The regulations set out in this chapter of the Charles County Code are hereby adopted for the purpose of protecting and promoting the health, safety, morals, comfort and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of Charles County and shall constitute the text of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the provisions of Article 66b of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended.
Editor's Note: Said article was repealed by Acts 2012, 426, § 1, effective 10-1-2012. See now the Land Use Article.
This chapter shall not apply to the Charles County government or the land, buildings, structures or other facilities owned by the County that would otherwise be regulated by this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, lessee, occupant or otherwise, who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or who violates or fails to comply with any order or regulation made hereunder or who interferes in any manner with any person in the performance of a duty required by the terms of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not more than $300 or by imprisonment in the County jail not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
In addition to other remedies, the County Commissioners, the Zoning Officer or any adjacent or neighboring property owner may institute an injunction, mandamus, abatement or other appropriate action or proceedings to compel compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to and not in substitution for any other penalty imposed for a violation hereof or for any other right or remedy available hereunder, there is hereby established a civil penalty for a violation of this chapter.
A civil penalty may be imposed for each day a violation exists, and each day the violation exists is a separate offense.
Failure to correct a violation after expiration of the time period for correction stated in a citation is a separate offense.
Any person who receives a citation for a zoning violation, which imposes a civil penalty, shall pay the civil penalty as set forth on the citation, within 15 days after receipt of the citation, to the County Commissioners of Charles County, Department of Fiscal Services, P.O. Box B, La Plata, Maryland 20646.
Any person who fails to pay a civil penalty imposed under this section within 15 days after the date notice was sent to such person pursuant to Article 66b, § 7.01(c)(6), of the Annotated Code of Maryland shall be liable for twice the civil penalty which that person had failed to pay.
Editor's Note: Said article was repealed by Acts 2012, 426, § 1, effective 10-1-2012. See now the Land Use Article, Title 7.
A citation may be delivered either by personal delivery to the person named on the citation or by mail to the person named on the citation at the address of the zoning violation or the address to which tax bills for the property are sent, or both.
For purposes of this chapter, notice is effective, if given by mail, and delivery of a citation is effective, if accomplished by mail, at the end of the fifth day after deposit in the mail, postage prepaid, of the notice or citation, respectively.
The County Attorney shall prosecute all civil zoning violations with full authority to settle such violations, including the power to enter into agreements on behalf of the County to resolve the violation and the power to dismiss the citation.
The set of maps implementing the comprehensive rezoning of Charles County, Maryland, adopted by the County Commissioners of Charles County on August 31, 1992, shall accompany and be a part of this chapter and shall hereafter be known as the "Zoning Maps of Charles County, Maryland."
The zones established in this chapter are bounded and delineated as designated on the Zoning Maps and subsequent amendments thereof.
The Zoning Maps, as amended, shall reflect the current zoning of all land in Charles County and be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Land can only be used and a building or other structure can only be erected, moved, structurally altered, added to, enlarged, used or otherwise modified in accordance with the uses and development standards prescribed by the zone in which the building or land is located. This chapter does not, however, prohibit the use of any land for exclusively agricultural purposes.
Each section of this chapter and every part of each section is an independent section or part of a section, and the holding of any section or a part thereof to be unconstitutional, void or ineffective for any cause shall not be deemed to affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section or parts thereof.
Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction than is imposed or required by other provisions of law or other rules, regulations, ordinances, chapters or by private restriction, the provisions of this chapter shall control.
It is the declared legislative intent of the County Commissioners that the terms and provisions comprising the text of this chapter shall be liberally construed by the relevant departments, agencies, commissions and boards of the Charles County government based on the following rules of construction, in addition to rules applicable generally to the construction of zoning ordinances and the interpretation requirements of the Charles County Code:
In interpreting and applying this chapter, the requirements contained herein are declared to be the minimum requirements for the protection of the health, morals, safety and general welfare of the existing and future residents of Charles County.
In this chapter, words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular; the particular controls the general; and the word "shall" is mandatory and not optional.
This chapter of the Charles County Code shall not be deemed to interfere with or abrogate or annul or otherwise affect in any manner whatsoever any ordinance, rules, regulations or easements, covenants or other agreements between parties; provided, however, that where this chapter imposes a greater restriction upon the use of buildings or premises or upon the height of buildings or requires larger open spaces than are imposed or required by other ordinances, rules, regulations or permits or by easements, covenants or agreements, the provisions of this chapter shall prevail. Except as hereinafter provided, the general regulations set out in this article shall apply.
In case of a conflict between the text of this chapter and any caption, illustration, summary or illustrative table, the text shall control.
The phrase "used for" includes "arranged for," "designed for," "intended for," "maintained for" or "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 term's meaning to all other instances or circumstances of similar kind or character.
When a term used in this chapter is defined elsewhere in the County Code but not in this chapter, 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 this chapter, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter.
Throughout this chapter, all words other than the terms specifically defined herein shall have the meaning inferred from their context or as defined in the most recent edition of Webster's International Dictionary.
The word "chapter" or "this chapter" shall mean the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.