Tree Bills & More

The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 1, will continue its worksessions on two bills that would help protect trees in the county.

The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the county Web site at

Bill 35-12 would save, maintain and establish the tree canopy by maximizing tree retention and establishment of new trees. The bill would establish standards to minimize the loss of trees as a result of development and would provide for mitigation when trees are lost or disturbed. It also would provide for a fund for tree canopy conservation projects. Monday’s worksession will include a discussion on how other jurisdiction address tree canopy protection. The discussion also may address appropriate fees for mitigation when trees are taken down for development.

Bill 41-12 would require certain applicants to obtain a permit for specified activities in a public right-of-way that would destroy or disturb trees. It would authorize the Department of Transportation to create a tree replacement fund to pay for needed roadside trees and would lead to the adoption of regulations regarding work (trimming) that would be conducted on roadside trees.

Councilmembers Berliner and Marc Elrich are the chief sponsors of Bill 41-12.

At 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Elrich and George Leventhal, will hold a worksession on Bill 40-12 that would provide a Green Organization Supplement for a qualified applicant’s investment in an approved green organization.

Bill 40-12 would have the county supplement 50 percent of the recipient’s investment in a qualified green organization, or a lower percentage set in the annual operating budget resolution, up to $25,000. This bill would implement one of the recommendations from the Green Economy Task Force. County Executive Isiah Leggett has submitted a letter in support of Bill 40-12 and included $500,000 in his Fiscal Year 2014 recommended operating budget for this initiative.

The program would be structured similarly to the county’s Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit Supplement. In 2012, the county provided $500,000 in supplement funds for this program, according to data provided by the Department of Economic Development. In 2012, there were 66 eligible transactions, ranging from $2,117 to $42,354, with the average award being $7,575.76.

Monday’s worksession will include further discussion on the scope of companies that would be eligible for Green Organization supplements.

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