Article X. Payment In Lieu of Afforestation and Reforestation

§31–10.1 Forest Conservation Account

A. There is established a Forest Conservation Account in the local program.

B. If a person subject to this Ordinance demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Department that requirements for reforestation or afforestation onsite or offsite cannot be reasonably accomplished; the person shall contribute money into the Town of Easton Forest Conservation Account:

(1) For a project inside a priority funding area, as defined in Natural Resources Article, §5-1610, Annotated Code of Maryland, at a rate of thirty and one-half ($30.5) cents per square foot of the area of required planting with the amount adjusted by the Department based on the previous year’s inflation rate; and

(2) For a project outside a priority funding area, at a rate of thirty-six and six-tenths ($36.6) cents per square foot of the area of required planting.

C. Money contributed in lieu of afforestation or reforestation under this article shall be paid prior to development and or project plan approval.

D. The Town shall accomplish the reforestation or afforestation efforts for which the money was deposited within 2 years or 3 growing seasons, whichever is a greater, upon receipt of the payment.

E. Money deposited into the Town of Easton’s Forest Conservation Account:

(1) May be spent on the costs directly related to reforestation and afforestation, including site identification, acquisition, preparation, maintenance of existing forests and achieving urban canopy goals.

(2) Shall be identified according to individual development project activities; and (3) May not revert to the general fund.

F. Sites for Afforestation or Reforestation Using Account Money.

(1) Except as provided in Subsection G of this section, the reforestation or afforestation requirement under this article shall occur within the corporate limits of the Town of Easton.

(2) If the reforestation or afforestation cannot be reasonably accomplished within the Town, then the reforestation or afforestation shall occur within Talbot County or the watershed of the State of Maryland.