Mount Airy's changes in forest conservation law OK with Dell

August 03, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll Commissioner Donald I. Dell said yesterday he is not particularly worried that Mount Airy's forest conservation ordinance usurps county authority, now that he knows more about the town law.

The commissioners plan to discuss the issue with Mayor Gerald R. Johnson Jr. tomorrow at their quarterly meeting with the mayors of Carroll's eight towns.

Last week, Mr. Dell said he did not feel comfortable with having county staff members enforce the town ordinance when the commissioners did not know what the ordinance said.

In June, the Mount Airy Town Council modified the county forest conservation ordinance, which is meant to preserve woodlands, and adopted its own version.

The town ordinance requires any developers who must plant or replace trees because of building projects in the town must give priority for planting to sites within the town limits.

It also says that any fines paid by Mount Airy builders for violating the ordinance should be used for tree projects in the town.

Other Carroll towns have agreed to follow the county's version of the forest conservation ordinance, which requires anyone who disturbs 25,000 square feet or more of land to replace felled trees and to provide the county with data on existing woodlands.

Mr. Johnson said the intent of the Mount Airy ordinance was to benefit the town, not to usurp county authority.

Mr. Dell said yesterday that it is all right with him if Mount Airy builders are required to replace trees within the town limits, since the trees would be in Carroll County anyway.

There might be a problem if the builder wanted to replace the trees on the Frederick County side of town, he said.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said the commissioners should discuss the issue with the mayors "to smooth out differences" when they meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Room 300A of the County Office Building in Westminster.

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