[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Worcester County 11-3-2009 as Subtitle II of Title 2 of Bill No. 09-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Subdivision control. It shall hereafter be unlawful to subdivide any land within the subdivision jurisdiction of the County except in accordance with the provisions of this Title. Hereafter, no subdivision plat shall be recorded by the Clerk of the Circuit Court until it has been approved as required hereby. No land in a subdivision shall be sold or offered for sale or transferred by deed, contract, will, plat or otherwise nor shall a permit or zoning/occupancy certificate be issued for a structure thereon, except in accordance with the provisions hereof.
Exemptions. Applications for exemption shall be upon forms as prescribed by the Department. Exemptions may be granted from the requirements of Subtitles ZS2:III and ZS2:IV hereof by the Department or the Planning Commission as specifically provided herein, in the following cases.
The division of agricultural land for bona fide agricultural purposes creating no parcel that is less than ten acres in area, including the remaining portion of the original parcel, and creating no more than three parcels total.
Boundary line adjustments where the existing or believed boundary (or either existing or believed boundary in the case of disputes) is adjusted less than fifty feet in either direction.
Public acquisition of land for the widening or realignment of public roads or streets by the County Commissioners or State Highway Administration.
Actions taken to correct subdivisions created on or after July 25, 1967, and prior to September 23, 1978, and that were not in strict conformance with the requirements of the Subdivision Regulations at the time of the subdivision's creation.
In cases where the Planning Commission determines that it is not the intent of this Title to require compliance with Subtitle ZS2:III or ZS2:IV, based upon exceptional conditions or circumstances where a literal enforcement hereof would result in unnecessary hardship.
Establishment of parcels. For the purposes of this Title, parcels are hereby established with boundary lines as they existed as reflected by the land records of Worcester County, Maryland, as of July 25, 1967 (the effective date of the initial subdivision regulations). It is not the intent hereof, however, to legalize or legitimize any subdivision illegally created or platted in derogation of any prior Worcester County Subdivision Regulations.
Permits not issued without plat, where required. No permit shall be issued by any administrative officer of Worcester County for the construction of any building or other improvements requiring a permit upon any land for which a plat is required by this Title unless and until the requirements of this Title have been observed.
The Planning Commission may not grant waivers to procedural requirements, time frames, or standards contained in this Title except where specifically provided. The Planning Commission may grant waivers to the specific minimum requirements established under this Title upon assurance by the applicant that each of the following conditions has been met:
The minimum requirement, if applied to the proposed subdivision, would impose an unreasonable burden upon the applicant.
The granting of such waiver will not have a substantially adverse effect on the current or future residents of the proposed subdivision nor upon any property adjoining such proposed subdivision.
In granting any waiver from the requirements of these regulations, the Planning Commission may prescribe such conditions and safeguards as it shall deem necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of these regulations. Violations of such conditions upon which any waiver is granted shall be deemed a violation of these regulations and punishable under the provisions hereof.
The applicant, whenever possible, shall submit a request for the waiver of any minimum requirements with or prior to the submission of a preliminary plan. Such request shall be in writing and include a specific statement of the relief requested and the reasons such request should be granted. The Department may also require such plans and drawings as needed to assist the Planning Commission in reaching its decision.
The Department, upon receipt of a waiver request under this section, shall schedule Planning Commission consideration within sixty days of receipt thereof and shall prepare a staff recommendation on the request. The Planning Commission may make a decision on the written record and may also receive testimony, if it so desires.
These regulations shall be enforced by such County department or official (hereinafter called the "Department") as designated or created for such purpose by the County Commissioners. If the Department shall find that any of the provisions of these regulations are being violated, the Department shall notify, in writing, the person responsible for such violation and the property owner, if different, and take such action as may be necessary to prevent the violation of these regulations, including obtaining a court injunction to discontinue the transfer, sale or negotiations for sale of unapproved lots or parcels, or any other action authorized herein.
Civil infraction. Anyone who, being the owner or agent of the owner of any land located within the subdivision jurisdiction of the County, violates the provisions of this Title shall be guilty of a civil infraction.
Compliance required for transfer by metes and bounds. The description of any lot or parcel by metes and bounds in the instrument of transfer or other document used in the process of selling or transferring shall not exempt the transaction from such penalties or from the remedies herein provided.
Compliance with Planning Commission conditions. Violations by a landowner or his agent of requirements and restrictions which the Planning Commission may impose as conditions for approval of a subdivision plat shall constitute a violation hereof.
Separate offenses. The landowner, his agent or any other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation may each be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties herein provided.
Order to correct. To the maximum extent reasonable, the court shall order the violation removed or corrected and may issue such additional orders as the court may deem appropriate to safeguard against future violations of this Title.
Revocation of permit and other actions. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the County from revoking a permit, special exception, variance or any other approval or from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation of this Title.