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Forest conservation law OK'd

April 20, 1999

Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday voted 4-1 to adopt a city forest conservation law which mirrors the 1991 state Forest Conservation Act.

By passing its own version of the law the city will administer its own forest conservation program and control contributions to a city forest conservation fund.

Previously, the program and contributions coming from developments in the city were overseen by the state.

Matt Davis, a city planner, said that since 1991 about $200,000 has gone into the state fund as a result of city projects.

The law requires developers who clear more than 40,000 square feet of wooded area to either replant forest or pay into a state fund used to plant trees elsewhere, said Matt Davis, a city planner.

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Councilman William M. Breichner voted against the law.

He didn't comment on the law during Tuesday's meeting. In past council sessions, Breichner said the law would promote planting forests in the city, which could prevent further development near existing city services.

Breichner also said he had "serious doubts" that all of the money the city took in as a result of the law could be used within the city.

- Dan Kulin

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