Charles County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 278-15 Purpose.

The following article describes the different subdivision types, based on the nature of the subdivision in relation to overall development of the County.

§ 278-16 Major subdivisions.

[Amended 1-31-2017 by Bill No. 2016-11]
All subdivisions of land that do not conform to the definitions established in § 278-17 for minor subdivisions shall be considered as major subdivisions. The processing and approval of all major subdivisions are to comply with Article IV of these regulations.

§ 278-17 Minor subdivisions.

A. 
Unless as defined in Subsection B below, a minor subdivision is a subdivision of land which does not involve any of the following:
(1) 
The creation of more than a total of five lots from a parcel that was in existence on June 15, 1976, or seven lots from a parcel, residue or remainder in existence on December 31, 2012; provided that any lot resulting from a recorded deed or subdivision plat prior to December 31, 2012, cannot be considered a "parcel" for purposes of this section.
[Amended 12-28-2012 by Bill No. 2012-12]
(2) 
[1]The extension of a public water or sewer system proposed as a part of a private development.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(2), regarding creation of new public streets as part of a private development, was repealed 1-31-2017 by Bill No. 2016-11. Bill No. 2016-11 also redesignated former Subsection A(3) and (4) as Subsection A(2) and (3), respectively.
(3) 
The installation of off-site drainage improvements through one or more lots to serve one or more other lots proposed as a part of a private development.
B. 
The following types of subdivisions are to be classified as minor subdivisions:
[Amended 4-3-2013 by Bill No. 2013-03]
(1) 
Public acquisition subdivisions. A subdivision for the purpose of platting parcels of land or easements to be acquired and constructed by the County or state government for public purposes such as road construction, park acquisition, drainage or other similar uses shall be considered a public acquisition minor subdivision. Prior to filing of such plats, the County Commissioners shall have approved the land or easement. The platting of streets or other public facilities constructed by applicants and to be dedicated to public use are not included in this minor subdivision class.
(2) 
Amendments and revisions to recorded subdivision plats. An amendment or revision to an existing recorded subdivision plat which is not a consolidation subdivision as described in Subsection B(4) below is considered to be a minor subdivision for the purposes of review, provided that one of the following qualifications are met. All amendments or revisions shall be formally classified as minor or major revisions by the Planning Director, based upon these regulations. Minor revisions to final plats may be approved by the Planning Director.
(a) 
Corrective amendments or revisions. A plat which is submitted to correct obvious drafting or minor engineering errors, street name changes, clarification of notations or other small discrepancies.
(b) 
Easement amendments or revisions. A plat which is submitted for the release or modification of existing easements or the addition or deletion of new easements or users to replace an existing recorded easement. The written approval of any grantee of the easement is required at the submission of the easement plat for review. Vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, stormwater management, forest conservation or similar easements, with related construction easements, which serve to fulfill the regulatory requirements or design characteristics of a specific development are specifically excluded from this definition, and subject to § 278-31F.
(c) 
Administrative action amendments or revisions. Any amendment to an existing recorded plat necessitated by official act of the County Commissioners where the Planning Commission does not share authority in the substance of the change in question and the amendment is for the purpose of clarifying and making consistent the information appearing on the recorded plat of the property.
(3) 
Boundary line adjustment (also known as "lot line adjustment") plats. Adjustments to existing lots, tracts or parcels of record, which do not change the number of lots, tracts or parcels of record may be administratively approved by the Department of Planning and Growth Management. This shall include boundary line adjustments for the purpose of transferring land between adjoining owners, provided that public or private roads are not affected by the adjustment and the design or pattern of the previously approved subdivision is maintained. The design or pattern is established by the road, building and yard orientations within the general area surrounding the affected property.
(a) 
A boundary line adjustment plat shall not result in the creation of any additional lots, tracts or parcels of land.
(b) 
The intent of boundary line adjustments is considered to be a mechanism to make minor adjustments. Examples may include, but are not limited to, building encroachments into setback areas, public facility construction, hardships related to variances, or minor changes for access, etc. It is not the intent to create major subdivisions from multiple minor subdivisions.
(4) 
Plats of consolidation. A plat that consolidates or combines two or more contiguous lots on a previously recorded subdivision plat. This type of plat results in no additional lots being created.

§ 278-18 Resubdivision of lots.

[Amended 4-3-2013 by Bill No. 2013-03]
A "plat of resubdivision" is a revision to a previously recorded subdivision plat showing old and new property lines, monumentation and other information which defines the original and the subsequent lots of record. When any modification to a previously recorded plat is proposed which results in the division, addition or deletion of lots or the modification of lot lines for previously recorded lots, the owner must file a "plat of resubdivision," which shall be approved by those agencies responsible for approving final plats and recorded by the Department of Planning and Growth Management. Resubdivisions may require review and processing as a minor or major subdivision.

§ 278-19 Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Overlay Zone: lot consolidations and lot reconfigurations.

[Added 6-19-2012 by Bill No. 2011-11]
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
The following provisions shall apply to:
(a) 
Any legal parcel of land, not being part of a recorded or approved subdivision, that was recorded as of December 1, 1985;
(b) 
Land that was subdivided into recorded, legally buildable lots where the subdivision received final approval before June 1, 1984; or
(c) 
Land that was subdivided into recorded, legally buildable lots where the subdivision received final approval after December 1, 1985, but not later than June 7, 1989.
(2) 
These provisions do not apply to a conforming parcel or lot.
(a) 
"Conforming" means a parcel or lot that meets all critical area requirements.
(b) 
"Conforming" does not include a parcel or lot:
[1] 
For which a critical area variance is sought or has been issued; or
[2] 
That is in the Resource Conservation Zone and is less than 20 acres.
B. 
Lot consolidations and lot reconfigurations in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Overlay Zones shall be required to bring nonconforming parcels or lots into compliance with the Charles County Critical Area Program to the extent possible.
C. 
These development activities shall be subject to the standards and requirements outlined in § 278-53 of these regulations and the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.[1] Additionally, the following regulations apply:
(1) 
An application for lot consolidation or lot reconfiguration shall include:
(a) 
The date of recordation of each legal parcel of land or legally buildable lot to be consolidated or reconfigured;
(b) 
The location of all existing and proposed property boundaries;
(c) 
A table that lists the number of all legal parcels of land or recorded legally buildable lots and the number of proposed lots to be derived; and
(d) 
Information sufficient for the Charles County Planning Division to make the findings set forth in Subsection C(2) of this section.
(2) 
Prior to approval, the Planning Division shall make written findings that the proposed consolidation or reconfiguration:
(a) 
Will result in no greater number of lots, parcels or dwelling units in the critical area than the existing configuration would allow;
(b) 
Will result in no greater lot coverage than the existing configuration would allow;
(c) 
Does not:
[1] 
Create an additional riparian lot or parcel, waterfront lot, or any other lot or parcel deeded with water access; or
[2] 
Intensify or increase impacts associated with riparian access.
(d) 
Does not create:
[1] 
A lot or parcel or portion of a lot or parcel that will serve development activities outside the critical area; or
[2] 
A Resource Conservation Zone lot or parcel that serves development activities in the Intense Development Zone or Limited Development Zone.
(e) 
Addresses habitat protection area requirements by:
[1] 
Identifying each habitat protection area on site;
[2] 
Providing protective and restorative measures which provide for the least possible adverse impact to the habitat; and
[3] 
Ensuring no greater impact to the habitat protection area than the existing configuration would allow.
(f) 
Provides stormwater management for all proposed development activities;
(g) 
Clearly identifies benefits to fish, wildlife and plant habitat; and
(h) 
Fully complies with the afforestation and reforestation requirements in COMAR 27.01.05 and 27.01.09, unless clearing is necessary to avoid a habitat protection area.
(3) 
When site conditions warrant, the Planning Division may require an environmental features map and additional information to be provided with an application to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this section and the Zoning Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 297, Zoning Regulations.
(4) 
The Planning Division shall issue a final written decision or order granting or denying an application for a consolidation, reconfiguration, or a modification or reconsideration of a consolidation or reconfiguration. Within 10 days of issuing its written decision, the Planning Division shall forward a copy of the decision and subdivision plat, as applicable, to the Critical Area Commission via first class mail, United States Postal Service.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 297, Zoning Regulations.