15.15.13.05

.05 Foundation Application Procedure.

A. Upon receiving a completed proposal from the county program administrator, the Foundation staff shall:

(1) Review the proposal for completeness;

(2) Submit the proposal to the Maryland Department of Agricultureís Office of Resource Conservation for a written opinion on the appropriateness of the forest easement overlay proposal;

(3) Submit the proposal, if it involves mitigation, to the Maryland Department of Planning for a written statement indicating whether the development to be facilitated by the forest mitigation is in a priority funding area, is consistent with the local comprehensive plan and State planning policy, and is not likely to encourage or support substantial further development in areas the Foundation is attempting to preserve; and

(4) Submit the complete proposal and staff recommendation to the Foundationís Board of Trustees.

B. After receiving the proposal and recommendation from the Foundation staff, the Board shall determine if the forest easement overlay is consistent with the Foundationís mission and is appropriate for the easement property. The approval for a forest easement overlay on a Foundation easement or district property is not an absolute right of a landowner, and requests shall be reviewed by the Foundation on a case-by-case basis.

C. The Foundation shall also take into account the following criteria when reviewing a forest easement overlay proposal:

(1) The restrictions that would be imposed on the current and future production options for the land;

(2) The potential effect of the forest easement on the ability of subsequent owners of the land to conduct profitable activities on the land, compatible with the Foundationís easement;

(3) The amount of the land proposed for an easement overlay;

(4) The productivity of the soil or soils;

(5) The resource conservation purpose being served;

(6) The recommendation of the county agricultural land preservation advisory board; and

(7) Any other considerations appropriate and necessary to determine the proposalís compatibility with the Foundationís goals and objectives.

D. If the request is to establish a forest easement overlay for a forest mitigation bank, the Foundation shall approve or deny the request after considering the criteria set forth in this regulation. If the Board approves an overlay for forest mitigation banking, future mitigation credits may be approved by the Foundation staff but shall offset development in a priority funding area.

E. If the forest easement overlay request is for a property subject to an easement with a 25-year termination clause, the landowner shall amend the deed of easement to waive the right to request termination of the easement after 25 years and to clarify the perpetual nature of the easement.

F. The forest easement overlay document shall be submitted to the Foundation for review in advance of recordation and be subordinate to the agricultural land preservation easement unless the Foundation determines that the Stateís interest in the land would be compromised by doing so.