15.15.14.05

.05 Application Evaluation Criteria.

The Foundation shall review each ARES application on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the proposed ARES complies with the requirements of this chapter for approval. In addition to the eligibility factors provided in Regulation .03 of this chapter, the Foundation shall also consider the following factors to determine whether the proposed ARES interferes significantly with any agricultural use of the farm.

A. The proposed ARES may not conflict with the terms of the deed of easement applicable to the farm, including but not limited to the following:

(1) The area approved for any ARES may not be subdivided from the farm, unless such area is part of an agricultural subdivision approved by the Foundation pursuant to COMAR 15.15.12; and

(2) The ARES may not have a detrimental impact on drainage, flood control, erosion control, forest stewardship, water conservation or soil conservation on the farm.

B. The proposed ARES may not negatively impact the agricultural use of a farm beyond the approved ARES area.

C. The proposed ARES shall be located and configured in a manner that maximizes the farmís agricultural use, meaning that:

(1) It may not be constructed or installed on prime farmland, consisting of United States Department of Agriculture Soil Capability Classes I, II, and III or Woodland Groups 1 and 2 and shall be located along field edges, unless the Foundation approves otherwise based on sufficient justification provided by the applicant;

(2) It shall be located and configured to avoid dividing larger fields into smaller fields and to avoid isolating areas of the farm so that they are no longer viable or efficient for agricultural use, unless the Foundation approves otherwise based on sufficient justification provided by the applicant; and

(3) In compliance with Regulation .03E of this chapter, the area approved for an ARES on a farm shall constitute one contiguous area and may not constitute multiple areas on the farm, unless the Foundation approves otherwise based on sufficient justification provided by the applicant.