County finds support for forest fee bill

February 17, 1993

The state Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Association of Counties support a bill proposed by Carroll's General Assembly delegation to charge a fee to cover administrative costs of the Forest Conservation Act.

However, the Home Builders Association of Maryland opposed the bill, which was the subject of a hearing by the House Environmental Matters Committee yesterday.

Carroll Assistant County Attorney Michelle Ostrander testified that the fee is needed because the state-mandated forest conservation plan requires more work -- and thus more expense -- for county staff.

Because Carroll does not have home rule, the commissioners need the General Assembly's approval to charge a fee, she said.

The forest-conservation plan is a law to preserve and plant more trees.

Del. Virginia M. Thomas, a Howard County Democrat and committee vice chairwoman, asked Ms. Ostrander to provide more specifics about the fee.

The committee did not vote on the legislation -- House Bill 565 -- yesterday.

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