Can you face criminal charges for cutting down a tree on your property in Maryland?

Reblogger Ellie Shorb
Real Estate Agent with Compass Real Estate SP98362422

Gibson Islanders and anyone living 1000 feet or less from tidal water in MD, please be aware of the laws regarding tree removal on your property.  Richard Iarossi provides helpful info and contact #s for code compliance for all those in Anne Arundel Co. and other affected areas:

Original content by Richard Iarossi 531132
Cutting TreeIf you live on the water, or within 1000 feet of tidal water in Maryland, you had better be aware of restrictions imposed within this Cheasapeake Bay Critical Area. For instance, if you cut that tree down on your property to get a better view of the water, you could face both civil and criminal charges. Yes, that wasn’t a typo...criminal charges.

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 the County first to see if the work you’re planning on doing is legal.

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 Rich 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 If you’re not already working with a REALTOR®...I can help. Call me at 443-995-9595 (Cell) or 410-451-6255 (Office).

SKYPE ME: RichSellsHomes

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All information is deemed reliable but should be independently verified. Property information is subject to change without notice.



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Ellie Shorb

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