Howard County Executive Calvin Ball just announced a 21-day public comment period on the county’s Forest Conservation Manual draft. The goal of the guide is to detail how forest conservation should be handled before, during, and after the development process.
From Howard County’s press release:
“For nearly two decades, our Forest Conservation Act remained unchanged. In recent years the Act’s out of date standards lacked real positive environmental impact,” said Ball. “Green infrastructure can no longer be an afterthought – it must be built into how we plan and grow. We can’t cut down trees in one location and replace them in another. Now, larger residential developments must retain and replace 75% of trees within the project site.”
The manual is being updated to reflect Ball’s recent updates to the Forest Conservation Act, which will ensure County compliance with State law, increase forest retention and replanting, reduce use of fee-in-lieu, and improve safeguards for the environment.
The manual will be available for public review and comment through the Department of Planning and Zoning’s public comment portal at https://hocodpz.konveio.com/fcm2020. Instructions on how to provide comments through the portal are available here.
Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning is hosting a virtual public meeting on Thursday, November 5, at 4:00 PM, to give an overview of the draft manual and accept public comments.
To register for the meeting and participate, go to Howard County’s website. Registration will be open until noon the day of the meeting. The meeting will also be live streamed on the county’s YouTube channel.
For more information, visit Howard County’s website.