Zoning Code Article XI

Administrative Provisions

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Section 1. Changes and Amendments.

A. Initiation of Change. The Mayor and Council may from time to time amend, supplement or change, by ordinance, the boundaries of the Districts or the regulations herein established. Any such amendment may be initiated by resolution of the Mayor and Council or by motion of the Planning Commission or by petition of any property owner addressed to the Mayor and Council.

Petitions for change or amendment shall be on forms and filed in a manner prescribed by the Planning Commission.

B. Report From Planning Commission. Before taking any action on any proposed amendment, supplement or change, the Mayor and Council shall submit the same to the Planning Commission for its recommendations and report. Failure of the Commission to report within sixty (60) days after the first meeting of the Planning Commission subsequent to the proposal being referred to the Planning Commission shall be deemed approval.

C. Notice and Hearings.

1. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on any proposed amendment, supplement, or change before submitting its report to the Mayor and Council. Notice of public hearing before the Commission shall be given at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing by publishing the time, place and nature of the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town. In addition, the Commission shall cause the date, time, place and nature of the hearing to be posted conspicuously on the property, in accordance with the rules of the Commission. The published and posted notices shall contain reference to the place or places within the Town where the plans, ordinances or amendments may be examined.

2. Before approving any proposed change or amendment, the Mayor and Council shall hold a public hearing thereon, notice of said hearing to be accomplished by publication in a newspaper as prescribed above.


D. Protest. In case of a protest against a change or amendment, signed by the owners of twenty percent (20%) or more either of the area of the lots included in such proposed change or of those immediately adjacent in the rear thereof extending one hundred seventy-five (175) feet therefrom or of those directly opposite thereto extending one hundred seventy-five (175) feet from the

street frontage of such opposite lots, such amendment shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all the members of the Council.

E. Reconsideration; One Year Limitation. Whenever a petition requesting an amendment, supplement or change has been denied by the Mayor and Council, such petition, or one substantially similar, shall not be reconsidered sooner than one (1) year after the previous denial.

Section 2. Special Amendment Requirements in the Rock Hall Critical Area District

The Mayor and Council may from time to time amend the provisions of this ordinance as they relate to the Critical Area District, amend the land use management classification of properties in the Critical Area District, amend the land use management classification of properties in the Critical Area District or amend the Critical Area District Boundary.

In addition, the Mayor and Council shall review and propose any necessary amendments, as required, to the land-use management classifications in the Critical Area District at least every four (4) years.

All such amendments shall be approved by the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission as established in Subsection 8-1803 of the Critical Area Law, Subtitle 18. Standards for Critical Area Commission approval of proposed amendments are as set forth in the Critical Area Law, Subtitle 18 Subsection 8-1809 (i). The Critical Area Commission process for approval of proposed amendments are as set forth in the Critical Area Law, Subtitle 18, Subsection 8-1809 (d).

A. Amendment Procedures

1. Proposed amendments to this Ordinance as it relates to the Critical Area District may only be initiated by the Planning Commission or Mayor and Council.

2. Amendments involving specific properties shall first be submitted to the Planning Commission.

3. For all proposed amendments the Planning Commission shall first hold a public hearing related thereto, as per Section 1.C. of this Article.

4. The Planning Commission shall then forward growth allocation applications and program amendments to the Mayor and Council.

5. On Critical Area Program Amendments the Mayor and Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments per Section 1.C. of Article XI of the Zoning Code. Tentative approval of the program amendments must be forwarded to the Critical Area Commission for their approval before final action by the Mayor and Council.

6. For an application for growth allocation the Planning Commission shall first hold a public hearing related thereto, as per Section 1.C. of this Article. After receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission the Mayor and Council shall hold a public hearing on the application for growth allocation per Section 1.C. of this Article. Only those applications for growth allocation tentatively approved by the Mayor and Council will be forwarded to the Maryland Critical Areas Commission for action and/or approval.

B. Requirements for Amendments

1. Amendments to the Official Critical Area District Maps. The Mayor and Council may amend the Critical Area District Boundary to delete areas of the Town from the Critical Area District when it can be demonstrated that the Critical Area, as mapped on the Official Critical Area District Maps, is incorrectly drawn. The amended Critical Area District Boundary shall, at a minimum, encompass all areas as set forth in Article III, Section 7. Evidence sufficient to warrant a determination of a mistakenly drawn Critical Area Boundary Line shall be based on, and substantiated by either;

a. The Official State Wetland Maps;

b. The amended Official State Wetland Maps adopted by the State of Maryland; or

c. The written concurrence by the State of Maryland that the Official State Wetland Map is incorrect.

2. The Mayor and Council may also elect to add areas to the Critical Area District at any time. Addition or deletion of areas from the Critical Area District shall be processed as amendments to the Critical Area District as per this Section.

3. Land-Use Management Classification. When proposing a change of land-use management classification, i.e., Intensely Developed Area (IDA), Limited Development Area (LDA) or Resource Conservation Area (RCA), other than by changing a land-use management classification through granting of the GA Growth Allocation District, the Mayor and Council shall not approve amendments unless it is found that there was a mistake in the original classification and that the amendment is approved by the Critical Area Commission. Changes to the Land Use Management classification using Growth Allocation shall be as prescribed in Article V, Section 13.

Section 3. Procedures for Approval of Uses Subject to Performance Standards.

The procedures set forth in Section 6 of Article XI shall be followed in the review of uses with Performance Standards.

Section 4. Procedures for Approval Of Conditional Uses.

The Board of Appeals in accordance with the procedures and standards of Article XIII must approve all conditional uses. Upon approval of the conditional use, the applicant shall submit a site plan to the Planning Commission according to Article XI, Section 5.

A. Approval of a conditional use under this Ordinance shall be valid for a period of one (1) year after the date of approval and thereafter shall become null and void unless construction or use is substantially underway during said one-year period or unless an extension of time, not exceeding one (1) year, is approved by the Planning Commission and for good cause shown, before the expiration of said one-year period.

B. Any conditional use listed in this Ordinance, legally existing at the effective date of this Ordinance, shall be considered a nonconforming use unless it has qualified as provided above and has been approved as a conditional use by the Board of Appeals.

C. Whenever an application for a conditional use has been denied by the Board, such application, or one substantially similar, shall not be reconsidered sooner than one (1) year after the previous denial.

D. Permits issued under a conditional use approval may be revoked by the Administrator for failure to comply with conditions of approval or applicable regulations.

E. This Ordinance requires the submittal of site plans for all conditional uses and all of the provisions of this Article shall apply.

Section 5. Uses Requiring Site Plan Review.

For the purpose of assuring a good arrangement and appearance and ensuring harmony with the Comprehensive Plan, site plans for the following major uses, shall be subject to review by the Planning Commission.

1. Uses with Performance Standards.

2. Townhouses.

3. Houses of worship.

4. Docks, piers, bulkheads and other over-water structures,except private over-water piers and boathouses accessory to a dwelling.

5. Hotels, motels and motor lodges.

6. Business structures, commercial structures and industrial structure, if such structures are to contain more than two thousand five hundred (2500) square feet of floor area.

7. Marinas.

8. Other uses as required elsewhere in this Ordinance.

Section 6. Site Plan Review.

A. Five (5) or more copies as required of a preliminary site plan for the above uses shall be submitted to the Administrator, who shall review the plans for compliance with these regulations and the requirements for preliminary site plans, and, if complete as to the requirements of this Ordinance and other Town laws and regulations, he shall transmit said plans to the Planning Commission with his comments for review at the next regular meeting of the Planning Commission, if the plans are submitted thirty (30) days prior to said meeting.

B. The Planning Commission shall examine the proposed development with respect to:

1. traffic and circulation patterns, internal and external, in relation to major thoroughfares

2. safety and health

3. utilities, drainage and community facilities, existing or future

4. the preservation of trees or historic sites

5. provisions for open space

6. critical area program

7. architectural character of the Town

8. the objectives of ensuring a desirable, harmonious, and appropriate use of land in accordance with the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan.

C. No public hearing shall be required and the preliminary site plan shall be returned to the applicant within thirty (30) days following the meeting as approved, approved subject to conditions, (conditions are in addition to the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance) or disapproved.

D. The preliminary and final site plan must be approved by the Planning Commission at a public meeting and must adhere to the requirements of Article XIV Sections 7 and 8.

E. Nothing in this Section shall be interpreted to permit the granting of a variance or exception to the regulations of this Ordinance or to abridge the procedures or requirements of the laws and ordinances governing the subdivision of land.

Section 7. Requirements of Preliminary Site Plans.

A. The preliminary site plan shall be clearly drawn to a scale as specified below and shall show the following:

1. The proposed title of the project, the name of the project, the name of the engineer, architect, designer or landscape architect, the developers, and names and addresses of all owners of record.

2. The north point, scale, date and location maps. The scale of the site plan shall be as follows:

a. for projects more than two hundred (200) acres, not more than 200 feet to one inch.

b. for projects from fifty (50) to two hundred (200) acres, not more than 100 feet to one inch.

c. for projects more than ten (10) acres but less than fifty (50) acres, not more than 50 feet to one inch.

d. for projects containing ten (10) acres or less, not more than 20 feet to one inch.

3. Existing zoning and zoning District boundaries.

4. The location of Critical Area District boundaries and location of RCA, LDA, and IDA land uses areas in the project.

5. Flood plain boundaries with various insurance zones, elevations, and Flood Plain Elevations of all structures.

6. The boundaries of the property involved, the municipal boundaries, the general location of all existing easements, property lines, existing streets, structures,or water ways, other existing physical features in or adjoining the project, and owners of abutting properties.

7. The proposed changes in zoning if any. Any zoning changes must be approved before final site plans are approved.

8. The approximate location and sizes of existing sanitary and storm water sewers, water mains, culverts, and other underground structures in or near the project.

9. The general location of proposed lots, setback and structure restriction lines, easements, and proposed reservations for parks, parkways, playgrounds, school sites and open space.

10. Proposed location and character of non-residential uses, commercial or industrial uses, accessory or main.

11. Preliminary architectural plans, to scale, showing elevations and sections of the structures or structures, showing the finish grade, number of floors and floor heights, and the height of the structure.

12. The location and type of construction of proposed streets, alleys, driveways,access roads, curb cuts, entrances and exits, parking lots and loading spaces (including the number of parking and loading spaces) outdoor lighting systems,storm drains, sanitary facilities, electric utility systems, stormwater mananagement,and sediment and erosion control measures.

13. Location of proposed temporary sanitary facilities, one (1) for every twenty (20) employees, for construction personnel.

14. Existing field topography and natural features and proposed contour lines with finish grades of all structures shown. These to be shown at one (1) foot elevations.

15. Location of all structures and buildings with respect to each other and to setback lines. This includes excavations, storm water structures, etc.

16. A tabulation of the total number of acres in the project, gross or not as required in the District regulations and the percentages thereof proposed to be devoted to the several dwelling types, commercial use, other non-residential uses, off-street parking, streets, parks, schools and other uses.

17. A tabulation of the total number of dwelling units of various types in the project and the overall project density in dwelling units per acre, gross or net, as required by District regulations.

18. A tabulation of the tentative sewer allocations for the project.

19. Location of dumpsters and method of cleaning.

20. Provide vicinity map to scale (location map).

21. Developer will carry out the proper soil and vegetation investigations to determine the presence of non-tidal wetlands and delineate their locations on the lot of parcels proposed for development.

22. Address any health or safety problems such as traffic, fire, access for disabled, etc.

23. Show how adjacent properties and neighbors are going to be protected form noise, smoke, fumes, dust, odor, glare, storm water runoff during and after completion of project.

B. Preliminary site plans for marinas should include, in addition to the requirements in "A" and "C" of this section, the requirements contained in "Performance Standards for Marinas" in Article VI.

C. Preliminary site plans for the Critical Area Overlay District should include, in addition to the requirements in "A" and "B" of this section, the following:

1. Article V, Section 12 of this Ordinance.

2. Article V, Section 13 of this Ordinance.

3. The following additional information is required to be included with preliminary site plans in the Critical Area Overlay District:

a. Location and areal extent of all soils with: (1) septic limitations; (2) wet soils; (3) hydric soils; and (4) soils with hydric properties as shown on the Kent County Soil Survey;

b. A detailed drawing showing:

(1) Location of all proposed shore erosion protection work including the existing shoreline management designation as shown on the Town of Rock Hall Critical Area Program maps, existing structures, their condition, and areas for proposed structural and non-structural controls, shown on the boundary survey plat, at a scale of at least 1" = 100 feet;

(2) The location of the Critical Area District Boundary, the Buffer, Buffer Exemption areas, open space areas, and forested areas;

(3) The location of all Habitat Protection Areas;

(4) The location of all contiguous forested areas adjacent to the site that are linked to forested areas on the development site, i.e. hedgerows, forest patches or other wildlife corridors;

(5) The location of agriculture fields, barren lands, pasture, etc.

(6) The location of tidal and non-tidal wetlands on the site (see Article IV, Section 10);

(7) The location of existing water-dependent facilities on and adjacent to the site, including the number of existing slips and moorings on the site;

(8) The location and extent of existing and/or proposed erosion abatement approaches;

(9) The known locations of the habitat of any threatened or endangered species or species in need of conservation on or adjacent to the site, or within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the site in the case of bald eagle habitats;

(10) The location of anadromous fish spawning stream(s) on or adjacent to the site and a delineation of the watershed area of the stream on the site; and

(11) A detailed drawing locating shore erosion abatement techniques to be included with the site plan.

c. Computations of:

(1) Total site area in the Critical Area District;

(2) Total man-caused impervious surfaces areas and the percentage of site these occupy;

(3) Separate computations of the total acres of existing forest cover in the Buffer and in the Critical Area;

(4) Proposed agriculture open space areas;

(5) Proposed forest open space areas; and

(6) Total area of the site that will be temporarily disturbed during development and the total area that will be permanently disturbed. "Disturbed" is defined as any activity occurring on an area which may result in the permanent loss of or damage to existing natural vegetation.

d. In addition to the information above, site plans shall be accompanied by the following:

(1) A Forest Management Plan including the comments of the Bay Watershed Forester;

(2) A Habitat Protection Plan including the comments of the Maryland Forest, Park and Wildlife Service;

(3) An executed Cooperators agreement with the Soil Conservation District or farm plan, as applicable;

(4) A Stormwater Management Plan;

(5) A Sediment and Erosion Control Plan;

(6) A Planting Plan, as required; and

(7) An Environmental Assessment Report which provides a coherent statement of how the proposed development addresses the goals and objectives of the Rock Hall Critical Area Program. At a minimum the Environmental Assessment shall include:

(i) A statement of existing conditions, e.g. the amount and types of forest cover, the amount and type of wetlands, a discussion of existing agriculture activities on the site, the soil types, the topography, etc;

(ii) A discussion of the proposed development project, including number and type of residential units, amount of impervious surfaces, proposed sewer treatment and water supply, acreage devoted to development, proposed open space and habitat protection areas;

(iii) A discussion of the proposed development's impacts on water quality; and

(iv) Documentation of all correspondence and findings.

4. Offset requirements of the 10% rule

5. Growth Allocation requirements

D. The Planning Commission may establish additional conditions to the Preliminary site plan.

Section 8. Requirements for Final Site Plans

A. The final site plans shall comply with all laws and ordinances governing the approval of site plans, and must be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the next regular meeting of the Planning Commission. The final site plans shall show the following:

1. All the requirements shown under Section 6 and 7 of this Article.

2. Comply with all conditions of approval which were added at the time of preliminary site plan approval.

3. Comply with requirements of any approved zoning changes on the site plan.

4. Copies of all irrevocable Letters of Credit, if any required (cost plus 25%)

5. Copies of recorded covenants or agreements in reference to any parking off site.

6. Copies of recorded easements for utilities, public and private.

7. Copies of recorded easements for joint use on same site of parking, swimming pools, etc.

8. Landscaping plans in detail with necessary buffering shown.

9. Show areas of open space to be dedicated.

10. Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration, approved permit where the project borders on a State highway.

11. Have Town Fire Officer and the State Fire Marshall's office review plans and comply with any recommendations made. Provide copy of review comments and applicant's reply.

12. Have the Town's Utility Department clear any site plans prior to approval.

13. All drawings required to complete construction and installation of streets, access roads, storm drains, water mains, sanitary sewers, sidewalks, storm water management facilities, grading and sediment control measures.

14. The approved plan and schedule for providing storm water management and sediment control measures on site.

15. Show compliance with all Critical Area requirements:

(a) Environmental Impact Statement

(b) 10% rule

(c) Plan showing LDA improvement areas and showing compliance with the 15% and 25% rule pertaining to impervious surfaces.

(d) Copy of recorded plat of conservation easement and covenant required by the 10% rule and required Mayor and Council approval for offsets in IDA development.

(e) 15% afforestation requirement in the LDA and the Irrevocable Letter of Credit at 120% of the cost.

(f) Completed planting schedule for replacement of cutting of forest.

(g) Complete all mitigation in lieu of erecting structures and present certification of mitigation from proper authority and an Irrevocable Letter of Credit where needed.

(h) Steep slopes (not over 15%)

(i) Any other information as required by Critical Area Program.

(j) Approved Growth Allocation

16. All necessary County, State, and Federal approvals.

17. Final sewer allocation issued by the Town Manager of Rock Hall based upon all required approvals by other agencies.

B. The Planning Commission may establish additional conditions to the approval of the final site plan, and may require Irrevocable Letters of Credit in an amount of cost plus 25% to ensure completion of parts or all of the project.

C. No public hearing shall be required and the plans shall be returned to the applicant within thirty (30) days following the meeting approved, approved with conditions, or disapproved. The applicant must comply with all conditions of approval before final approval shall be made.

D. Site plans approved by the Planning Commission shall expire one (1) year after date of approval unless actual construction has begun on the project. Site plans approved prior to the date of adoption of this Ordinance shall expire six (6) months after that date.

Section 9. Amendments and Additions to Site Plan

The procedure for amendment of the boundaries or for a change in the extent of land use for an approved site plan shall be the same as for a new application, except that minor amendments of an approved site plan or of the conditions attached to a conditional use or site plan may be acted upon by the Planning Commission at a regular meeting, after written reports by the Administrator and without a public hearing, provided that such change or amendment:

A. Does not alter a recorded plat.

B. Does not conflict with the specific requirements of this Ordinance.

C. Does not change the general character or content of an approved development plan or use.

D. Applies to an approved condition originating with the Planning Commission and not the Board of Appeals.

E. Has no appreciable effect on adjoining or surrounding property.

F. Does not result in any substantial change of major external access points.

G. Does not increase the approved number of dwelling units or the height of buildings.

H. Does not decrease the minimum specified yards and open spaces or the minimum specified parking and loading spaces.

Section 10. Certificate of Occupancy.

A. No vacant land shall be occupied or used, except for agricultural uses, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Administrator.

B. No premises shall be used, and no buildings hereafter erected or structurally altered shall be used, occupied, or changed in use, except for agricultural uses, until a certificate of occupancy and compliance shall have been issued by the Administrator, stating that the building or proposed use of a

building or premises complies with the building laws and the provisions of these regulations.

C. Certificates of occupancy and compliance shall be applied for coincident with the application for a building permit and shall be issued within ten (10) days after the erection or structural alteration of such buildings shall have been completed in conformity with the provisions of these regulations. A record of all certificates shall be kept on file in the office of the Administrator.

D. No permit for excavation for any building shall be issued before application has been made for a certificate of occupancy.

E. A certificate of occupancy shall be required for all nonconforming uses. Applications for a certificate of occupancy for nonconforming uses shall be filed with the Administrator within twelve (12) months from the effective date of this Ordinance.

Section 11. Interpretation, Purpose, and Conflicts

In interpreting and applying the provisions of this Ordinance, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public safety, health, convenience, comfort, prosperity, and general welfare. It is not intended by this Ordinance to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easements, covenants, or other agreements between parties; provided, however, that where this Ordinance imposes a greater restriction upon the use of buildings or premises or upon the height of buildings or requires larger open spaces than are imposed or required by other resolutions, ordinances, rules, or regulations or by easements, covenants, or agreements, the provisions of this Ordinance shall govern. If, because of error or omission in the Zoning District Map, any property in the jurisdiction of this Ordinance is not shown as being in a zoning district, the classification of such property shall be classified R-1 Low Density Residential, until changed by amendment.

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