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CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 1A. STRUCTURE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 2. ADMINISTRATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 2B. AGRICULTURAL LAND PRESERVATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 3. AIR QUALITY CONTROL - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 3A. ALARMS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 5. ANIMAL CONTROL - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 8. BUILDINGS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 8A. CABLE COMMUNICATIONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 10B. COMMON OWNERSHIP COMMUNITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 11. CONSUMER PROTECTION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 11A. CONDOMINIUMS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 11B. CONTRACTS AND PROCUREMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 13. DETENTION CENTERS AND REHABILITATION FACILITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 15. EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 16. ELECTIONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 17. ELECTRICITY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 18A. ENERGY POLICY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 19. EROSION, SEDIMENT CONTROL AND STORMWATER MANAGEMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 19A. ETHICS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 20 FINANCE - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 21 FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 22. FIRE SAFETY CODE - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 22A. FOREST CONSERVATION - TREES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 23A. GROUP HOMES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 24. HEALTH AND SANITATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 24A. HISTORIC RESOURCES PRESERVATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 24B. HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 25. HOSPITALS, SANITARIUMS, NURSING AND CARE HOMES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 25A. HOUSING, MODERATELY PRICED - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 25B. HOUSING POLICY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 26. HOUSING AND BUILDING MAINTENANCE STANDARDS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 27. HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 27A. INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL FACILITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 29. LANDLORD-TENANT RELATIONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 30. LICENSING AND REGULATIONS GENERALLY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 30C. MOTOR VEHICLE TOWING AND IMMOBILIZATION ON PRIVATE PROPERTY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 31. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 31A. MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR AND TOWING REGISTRATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 31B. NOISE CONTROL - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 31C. NEW HOME WARRANTY AND BUILDER LICENSING - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 33. PERSONNEL AND HUMAN RESOURCES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 33B. PESTICIDES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 35. POLICE - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 36. POND SAFETY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 38A. RADIO, TELEVISION AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE INSTALLATION AND REPAIRS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 40. REAL PROPERTY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 41. RECREATION AND RECREATION FACILITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 41A. RENTAL ASSISTANCE - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 42A. RIDESHARING AND TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 44. SCHOOLS AND CAMPS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 44A. SECONDHAND PERSONAL PROPERTY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 45. SEWERS, SEWAGE DISPOSAL AND DRAINAGE - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 47. VENDORS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 48. SOLID WASTES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 49. STREETS AND ROADS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 50. SUBDIVISION OF LAND - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 51 SWIMMING POOLS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 51A. TANNING FACILITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 52. TAXATION - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 53. TAXICABS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 53A. TENANT DISPLACEMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 54. TRANSIENT LODGING FACILITIES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 55. TREE CANOPY - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 56. URBAN RENEWAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 56A. VIDEO GAMES - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 57. WEAPONS - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 59. ZONING - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 60. SILVER SPRING, BETHESDA, WHEATON AND MONTGOMERY HILLS PARKING LOT DISTRICTS - REGULATIONS
MISCELLANEOUS MONTGOMERY COUNTY REGULATIONS
TABLE 1 Previous COMCOR Number to Current COMCOR Number
TABLE 2 Executive Regulation Number to Current COMCOR Number
TABLE 3 Executive Order Number to Current COMCOR Number
INDEX BY AGENCY
INDEX BY SUBJECT
County Attorney Opinions and Advice of Counsel
Sec. 22A-12. Retention, afforestation, and reforestation requirements.
   (a)   Table.
Forest Conservation Threshold and Required
Afforestation as a Percentage of Net Tract Area
Land Use Category
Forest Conservation Threshold
Required Afforestation
Forest Conservation Threshold and Required
Afforestation as a Percentage of Net Tract Area
Land Use Category
Forest Conservation Threshold
Required Afforestation
Agricultural and resource areas
50%
20%
Medium-density residential areas
25%
20%
Institutional development areas
20%
15%
High-density residential areas
20%
15%
Mixed-use development areas
20%
15%
Planned unit development areas
20%
15%
Commercial and industrial use areas
15%
15%
 
   (b)   Retention.
      (1)   The primary objective of the forest conservation plan should be to retain existing forest and trees and avoid reforestation in accordance with this Chapter. The forest conservation plan must retain certain vegetation and specific areas in an undisturbed condition unless the Planning Director finds that:
         (A)   the development would make maximum use of any available planning and zoning options that would result in the greatest possible forest retention;
         (B)   reasonable efforts have been made to protect the specific areas and vegetation listed in the plan; and
         (C)   the development proposal cannot be reasonably altered.
      (2)   In general, areas protected under this subsection include:
         (A)   floodplains, stream buffers, steep slopes, and critical habitats;
         (B)   contiguous forests;
         (C)   rare, threatened, and endangered species;
         (D)   trees connected to an historic site;
         (E)   champion trees and other exceptionally large trees; and
         (F)   areas designated as priority save areas in a master plan or functional plan.
      (3)   The following trees, shrubs, plants, and specific areas are priority for retention and protection and must be left in an undisturbed condition unless the Planning Board or Planning Director, as appropriate, finds that the applicant qualifies for a variance under Section 22A-21:
         (A)   Any tree, shrub, or plant that is rare, threatened, or endangered under:
            (i)   the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 in 16 U.S.C. Sections 1531 — 1544 and in 50 CFR 17;
            (ii)   the Maryland Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act, Title 10, Subtitle 2A of the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code; or
            (iii)   COMAR 08.03.08;
         (B)   Any tree that is:
            (i)   part of a historic site,
            (ii)   associated with a historic structure, or
            (iii)   designated by the State or County as a national, State, or County champion tree; or
         (C)   Any tree with a diameter, measured at 4.5 feet above the ground, of:
            (i)   30 inches or more; or
            (ii)   75% or more of the diameter, measured at 4.5 feet above ground, of the current State champion tree of that species.
   (c)   Reforestation. The forest conservation plan must provide for reforestation as follows:
      (1)   For all existing forest cover measured to the nearest 1/10 acre cleared on the net tract area below the applicable forest conservation threshold, the area of forest removed must be reforested at a ratio of 2 acres planted for every one acre removed.
      (2)   For all existing forest cover measured to the nearest 1/10 acre cleared on the net tract area above the applicable forest conservation threshold, the area of forest removed must be reforested at a ratio of  ¼ acre planted for every one acre removed.
      (3)   Each acre of forest retained on the net tract area above the applicable forest conservation threshold must be credited against the total number of acres required to be reforested.
      (4)   A regulated activity under this Chapter within the net tract area that occurs wholely or partly in areas regulated as nontidal wetlands is subject to both the nontidal wetland regulatory requirements and the requirements of this Chapter. However, any area of forest within the net tract area that is retained, including forest in nontidal wetlands, must be counted towards forest conservation requirements under this Chapter.
   (d)   Afforestation.
      (1)   A site with less than 20 percent of the net tract area in forest cover must be afforested in accordance with the required afforestation percentages shown on the table in subsection (a) of this Section.
      (2)   Afforestation should be accomplished by the planting of forest cover. However, if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Planning Board or Planning Director, as the case may be, that afforestation using forest cover is inappropriate for a site because of its location in an urban setting, redevelopment context, high-density residential, commercial, industrial, planned unit development, or institutional area (as defined in Section 22A-3), or similar reason, afforestation requirements may be satisfied by tree cover.
   (e)   Standards for reforestation and afforestation.
      (1)   (A)   Preferred sequence. Except as provided in the technical manual or otherwise in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the preferred sequence for afforestation and reforestation is, in general: on-site afforestation or reforestation; off-site afforestation or reforestation; enhancement of existing forest through on-site selective clearing, supplemental planting, or both; acquiring credit(s) from an off-site forest mitigation bank; paying a fee in-lieu; and landscaping with an approved plan.
         (B)   Governmental considerations. The sequence provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph may be modified for a specific project if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Planning Board or the Planning Director, as the case may be, that a different sequence is necessary:
            (i)   to achieve the objectives of a master or sector plan or other County land use policies or to take advantage of opportunities to consolidate forest conservation efforts;
            (ii)   for public sites acquired or required to be dedicated before July 1, 1991, to ensure that the site can be used for its intended purpose without major design changes; or
            (iii)   for educational, recreational, and public safety facilities, to ensure that public safety is not compromised.
         (C)   Public Utility Considerations. The sequence provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph for public utility projects may be modified to reflect applicable electrical or other safety codes, or right-of-way constraints.
      (2)   Off-site afforestation and reforestation.  In addition to the use of other sites proposed by an applicant and approved by the County, off-site afforestation or reforestation may also include:
         (A)   Forest mitigation banks designated in advance by the County.
         (B)   Protection of existing off-site forest.  Acquisition of an off-site protective easement for existing forested areas not currently protected in perpetuity is an acceptable mitigation technique instead of off-site afforestation or reforestation planting, but the forest cover protected must be 2 times the afforestation and reforestation requirements.
         (C)   For sites located in existing population centers, use of street trees which meet landscape or streetscape goals identified in an applicable master plan.
      (3)   Priority areas and plantings. Afforestation and reforestation should be directed to stream buffer areas, connections between and additions to forested areas, critical habitat areas, topographically unstable areas, and land use and road buffers. The use of native plant materials is preferred.
      (4)   Location requirements. Required reforestation or afforestation must occur in both the county and watershed in which the project is located, except that if it cannot be reasonably accomplished in the same county and watershed in which the project is located, then the reforestation or afforestation may occur anywhere in either the county or watershed in which the project is located.
      (5)   Deadline for plant installation. The afforestation and reforestation requirements under this subsection must be accomplished within one year or 2 growing seasons after a development project is complete.
      (6)   Planned Unit Developments; Other Staged Development. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Planning Board may allow any afforestation or reforestation requirement for a planned unit development to be calculated and satisfied within the total area covered by the development plan, floating zone plan, sketch plan, or project plan instead of the net tract area. Similarly, the Planning Board may allow any afforestation or reforestation requirement applicable to a staged development subject to a single preliminary plan of subdivision but with separate site plan reviews for each stage to be calculated and satisfied using the total area covered by the preliminary plan of subdivision.
   (f)   Special provisions for minimum retention, reforestation and afforestation.
      (1)   General.  Any site developed in an agricultural and resource area, any planned unit development, any site developed under a cluster or other optional method of development in a one-family residential zone, and any waiver from a zoning requirement for environmental reasons, must include a minimum amount of forest on-site as part of meeting its total forest conservation requirement.
      (2)   Retention, reforestation and afforestation.  Forest retention should be maximized where possible on each site listed in this subsection.  At a minimum, on-site forest retention, and in some cases reforestation and afforestation, must be required as follows:
         (A)   In an agricultural and resource area, on-site forest retention must equal 25% of the net tract area.
         (B)   In a planned development or a site development using a cluster or other optional method of development in a one-family residential zone, on-site forest retention must equal the applicable conservation threshold in subsection (a).  This requirement also applies to any site seeking a waiver or variance from base zone standards under Sections 59.4.4.5.D, 59.4.4.6.D,  59.4.4.7.C, 59.4.4.8.C, 59.4.4.9.C, 59.4.4.10.C, 59.8.3.2, 59.4.9.16.B, and 59.5.2 if as a condition of the waiver or variance the Planning Board or County Council must find that the resulting development is environmentally more desirable.
         (C)   On a site covered by this subsection, if existing forest is less than the minimum required retention, all existing forest must be retained and on-site afforestation up to the minimum standard must be provided.  If existing forest is less than the applicable afforestation threshold in subsection (a), the afforestation threshold is the minimum on-site forest requirement.
         (D)   If a site covered by this subsection is unforested, on-site afforestation must equal the applicable afforestation threshold.
      (3)   If the Planning Board or Planning Director, as appropriate, finds that forest retention required in this subsection is not possible, the applicant must provide the maximum possible on-site retention in combination with on-site reforestation and afforestation, not including landscaping.
      (4)   Retention, reforestation, and afforestation must adhere to the priorities and sequence established in subsections (b) and (e).
   (g)   In lieu fee. A person contributing money to the forest conservation fund as an in lieu fee must do so at a rate specified by law or Council resolution, but not less than the rate required under Section 5-1610 of the Natural Resources Article of the Maryland Code. Any in lieu fee payment must be made before any land disturbing activity, as defined in Section 22A-3, occurs on a section of the tract subject to the forest conservation plan. A person may make an in lieu fee payment to the forest conservation fund only if the person satisfactorily demonstrates that:
      (1)   (A)   the requirements for reforestation or afforestation on-site or off-site cannot reasonably be accomplished;
         (B)   appropriate credits generated by a forest mitigation bank in the same watershed within the County are not available; and
         (C)   if appropriate credits generated by a forest mitigation bank in the same watershed within the County are not available, appropriate credits generated by a forest mitigation bank in the County are not available; or
      (2)   the off-site reforestation and afforestation requirements are less than 0.5 acre, and the Planning Board or Planning Director, as appropriate, finds that:
         (A)   no on-site priority planting area is present; and
         (B)   no other appropriate on-site planting area is available.
   (h)   Agreements.
      (1)   Maintenance agreement. A forest conservation plan must include a 5-year binding agreement for maintenance of conservation areas. A person subject to the binding agreement may request that the binding agreement be reduced to 3 years if the forest conservation inspector finds that the agreement has been fulfilled, unless the forest conservation plan is within a special protection area. If the forest conservation plan is within a special protection area, the binding maintenance agreement must be for a minimum of 5 years and may not be reduced. The binding maintenance agreement may include watering (as practical), feeding, non-native invasive control, and replanting of areas to be afforested or reforested. A maintenance agreement may also be required for non-native invasive control of forest edge. The binding agreement for maintenance starts upon satisfactory inspection of the plantings required under the forest conservation plan. A staged project may have more than one agreement.
      (2)   Long-term protective measures. A forest conservation plan must include appropriate measures for the protection of conservation areas; limitations on the use of these areas consistent with conservation and management practices; and legal instruments such as conservation easements, deed restrictions, covenants, and other agreements, as necessary.
   (i)   Financial Security.
      (1)   Security required. Except as provided in paragraph (8) of this subsection, an approved financial security instrument must be required to ensure:
         (A)   compliance with all requirements of an approved forest conservation plan including afforestation, reforestation, mitigation trees, and maintenance; or
         (B)   full payment of funds to be paid instead of afforestation or reforestation, if required under subsection (g).
      (2)   Preferred form. The preferred financial security instruments are an irrevocable letter of credit or a cash bond for a minimum of 5 years that may be reduced to 3 years upon request by the person subject to the binding maintenance agreement if the forest conservation inspector finds that the binding maintenance agreement has been fulfilled, unless the forest conservation plan is within a special protection area. If the forest conservation plan is within a special protection area, the financial security must be for a minimum of 5 years and may not be reduced. The letter of credit must expressly state that the total sum is guaranteed to be available and payable on demand directly to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in the event of forfeiture. A certificate of guarantee or a surety bond may also be used, including a bond payable to the Commission and County that additionally guarantees completion of public improvements associated with the proposed development. The financial security instrument must be made payable to the Commission and must be of a form and content satisfactory to the Commission and its legal counsel.
      (3)   When required. The financial security instrument must be provided prior to any land disturbing activity, as defined in Section 22A-3, occurring on a section of the tract subject to the forest conservation plan.
      (4)   Amount required.
         (A)   If financial security is required under subparagraph (1)(A), the security instrument must be in an amount equal to the estimated cost of afforestation, reforestation, and maintenance applicable to the section of the tract subject to the land disturbing activity. If the applicant sells an individual lot before providing the required financial security, the Planning Director may allow the new lot owner to provide a financial security that applies to the requirements specific to the development of that lot. The instrument must include a provision for adjusting the amount based on actual costs. The financial security instrument must be submitted to the Planning Director before any land disturbing activity occurs on the tract. The Planning Director must notify the obligee of any proposed adjustment and provide the opportunity for an informal conference.
         (B)   If the financial security is required under subparagraph (1)(B) of this subsection, the security instrument must be in an amount equal to the in lieu payment.
      (5)   Release. The financial security instrument must be in effect until all requirements have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Planning Director. The instrument may provide for the partial release or return of the instrument based on successful implementation of phases of the forest conservation plan.
      (6)   Events of forfeiture. The financial security instrument may be subject to forfeiture on:
         (A)   failure of the obligee to perform the work under the forest conservation plan in accordance with the required schedule; or
         (B)   failure of the obligee to pay a required in lieu fee in a timely manner.
      (7)   Forfeiture proceedings.
         (A)   The Planning Director must notify the obligee, by certified mail, of the intention of the Commission to initiate forfeiture proceedings.
         (B)   The obligee has 30 days from the receipt of the notice of forfeiture to show cause why the financial security should not be forfeited.
         (C)   If the obligee fails to show cause, the financial security instrument must be forfeited.
      (8)   Exception. This subsection does not apply to governmental entities.  (1992 L.M.C., ch. 4, § 1; 2001 L.M.C., ch 19 , § 1; 2006 L.M.C., ch. 35, § 1; 2007 L.M.C., ch. 10, § 1; 2010 L.M.C., ch. 55, § 1; 2014 L.M.C., ch. 25 , § 1; 2016 L.M.C., ch. 8, § 1; 2017 L.M.C., ch. 34, §1; 2018 L.M.C., ch. 14, §1; 2021 L.M.C., ch. 1, § 1; 2021 L.M.C., ch. 26, § 1.)
   Editor’s note—2001 L.M.C., ch. 19, § 2, reads as follows:
   Transition. Any amendment to Chapter 22A, inserted by Section 1 of this Act, does not apply to:
   (a)   a preliminary or final forest conservation plan approved before this Act took effect [November 5, 2001], or
   (b)   a county highway project individually listed in the County Capital Improvements Program and submitted to the Planning Board under mandatory referral review before this Act took effect [November 5, 2001].