Section 1. Statement of Intent
The purpose of this Section is to set forth the procedures and requirements for the issuing of permits, administrative appeals, and interpretation of this Ordinance. The powers and duties of the Zoning Administrator are specified herein insofar as the administration of this Ordinance is concerned.
Section 2. General
The Zoning Administrator is vested with the duty and authority to grant approvals and issue permits. All permits shall conform with the provisions of this Ordinance and the Administrator shall grant no approval nor issue any permits for any structure, use, sign, or purpose that would constitute a violation of this Ordinance. Any approval or permit granted which is in conflict with this Ordinance shall be null and void from the beginning.
Whenever in the course of administration and enforcement of this Ordinance, it is necessary to make any administrative decisions, unless other standards are provided in the Ordinance, the decisions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of this Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan.
Section 3. Permits
1. No structure or sign shall be erected, constructed, altered, moved, converted, extended, or enlarged until the appropriate permit is obtained from the Administrator. All structures and signs shall comply with the height, area, and bulk requirements of this Ordinance.
2. Permits are valid for six (6) months. One (1) extension may be granted prior to the expiration date of the permit providing the applicant makes the request in writing showing good cause for the granting of the extension.
3. Change or alteration of the use of any structure or land shall not be permitted until a permit is obtained from the Administrator.
4. All applications for building, sign, or use permit shall include a scaled drawing showing the actual shape and size of the parcel, the locations and size of existing and proposed structures or signs; and such information which may be required by the Zoning Administrator to assure compliance with and to provide enforcement of this Ordinance.
5. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Zoning Administrator may, within thirty (30) days of the date of decision, appeal to the Board of Appeals.
Section 4. Enforcement
1. It shall be the duty of the Zoning Administrator to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance; and to refuse to issue any permit which would violate the provisions of this Ordinance. It shall be the duty of all officers and employees of the Town of Rock Hall to assist the enforcing officer by reporting to him any seeming violations of this Ordinance.
2. The Zoning Administrator is authorized and directed to institute any appropriate action to correct violations of this Ordinance.
3. It shall be unlawful to erect, construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, convert, or maintain any structure or sign, or use any property, structure, or sign in violation of any regulations or any provisions of this Ordinance or any amendment or supplement lawfully adopted by the Mayor and Council, or to fail to comply with any reasonable requirement or conditions imposed by the Board of Appeals. Any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity violating any provision of this Ordinance, or any amendment thereto, shall be charged with a violation and upon conviction shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each violation. Each and every day during which such violation occurs or continues may be deemed a separate offense.
4. The Zoning Administrator is authorized to treat any violation as a civil zoning violation pursuant to the General Provisions set forth under Section 7.01, Enforcement and Remedies, of Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as may be, from time to time, amended. The present law provides that the Zoning Administrator shall cause to be delivered a citation to the person believed to have committed a civil zoning violation. The citation shall be delivered by registered mail. A copy of the citation shall be retained by the Zoning Administrator and shall bear certification attesting to the matters set forth. The citation shall contain:
a. The name and address of the person charged;
b. The nature of the violation;
c. The place and time of the violation;
d. The amount of the fine assessed;
e. The manner, location, and time during which the fine may be paid;
f. The accused's right to elect to stand trial for the violation;
5. The cited individual may elect to stand trial for the offense by filing with the Zoning Administrator a written notice of intent to stand trial. The notice to stand trial shall be given at least five (5) days before the date of payment as set forth in the citation. Upon receipt of notice of intent to stand trial, the Zoning Administrator shall forward to the District Court having venue a copy of the citation and the notice of intent to stand trial. Upon receipt of same, the District Court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the parties involved. All fines, penalties, or forfeitures collected by the Court for zoning violations shall be remitted to the Town of Rock Hall.
6. If a cited party fails to pay the fine by the date of payment set forth in the citation and fails to file for a trial, additional formal notice of the violation shall be sent to the cited party's last known address. If the citation is not satisfied within fifteen (15) days from the date of notice, the cited party is liable for an additional fine not to exceed twice the original fine. If after thirty-five (35) days the citation is not satisfied, the Zoning Administrator may request adjudication of the case through the District Court.
7. In any proceedings before the District Court, the violation shall be prosecuted in the same manner and to the same extent as set forth for municipal infractions under Article 23A, Sections 3(b) (1) through (16) of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The Town of Rock Hall may authorize the Town Attorney or the Attorney for the Planning Commission to prosecute any zoning violation.
8. If a party is found by the District Court to have committed a civil zoning violation, the party shall be liable for the cost of the proceedings in the Court. All zoning certificates and building permits shall be revocable subject to the continued compliance with all requirements and conditions of this Ordinance and other applicable laws and regulations.
9. The Zoning Administrator or his designee is hereby authorized to enter upon any property in the Town of Rock Hall for the purpose of enforcing and implementing this Ordinance.
Section 5. Fees
1. The Mayor and Council shall establish a schedule of fees and a collection procedure for permits, variances, conditional uses, site plan review, subdivision of land and amendments thereto, interpretations, amendments, appeals, and other matters pertaining to this Ordinance. The schedule of fees shall be available in the Town Office and may be amended by the Mayor and Council.
2. No permits shall be issued, nor action be taken on variances, conditional uses, amendments, appeals, interpretations, and other matters pertaining to this Ordinance until the fee has been paid in full.