Worcester County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Worcester County 11-3-2009 as Subtitle IV of Title 2 of Bill No. 09-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ ZS 2-401 General provisions.

(a) 
The procedures contained hereinafter provide for a five-step process in the review of plats for proposed major subdivisions. These five steps consist of:
(1) 
Submission and review of a sketch plan;
(2) 
Submission and review of a preliminary plat;
(3) 
Submission and review of construction plans;
(4) 
Submission and review of a final plat; and
(5) 
Submission, review and recording of a record plat.
(b) 
Submission and review of a sketch plat of a proposed major subdivision shall be optional and shall not be a prerequisite for approval of the preliminary or final plats except in the case of a cluster subdivision, where it shall be required. However, the applicant should consult with the Department, Technical Review Committee and Planning Commission on an informal basis early in the planning stages of the subdivision.
(c) 
Submission and review of preliminary, final and record plats and construction plans shall all be mandatory, except that the Planning Commission, in certain cases, may grant a waiver to such submission in accordance with the provisions of § ZS 2-201(e) hereof.
(d) 
The Technical Review Committee and Planning Commission may require such additional copies, information, studies, surveys, impact statements or other data, including third-party verification or additional studies as it may deem necessary and appropriate at any stage of the process, at the applicant's expense.
(e) 
Subdivision applications shall be upon forms prescribed by the Department.

§ ZS 2-402 Sketch plan.

(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of the sketch plan is to give the applicant the opportunity to consult early and informally with the Department, Technical Review Committee and Planning Commission before preparation of the preliminary plat and application. Submission of a sketch plan for informal review is strongly encouraged prior to submission of a preliminary plat. However, while the Planning Commission shall review and provide comments, there shall be no formal approval of any sketch plan. More than one sketch plan may be presented.
(b) 
Procedures for submission and review of sketch plan. If an applicant chooses to exercise the sketch plan option, the following procedures shall be followed:
(1) 
The applicant shall submit ten copies of the sketch plan and application to the Department, along with any required fee. The sketch plan shall be at a readable scale and include the following:
A. 
The existing zoning, a vicinity map, the general location of existing natural and man-made features, and the Chesapeake or Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area boundary and designation, if applicable.
B. 
A preliminary determination of sensitive areas, including but not limited to a preliminary delineation of any tidal or nontidal wetlands, a delineation of the one-hundred-year floodplain, and a forest stand delineation, particularly existing significant trees.
C. 
The general location and acreage of all proposed land uses.
D. 
A requested land use density for the total project.
E. 
A schematic plan generally identifying the proposed drainage pattern, including the indication of any receiving waters listed on the state's impaired waters list or having an established total maximum daily load requirement, and potential stormwater management measures.
F. 
The proposed method and adequacy of wastewater disposal and potable water supply.
G. 
The proposed method of fire suppression.
(2) 
If the sketch plan is so incomplete as to be meaningless, the Department may refuse to accept it.
(3) 
After the Department has reviewed the sketch plan, it may then be reviewed by the Technical Review Committee and the Planning Commission, which shall:
A. 
Provide the applicant an opportunity to be heard informally and discuss the submission with the applicant.
B. 
Evaluate the applicant's submission, presentation, the discussion with the applicant and any reports concerning the application.
(4) 
The Planning Commission and/or Technical Review Committee's review is advisory only and shall not constitute any formal approval.

§ ZS 2-403 Preliminary plat.

(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of the preliminary plat is to provide for consideration of a subdivision's design, its conformance with the provisions hereof and its compatibility with the context of its surroundings and sensitive areas. The preliminary plat procedures allow for formal conditional approval and for the determination of what changes and decisions must be made prior to submission of the final plat. The preliminary plat and all information and procedures shall comply in all respects with the provisions of these regulations before approval may be given.
(b) 
Preliminary plat submission. The following requirements shall apply to the preparation and submission of a preliminary plat:
(1) 
The applicant shall prepare a preliminary plat in accordance with Subsection (b)(2) hereof and submit at least ten paper copies of the plat along with the original application form and any required review fee to the Department. The Department may at its discretion also accept electronic copies of the plat.
(2) 
The following requirements shall apply to the preliminary plat:
A. 
Drafting standards.
1. 
The plat shall be prepared by either a professional land surveyor or a property line surveyor registered and licensed by the State of Maryland. The plat shall be drawn at a scale not larger than one inch equals one hundred feet on sheets not smaller than eight and one-half by eleven inches and not larger than twenty-four by thirty-six inches in size. All drafting and lettering on the plat shall be drawn so as to be legible if the plat should be reduced to half size.
2. 
All horizontal dimensions shown on the plat shall be in feet and decimals of a foot to the closest one-hundredth of a foot and all bearings in degrees, minutes and seconds to the nearest ten seconds, minimum accuracy. Additionally, all major subdivision plats shall be tied to the Maryland State Plane Coordinates.
3. 
When more than one sheet is required, each sheet shall be numbered and shall show its relationship to the total number of sheets. In addition, an index sheet or key map shall be provided to show the entire subdivision, with individual sheets keyed in numerical order.
4. 
The plat shall bear an adequate legend to indicate clearly which features are existing and which are proposed.
5. 
The boundary line of the subdivision shall be designated and shown as a solid, heavy line.
6. 
When the plat is a resubdivision of a previously approved plat, dotted or dashed lines shall be used to show features or lot lines to be abandoned and such lines shall be labeled accordingly. Solid lines shall be used to show the proposed features and lot lines.
B. 
General information to be shown shall include the following:
1. 
The name of the subdivision, which shall not be similar or identical to the name of any existing subdivision in the County.
2. 
The name and mailing address of the owners.
3. 
The signature, name, registration number, seal and mailing address of the surveyor responsible for the plat.
4. 
The date of original preparation, date of revisions, North arrow and graphic scale.
5. 
The tax map, parcel, tax district and tax account identification numbers of the parcels proposed to be subdivided.
6. 
The current zoning and use of the area being subdivided.
7. 
A vicinity map showing the general location of the site to be subdivided in relation to adjoining properties, all roads, and municipal or state boundaries existing within one thousand feet of any part of the property proposed to be subdivided.
8. 
A general layout showing any proposed phase lines or partial platting of the subdivision.
C. 
Information to be shown concerning existing features shall include the following:
1. 
A preliminary determination of sensitive areas, including but not limited to a preliminary delineation of any tidal or nontidal wetlands and their buffers, a delineation of the one-hundred-year floodplain, a forest stand delineation and any forest conservation easements, existing significant trees, greenways, areas of critical or special habitat, source water and aquifer recharge protection areas, water bodies on the state's impaired waters list or having an established total maximum daily load requirement, and the Chesapeake or Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area boundary and designation, if applicable.
2. 
A boundary survey of the property to be subdivided, showing all metes and bounds and square footage or acreage.
3. 
The general location, names and width of roads, the general location of adjoining property lines, and the names of owners, the tax map, parcel and tax account identification numbers, the zoning and the use of all adjoining properties shown in the appropriate areas.
4. 
The general location of all watercourses, stormwater management facilities or components thereof, public or private wastewater treatment, collection or disposal systems, public or private water supply and treatment systems, and similar features within two hundred feet of any part of the land to be subdivided.
5. 
The general location of any existing structures within the subdivision. Any animal-containment structure to be retained within the subdivision or located on adjoining properties shall also be located and labeled and shown with as-built setbacks. The plat shall also show any agricultural structure or use subject to the agricultural protection setback set forth in § ZS 1-305(r) hereof that lies within two hundred feet of any new division line and any other structure within fifty feet of any new division line. All such structures shall be labeled as to the use and location, with as-built setbacks provided.
6. 
The location of all existing survey monuments as determined by a surveyor licensed in the State of Maryland.
7. 
The general location, size and ownership of all underground utilities and any rights-of-way and easements, including any type of conservation easement, within the property.
8. 
Topography on two-foot contours. If filling is contemplated or required, finished grade contours shall be shown in addition to existing contours.
9. 
The outline of all wooded areas.
D. 
Information to be shown concerning the proposed layout shall be as follows:
1. 
The sensitive areas proposed to be retained, including the proposed methods for protection and any proposed conservation easements. Areas to be cleared shall also be shown.
2. 
The layout of proposed roads, including their names and widths.
3. 
The layout, dimensions, gross area and buildable area of each proposed lot.
4. 
Building setback lines and all required yards for all lots.
5. 
An area tabulation showing the total area of the subdivision and the total area in each proposed use, including the total number and area of lots, area of roadway, linear feet of each road, area of open space, common area, area of stormwater management, area of upland, area of tidal wetland and area of nontidal wetland.
6. 
Identification of any land offered for dedication for parks, schools, widening or realignment of roads or other public uses.
7. 
A preliminary capacity and availability analysis of water and wastewater facilities for projects proposed to be served by existing public utilities, or, where new facilities are proposed to serve the project, a preliminary feasibility analysis of wastewater disposal capabilities and potable water production. In cases where individual septic systems are proposed, the approved location of such systems shall be shown on the plat.
8. 
Location, dimensions and use of rights-of-way and/or easements proposed to be created for all existing and proposed utilities and stormwater management purposes.
9. 
Tentative typical cross-section and center-line profiles for each proposed road shown on the preliminary plat. These may be submitted as separate sheets. As an alternative to showing center-line profiles, center-line grades may be designated in the plan view on the plat for all proposed roads.
10. 
Where the preliminary plat covers only a part of the owner's entire holding, a sketch plan shall be submitted of the remainder and any future road layout thereon.
11. 
The words "Preliminary Plat -- Not To Be Recorded" shall be shown on the plat immediately above the Title.
12. 
A listing of any deed restrictions and covenants which would apply to the development.
13. 
Setback lines from tidal and nontidal waters of individual sewage disposal areas, as well as any pertinent setbacks required by Title 1, Worcester County Zoning Ordinance.
14. 
Where the proposed subdivision lies partially or completely within or adjacent to the one-hundred-year floodplain, the preliminary plat map shall include detailed information giving the location and elevation of proposed roads, public utilities and building sites.
15. 
Any proposed or required road-widening strips.
16. 
A preliminary drainage plan.
17. 
The following statements:
(i) 
"Worcester County does not guarantee the development or construction of any amenities shown on this plat. All such amenities shall be the responsibility of the owner and applicant of this subdivision."
(ii) 
Any other statement required by law or regulation or as a condition of the plat approval, including the following where necessary:
a. 
"The nontidal wetlands line as delineated by ____________________ and dated ____________________ and as shown hereon has not been verified by regulatory authorities and therefore may or may not be valid for site development. At the time of site development, the nontidal wetland may be required to be verified in the field by the appropriate government agency. Development shall be required to comply with all regulations and permitting in effect at that time. Any reduction in buildable area below the statutorily prescribed minimum as a result of future regulatory verification or regulation or a change in topography may render the lot or lots as shown hereon unbuildable. The approval of this subdivision shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by Worcester County or by any official or employee thereof of the practicality, buildability or safety of any proposed use and shall create no liability upon the County, its officials or employees."
18. 
Required information may be shown by separate sheet or overlay, with the approval of the Department.
(c) 
Preliminary plat review. The following procedures shall be used in the review of a preliminary plat.
(1) 
The Department shall check the plat to determine conformance with the requirements of Subsection (b) hereof and:
A. 
If the submission is not complete or not in conformity, the Department may decline to accept the plat and return it to the applicant with an indication of the deficiencies; or
B. 
If the submission is complete and is in conformity, the Department may accept the preliminary plat, application, and fee and begin the review process.
(2) 
The Department shall distribute copies of the submission to the Technical Review Committee, each incorporated town within one mile of the proposed subdivision and such other agencies as the Department determines appropriate.
(3) 
Within sixty calendar days of acceptance of the completed submission from the applicant, the Technical Review Committee shall:
A. 
Review the applicant's submission, unless an extension of time is granted by the Technical Review Committee.
B. 
Receive and review reports by the Department as well as the Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division, Fire Marshal's Office, Soil Conservation District, towns, utility companies and others.
C. 
Meet with the applicant to discuss the submission.
D. 
Evaluate the applicant's submission, presentation, the discussion with the applicant and any reports concerning the application.
E. 
Determine whether the preliminary plat meets the requirements of the Zoning and Subdivision Control Article and any other plans, regulations and ordinances.
F. 
Inform the applicant, in writing, of its comments regarding his application, including recommended changes, if any, and the reasons for the changes.
G. 
If, in the Technical Review Committee's judgment, the preliminary plat requires significant revisions before conditional approval can be given by the Planning Commission, it may require the applicant to submit a revised preliminary plat to the Technical Review Committee before further consideration is given to the application.
(4) 
After the Technical Review Committee has reviewed and commented on the preliminary plat, the applicant shall revise the preliminary plat accordingly. Once revised, the applicant shall resubmit to the Department fifteen paper copies of the plat, along with fifteen copies of a written description of how each of the comments of the Technical Review Committee has been addressed. At least one copy of the revised preliminary plat shall have all revisions highlighted. The Department may then forward copies of the revised preliminary plat and written description to the Technical Review Committee for its review and comment. In addition, the preliminary plat application will then be scheduled for review and final action by the Planning Commission. In addition to other pertinent required approvals, an approved forest conservation plan must be obtained prior to the preliminary plat review by the Planning Commission.
(5) 
Within thirty calendar days of submission of the revised preliminary plat and written description of revisions by the applicant, the Planning Commission shall:
A. 
Receive and review reports by the Technical Review Committee and any other public or quasi-public agency which commented on the application.
B. 
Review the applicant's submission, unless an extension of time is granted by the Planning Commission.
C. 
Meet with the applicant to discuss the submission.
D. 
Evaluate pertinent information regarding the subdivision's on-site conditions and its compatibility with the context of its surroundings as well as the applicant's submission, presentation, the discussion with the applicant and any reports concerning the application.
E. 
Determine whether the preliminary plat meets the requirements of the Zoning and Subdivision Control Article and any other plans, regulations and ordinances.
F. 
Inform the applicant, in writing, of its decision regarding his application, including required changes, if any, and the reasons for the decision and/or changes.
G. 
If, in the Planning Commission's judgment, the preliminary plat requires significant revisions before conditional approval can be given, it may require the applicant to submit a revised preliminary plat before further consideration is given to the application.
(6) 
If approved, copies of the preliminary plat bearing certification of such approval shall be returned to the applicant and surveyor responsible for the plats. Furthermore, copies bearing certification of such approval shall be retained by the Department and other pertinent agencies. If disapproved, the applicant shall be informed in writing of the reasons for disapproval.
(d) 
Preliminary plat approval. Approval of the preliminary plat shall constitute conditional approval of the subdivision only with regard to its character and density but shall not be construed as approval of the final subdivision plat nor authorization for construction of buildings, the sale or transfer of lots, or the phasing of the subdivision. Furthermore, the approval is not valid until all conditions, if any, are satisfied. Upon approval of the preliminary plat, the applicant shall have two years to obtain approval of a final plat for the subdivision or a phase thereof, which shall conform to all applicable regulations in effect at the time of preliminary approval. In the case of phased projects, upon approval of a final plat for subdivision of the first phase thereof, the applicant shall be given three years to submit final plats for all remaining phases of the subdivision. The three years for submission of the remaining phases may be extended for an additional one-year period upon notification to and approval by the Department, provided that such notification is received at least thirty days before the expiration of the original three-year completion period. Should this period for vesting of rights for the preliminary plat expire, the applicant must then make application for reapproval of the preliminary plat in accordance with all County plans and ordinances in effect at the time of the application for reapproval.

§ ZS 2-404 Construction plans.

(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of the construction plan is to provide for formal approval of the plans, profiles and specifications for all improvements and construction measures and any changes thereto for the entire subdivision, including but not limited to public water supply and wastewater disposal, streets, drainage, soil erosion and sediment control, stormwater management plans and specifications, and a protection plan for forest conservation, as required by the Worcester County Code of Public Local Laws prior to or concurrent with the submission of the final plat.
(b) 
Construction plan submission. No construction plans shall be accepted prior to approval of the preliminary plat. Construction plans shall conform to the approved preliminary plat. The following requirements shall apply to the preparation and submission of construction plans:
(1) 
The applicant shall prepare the construction plans and application in accordance with Subsection (b)(2) hereof and submit at least ten paper copies of the construction plans along with the original application form and any required review fee to the Department. The Department may at its discretion also accept electronic copies of the plat.
(2) 
The following requirements shall apply to the construction plans:
A. 
Drafting standards.
1. 
The construction plans shall be drawn by an engineer or other qualified professional licensed in the State of Maryland and shall be on standard plan and profile sheets not larger than twenty-four by thirty-six inches in size.
2. 
All construction plans shall be drawn to a scale not smaller than one inch equals fifty feet.
3. 
Each sheet shall be numbered and shall show its relationship to the total number of sheets. In addition, an index sheet or key map shall be provided to show the entire subdivision, with individual sheets keyed in numerical order.
4. 
In any subdivision proposed to be constructed in phases, construction plans for any improvements located beyond the boundary of a particular phase but necessary for the development of that phase shall be submitted with the construction plans for that phase.
5. 
Topographic contour intervals shall meet the requirements of the reviewing agencies.
B. 
General information to be shown shall include the following:
1. 
The name of the subdivision as shown on the approved preliminary plat.
2. 
The name and mailing address of the owners.
3. 
The name, mailing address, registration number, signature and seal of the engineer or other qualified licensed professional responsible for the plans.
4. 
The date of original preparation, date of revisions, North arrow and graphic scale.
5. 
A vicinity map showing the general location of the site to be subdivided in relation to adjoining properties, all roads and municipal or state boundaries existing within one thousand feet of any part of the property proposed to be subdivided.
6. 
A general layout showing any proposed phase lines or partial platting of the subdivision.
C. 
Other information to be shown shall include the following:
1. 
Plans and profiles for all streets to be constructed or improved.
2. 
Plans and profiles for all public water supply and wastewater disposal systems proposed.
3. 
Plans and profiles, invert elevations and design calculations of sanitary sewers and stormwater management inlets.
4. 
Plans showing the existing and proposed drainage pattern.
5. 
Plans for soil erosion and sediment control measures to be implemented.
6. 
Plans and construction details for stormwater management facilities and components.
7. 
Landscaping plans and planting details.
8. 
Approved forest conservation easement areas, including any signage and fencing.
9. 
Such other plans and/or profiles as may be required by the reviewing agencies.
(c) 
Construction plan review. The following procedures shall be used in the review of construction plans:
(1) 
The Department shall check the submission for completeness.
A. 
If it is incomplete, the Department shall return it to the applicant and indicate deficiencies.
B. 
If it is complete, the Department shall accept the construction plans, application and fees and begin the review process.
(2) 
The Department shall distribute copies of the submission to the Technical Review Committee and such other agencies as the Department determines appropriate.
(3) 
Within sixty calendar days of acceptance of the completed submission from the applicant, the Technical Review Committee shall:
A. 
Review the applicant's submission, unless an extension of time is granted by the Technical Review Committee.
B. 
Determine whether the construction plans meet the requirements of the Code of Public Local Laws of Worcester County, Maryland, and other plans, regulations and ordinances.
C. 
Meet with the applicant to discuss the submission.
D. 
Evaluate the applicant's submission, presentation, discussion with the applicant and the reports concerning the application.
E. 
Present comments and recommendations to the applicant and/or his engineer or other qualified professional at the meeting of the Technical Review Committee.
F. 
Inform the applicant, in writing, of its decision regarding his application, including required changes, if any, and the reasons for the decision and/or changes.
G. 
If, in the Technical Review Committee's judgment, the construction plans require significant revisions before approval can be given, it may require the applicant to submit revised construction plans before further consideration is given to the application.
(4) 
If approved, copies of the construction plans bearing certification of such approval shall be returned to the applicant and engineer or other qualified licensed professional responsible for the plans. Furthermore, copies bearing certification of such approval shall be retained by the Department and other pertinent agencies. If disapproved, the applicant shall be informed in writing of the reasons for disapproval. Any changes to the approved construction plans shall be submitted to the Department to determine their consistency and compatibility with the previously approved construction plans and the approved preliminary plat.
(d) 
Construction plan approval. The construction plan's approval expires one year from the date of approval unless a record plat is recorded or unless work on improvements shown on the construction plan has actually begun on the site. The recordation of a record plat for a phase of a subdivision (or initiation of construction in a phase) does not vest the approval of the construction plans for the remainder of the subdivision. If construction plans expire, the applicant shall file application with the Department for the reapproval of the construction plans. The Department may reapprove the construction plans only when they are in conformance with all County plans, regulations and ordinances in effect at the time of application for reapproval.

§ ZS 2-405 Final plat.

(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of the final plat is to provide for formal approval of plats for major subdivisions by the Department and/or Planning Commission prior to the recordation of the plats among the land records of Worcester County. The final plat shall conform to the approved preliminary plat. The final plat may cover all or a portion of the preliminary plat receiving conditional approval, provided that any portion, partial platting or phasing must generally coincide with any such phasing or partial platting as shown on the approved preliminary plat. However, the Department and/or Planning Commission may refuse to consider or give final approval to any portion, partial platting or phasing which it determines to have the effect of circumventing the provisions of the Code of Public Local Laws of Worcester County, Maryland, or other plans, regulations and ordinances in effect.
(b) 
Final plat submission. The following requirements shall apply to the preparation and submission of a final plat:
(1) 
The applicant shall prepare a final plat in accordance with Subsection (b)(2) hereof and submit at least ten paper copies of the final plat, three copies of the executed stormwater management plan bearing the approval of the Department as evidenced by the original signatures, the original application form and any required review fee to the Department. The Department may at its discretion also accept electronic copies of the plat.
(2) 
The following requirements shall apply to the final plat:
A. 
The same drafting standards required by § ZS 2-403(b)(2)A hereof for preliminary plats shall apply to the final plat, provided that no sheet shall be smaller than eight and one-half by eleven inches and no sheet shall be larger than twenty-four by thirty-six inches.
B. 
The same general information as required by § ZS 2-403(b)(2)B through D hereof for the preliminary plat shall be shown on the final plat, except that the Environmental Programs Division certification shall appear and be signed by the proper officer and the topographic contours may be deleted.
C. 
Documentation of all changes from any approved preliminary plat shall be submitted.
D. 
Additional information to be shown concerning the proposed subdivision shall be as follows:
1. 
The location of all sensitive areas, including but not limited to a delineation of any tidal or nontidal wetlands and their buffers, a delineation of the one-hundred-year floodplain, forest conservation easement areas, existing significant trees, greenways, areas of critical or special habitat, source water and aquifer recharge protection areas, water bodies on the state's impaired waters list or having an established total maximum daily load requirement, and the Chesapeake or Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area boundary and designation, if applicable.
2. 
The proposed protective measures, including type, location and any easements, for sensitive areas which are not to be impacted.
3. 
Lot layout, including consecutive numbering of lots and the dimensions, bearings, gross area and buildable area of each lot.
4. 
The approved names of all proposed roads, if any.
5. 
Sufficient data to readily determine the location, bearing and length of every street, lot and boundary line.
6. 
The accurate location of all survey monuments. In addition, all survey control monuments required under § ZS 2-503(f)(3) hereof shall be shown on the plat and their location described using the Maryland State Plane Coordinates.
7. 
The location, width and purpose of all easements or rights-of-way and boundaries by bearings and dimensions.
8. 
The location and size of existing and proposed sanitary sewers and storm sewers, including the location of all manholes, inlets and culverts of the same, and the location of all existing and proposed fire hydrants and other utilities.
9. 
The building setback lines and required yards for each lot as specified by the Worcester County Zoning Ordinance.
10. 
Any proposed or required road widenings, sidewalks, pathways and bicycle facilities.
11. 
The location and perimeters of any future phases shown on the preliminary plat.
12. 
A drainage plan.
13. 
The final plat may include information required for the record plat, and the two may be combined.
14. 
The statement "Final Plat -- Not To Be Recorded" shall be shown on the plat immediately above the Title.
15. 
The following statements:
(i) 
"Worcester County does not guarantee the development or construction of any amenities shown on this plat. All such amenities shall be the responsibility of the owner and applicant of this subdivision."
(ii) 
Any other statement required by law or regulation or as a condition of the plat approval, including the following where necessary:
a. 
"The nontidal wetlands line delineated by ____________________ and dated ____________________ and as shown hereon has not been verified by regulatory authorities and therefore may or may not be valid for site development. At the time of site development, the nontidal wetland may be required to be verified in the field by the appropriate government agency. Development shall be required to comply with all regulations and permitting in effect at that time. Any reduction in buildable area below the statutorily prescribed minimum as a result of future regulatory verification or regulation or a change in topography may render the lot or lots as shown hereon unbuildable. The approval of this subdivision shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by Worcester County or by any official or employee thereof of the practicality, buildability or safety of any proposed use and shall create no liability upon the County, its officials or employees."
(c) 
Departmental review. The Department shall check the plat to determine conformance with the requirements of Subsection (b) hereof and:
(1) 
If the plat is not complete, not in conformity or does not include the changes requested by the Planning Commission on the preliminary plat, the Department shall return it to the applicant with an indication of the deficiencies in writing; or
(2) 
If the plat is complete, in conformity and includes the changes requested by the Planning Commission on the preliminary plat, the Department shall accept the final plat and the required review fee and initiate the review process.
(d) 
Technical Review Committee Review. The Department may immediately distribute copies of the plat to such members of the Technical Review Committee as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the Department for comment or may reconvene the Technical Review Committee for review.
(e) 
Approving body. In the case where the final plat is in conformance with the approved preliminary plat, the Department shall have the authority to review and approve the final plat. Within thirty days of acceptance of the final plat the Department shall either approve it or, at its discretion, refer the final plat to the Planning Commission for its review and action.
(1) 
Within thirty calendar days following the referral by the Department, the Planning Commission shall:
A. 
Receive and review reports and recommendations by the Department as well as the Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division, Fire Marshal's Office, Soil Conservation Service, towns, utility companies and others, if appropriate.
B. 
Review the applicant's submission to determine its consistency with the approved preliminary plat.
C. 
Meet with the applicant to discuss the submission.
D. 
Evaluate the applicant's submission, presentation, the discussion with the applicant and any reports concerning the application.
E. 
Determine whether the final plat meets the requirements of the Zoning and Subdivision Control Article and any other plans, regulations and ordinances, including any necessary Critical Area program approvals, inclusion in the Worcester County Comprehensive Plan for Water and Sewerage Systems, and wetland impact permits, where necessary.
F. 
Inform the applicant, in writing, of its decision, including required changes, if any, in the final plat and the reasons for the decision and/or changes.
(2) 
Failure of the approving body to act within thirty days of complete submission of the final plat and all revisions complying herewith shall in no way constitute approval of the plat and shall not release the applicant from any provision of this Title.
(f) 
Final plat to be provided. If approved, copies of the final plat bearing certification of such approval shall be returned to the applicant and surveyor responsible for the plans. Furthermore, copies bearing certification of such approval shall be retained by the Department and other pertinent agencies. If disapproved, the applicant shall be informed in writing of the reasons for disapproval.
(g) 
Period of approval. Final plat approval shall be valid for two years from the approval date. At the time of the initial final plat approval only and upon the request of the applicant, the Planning Commission may lengthen the approval life by up to an additional two years. During the life of the approval, the applicant shall have vested rights with respect to final plat approval and to proceed to record plat. Should this period for vesting of rights for the final plat expire, the applicant must then make application for reapproval of the final plat in accordance with all County plans and ordinances in effect at the time of the application for reapproval. In the event that recordation of the record plat is delayed by appeal of the final plat approval to court or administrative action against the applicant, the Planning Commission may extend the life of the final plat approval. Administrative action against the applicant shall not include the failure to grant an extension or reapplication of any approval or failure to take any other action but shall instead refer to the actual initiation or taking of a specific action by the agency or body.

§ ZS 2-406 Record plat.

(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of the record plat is to acknowledge the approval of a subdivision of land and to legally accomplish the act of dividing that land by recording among the land records of Worcester County a graphic representation of said subdivision.
(b) 
Record plat submission. Prior to submission of the record plat the applicant shall have constructed and received approval of required site improvements or entered into a written guaranty that such site improvements shall be constructed as specified in § ZS 2-504 hereof. Not less than sixty days prior to the expiration of the final plat approval, the record plat shall be submitted. The following requirements shall apply to the preparation and submission of a record plat:
(1) 
The applicant shall submit three Mylar prints (suitable for recording) and ten paper copies of the record plat, with funds for recordation. No sheet shall be smaller than eight and one-half by eleven inches nor larger than twenty-four by thirty-six inches in size. Such plats shall bear all required signatures in black or blue ink. The signatures on the Mylar plats shall be original and the names of all signatories shall be printed below the signature line. An electronic file of the record plat shall also be submitted and shall be of the subdivision in its entirety in a form and format acceptable to the Department.
(2) 
The record plat shall be clear and legible black line on Mylar and shall, unless otherwise provided, be an exact copy of the final plat approved by the Planning Commission.
(3) 
All information which is required on the final plat, with the exception of the statement regarding the final plat, shall be required on the record plat, and in addition the following shall be required:
A. 
Seal. The name, mailing address, license number, seal and signature of the surveyor licensed in Maryland responsible for the plat.
B. 
Acknowledgments.
1. 
Owner's certification. A statement to the effect that the applicant is the legal owner of the subdivision shown on the record plat and that it is made with his or their consent and that it is desired to record the same. Such owner's certification shall read as follows: "The subdivision of land as shown on this plat is with free consent and in accordance with the desires of the owners, proprietors, and trustees, if any, thereof. The requirements of § 3-108 of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1981), as from time to time amended, as far as they relate to the making of this plat and the setting of markers have been complied with."
2. 
Surveyor's certification.
(i) 
A statement to the effect that the surveyor has complied with all state and local requirements for the making of the plat and the setting of markers. Such surveyor's certification shall read as follows: "I hereby certify, to the best of my knowledge and belief, that the requirements of § 3-108 of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1981), as from time to time amended, concerning the making of this plat and the setting of markers as well as all of the requirements of the County Commissioners and the Code of Public Local Laws of Worcester County, Maryland, regarding the platting of subdivisions within the County have been complied with."
(ii) 
The statement shall be signed and dated by the professional land surveyor or property line surveyor who prepared the plat. The surveyor must be licensed to prepare such plats in the State of Maryland. The name and license number of the surveyor shall be printed below the signature line.
C. 
Signatures. The following original signatures shall be placed directly on the plat in ink:
1. 
The signature of the legal owner (or owners) of the land in the form specified in Subsection (b)(3)B1 hereof.
2. 
The signature of the licensed surveyor who prepared the plat in the form specified in Subsection (b)(3)B2 hereof.
3. 
The signature of the Chairman, Vice Chairman or Secretary of the Planning Commission.
4. 
The signature of the appropriate designee of the State Department of the Environment.
D. 
The following statements:
1. 
"The grant of a permit or approval of this subdivision shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by Worcester County or by any official or employee thereof of the practicability, buildability or safety of any proposed use and shall create no liability upon the County, its officials or employees."
2. 
"Any approval by the Environmental Programs Division of any potable water or wastewater system or suitability thereof is based upon state and County standards existing as of the date of approval. Such standards are subject to change and a permit may be denied in the future. In the event that current standards cannot be met as of the date of application for such permit, the approval shown hereon is not sufficient approval for a permit."
3. 
"The following streets, roads, widening strips, amenities and improvements are hereby offered for dedication to the County Commissioners for Worcester County: (here list). Acceptance of such offer may take place at any time by appropriate act of the County Commissioners. The County Commissioners are in no way required to accept such offer. The offer may not be withdrawn without the consent of the County Commissioners."
4. 
"Worcester County does not guarantee the development or construction of any amenities shown on this plat. All such amenities shall be the responsibility of the owner and applicant of this subdivision."
5. 
Any other statement required by law or regulation or as a condition of the plat approval, including the following where necessary:
(i) 
"The nontidal wetlands line as shown hereon has not been verified by regulatory authorities and therefore may or may not be valid for site development. At the time of site development, the nontidal wetland may be required to be verified in the field by the appropriate government agency. Development shall be required to comply with all regulations and permitting in effect at that time. Any reduction in buildable area below the statutorily prescribed minimum as a result of future regulatory verification or regulation or a change in topography may render the lot or lots as shown hereon unbuildable. The approval of this subdivision shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by Worcester County or by any official or employee thereof of the practicality, buildability or safety of any proposed use and shall create no liability upon the County, its officials or employees."
(4) 
The Department shall record the record plat within thirty days of approval and forward a receipt of such recordation to the applicant. The applicant may accompany the Department in recording the plat.
(5) 
If the approval of the final plat upon which the record plat is based shall expire before the record plat is approved by the Department, the record plat shall also be considered to have expired and such plat shall become null and void.

§ ZS 2-407 Dedication of improvements.

Any improvements or amenities shown on a record subdivision plat may or may not be offered for dedication to the County. However, with the exception of approved private roads, all roads shall be offered for dedication. When improvements and amenities are offered for dedication, a formal statement of offer shall be included on the record plat, as described in § ZS 2-406(b)(3)D3 hereof. Recording of the record plat containing such a formal statement shall not be deemed to constitute or effect an acceptance by the County of the dedication of any road, park or other improvement or amenity shown on such plat but improvements so noted for dedication may be accepted by the County through a subsequent appropriate act. Any such offer of dedication may not be withdrawn without consent of the County Commissioners. A plat may be recorded without an offer of dedication, provided that the Planning Commission has approved there being no offer of dedication and that a statement is included on the record plat stating that such improvements have not been offered for dedication to the County and furthermore stating who specifically is responsible for construction and maintenance of all improvements and amenities.

§ ZS 2-408 Processing of major subdivisions of twenty lots or less.

Major subdivisions, as defined by § ZS 2-104 hereof, of twenty lots or less shall not be required to obtain Planning Commission review or approval as set forth in §§ ZS 2-403, ZS 2-404 and ZS 2-405 hereof. All other requirements of the Subdivision Regulations with respect to submission, review and periods of approval as contained herein shall remain in effect. In the case of a major subdivision of twenty lots or less, the Department, after review by the Technical Review Committee, shall have the authority to approve the preliminary plat, whereupon the applicant may then proceed in accordance with the procedures required for construction plan approval, final plat approval and recordation of the record plat. If the final plat varies from the approved preliminary plat, the Department shall submit the revised final plat to the Technical Review Committee for its review and shall only act to approve the revised final plat after the comments of the Technical Review Committee have been adequately addressed. In the event that the Department determines that the proposed subdivision will or may have a major impact upon the County or surrounding properties, it may require Planning Commission review and approval of the subdivision.