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(a) Creating a forest mitigation bank. A person may create a forest mitigation bank from which applicants may buy credits.
(b) The area of land included in the bank must be at least 1 acre.
(c) A forest mitigation bank must have native plants.
(d) A person proposing to create a forest mitigation bank must submit a plan to the Planning Director for review and approval.
(e) The forest mitigation bank plan must include:
(1) a maintenance agreement which meets the standards in subsection 22A-12(h)(1);
(2) all information required by subsection 22A-10(c) for a forest conservation plan; and
(3) draft easements, covenants, or deed restrictions for the area included in the forest mitigation bank; and
(4) the number of forest mitigation bank credits available for sale as either existing forest credits or planted forest credits, where 1 acre of forest mitigation bank credit equals 1 acre of planted forest, or 2 acres of existing forest.
(f) Forest mitigation banks must be established in priority areas described in subsection 22A-12(e)(3), or in areas identified in a master plan or functional plan.
(g) Purchasing and selling forest mitigation bank credits.
(1) Before selling forest mitigation bank credits:
(A) the forest mitigation bank plan must be approved by the Planning Director; and
(B) easements, covenants, or deed restrictions which assure the area of land within the mitigation bank remains a forest in perpetuity must be conveyed to the Planning Board or its assignee, and the applicant must show that credits are available and the applicant has the right to debit them.
(2) Credits must not be debited from a portion of a forest mitigation bank where forest planting is required until:
(A) all trees have been planted and accepted by the Planning Director; and
(B) either a financial security which meets the standards in subsection 22A-12(i) has been provided, or the Planning Director has found that a sufficient number of trees have successfully survived for 2 years after planting.
(3) Forest mitigation bank credits must be acquired from a forest mitigation bank within the same 8-digit watershed, as delineated by the State of Maryland, as where the development activity is located. If forest mitigation bank credits are not available within the same 8-digit watershed within the County, applicants may acquire forest mitigation bank credits from any approved forest mitigation bank within the County.
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].