Charles County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 12-7-1993 by Ord. No. 93-100; 11-21-1994 by Ord. No. 94-100; 7-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-74]

§ 297-255 Purpose.

The purpose of adequate public facilities review is to:
A. 
Require developers to provide new, additional or upgrades of existing public facilities that are necessary to address the impact on public facilities from their project, when the existing and planned County facilities will not provide or maintain an adequate level of service;
B. 
Assure that proposed development will not adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare; and
C. 
Encourage new development to occur in areas of the County where public facilities are being provided and which are designated in the Comprehensive Plan.

§ 297-256 Adequate public facilities required.

A. 
No preliminary plan for a subdivision, or major site plan required for a zoning permit, shall be approved unless the Planning Commission first determines that the proposed subdivision or development will not adversely affect the adequacy of public facilities serving the area, project or development.
B. 
For roads and water supply system, this article does not apply to minor residential subdivisions and nonresidential developments containing less than 1,200 square feet of floor area, except as that development requires public water and sewer.
C. 
For school facilities, this article applies to all except residential development which is restricted by deed for the residency of individuals age 55 years or older and further restricted by deed to exclude school-age children from permanently residing on the property.

§ 297-257 Roads.

A. 
The traffic generated by a proposed development shall not reduce the level of service (LOS) at intersections or along roads below the standards established in this section.
B. 
This section does not apply to those projects which generate fewer than 140 vehicle trips or 14 peak-hour trips per day.
C. 
Roads shall be considered adequate to accommodate the projected traffic to be generated by the proposed development if:
(1) 
Roads serving the project are or will be capable of accommodating existing traffic, traffic projected to be generated from developments for which plats and plans have been approved and traffic projected to be generated from the proposed development at an adequate level of service, as set forth below, for a specified design year as established by the Commission. Service levels shall at all intersections in the immediate vicinity of the project, as designated by the Zoning Officer, be defined by the current edition of the Highway Capacity Manual published by the Transportation Research Board; or
(2) 
The County, state or one of the incorporated towns has programmed for construction in a capital improvements plan or similar plan, additional roads or road improvements necessary, in combination with existing roads and intersections, to comply with the standards specified in Subsection C(1). The programmed improvements must be scheduled to be completed at the time the proposed development will generate new trips.
D. 
Levels of service.
[Amended 4-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-02]
(1) 
The established minimum LOS for roads and intersections is:
Level of Service
Comprehensive Plan District
Off-Peak
Peak Hour
Development district
C
C
Village centers
B
C
Rural/agricultural conservation areas and others
A
B
Town centers and urban core
C
D
Mixed-use districts (limited to the Waldorf Central and Action Urban Center Zones)
D
D
(2) 
If the existing LOS of the affected road or street is less than the standard above, then the transportation facility will be considered inadequate if the proposed development degrades the facility by more than a factor of 0.01 based on the volume-to-capacity ratio.
(a) 
To meet the Level of Service D requirements in the WC and AUC Zones, alternate types of transportation improvements, in lieu of road widening, may be required. Alternate types of transportation improvements shall include construction of or fee-in-lieu contributions to off-street public parking, road grid network development, transit facilities, or streetscape improvements.
E. 
The determination of the rating of a road under Subsection C above shall consider the effects of existing traffic, traffic projected to be generated from developments in the area or vicinity or immediate area or facility as designated by the Zoning Officer for which final plats and plans have been approved, increases in through traffic and all traffic projected to be generated from the proposed development for a specified design year.
F. 
Prior to the submission of a preliminary subdivision plan or an application for a zoning permit, the applicant shall submit a preliminary traffic analysis which indicates the development's anticipated trip generation rates, a list of existing roads and intersections that will be impacted by traffic to and from the development and a design year based upon anticipated completion of the proposed project. The Zoning Officer shall review the preliminary analysis to determine if it satisfies the standards adopted by the County Commissioners for the proposed development and shall add or delete roads or intersections necessary to evaluate the impact of the development.

§ 297-258 Schools.

A. 
This section applies to all residential developments except certain residential developments known as retirement housing complexes and certain residential developments in the following planned development zones: the Planned Residential Development Zone (PRD); the Planned Unit Development Zone (PUD); the Mixed-Use Development Zone (MX); the Planned Manufactured Home Park (PMH); The Waterfront Planned Community (WPC); or the Transit-Oriented Development Zone (TOD), as defined in the Charles County Zoning Ordinance. In order to qualify for these exemptions, the developments within these zones shall be restricted by deed to the residency of at least one individual 55 years of age or older and exclude permanent occupancy by anyone under the age of 21 and that also have further deed restrictions which shall include each of the following:
[Amended 9-24-2001 by Ord. No. 01-80; 6-17-2003 by Bill No. 2003-04; 10-3-2005 by Bill No. 2005-18[1]]
(1) 
No dwelling unit may be occupied by any individual under the age of 21 for more than 30 days in any six-month period.
(2) 
Each dwelling unit shall be occupied following its sale or lease by at least one individual 55 years of age or older. Individuals aged 21 or older may reside in the development as long as they occupy a dwelling unit with an individual aged 55 years or older, and will be allowed to remain in the dwelling unit following the death, divorce or incapacity of the individual aged 55 years or older as long as the number of residences occupied by such households does not exceed 20% of the total occupied dwelling units within the development. No new individuals aged 21 to 54 can move into the dwelling unit after the death, divorce or incapacitation of the individual aged 55 years or older.
(3) 
In order to insure continuous compliance with the age restrictions, each contract of sale or lease agreement for the varying housing types within the development will require certification of the household composition, i.e., the name and birth date of each resident. Each household shall recertify its composition (i.e., the name and birth date of each resident) on an annual basis. The entity with management responsibilities or the homeowners' association for the development shall submit, on an annual basis, to the Director of Planning and Growth Management a letter certifying and documenting the composition (i.e., the name and birth date of each resident) and compliance of each household in the development.
(4) 
The entity with management responsibilities or the homeowners' association for the development shall be required to enforce the covenants and shall be prohibited from electing to waive its enforcement rights and obligations.
(5) 
The Charles County Commissioners shall be designated as a beneficiary of the covenants based upon their agreement to exempt the development from the obligation to pay the fair share school construction excise tax or an impact fee for school capacity and for the sole purpose of empowering Charles County with the right to enforce the covenants. This designation shall not obligate Charles County to enforce the covenants. The damages incurred by Charles County in the event of the entity with management responsibilities or the homeowners' association's failure to enforce the covenants described in § 297-258A will include, but not be limited to, the amount of the fair share school construction excise tax or impact fee that would have been assessed for the entire development if the development had not been exempt from the fair share school construction excise tax or impact fee.
(6) 
Once the age-restricted housing development has been approved for exemption from the County's School Allocation Policy and the school construction excise tax, the Department of Planning and Growth Management shall notify the Charles County Board of Education of said exemption.
[1]
Editor's Note: The transition provisions of this bill provide:
"The adoption of this bill shall not invalidate any preliminary plan for an age-restricted residential development that was approved by the Planning Commission prior to the date of adoption of this bill, provided that a final plat for said development shall be recorded not later than one year from the effective date of this bill."
B. 
No final plat for a residential subdivision or development services permit for a residential site plan shall be approved until school capacity allocation has been granted by the Director of Planning and Growth Management. School capacity will be deemed adequate upon the granting of a school capacity allocation. It is the intent of this chapter that the capacity of public schools shall not be adversely affected by residential development.
C. 
The annual School Capacity Allocation Committee, composed of the Charles County Commissioners and the Charles County Board of Education, and/or their designated representatives, will meet to decide on the appropriate allocations for the upcoming year. This Committee will consider the following factors, as well as any other information deemed pertinent, in establishing the allocatable school capacity for the upcoming year:
(1) 
Current enrollments.
(2) 
Projected enrollments.
(3) 
Current capacities of individual schools.
(4) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(4), County-wide capacity at each level of school, was repealed 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08.
(5) 
Capacity to be provided by any current capital improvement program CIP projects.
[Amended 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08]
(6) 
Additional capacity provided by the use of relocatable classrooms within the Board of Education's relocatable classroom policy guidelines.
(7) 
Current district boundaries for school attendance and redistricting opportunities within the Board of Education's policy guidelines.
(8) 
Residential development and growth within the incorporated towns which will impact the enrollments at County schools.
(9) 
Number of lots from minor subdivisions recorded in previous year.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(10), Core capacities of each school facility, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08.
D. 
When determining the amount of allocatable school capacity, allocation may be made only if school capacity currently exists or is programmed to exist under the then applicable capital improvement projects program as specified in the adopted Adequate Public Facilities Manual.
[Amended 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08]
E. 
Allocation amounts may not exceed the amount of capacity available in the allocatable school capacity currently in effect. These allocation amounts shall be determined by the County Commissioners using the factors listed in Subsection C above as guidance.
[Amended 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08]
F. 
The granting of school capacity allocations shall be in accordance with the policies and procedures established in the Adequate Public Facilities Manual adopted by the County Commissioners.
[Amended 6-18-2008 by Bill No. 2008-08]
G. 
The fair share school construction excise tax adopted by Ordinance 02-97 shall not apply to those projects exempted under Subsection A of this section.
[Added 6-17-2003 by Bill No. 2003-04; amended 10-3-2005 by Bill No. 2005-18]

§ 297-259 Sewerage system.

(Reserved for future inclusion.)

§ 297-260 Water supply system.

No final plat for a residential subdivision or site plan for commercial or industrial development requiring a groundwater appropriation permit shall be approved until such permit is issued by the Water Resources Administration of the State Department of Natural Resources. It is the intent of this chapter that water supplies serving existing residential, commercial and industrial users shall not be adversely affected by the water use of new development.

§ 297-261 Fire suppression for rural areas.

[Added 9-2-2002 by Ord. No. 02-79]
A. 
To address the fire suppression needs of the rural areas, this section will meet the following objectives:
(1) 
Establish a reliable and effective fire protection program in the rural areas to address the impact of new development on fire suppression capabilities.
(2) 
Develop alternatives which will accomplish adequate fire suppression in the rural areas with the cooperation of fire companies which serve these areas.
(3) 
Improve water supply for fire suppression in rural, nonhydrant areas.
B. 
This section applies to areas that are classified as properties having a W6 water service category, as defined by the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan. This section will apply to the creation of more than five buildable lots after the adoption of this section and being part of a major subdivision. No preliminary plan of such a residential shall be approved unless the following criteria have been met:
(1) 
An existing water source with all-weather access is available within four round-trip miles driving distance. "All-weather access" is defined as a location that provides access to water every day of the year, that is capable of supporting the weight of a fully loaded tanker and has sufficient room to allow a tanker to turn around. The water source must be accessible to the fire department using no more than 20 feet of hard sleeve. The existing water source must meet the criteria established in the Adequate Public Facilities (APF) Manual.
(2) 
If an existing water source is not available, then the applicant must mitigate by providing a water source within four round-trip miles driving distance of the proposed usable area of each new building lot.
(3) 
Refer to the APF manual for specific details and explanations. The mitigation must comply with the design criteria in the Water and Sewer Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 291, Water and Sewers.
(4) 
The developer may recover costs of improvements for rural fire suppression through the reimbursements policy set forth in Section 5.7 of the Water and Sewer Ordinance. Those developers within the service area of the rural fire suppression facility must participate in the reimbursement, if required by the Water and Sewer Ordinance.

§ 297-262 Stormwater management facilities.

(Reserved for future inclusion.)

§ 297-263 Adequate public facilities study.

A. 
An applicant shall submit an adequate public facilities study (APFS) in conformance with the requirements of this article as part of preliminary subdivision and zoning permit submissions.
B. 
An APFS shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Background information that describes the proposed development, its location and the conditions of all surrounding public facilities that are regulated by this article.
(2) 
Project generation information that identifies the vehicle trips and number of students generated by the project.
(3) 
Analyses and identification of project impacts on public facilities covered by this article.
(4) 
Proposed mitigation program for impacts to public facilities.
C. 
An APFS required for roads shall include a traffic impact study, including traffic flow studies of the roads and intersections identified in the preliminary analysis as approved by the Zoning Officer. The traffic flow studies shall determine, at a minimum, existing traffic, traffic projected to be generated from other proposed developments for which site plan or preliminary plan approval have been granted, projected increases in through traffic at the time of completion of the proposed development and traffic projected to be generated from the proposed development. The study shall comply with these standards or TRB's standards for traffic impact studies. In addition, the APFS shall propose improvements which will achieve the required level of service.
D. 
An APFS must address the impacts of a project that is to be developed in phases.
E. 
The Planning Commission shall review the adequate public facilities study (APFS) and other information submitted by the applicant to determine if the level of infrastructure exists or will exist to meet the standards of the chapter and whether the approval of the proposed development will be in the public interest.

§ 297-264 Mitigation.

Upon determination by the Planning Commission that public facilities are not adequate, the Planning Commission may disapprove the project or require mitigation from an applicant to assure that there exist adequate levels of public facilities that are consistent with this article.
A. 
Mitigation may include, but is not limited to, dedication of property to the County, payment of impact fees, fees in lieu of an improvement payment to an escrow account, participation in private/public partnerships, developer agreements, off-site improvements or other mechanisms as may be determined by the Planning Commission.
B. 
The Planning Commission shall review and have final approval of the proposed mitigation program of a proposed subdivision or development. A mitigation program shall include the type(s) of mitigation, the methods and schedules, including project phasing, if applicable, for the implementation of the mitigation program.
C. 
A mitigation program shall be contained in a legal, binding, adequate public facilities agreement between the applicant and the County, which has been approved for form and content by the County Attorney.
D. 
A mitigation program shall run with the land. The deed or title for a property shall contain references to the mitigation program.
E. 
No mitigation shall be allowed for the lack of available school capacity.

§ 297-265 Bonding or surety.

A. 
The Planning Commission shall require bonding or surety as appropriate to cover the costs of the facilities and lands not under the applicant's ownership that are part of a mitigation program.
B. 
Upon default, the County has the authority to redeem the bonds or surety in addition to any other remedy provided by law.

§ 297-266 Standards, criteria and procedures for adequate public facilities studies.

A. 
The County Commissioners will establish specific standards, criteria and procedures for use in determining the adequacy of public facilities required to support and service any proposed subdivision or development. Applicants shall comply with all specific criteria, standards and procedures, as adopted.
B. 
The County Commissioners shall hold a public hearing prior to the adoption of additional specific standards, criteria and procedures for adequate public facilities determinations to be undertaken as part of this chapter. Such a hearing shall comply with the requirements and procedures for the text amendments of this chapter.
C. 
The County Commissioners shall consider revisions to adopted standards, criteria and procedures for adequate public facilities studies on at least a biannual basis.
D. 
The County Commissioners will maintain an inventory of facilities which do not meet the standards of this section and will update the same on at least a biannual basis.

§ 297-267 through § 297-276. (Reserved)