Firm to ask waiver of forest rules

January 03, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

A Finksburg construction company plans to appeal to the county commissioners for a waiver of county forest law requirements.

Kibler Construction Co. wants to build a 100-by-200-foot equipment storage building on its 25-acre property on Baltimore Boulevard.

The company is required to meet the requirements of the forest conservation ordinance because the building plan would disturb more than 25,000 square feet of land.

Company representatives rejected a compromise proposed last month by Franklin L. Grabowski, chairman of the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board (EAAB).

Mr. Grabowski's proposal would have allowed Kibler to build without meeting tree replacement and addition requirements, and without performing a detailed assessment by a professional forester.

In exchange, Mr. Grabowski's proposal would have called for Kibler putting a permanent easement on all wooded areas of the property.

The permanent easement would bar destruction of the remaining forest.

Kibler wanted to meet the forest law's requirements only for the 1.4 acres that would be disturbed for the building, rather than for the entire tract.

But the environmental board rejected that proposal.

Kibler offered to put a permanent easement on .42 acres of woods at the eastern corner of the property to meet the forestation requirement for the 1.4 acres it plans to disturb.

In essence, the construction company offered to put twice as much forest into an easement as the ordinance would require it to plant.

Diana Coyne, Kibler's office manager, said that to lock in the entire 25-acre tract for nondevelopment, as Mr. Grabowski proposed, means that, "basically, all rights are taken away from the owner.

"That's just unreasonable," she said.

She said the company definitely plans to appeal the EAAB decision to the commissioners.

The environmental board felt it was important to get an easement on all forested sections of the Kibler property, because the property adjoins forested land.

Preserving the woods would help protect the watershed of the North Branch of the Patapsco River, said Neil Ridgely, county program manager for landscaping and forest conservation.

Glenn Edwards, a forest technician with Carroll Land Services Inc., argued against a permanent easement for the wooded sections at an EAAB hearing last month.

Mr. Edwards said that Kibler might want to build on those sections.

Mr. Grabowski expressed skepticism.

"As a site engineer, I find it hard to believe that any of this [wooded area] is remotely developable," he said.

Kibler bought the property, a former trailer park, 2 1/2 years ago, 0Mrs. Coyne said. The company began grading for the building about two years ago.

She said it was "a matter of economics" that Kibler didn't finish the construction before the commissioners adopted the county forest conservation law in December 1992.

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