Forestation accord reached with firm

April 15, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

A Finksburg construction company won a reduction in county forest conservation ordinance requirements yesterday, but it will have to plant trees rather than put existing woods into a preservation easement as its representatives had proposed.

The county commissioners agreed with part of Kibler Construction Co.'s argument in the first appeal of a variance decision in the 16-month history of the forest conservation ordinance.

Diana Coyne, office manager, said the decision satisfied construction company officials. She said she doesn't know how soon Kibler will begin work on the planned 100-by-200-foot equipment storage building that brought the company under the ordinance's requirements.

Company representatives argued at a March 22 hearing that the ordinance's tree planting and preservation requirements should be calculated only for the 1.4 acres that would be disturbed for the storage building, not for the entire 25-acre tract owned by the firm.

The commissioners agreed with that argument yesterday.

The county Environmental Affairs Advisory Board proposed that although the Kibler property was adequately forested not to require any additional tree plantings under the ordinance, 7 wooded acres should be placed in a permanent protective easement. The company countered with an offer to place 0.4 acre in an easement.

The commissioners rejected that argument yesterday.

County attorney Charles W. Thompson recommended against any easement. "The intent of the law was not to protect existing forest by putting an easement on it, but to plant new forest," he said.

Kibler will now be required to plant 0.2 acre in trees.

The commissioners are considering a proposal to reduce the acreage used in calculating forestation requirements for commercial and industrial properties, which would avoid a repetition of Kibler's case.

The EAAB supports the proposed change, and Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Elmer Lippy endorsed it yesterday. Mrs. Gouge said draft versions of the ordinance called for calculating forest requirements on the basis of acreage disturbed for commercial or industrial construction, but at some point the wording was changed to include the full property.

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