To amplify and clarify all provisions of these regulations, the following rules shall apply:
Words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; words used in the singular number shall include the plural number, and the plural number shall include the singular number, unless the obvious construction of the wording indicates otherwise.
The word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary.
The word "should" is considered recommended.
The word "may" is permissive.
The word "lot" includes the words "piece," "parcel" and "plots"; the word "building" includes all other structures of every kind, regardless of similarity to buildings; and the phrase "used for" shall include the phrase "arranged for" and "occupied for."
The word "person" includes an individual, sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership or incorporated association and any recognized legal entity.
Unless it is plainly evident from the context that a different meaning is intended, in a regulation that involves two or more items, conditions, provisions, or events connected by the conjunction "and," "or," or "either. . .or," the use of the conjunction is defined as follows:
"And" means that all the connected items, conditions, provisions and events apply together and not separately.
"Or" means that the connected items, conditions, provisions or events apply separately or in any combination.
"Either. . .or" means that the connected items, conditions, provisions or events shall apply separately but not in combination.
The words "includes" or "including" do not limit a term to the specified examples but are intended to extend the meaning of the term to all other instances or circumstances of similar kind or character.
When a term used in these regulations is defined elsewhere in the County Code but not in these regulations, the term shall have the meaning specified in that section of the Code.
The word "County" means Charles County, Maryland; the word "state" means the State of Maryland.
As used in these regulations, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter.
Throughout these regulations, all words other than the terms specifically defined herein shall have the meanings inferred from their context, or as defined in the most recent edition of Webster's International Dictionary.
The term "regulations" or "these regulations" shall mean the Charles County Subdivision Regulations.
Unless otherwise specifically provided, or unless clearly required by the context, the following words and phrases defined in this section shall have the meanings indicated when used in these regulations:
- AGRICULTURAL SHARED ACCESS EASEMENTS
- Access easements, not considered to be public or private streets, that serve one or more lots for the purpose of providing right-of-way access to a lot created from a parcel of land that is a bona fide agricultural or forestry operation. The purpose and intent of an agricultural shared access easement is to allow shared access to lots created for the owner's immediate family [as defined in § 278-80F(3)] to preserve the integrity of a farm and farm family.[Added 7-9-2008 by Bill No. 2008-09]
- An area of land containing one or more lots and bounded by streets providing access to the lots.
- CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT
- A development concept which encourages and permits variations in residential developments by allowing deviation in lot size, type of dwelling, lot coverage and open space from that which is normally required in the applicable zone as further described under Article XIV of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.
- The Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management.
- Any activity, other than normal agricultural activity, which materially affects the existing condition or use of any land or structure, including mines, landfills or land disturbances such as grading, paving and excavation.
- ENDANGERED SPECIES
- Any species of fish, wildlife or plants which has been so designated by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. Designation occurs when the continued existence of these species as viable components of the state's resources is determined to be in jeopardy. This includes any species determined to be an "endangered species" pursuant to the Federal Endangered Species Act.
- HABITAT OF THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES
- An area which, due to its physical or biological features, provides important elements for the maintenance, expansion and long-term survival of threatened and endangered species listed in COMAR 08.03.08. This area may include breeding, feeding, resting, migratory or overwintering areas. Physical or biological features include, but are not limited to, structure and composition of the vegetation; faunal community; soils, water chemistry and quality; and geologic, hydrologic and microclimatic factors. This area may need special management or protection because of its importance to conservation of the threatened or endangered species.
- LANDLOCKED PARCEL
- Any parcel which does not have frontage on a public street, or any other legally defined means of ingress and egress, either by easement or private road. Creation of such parcels is prohibited.
- A. Land for which the boundaries have been established by a recorded deed or a recorded subdivision plat filed among the land records of the County.
- B. If a public body or any authority with the power of eminent domain condemns, purchases or otherwise obtains fee-simple title to a strip of land cutting across a parcel of land otherwise characterized as a lot by this definition, and the interest thus obtained for the road so created is such as effectively to prevent the use of this parcel as one lot, then the land on either side of this strip shall constitute a separate lot.
- C. The Planning Director and the owner of two or more contiguous lots may agree to regard the lots as one lot if necessary or convenient to comply with any of the requirements of these regulations.
[Amended 4-3-2013 by Bill No. 2013-03]
- LOT DEPTH
- The mean horizontal distance between the front lot line and rear lot line of a lot, measured within the lot boundaries.
- LOT WIDTH
- The horizontal distance between the lot lines along a straight line parallel to the front line at the minimum required building setback line.
- LOT, RADIAL
- Any lot located along curved roads or at the end of culs-de-sac and where the distance along the road frontage is less than the amount required per the Zoning Ordinance for that district. Side property lines should be radial to the curve of the road or cul-de-sac.
- PARCEL or TRACT
- Land for which the boundaries have been established by a recorded deed or plat and may be considered for further subdivision, provided that adequate acreage exists to comply with the minimum development areas of the pertinent zoning district and otherwise qualifies for further subdivision per §§ 278-16 and 278-17 of this chapter.[Added 4-3-2013 by Bill No. 2013-03]
- PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS
- Physical improvements include all improvements required by these regulations, including but not limited to the following:
- A. Bridges.
- B. Crosswalks.
- C. Pathways, walkways, trails, bike paths, equestrian paths and sidewalks.
- D. Recreational facilities (including those privately maintained, such as by a local homeowners' association).
- E. Sanitary sewers, stormwater management and stormwater conveyance systems including storm drains with appurtenant construction.
- F. Streetlighting and signage.
- G. Street pavement, with or without curbs and gutters.
- H. Street trees.
- I. Traffic control facilities.
- J. Water mains and distribution lines.
- PLANNING COMMISSION
- The Charles County Planning Commission.
- PRIVATE MAINTENANCE
- Refers to nongovernment maintenance of all physical improvements not owned or maintained by the County.
- PROPERTY LINES
- The lines bounding a lot, as defined herein.
- PUBLIC MAINTENANCE
- Refers to County government maintenance of all physical improvements not owned and maintained by individual property owner or developer.
- All streams and watercourses are as defined in the Charles County Forest Conservation Ordinance.
- The act of creating a subdivision of land as herein defined.
- The division of any tract or parcel of land into two or more lots or parcels for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer or ownership or of building development.
- THREATENED SPECIES
- Any species of fish, wildlife or plants which has been designated as such by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources which appears likely, within the foreseeable future, to become endangered. This includes any species determined to be a "threatened species" pursuant to the Federal Endangered Species Act.
- USABLE LOT AREA
- The area which is available for use on a property sufficient for the reasonable use and enjoyment of the property, unrestricted by development limitations, consistent with the housing type or use approved for the property. Examples of such restrictions or limitations include, but are not limited to, house placement on a lot in a manner in which a deck or patio may not be installed, without resulting in an encroachment into the rear yard; a single-family detached home without sufficient yard and side yards; buildings restricted by permanent utility or grading easements, which would inhibit the expansion of the building or the installation of accessory uses or infrastructure consistent with the use of the building; location of resource protection zones, wetlands, buffers or forest conservation easements on the property which result in undue limitations on the use of the lot.