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The Critical Area includes all land within 1,000 feet of Maryland’s tidal waters and tidal wetlands. It also includes the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Coastal Bays, their tidal tributaries and the lands underneath these tidal areas. In Prince George’s County this includes areas along the Patuxent, the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers. See PGATLAS.com for location of Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas.
The easiest way to determine if your property is in the Critical Area is to view the M-NCPPC PGAtlas website. Once on the site, go to Advance Mapping, select the binocular icon and enter your street address. Once your address information displays, select the magnifying glass to zoom in on the map to your property. Once your property displays, go to the icons on the right side and select the map layer icon. Once the layer list displays, select the drop down button next to zoning. Under the zoning layer, check off the box for Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Overlay (2015). If you do not have access to the internet, you can review detailed maps at the Planning Information Services counter in the Lower Level of the County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Before removing the tree, please contact the DPIE Inspections Division at 301-883-3820 and press 5 to schedule an inspection. Once the inspector determines that the tree can be removed, they will write a report giving you permission. The inspector will also instruct you to plant a new tree to replace the dead tree. If this is an emergency situation, the tree can be removed prior to the inspector investigation. Please take a picture of the tree before removing.
A Critical Area Staff Level Review of your project can be done if it meets the following conditions: disturbance of 500 square feet or less will occur; there is no existing Conservation Plan for the lot; the project will not be located in the Critical Area Buffer; and the site is in conformance with the requirements of the Critical Area Overlay Zone. If your site does not meet these requirements, contact M-NCPPC Environmental Planning Section at 301-952-3650 for further guidance. If your site meets these requirements, contact DPIE Site/Road Plan Review Division, Critical Area Planner, at 301-636-2060.
The Critical Area Conservation Plan is reviewed and approved by M-NCPPC Planning Board or by the Planning Director. The Development Review Division at 301-952-3530 can provide more information.
A Critical Area Bond is required to cover the required plantings. A cost estimate from a landscaping company is generally used to determine the amount of the bond. Once a copy of the cost estimate is received from the applicant, the bond amount is entered into the permit system under the related building or grading permit. The bond must be posted prior to the permit being issued.
The Critical Area Conservation and Planting Agreement must be recorded prior to the Conservation Plan being signed. Typically, applicants fill out the template for the Agreement and submit it to the DPIE Site/Road Plan Review Division to confirm the information provided is correct. Upon confirmation, the document is signed by the County and returned to the applicant/owner to be recorded at the County Land Records Office in Upper Marlboro.