Montgomery County, MD (July 23, 2013) – Montgomery County, MD has passed two new tree bills effective March 2014. Both pieces of legislation seek to protect urban trees with permits and fees imposed on residents and builders who want to remove them. For every tree that is removed, the County will now require three new trees to be planted.
The first bill (41-12), “Roadside Trees,” requires anyone wanting to trim, remove or otherwise work on a tree in the county’s right of way to obtain a county permit first and pay to replace nearly every tree removed with three more. The cost to residents will be about $135. Only trees that pose a danger would be exempt. The bill passed 7-2.
The roadside tree bill would require replacing a removed tree with one tree on site and paying into a special fund to plant two others. The county will use the money in the fund to plant trees in areas where it has very few trees, like its urban districts.
The second bill (35-12) which passed unanimously, “Tree Canopy Conservation,” identifies the trees on private property as having have community value. It pushes beyond current laws, which protect the canopy on lots larger than 40,000 square feet, to protect it on smaller lots. The intent was to offset the effects of infill development where often trees are removed to make way for new or larger buildings.
Under the new law, residents can choose between planting new shade trees or paying a fee to the county. The fees range from $750 for small areas to as much as $3,750 for areas between 20,001 and 40,000 square feet and would apply to anyone who is required to obtain a permit to control sediment.
Source: “Montgomery County Council passes tree bills,” Maryland Community News
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