Environmentalists, developers debate Anne Arundel Co. forest conservation bill

A bill that is designed to preserve forests and the tree canopy in Anne Arundel County, Maryland was subject to debate Monday night.

Bill 68-19 would limit a developer’s ability to clear land for a project. Going above a particular threshold would result in increased fees.

The bill would also increase the requirement for replanting the trees removed during development on a property.

Supporters said the bill is needed because of the loss of more than 2,500 acres of forested land since 2010.

Alison Prost, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said the bill will help Maryland reach its goal of boosting water quality and cleaning up the bay by 2025.

Representatives of the building industry said the requirements limit the ability of developers to build affordable housing in the county.

The county council will revisit the issue Oct. 21 when a vote is expected.

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