Effective April 16, prior county approval is needed to cut, prune or remove vegetation within 1,000 feet of tidal waters, tidal wetlands
Anne Arundel County property owners seeking to cut, prune or remove natural vegetation anywhere within 1,000 feet of tidal waters or tidal wetlands must now obtain prior approval of such activities or face stiff penalties.
Under new county regulations that took effect April 16, affected property owners must submit — and obtain prior county approval of — a standard vegetation/buffer management plan before removing any existing natural vegetation within key areas. Such areas include designated Critical Areas, buffers and expanded buffers, areas subject to Forest Conservation Easements and all properties containing bogs and bog buffers.
Property owners, contractors and other individuals found performing unapproved work on site are subject to fines, mitigation requirements and civil and/or criminal prosecution.
The new vegetation-protection initiative was adopted under Anne Arundel County Legislative Bill 93-12. The county’s Department of Inspections and Permits recently issued a formal notice to local arbor contractors outlining the new requirements.
The legislation contains certain mitigation (replacement) requirements for existing natural vegetation approved for removal and includes allowable clearing thresholds for affected properties.
The county’s notice to arbor contractors clarifies that activities involving earth disturbance, including grading, hardscaping and other construction and development activities, remain subject to a standard grading plan, and cannot be approved under a standard vegetation/buffer management plan.
For more information on the new rules, contact the county’s Code Compliance Division/Forestry Section at (410) 222-7441.
Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).