineation for the lot or parcel on which the development is located; and

      2. A forest conservation plan for the lot or parcel on which the development is located;

    2. Shall not perform any construction activity within the dripline of a tree that is to be retained; and

    3. Shall use methods approved by the commission, as set forth in the forest conservation manual, to protect retained trees during construction. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.4)

16.48.110 Forest stand delineation.

  1. A forest stand delineation shall be submitted at the initial stage of subdivision application for the lot or parcel intended to be developed.
     

  2. The delineation shall be prepared by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect, or a professional who meets the requirements stated in COMAR 08.19.06.01.
     

  3. The delineation will be prepared by a licensed forester or licensed landscape architect who is approved by the commission to:

    1. Develop a forest stand delineation according to criteria stated in the forest conservation manual;

    2. Prepare and interpret maps, including soils, topography, floodplain, wetlands and a site map;

    3. Prepare afforestation and reforestation plans as stated in Section 16.48.120 and 16.48.130;

    4. Prepare graphic indication of forest protection and retention areas and all method inclusive therein;

    5. Review impact of development on forested area;

    6. Prepare forest inventory using forest measurement equipment.
       

  4. The delineation shall include:

    1. A topographic map delineating intermittent and perennial streams, and steep slopes over twenty-five (25) percent;

    2. A soils map delineating soils with structural limitations, hydric soils, or soils with a soil K value greater than 0.35 on slopes of fifteen (15) percent or more;

    3. Forest stand maps indicating species, location, and size of trees and showing dominant and codominant forest types;

    4. Location of one hundred-year floodplains;

    5. Information required by the forest conservation technical manual; and

    6. Any other information required by the department.
       

  5.  An approved forest stand delineation may remain in effect for a period not longer than five years.
     

    1. Within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the forest stand delineation, the commission or agent shall notify the applicant whether the forest stand delineation is complete and correct.

    2. If the commission or agent fails to notify the applicant within sixty (60) days the delineation shall be treated as complete and correct.

    3. The commission may require further information or provide for an additional fifteen (15) calendar days under extenuating circumstances.

    4. The applicant will pay for the review of the submittal according to review fee policy. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.5)

16.48.120 Forest conservation plan.

  1. A forest conservation plan shall be prepared by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect, or a qualified professional who meets the requirements stated in COMAR 08.19.06.01.
     

  2. The forest conservation plan will be prepared by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect, or a qualified professional who is approved by the commission to:

    1. Develop a forest stand delineation according to criteria stated in the technical manual;

    2. Prepare and interpret maps, including soils, topography, floodplain, wetlands and a site map;

    3. Prepare afforestation and reforestation plans as stated in Sections 16.48.120 and 16.48.130;

    4. Prepare graphic indication of forest protection and retention areas and all method inclusive therein;

    5. Review impact of development on forested area;

    6. Prepare forest inventory using forest measurement equipment.
       

  3. Developing a forest conservation plan, the applicant shall give priority to techniques for retaining existing forest on the site.
     

  4. If existing forest on the site subject to a forest conservation plan cannot be retained, the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department:

    1. How techniques for forest retention have been exhausted;

    2. Why the priority forests and priority areas specified in Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1607(c), Annotated Code of Maryland, cannot be left in an undisturbed condition;

    3. If the priority forests and priority areas cannot be left undisturbed, how the sequence for afforestation or reforestation will be followed in compliance with Natural Resources Article Section 5-1607, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    4. Where on the site in priority areas afforestation or reforestation will occur in compliance with Natural Resources Article Section 5-1607, Annotated Code of Maryland.

    5. The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that the requirements for afforestation or reforestation on-site or off-site cannot be reasonably accomplished if the applicant proposes to make a payment into a fund as per Section 16.48.160 instead of afforestation or reforestation.
       

  5. A forest conservation plan shall:

    1. Be submitted with the preliminary subdivision plan or site plan submitted for the site;

    2. Include a map of the site drawing at the same scale as the subdivision plat or site plan;

    3. Include a table that lists, in square feet:

      1. The net tract area;

      2. The total area of forest conservation required; and

      3. The total area of forest conservation that the applicant proposes to provide, including both on-site and off-site areas;

    4. Include a clear graphic indication of the forest conservation provided on the site, showing areas where retention of existing forest or afforestation is planned;

    5. Include a construction timetable showing the sequence for tree conservation procedures;

    6. Include an afforestation or reforestation plan prepared by a licensed forester or licensed landscape architect with a timetable and description of needed site and soil preparation, species, size and spacing to be utilized;

    7. Show locations and types of protective devices to be used during construction activities to protect trees and areas of forest designated for conservation;

    8. Show the planned limits of disturbance;

    9. Show planned stockpile areas;

    10. Incorporate a commitment to complete all required afforestation and reforestation within one year following approval and recording in the county records of the final development plat, or within two growing seasons following approval and recording in the county records of the final development plat, if a particular species in the plan necessitates it;

    11. Incorporate a binding two-year management agreement that details how the areas designated for afforestation or reforestation will be maintained to ensure protection or satisfactory establishment, including:

      1. Watering; and

      2. Reinforcement planting provision if survival rates fall below required standards, as set forth in the forest conservation manual;

    12. Incorporate a binding protective agreement that:

      1. Provides protection for areas of forest conservation, including areas of afforestation, reforestation, and retention;

      2. Limits uses in areas of forest conservation to those uses that are consistent with forest conservation, including recreational activities and any forest management practices that is used to preserve forest; and

      3. Incorporates conservation easements, deed restrictions, covenants, and other agreements as necessary;

    13. Information required in the forest conservation technical manual; and

    14. Any other information the department requires.
       

  6.  

    1. Within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the forest conservation plan, the commission or agent shall notify the applicant whether the forest conservation plan is complete and approved.

    2. If the commission or agent fails to notify the applicant within sixty (60) calendar days, the plan shall be treated as complete and approved.

    3. The commission may require further information or extend the deadline for an additional fifteen (15) calendar days under extenuating circumstances.

    4. At the request of the applicant, the department may extend the deadline under extenuating circumstances.

    5. The applicant will pay for the review of the forest conservation plan at forty dollars ($40.00) per hour before approval is issued.
       

  7. The commission's review of a forest conservation plan shall be concurrent with the review of the preliminary subdivision plat or site plan, associated with the project.
     

  8. The commission may revoke an approved forest conservation plan if it finds that:

    1. Any provision of the plan has been violated;

    2. Approval of the plan was obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, a false or misleading statement, or omission of a relevant or material fact; or

    3. Changes in the development or in the condition of the site necessitate preparation of a new or amended plan.
       

  9. The commission may issue a stop work order against any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any regulation, order, approved plan or management agreement.
     

  10. Prior to revoking approval of a forest conservation plan, the commission shall notify the violator in writing and provide an opportunity for a hearing.
     

  11. If a forest conservation plan is required by this article, a person may not cut, clear, or grade on the development site until the commission has approved the plan or if the person is in violation of an approved plan. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.6)

16.48.130 Retention and afforestation.

  1. A person who applies after January 1, 1993, for subdivision approval, a grading permit, or a sediment control permit for an area of land of forty thousand (40,000) square feet or more:

    1. Shall conduct afforestation on the lot or parcel in accordance with the following:

      1. For the following land use categories, a site with less than fifteen (15) percent of its net tract area in forest cover shall be afforested up to at least fifteen (15) percent of the net tract area:

        1. Institutional development areas;

        2. High density residential areas;

        3. Mixed use and planned unit development areas; and

        4. Commercial and Industrial use areas.

    2. Shall comply with the standards set forth in COMAR when cutting into forest cover that is currently below these afforestation percentages.
       

  2. Comply with the following when cutting into forest cover that is currently below the afforestation percentage described in subsection (A)(1) and (2) of this section:

    1. The required afforestation level shall be determined by the amount of forest existing before cutting or clearing begins; and

    2. Forest cut or cleared below the required afforestation level shall be reforested or afforested at a two to one ratio and added to the amount of afforestation necessary to reach the minimum required afforestation level, as determined by the amount of forest existing before cutting or clearing began.
       

  3. The following trees, shrubs, plants, and specific areas shall be considered priority for retention and protection and shall be left in an undisturbed condition unless the applicant has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the commission, that reasonable efforts have been made to protect them and the plan can not be reasonably altered:

    1. Trees, shrubs, and plants located in sensitive areas including the one hundred-year floodplain, intermittent and perennial streams and their buffers, steep slopes, and critical habitats;

    2. Contiguous forest that connects the largest undeveloped or most vegetated tracts of land within and adjacent to the site;

    3. Trees, shrubs, or plants identified on the list of rare, threatened, and endangered species of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the state of Maryland Department of Natural Resources;

    4. Trees that:

      1. Are part of a historic site;

      2. Are associated with a historic structure; or

      3. Have been designated by the state or the Department as a national, state, or county champion tree.

    5. Trees having a diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground of:

      1. Thirty (30) inches or more; or

      2. Seventy-five (75) percent of the diameter, measured at 4.5 feet above the ground of the current state champion tree of that species as designated by the state of Maryland Department of Natural Resources. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.7)

16.48.140 Reforestation.

  1. There is a forest conservation threshold established for all land use categories, as provided in subsection (B) of this section. The forest conservation threshold means the percentage of the new tract area at which the reforestation requirement changes from a ratio of one-fourth acre planted for each acre removed above the threshold to a ratio of two acres planted for each acre removed below the threshold.
     

  2. After every reasonable effort to minimize the cutting or clearing of trees and other woody plants is exhausted in the development of a subdivision plan and grading and sediment control activities and implementation of the forest conservation plan, the forest conservation plan shall provide for reforestation, or payment into the forest conservation fund, according to the formula set forth in subsection C of this section and consistent with the following forest conservation threshold for the applicable land use category:

    Category of Use Threshold Percentage
    Institutional Development Areas 20%
    High Density Residential Areas 20%
    Mixed Use and Planned Unit Development Areas 15%
    Commercial and Industrial Use Areas 15%

  1.  
    1. If the percentage of forest cover remaining on the net tract area after cutting or clearing are completed, equals or exceeds the threshold established by the section, the site shall be reforested at a ratio of one-fourth acre planted for every acre removed.

    2. Each acre of forest retained on the net tract area above the threshold shall be credited against the total number of acres required to be reforested under subparagraph (1) of this subsection.

    3. If the percentage of forest cover remaining on the net tract area after cutting and clearing are completed is less than the threshold established by this section, the site shall be reforested at a ratio of two acres planted for every acre removed. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.8)

16.48.150 Priorities and time requirements for afforestation and reforestation.

  1. The recommended sequence for forest conservation, after techniques for retaining existing forest on the site have been exhausted, is as follows:

    1. Selective clearing and supplemental planting on site;

    2. On-site afforestation, or reforestation, if economically feasible, using transplanted or nursery stock that is greater than 1.5 inches in diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground;

    3. On-site afforestation, or reforestation, using whips and shelters;

    4. Landscaping of areas under an approved landscaping plan that establishes a forest that is at least thirty-five (35) feet wide and covers two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of area;

    5. Off-site afforestation, or reforestation, using transplanted or nurser stock that is greater than 1.5 inches diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground;

    6. Off-site afforestation, or reforestation, using whip and shelters.
       

  2. A sequence other than the one described in subsection (A) of this section may be used for a specific project if necessary to achieve the objectives of the county land use plan or county land use policies or to take advantage of opportunities to consolidate forest conservation efforts.
     

  3. The following shall be considered priority for afforestation and reforestation:

    1. Establish or enhance forest buffers adjacent to intermittent and perennial streams to widths of at least fifty (50) feet;

    2. Establish or enhance nonforested areas on one hundred-year floodplains, when appropriate;

    3. Establish or increase existing forested corridors to connect existing forests within or adjacent to the site. Where practical, forested corridors should be a minimum of three hundred (300) feet in width to facilitate wildlife movement;

    4. Establish or enhance forest buffers adjacent to critical habitats where appropriate;

    5. Establish planting to stabilize slopes of twenty-five (25) percent or greater and slopes of fifteen (15) percent or greater with a soil K value greater than 0.35 including the slopes of ravines or other natural depressions;

    6. Establish buffers adjacent to areas of differing land use where appropriate, or adjacent to highways or utility rights-of-way;

    7. Establish forest areas adjacent to existing forests so as to increase the overall area of contiguous forest cover, when appropriate; and

    8. Use native plant materials for afforestation or reforestation, when appropriate.
       

  4. A person required to conduct afforestation or reforestation under this chapter shall accomplish the reforestation within one year or two growing seasons, whichever is greater, following the approval and recording in Frederick County's records of the final development plat. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.9)

16.48.160 Payment in lieu of afforestation and reforestation.

  1. There is created an "Emmitsburg Forest Conservation Fund."
     

  2. If a person subject to this article demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commission that reforestation or afforestation on-site or off-site cannot be reasonably accomplished, the person shall contribute money, at a rate of thirty cents ($0.30) per square foot of the area of required planting, into the town's forest conservation fund.
     

  3. Money contributed in lieu of afforestation or reforestation under this subsection shall be paid within ninety (90) calendar days of the approval the preliminary subdivision plat or site plan.
     

  4. Money contributed under this section shall remain in the account for a period of two years or three growing seasons, whichever is a greater time period. At the end of that time, any part that has not been used to meet the afforestation or reforestation requirements shall be returned to the person who provided the money.
     

  5. Money contributed under this section shall remain in the account for a period of two years, or three growing seasons.
     

  6. Money contributed under this section:

    1. May be used only for reforestation and afforestation, including site identification, acquisition, and preparation; and no more than twenty (20) percent for administration;

    2. Shall be deposited in a separate forest conservation fund; and if this cannot be accomplished then the commission can decide to allow reforestation or afforestation to occur in the county or watershed in the state in which the project is located;

    3. Shall not revert to the general fund.
       

  7.  

    1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the reforestation or afforestation requirement under this subsection shall occur within the corporate limits of the town.

    2. If the reforestation or afforestation can not be reasonably accomplished within the corporate limits of the town then the reforestation or afforestation shall occur on other Emmitsburg-owned property within Frederick County. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.10)

16.48.170 Recommended tree species.

  1. Tree species used for afforestation or reforestation shall be native to the county, when appropriate, and selected from a list of approved species established by the Commission.
     

  2. The commission shall adopt regulations establishing a list of tree species native to the county to be used for afforestation or reforestation. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.11)

16.48.180 Surety for afforestation and reforestation.

  1. A person required to conduct afforestation or reforestation under this article shall furnish surety in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit, drawn on a Frederick County bank or other security approved by the commission. The surety shall:

    1. Assure that the afforestation, reforestation, and associated management plan are conducted and maintained in accordance with the approved forest conservation plan;

    2. Be in the amount equal to the estimated cost, as determined by the commission, of afforestation or reforestation; plus administration and inspection costs of twenty (20) percent; and

    3. Be in a form and of a content approved by the town attorney.
       

  2. If after one growing season the planting associated with the afforestation or reforestation meet or exceed the standards of the forest conservation manual, the town shall notify the appropriate entity that liability has been reduced by fifty (50) percent.
     

  3. If after two growing seasons the plantings associated with the afforestation or reforestation meet or exceed the standards of the forest conservation manual, the town shall notify the appropriate entity that liability has been reduced to zero (0) percent.
     

  4. The local forest conservation program will incorporate the financial security set forth in this article and in COMAR 08.19.05.01.B. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.12)

16.48.190 Standards for protecting trees from construction activities.

  1. The town shall adopt standards for the protection of trees from construction activity that are at least as effective as the standards set forth in the state of Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Forest Conservation Manual.
     

  2. Before cutting, clearing, grading, or construction begins on a site for which a forest conservation plan is required by this chapter, the developer shall demonstrate to the commission that protective devices have been established. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.13)

16.48.200 Variances.

  1. The board of appeals may grant a variance to this article in accordance with this section.
     

  2. In order to grant a variance to this article, the board of appeals issue specific written findings of fact demonstrating that the granting of variance:

    1. Was due to special features of the particular site or other circumstances, and that implementation of this article would result in unwarranted hardship to an applicant;

    2. Was because the enforcement of these rules would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by others in similar areas;

    3. Would not confer on the applicant a special privilege that would be denied to other applicants;

    4. Was not based on conditions or circumstances which are the result of actions by the applicant;

    5. That the request does not arise from a condition relating to land or building use, either permitted or nonconforming, on a neighboring property;

    6. Will not adversely affect water quality;

    7. Is designed in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of this article; and

    8. The application to the board of appeals for a variance to this article and public hearing shall take place the same as for request for a variance to the zoning regulations.
       

  3. The board shall make findings that the applicant has met the requirements in subsections (A) and (B) of this section before the board may grant a variance.
     

  4. Notice of a request for a variance shall be given to the Department of Natural Resources within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a request for a variance.
     

  5. There is established by this chapter the right and authority of the Department of Natural Resources to initiate or intervene in an administrative, judicial or other original proceeding or appeal in the state concerning an approval of a variance under Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland, or this chapter. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.14)

16.48.210 Violations--Penalties.

  1.  

    1. A person found to be in noncompliance with this article, regulations adopted under this article, the forest conservation plan or the associated two-year management agreement, shall be assessed by the commission, the penalty of thirty cents ($0.30) per square foot of the area found to be in noncompliance with required forest conservation.

    2. Money collected under subparagraph (1) of this subsection shall be deposited in the forest conservation fund required by Section 16.52.150, and may be used by the commission for purposed related to implementing this article.
       

  2. In addition to the provisions under subsection (A) of this section, a person who violates any provision of this article or any regulation or order adopted or issued under this article, is liable for a penalty not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), which may be recovered in a civil action brought by the department. Each day a violation continues is a separate violation.
     

  3. The commission may seek an injunction requiring the person to cease violation of this chapter and take corrective action to restore or reforest an area.
     

  4. The local program will adopt the enforcement provisions under COMAR 08.19-.06.03. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.15)

16.48.220 Annual report.

On or before July 1st of each year, the commission shall submit to the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Environmental Matters Committee, a report on:

  1. The number, location, and type of projects subject to the provisions of this article;
     

  2. The amount and location of acres cleared, conserved, and planted in connection with a development project;
     

  3. The amount of reforestation and afforestation fees and noncompliance penalties collected and expended; and
     

  4. The costs of implementing the forest conservation program. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.16)

16.48.230 Biennial review by the Department of Natural Resources.

The commission shall submit the necessary documentation to comply with COMAR 08-.19.02.04. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.4.17)

Article 5. Short and Long Term Protective Agreements

16.48.240 Short-term protective agreements.

  1. Maintenance Agreements.

    1. Application. A person required to conduct afforestation or reforestation under a local or state program shall include in the forest conservation plan a binding maintenance agreement for the length of two years, as specified in the forest conservation manual.

    2. Approval procedures and timing shall be consistent with the procedures provided in the local program or as provided in COMAR 08.19.04.04.

    3. The maintenance agreement shall detail how the areas designated for afforestation or reforestation will be maintained to ensure protection and satisfactory establishment of forest and shall follow the standards provided in Chapter 3 of the forest conservation manual.

    4. The person required to conduct the afforestation or reforestation, after this referred to as the "obligee," shall present evidence of a legal right to implement the proposed maintenance agreement on a selected site by providing:

      1. An executed deed conveying title to a selected site to the obligee;

      2. An executed conservation easement agreement;

      3. Written evidence of the landowners consent to the use of a selected site;

      4. A fully executed option agreement, long-term lease agreement, or contract of sale for a selected site; or

      5. Other written evidence of a possessory or ownership interest in a selected site.

    5. The commission or the local authority shall be a signatory to the maintenance agreement, or shall be designated a third-party beneficiary of the agreement.

    6. The commission or local authority may not release a bond or end monitoring without receipt of a legally binding deed, long-term lease, or conservation easement agreement on those lands where afforestation or reforestation will occur.

    7. The maintenance agreement shall provide for access by the department or local authority to the afforestation or reforestation site.
       

  2. Bonding.

    1. Application.

      1. A person required to conduct afforestation or reforestation, or to deposit money into a state or local fund under the state or local program shall include a bond or other financial security as an element of a forest conservation plan.

      2. This section does not apply to agencies of any federal, state, county, or municipal government.

    2. Requirements. A financial security shall be furnished in the form of:

      1. A bond which shall be made payable to the department or local authority;

      2. An irrevocable letter of credit which shall:

        1. Be equivalent to the required bond,

        2. Be issued by a financial institution authorized to do business in Maryland,

        3. Expressly state that the total sum is guaranteed to be available and payable directly to the department on demand in the event of forfeiture, and

        4. Be in force until all mitigation for reforestation and afforestation and monitoring requirements have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the department or local authority or until all contributions have been made to the state or local fund; or

      3. Other security approved by the Department or local authority.

    3. The financial security shall:

      1. Ensure that:

        1. The afforestation, reforestation and associated maintenance agreements are conducted and maintained in accordance with the approved forest conservation plan, or

        2. Contributions have been made to the State or local fund;

      2. Be in the amount equal to the estimated cost of afforestation and reforestation, or the amount of the contribution due, as determined by the department or local authority;

      3. Be in a form and content approved by the department or local authority.

    4. The value of the financial security:

      1. Shall be based on:

        1. The cost to perform all work required by the afforestation or reforestation plan if the work had to be performed by or contracted out by the department or local authority, or

        2. When appropriate, the amount due for a fund contribution;

      2. May be adjusted according to the actual cost of mitigation for afforestation and reforestation or, if the cost of future mitigation work changes, the department or local authority shall notify the obligee of a proposed adjustment and proved an opportunity for an informal conference on the adjustment; and

      3. May be reduced if the obligee proves to the department or local authority that the costs to complete the mitigation project have been reduced.

    5. A surety bond or other alternative form of security may not be canceled by the surety, bank, or other issuing entity unless both of the following conditions are satisfied:

      1. The surety notifies the department and the obligee of its intent to cancel the bond, in writing, by registered mail, not less than ninety (90) days before cancellation; and

      2. At least forty-five (45) days before the cancellation date indicated in the notice, the obligee files a commitment from a surety, bank or other issuing entity to provide a substitute security which will be effective on the cancellation date indicated in the notice.

    6. After one growing season, the person required to file a bond or other financial security under this regulation may request reduction of the amount of the bond or other financial security by submitting a written request to the department with a justification for reducing the bond or other financial security amount, including estimated or actual costs to ensure that the afforestation or reforestation requirements are met.

    7. The department shall determine whether a lesser amount is sufficient to cover the cost of afforestation or reforestation, taking into account the following:

      1. The number of acres;

      2. The proposed method of afforestation or reforestation;

      3. The cost of planting materials or replacement materials;

      4. The cost of maintenance of the afforestation or reforestation project; and

      5. Other relevant factors.

    8. If, after two growing seasons or one year, whichever is greater, the planting associated with the afforestation or reforestation meet or exceed the standards of the forest conservation manual, the remaining amount of the cash bond, letter of credit, surety bond, or other security shall be returned or released.

    9. Bond Release.

      1. The bond shall be released on receipt of written notice from the department or local authority, if applicable, stating that all afforestation or reforestation requirements have been met.

      2. The written notice shall be sent at the end of the required two-year monitoring and management period, as provided in the maintenance agreement.

      3. If the department fails to send written notice within sixty (60) days after the end of the monitoring and management period, the bond shall be automatically released.

    10. Financial Security Forfeiture.

      1. The bond or other financial security may be subject to forfeiture if the obligee fails to comply with:

        1. Revocation of the forest conservation plan;

        2. An administrative order; or

        3. An element of the afforestation or reforestation plan.

      2. The commission or local authority shall notify the obligee, by certified mail, or the intention of the department or local authority to initiate forfeiture proceedings.

      3. The obligee has thirty (30) days from receipt of the notice of forfeiture to show cause why the bond or other financial security may not be forfeited.

      4. If the obligee fails to show cause, the bond or other financial security shall be forfeited.
         

  3. A local program may substitute for the bonding provisions of subsection (B) of this regulation a process that is consistent with the state bonding procedure. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.5.1)

16.48.250 Long-term protective agreements.

  1. An applicant under the Emmitsburg program shall have in effect at all times approved long-term protective measures as provided for in Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1607, Annotated Code of Maryland, to retain as forest all land forested, afforested, or reforested under this chapter. A local program will contain provisions for long-term protective measures including subsection (B) of this regulation.
     

  2. Approved Forest Management Plan.

    1. Procedure for Approval.

      1. An application for approval of a forest management plan shall include all information required in the forest conservation manual.

      2. The forest management plan:

        1. Shall be legally binding from the date of approval;

        2. Shall be prepared by a licensed professional forester;

        3. Shall be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources forester assigned to the county where the property is located; and

        4. May be amended periodically, as provided for in subsection (B)(2) of these regulations.

      3. The Department of Natural Resources forester shall review the plan to ensure that it is complete and consistent with the State or local program.

      4. The department shall notify the applicant whether the forest management plan has been approved.

    2. Procedure for Amendment of an Approved Forest Management Plan.

      1. An approved forest management plan may be amended if there is a change in site conditions or landowner objectives.

      2. Amendments shall be prepared by a licensed professional forester.

      3. The amendment shall be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources forester assigned to the county where the property is located.

      4. The Department of Natural Resources forester shall review the amendment to ensure that it is complete and consistent with the state or local program.

      5. The Department of Natural Resources shall notify the applicant as to whether the amendment has been approved.

      6. The applicant shall sign the amendment.
         

  3. Forest Conservation and Management Agreement. An applicant may satisfy the requirement for long-term protection under Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1607(e), Annotated Code of Maryland, by executing a forest conservation and management agreement, as provided in Tax-Property Article, Section 8-211, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 08.07.03.
     

  4.  Other Legally Binding Protective Agreements.

    1. Other legally binding protective agreements include:

      1. Covenants running with the land;

      2. Deed restrictions;

      3. Conservation easements; and

      4. Land trusts.

    2. Other legally binding agreements shall provide:

      1. Protection for land forested, afforested, or reforested under Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter; and

      2. Limitation on the uses of forest to those that are consistent with forest conservation.
         

  5. An applicant may include in a forest conservation plan another long-term protective measure if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the measure will provide for the long-term protection of the areas retained, afforested, or reforested under this chapter.
     

  6. Procedure for a Timber Harvesting Plan.

    1. An individual may harvest timber on forested, reforested, or afforested areas protected under an approved forest conservation plan provided that the harvest:

      1. Is consistent with the intent of an approved forest management plan, forest conservation management agreement, or other long-term protective agreement;

      2. Is subject to a timber harvest plan:

        1. Prepared by a licensed professional forester;

        2. Submitted to the local forestry conservancy district board for review and approval;

        3. That remains in effect for two years; and

      3. Is consistent with the intent and requirements of the approved forest conservation plan.

    2. The local forest conservancy district board shall notify the individual whether the timber harvest plan under Section 16.48.250 (F)(1) has been approved. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.5.2)

Article 6. Additional Requirements

16.48.260 Qualified professionals.

  1. An individual may prepare a forest stand delineation or a forest conservation plan, if the individual:

    1. Is a licensed forester;

    2. Is a licensed landscape architect; or

    3. Meets the requirements of subsection (B) of this regulation.
       

  2. An individual may be approved by the department as a qualified professional if the individual:

    1. Possesses a four-year degree in the natural resources sciences, natural resources management, or landscape or environmental planning;

    2. Has the following:

      1. Two years of professional experience in natural resources sciences, natural resources management, landscape planning or environmental planning, or the equivalent, as determined by the state, or

      2. A graduate degree in natural resources and one year of professional experience;

    3. Has the ability to meet the obligations required by the forest conservation manual to prepare a forest stand delineation and a forest conservation plan; and

    4. Satisfactorily completes a forest conservation course offered by the department.
       

  3. The department shall offer forest conservation courses on a regular basis, which shall demonstrate how to:

    1. Develop and interpret a forest stand delineation and forest conservation plan according to criteria stated in the forest conservation manual;

    2. Prepare and interpret soils, topography, floodplain, wetlands and site maps;

    3. Prepare afforestation and reforestation plans according to criteria stated in the forest conservation manual;

    4. Prepare a sketch map of a site, showing areas of forest retention, proposed reforestation, or afforestation;

    5. Identify and evaluate protection measures that may be appropriate for forested areas that are sensitive to disturbance;

    6. Identify flora and fauna, including trees, woody shrubs, plants and wildlife;

    7. Diagnose and treat forest pest and disease problems; and

    8. Understand ecosystem interactions including:

      1. Water regime impacts,

      2. Soil variations as they affect existing trees and species selection for afforestation and reforestation,

      3. Wildlife habitats,

      4. Multi-storied plant canopies, and

      5. Forest successional stages. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.6.1)

16.48.270 Training.

  1. A. Seminars for Local Officials.

    1. The department shall provide a training program to assist local officials in the development of local programs, including one seminar per year for each geographic region of the state for the calendar years of 1992 and 1993.

    2. For the purposes of this training program the geographic regions are:

      1. Central Region: Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Hartford, Kent and Queen Anne's counties and Baltimore City;

      2. Eastern Region: Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties;

      3. Southern Region: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's counties; and

      4. Western Region: Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.
         

  2. Additional Seminars.

    1. The department may offer additional annual seminars to assist local officials, developers, planners, surveyors, engineers, foresters, biologists and landscape architects in the development, review or approval of forest stand delineations and forest conservation plans.

    2. The department may sponsor additional seminars in conjunction with other professional and trade organizations. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.6.2)

16.48.280 Enforcement.

  1. Application.

    1. The provisions of this chapter apply to a person under the state program making application for a subdivision or project plan, grading or sediment control permit, on areas forty thousand (40,000) square feet or greater.

    2. A local authority may adopt the provisions of this chapter for the enforcement of a local program.
       

  2. Complaints and Orders.

    1. In addition to sanctions authorized by Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland, the Department may serve a written complaint on an alleged violator if the department determines that there has been a violation of:

      1. A provision of Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1611, Annotated Code of Maryland;

      2. A regulation of this chapter;

      3. A forest stand delineation or forest conservation plan;

      4. An administrative order.

    2. The complaint shall:

      1. Identify the violator and the location of the violation;

      2. State the provision violated;

      3. State the specific facts on which the complaint is based; and

      4. Provide an opportunity to request a hearing to contest the complaint.

    3. Corrective Action.

      1. At any time, including during an enforcement action, the department may issue an administrative order requiring the violator to take correction action within a certain time period.

      2. The corrective action may include an order to:

        1. Stop the violation;

        2. Stabilize the site;

        3. Stop all construction work at the site of a regulated activity;

        4. Restore or rectify unlawfully cleared areas; or

        5. Submit a written report or plan concerning the violation.

    4. Service.

      1. A complaint, order, or other administrative notice issued by the department shall be served:

        1. On the violator personally;

        2. On the violator's agent at the activity site; or

        3. By certified mail to the violator's last known address.

      2. An order issued under this regulation is effective immediately, according to its terms, when it is served.
         

  3. Hearings.

    1. The department shall give notice and hold a hearing under this chapter in conformance with State Government Article, Section 10-210--10-217, Annotated Code of Maryland.

    2. Within ten calendar days of receiving a complaint, order, or notice under this chapter, the violator may request a hearing, in writing.

    3. If a person has been served with an order for corrective action, the person may request a stay conjunction with a request for a hearing.

    4. A request for stay may be heard before or during a hearing on the complaint. At the request of a violator, a request for stay may be heard within ten business days of the department's receipt of the request.

    5. Administrative Action for a Forest Conservation Plan or Bond. The department may suspend or revoke a forest conservation plan or forfeit a bond on a forest conservation plan on failure of the violator to comply with the requirements of an administrative order.

    6. Statutory Remedies. The provisions of this chapter may not be construed to limit or affect the authority of the department to proceed against violators under Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland.
       

  4. Plan Suspension and Revocation. The department may suspend or revoke a plan after notice to the violator and opportunity for a hearing has been provided if the department determines that one or more of the following has occurred:

    1. Failure of a violator to post a bond required under COMAR 0819.0B5.01B;

    2. Failure to comply with the requirements of an administrative action or order issued under this chapter, or for a violation of Natural Resources Article, Section 5-1601--5-1612, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    3. Misrepresentation in the application process or failure to disclose a relevant or material fact;

    4. Violation of a forest conservation plan requirement;

    5. Substantial deviation from the conditions, specifications, or requirements of a plan;

    6. Changes in site conditions, new information, or amended regulatory requirements necessitate revocation before a person's right under a plan have vested.
       

  5. Notice. Except as provided under subsection (G) of this section, the department may not suspend or revoke a forest conservation plan unless the department first gives the violator written notice by certified mail of the specific facts that warrant suspension or revocation, and an opportunity to be heard.
     

  6. Contested Case Hearings.

    1. On receipt of written notice to suspend or revoke a forest conservation plan, the violator has ten calendar days to request a contested case hearing.

    2. A hearing under this regulation shall be conducted in conformance with State Government Article, Section 10-201--10-217, Annotated Code of Maryland.

    3. If the department does not receive a request for a hearing, the forest conservation plan shall be suspended or revoked.
       

  7. Emergency Action.

    1. The department may order the immediate suspension of a forest conservation plan if the department finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires the emergency suspension.

    2. The department shall promptly give the violator written notice that the emergency action has been taken.

    3. A notice of emergency action shall include a statement of:

      1. Specific facts on which the emergency suspension is based; and

      2. The violator's opportunity to be heard. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.6.3)

Article 7. Applicability

16.48.290 Areas which this chapter does not apply.

  1. Any preliminary plan of subdivision or any grading or sediment control plan approved before July 1, 1991; and
     

  2. Any planned unit development that by December 31, 1991, has:

    1. Met all local requirements for planned unit development approval; and

    2. Obtained initial development plan approval by the Department. (Ord. 93-1 1 (part): prior code Appx. B Art. XVI 16.7)


16.04 General Provisions
16.08 General Requirements
16.12 Procedures Generally
16.16 Design Standards
16.20 Improvements
16.24 Preliminary Plats
16.28 Final Plats
16.32 Modifications and Exceptions
16.36 Fees
16.40 Amendments
16.44 Appeals
16.48 Forest Conservation

Code Index | Title: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17