New Amendments To County Forest Resource Ordinance Received Favorably Tues. Night

The Council is expected to vote on the measure at a later date.


Frederick, Md (KM). The reaction was favorable  Tuesday night to proposed amendments to Frederick County’s  forest resource ordinance. The measure was the topic of a public hearing before the County Council.

One of those speaking was Adam Mormon, a license landscape architect, and a conservationist. He was opposed to a bill presented a few weeks ago, but supports  the revisions. “I hope it will not only strengthen what we have, but also allow future business and economic development to occur more freely,” he said.

“We remain hopeful that the additional future progress regarding the afforestation and reforestation thresholds in the FRO program. And we’re really pleased to see the amendment strengthens the mitigation program, reduce the allowable miscellaneous credits and provides the administrative clarity to other portions of the program,” says Katelyn Wall, representing the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

A few weeks ago, the Council had actually considered two bills to amend the forest resource ordinance; One from County Executive Jan Gardner, and the other from Council President Bud Otis. Gardner’s measure ran into opposition from builders and developers, who felt their businesses would be hurt. But a group of farmers, environmentalists, developers and business people got together to come up  a  consensus on the amendments. Council members Jessica Fitzwater and Tony Chmelik also worked with the group.

Last week, Council President Otis withdrew his bill, which allowed Gardner’s bill with amendments to go forward.

Mark Lancaster, a local builder, praised the group and the two Council members for their work in coming up with a bill everyone could support, even if it doesn’t contain everything everyone wants. “I just hope that from now on, that we can be a little bit pro-active before a bill is actually introduced so maybe we can come to a consensus before it’s actually brought to the table. That’s  the only thing I ask,” he said.

Similar comments came from Denise Jacoby with the Frederick County Building Industry Association. “We do feel like it was great process and maybe we can move this forward as we move through other pieces of legislation that affect all of us in Frederick County,” she said.

The Council is expected to vote on this measure at a later date.


By Kevin McManus