Amendments allow forest banking plan

August 16, 1994|By From Staff Reports

The Carroll County commissioners yesterday adopted amendments to the county's forest conservation ordinance that would allow the creation of a forest banking plan and would give credit to developers who plant trees in towns with tree-management plans.

Under the forest banking program, developers who can't meet forest conservation regulations may buy easement rights from property owners who create "banks" of forests.

"Property owners can capitalize on the banks they create by selling rights to developers who can't plant on-site at their developments," said Neil Ridgely, the county's landscaping and forest conservation program manager.

Mr. Ridgely said the amendment was intended to help meet forestation requirements in industrial and commercial developments where on-site planting is not possible.

The first application of the forest bank amendment probably will be at the planned shopping center at Routes 32 and 26. Mr. Ridgely said New Windsor farmer Melvin Baile is interested in creating a tree bank.

"A number of people are eager to enter into the [forest] banking business," Mr. Ridgely said. "We've had inquiries from a number of people in the county who want to do it."

Under an amendment adopted yesterday, developers could meet forest ordinance requirements in incorporated towns by planting street trees.

The commissioners have backed such a change since developer David Bullock learned in April 1993 that he couldn't meet forestation requirements for a planned New Windsor retirement village by donating money to the town's Tree City U.S.A. program.

The other adopted amendments:

The acreage would be reduced in calculating forestation requirements for commercial and industrial properties.

Off-conveyances -- the two lots per parcel of land that owners are allowed to sell without going through the county's subdivision process -- would be exempt from the forest conservation ordinance unless an owner graded or disturbed more than 15,000 square feet per lot.

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