A homeowner was recently sued by the State for cutting down trees on his waterfront property to get a better view. He was sued simultaneously in both Civil and Criminal Courts.
His fine in Civil Court exceeded $10,000, and he got lucky in Criminal Court with a Probation before Judgement. He is also required to get permits for the work he already did, as well as plant trees and shrubs to replace the missing ones. Along with his legal expenses, this was a very expensive lesson.
Recent State laws now allow for prosecution of offenders in both Civil and Criminal Courts. Anne Arundel County is being particularly aggressive with this stance.
Maryland waterfront homeowners, and any homeowner in the Critical Bay zone, should take heed that any activity involving trees, shrubs and underbrush should be reviewed with the County beforehand.
According to the County website, “Except for routine grass cutting and maintenance of existing garden and landscaped areas, removal of any existing natural vegetation within the Critical Area buffer or protected forests or woodland is subject to prior approval through the Code Compliance Division. Call (410) 222-7441 for information on obtaining a standard Buffer Management Plan or Forest Management Plan.”
Plan to err on the side of caution before making any landscaping changes to your waterfront property...call the County first to see if the work you’re planning on doing is legal.
Richard Iarossi is a full time licensed REALTOR®, working in Crofton, MD. My coverage areas are: Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard, Calvert, Queen Anne, and Baltimore City and County. I specialize in residential real estate, working with both buyers and sellers. Use the registration free search on my website at www.RichSellsHomes.com. If you’re not already working with a REALTOR®...I can help. Call me at 443-995-9595 (Cell) or 410-451-6255 (Office).
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