Town of Forest Heights, MD
Prince George's County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this Commercial Lots Ordinance is designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Town residents, individuals employed in or visitors to the Town from excessive accumulation of garbage, litter, refuse, filth, rubbish and weeds on any improved or unimproved real property in the commercial zones as defined in the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance or on any improved or unimproved real property assessed or taxed as commercial property; require owners of same to maintain the appearance, upkeep, cleanliness and good repair of structures on said property and the equipment on the structures and surrounding grounds; require owners to maintain the appearance, upkeep, cleanliness and good repair of surrounding grounds, parking lots, compactor, commercial garbage or refuse container or dumpster and garbage, refuse or recycling areas, enclosed, screened or not, including the aprons, curb, gutter and sidewalk in the state, county or Town right-of-way, and the line striping or directional arrows, handicap parking stalls, parking stalls and painting of curbs on-site; and require owners to keep property free of abandoned, junked, wrecked, untagged or unlicensed motor vehicles.
B. 
Authority. The authority to provide for the protection of the health, safety, comfort, convenience, or welfare of the residents of and visitors to the Town is provided for in Section 33-20 through Section 33-22 inclusive of the Charter of the Town of Forest Heights, and Title 5 of the Local Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The provisions of this Part III of Article 3 shall apply to any improved or unimproved real property in the commercial zones as defined in the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance or to any improved or unimproved real property assessed or taxed as commercial property located within the corporate limits of the Town of Forest Heights, including the abutting state, county or Town right-of-way and adjacent apron, curb, gutter and sidewalk.
The Town Council finds and determines that excessive accumulation of garbage, litter, refuse, filth, rubbish and weeds on any improved or unimproved real property in the commercial zones as defined in the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance or any improved or unimproved real property assessed or taxed as commercial property; or failure to maintain the appearance, upkeep, cleanliness and good repair of structures on said property and the equipment on the structures and surrounding grounds; or failure to maintain the appearance, upkeep, cleanliness and good repair of surrounding grounds of said property, parking lots, compactor, commercial garbage or refuse container or dumpster and garbage, refuse or recycling areas, enclosed or screened or not, including the apron, curb, gutter and sidewalk in the state or Town right-of-way and the on-site aprons, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, parking lots, storm water infrastructure, line striping of directional arrows, handicap parking stalls, parking stalls and painting of curbs; or failure to keep the property free of abandoned, junked, wrecked, untagged or unlicensed motor vehicles readily threatens or endangers the health, safety, comfort, convenience or welfare of the residents of and visitors to the Town and is hereby prohibited and declared to be a public nuisance subject to the penalties and procedures hereinafter prescribed.
All provisions of the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance shall be taken into consideration when enforcing this Part III. The commercial zones in the Town of Forest Heights are C-O (Commercial Office), C-S-C (Commercial Shopping Center), and C-M (Commercial Miscellaneous). The uses permitted in the commercial zones are listed in the Uses Permitted Tables of Part 6, Section 27-461 of the Zoning Ordinance. The rules and regulations of state or county agencies, such as the Maryland State Department of the Environment, shall be taken into consideration when enforcing this ordinance, to be codified in Part III of Article 3 of the Town Code.
In this Commercial Lots Ordinance, the following words have the meanings indicated. Where terms are not defined, they shall have their ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context may imply. Words used in the present tense include the future: words used in the masculine gender include feminine and neuter; and the singular includes the plural and the plural the singular.
ABANDONED, JUNKED or WRECKED MOTOR VEHICLES
Any motor vehicle or not-over-the-road construction, grass cutting or like equipment, which is without current license tags; required registration documents, inoperable; dismantled; or wrecked.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
A building or structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building, which is located on the property and under control of the owners or operators of such premises.
AGENT
A person authorized on behalf of the landlord/owner to make, contract for, and authorize repairs to a property; receive and comply with orders, notices and requests of the Town; and accept all communications, notices, orders and all types of service of process, including but not limited to municipal violations and infraction citations relating to the property. The agent may be, but need not be, the operator of the property.
APPURTENANCE OR APPURTENANT STRUCTURE
All exterior decorative, aesthetic or other devices, such as, but not limited to, cupolas, flower boxes, signage, that are attached to walls or railings, other parts of the structure, and exterior of the structure, which shall be maintained in a safe and weather-resistant condition.
EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREAS
All areas on unimproved real property or external to the principal structure on improved real property, including state, county or Town rights-of-way and adjacent street curb, gutter and sidewalk. This definition specifically includes any trees along or in the state, county or Town right-of-way that abuts and adjoins the real property.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rats or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating, and trapping; or by any other approved elimination methods.
GARBAGE
Animal or human feces or animal, mineral or vegetable waste resulting from the cooking, handling, preparing and serving of foods.
GRAFFITI
The drawings or inscriptions that have been scratched, painted, rubbed, etched, gouged, cut, engraved, or built on property, buildings or any surface, public or private, usually so as to be seen by the public, which mar, blemish, deface, disfigure, blight (reduce in value), cause deterioration, damage, loss, erosion, mutilation, corrosion, or tarnish to said property, building or surface.
INFESTATION
The presence within, or contiguous to, a structure or premises of insects, rats, vermin or other pests.
LITTER AND/OR RUBBISH
All combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage; and the term shall include, but not be limited to, appliances and furniture, boxes, building and construction waste, cartons, excelsior, leather, metals, mineral matter, motor vehicle parts, packing material, paper, rags, rubber, yard and lawn clippings and trimmings, dead trees, tree branches and leaves, rubber, the residue from burning of wood, coal, coke, wood and other combustible materials which:
A. 
Create or tend to create a danger to the public health, safety, welfare or property to the extent and in the manner that a lot, parcel or tract of land, is, or may become, infested or inhabited by rodents, vermin or wild animals; or
B. 
May reasonably cause disease; or
C. 
Adversely may affect and/or impair the economic welfare or status of adjacent property or the neighborhood; or
D. 
May reasonably constitute a present or potential fire hazard.
OWNER
One who has complete dominion over particular property and who is the one in whom legal or equitable title rests, when applied to a building or land. Owner means any part owner, joint tenant in common, tenant by the entireties, or joint tenant, of the whole or part of such building or land.
PAVED AREA
Any asphalt, bluestone, brick, brickpaver, concrete, gravel or other hard rock, or dust-free surface.
PERSON
Any individual, natural person, legal entity, joint-stock company, partnership, voluntary association, society, club, firm, company, corporation, business trust, organization, owner, occupant, or any other group acting as a unit, principal or agent, or the manager, lessor, lessee, agent, servant, partner, member, director, officer or employee of any of them including an executor, administrator, trustee, receiver, or other representative appointed according to law.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including any structures thereon.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Situation, condition or action whereby an agent, owner, occupant, property manager or tenant creates an environment that is unsafe or threatens the health and welfare of the surrounding area or disturbs the public peace or as otherwise defined in Section 13.9 of this Ordinance Code.
TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council of the Town of Forest Heights.
WEEDS
Brush, grass, weeds or any noxious growth. This excludes properly tended trees, ornamental shrubs, plants, flowers, vegetable plants, or undisturbed woodland, not otherwise in violation.
The following are considered violations of this Commercial Lots Ordinance and subject to fines and penalties as set forth in Section 3.21 et seq. of this Ordinance Code:
A. 
All exterior property areas shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of debris, garbage, litter, refuse or rubbish.
B. 
All premises and exterior property areas shall be properly maintained in an attractive, presentable appearance, free from weeds, grass in excess of six inches tall, other than annual or perennial cultivated flowers and plants, bushes, shrubs, garden and yard plantings, and trees, properly maintained by the owner or occupant, that have been allowed to accumulate or grow on any private premises or property in the Town of Forest Heights. All noxious and bamboo plants shall be prohibited. No vegetation shall be allowed to grow in or into the apron, or sidewalk, either on-site or in the state, county or Town right-of-way.
C. 
All structures, exterior premises, and surrounding grounds or property shall be kept free from rodent harborage and infestation. Where rodents or an infestation of insects, termites, vermin or other pests is found, it shall be promptly exterminated at the owner's expense by any approved processes that will not be injurious to human health. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to eliminate rodent harborage and prevent reinfestation.
D. 
All premises and exterior property areas zoned as C-O, C-S-C, C-M or any other commercial zoning classification as defined in the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance shall be kept free of abandoned, junked, wrecked, untagged or unlicensed motor vehicles. No owner, lessee or occupant shall permit an abandoned, junked, wrecked, untagged or unlicensed motor vehicle to remain on such property except enclosed in a garage unless the vehicle is actively being inspected at a Maryland State Police authorized vehicle inspection station.
E. 
All aprons and sidewalks in the state, county or Town right-of-way shall be kept free of debris, dirt, sand, eroded or broken pavement materials, litter, refuse, rubbish, vegetation, standing or running water, snow and ice.
F. 
All shrubbery or plants located on exterior property areas shall be maintained in such a way so as not to pose a danger or obstruction to adjoining property, persons walking on designated walking areas or that obstructs the line-of-sight at street intersections or along streets.
G. 
All bushes, shrubs, trees and other plantings on the premises or in the state, county or Town right-of-way shall be maintained in an attractive, presentable appearance.
H. 
Grass areas, yard and other unpaved areas shall not be used for the parking of boats, motor vehicles, trailers or similar items except where permitted in the commercial zone by the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance. Exempted are vehicle(s) for which a written permit for same shall have been obtained from the Town Administrator, Mayor or by action of the Town Council for a period not to exceed one year, and such permit may be renewed only by action of the Town Administrator, Mayor or Town Council.
I. 
Exterior property areas shall not be utilized for the open storage of bathroom, kitchen or other building fixtures, building construction materials or debris, furniture, motor vehicle parts, or lawn and garden equipment, irrespective of age or condition, except for outdoor lawn furniture or table and chairs for active restaurant or food and beverage retail facilities, or materials used in construction or renovation projects with county and Town permits or where otherwise permitted in the commercial zone.
J. 
The storage of wood and other materials not proscribed by this Commercial Lots Ordinance, including compost piles, shall be accomplished in a manner designed to avoid rodents, termites and other insect infestation. All exterior property areas shall be kept free of debris to prevent infestation by insects, rodents, vermin and other pests. If rodents, termites or insect infestation is found, it shall be promptly exterminated by the property owner by acceptable processes at the owner's expense, which will not be injurious to the health of humans or animals.
K. 
It shall be the responsibility of any property owner, lessee, agent, or other occupant who possesses animals on any property in the Town of Forest Heights to keep said animals in a sanitary and safe condition.
L. 
All on-site aprons, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, parking lots, parking spaces, stairs, stormwater infrastructure, walkways and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of cleanliness, appear clean and free of grime, litter, garbage or filth, have a maintained appearance, be in good repair and structurally sound, and be maintained free from potholes, fatigue cracking, or hazardous conditions. The owner shall maintain the appearance and keep in good repair all on-site line striping or directional arrows, handicap-parking stalls, parking stalls, painted curbs and signage.
M. 
All structures and accessory structures shall be kept in a proper state of cleanliness, have a maintained appearance, be in good repair and structurally sound, be maintained free from hazardous conditions and painted, if appropriate, including all equipment on all structures, accessory structures and surrounding grounds and including, but not limited to, commercial garbage or refuse containers or dumpsters and garbage, refuse, recycling or rubbish areas, enclosed or screened or not, compactor, fences, garages, and walls or retaining walls of any type. All commercial garbage or refuse containers or dumpsters, compactors, and garbage, refuse, recycling or rubbish areas are to be screened from view of adjoining properties or street in accordance with the Prince George's County Landscape Manual.
N. 
Each commercial business shall maintain and install a trash receptacle for customer use in close proximity to the entrance of the business. Trash receptacles for public use and the immediately surrounding area shall be kept in a proper state of cleanliness, appear clean and free of grime, excess litter or garbage, offensive odors, insects, vermin or filth, have a maintained appearance, be covered and in good repair and be structurally sound and secured to the ground or walkway.
O. 
No owner shall allow unattended structures or property to become a public nuisance, safety or health hazard or condition to encourage trespassing.
P. 
All fences, walls, retaining walls and similar structures shall be of the height, size, type and location permitted by applicable Prince George's County ordinances; be safe; have a maintained appearance; be painted, if appropriate; be in good repair and condition; be free from graffiti, and structurally sound.
Q. 
All property owners are required to maintain the appearance, upkeep and good repair of all structures and accessory structures on the property and the equipment on the structures and on the surrounding grounds in accordance with any rules and regulations adopted from time to time by written resolution of the Town Council and the provisions of this Article, the International Code Council Building Code of America, as amended and adopted by the Prince George's County Council from time to time, and the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code, as amended from time to time. Any conflict in any state or county adopted code referenced herein, this Ordinance Code or with other relevant ordinances or regulations of the Town shall be resolved in favor of the code, rule or ordinance provision, requirement or standard that more strictly protects the health, safety and welfare of the public.
R. 
All aprons and sidewalks in the state, county or Town right-of-way shall have a maintained appearance, free of grime or filth, be in good repair and structurally sound, and be maintained free of hazardous conditions.
S. 
All premises shall be graded and maintained to prevent erosion of soil and to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon or within any structure located thereon.
T. 
An owner is required to comply with all provisions and uses permitted in the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance.
A. 
All equipment, tools and materials left at a project site overnight in a commercial zone shall be left secured in a nonhazardous condition to protect the safety of the workers and the general public.
B. 
All excavations and construction on commercial property shall comply with American Standard Safety Code for Building Construction, American Standards Association, or other applicable standards as adopted and/or enforced by the State of Maryland and the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.
C. 
In the event a condition exists at a construction site that constitutes an immediate dire danger to persons or property, the Mayor, Town Administrator, Code Enforcement Official, or designated representative is authorized to issue a stop-work order, directing the cessation of work until the danger can be abated.
A. 
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Town to enforce the provisions of this Commercial Lots Ordinance as herein provided.
B. 
The Mayor and Town Council may waive applicability of this Part III to a property on application of the property owner if:
(1) 
Adequate notice is given in a form and manner specified by the Town.
(2) 
The owner is afforded an opportunity to comment on the complaint either in writing or in person; and
(3) 
The waiver would not threaten the health or safety of any resident.
C. 
Any violation of this Part III or nuisance arising that involves or includes in its subject matter a vehicle of any kind, and is further subject to summary abatement proceedings as described in this section may be removed or abated by the Mayor or her designee by towing and impoundment in the same or similar manner as vehicles towed and impounded pursuant to Section 15.7 of this Ordinance Code.
A. 
Whenever the Code Enforcement Official or designated representative determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been or is a violation of any provision of this Commercial Lot Ordinance or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the Code Enforcement Official or designated representative shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor, as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
(1) 
Be in writing and, when practical, the Code Enforcement Officer may support his findings by assembling evidence such as photographs;
(2) 
Include a description of the real property sufficient for identification;
(3) 
Include a statement of the reason why it is being issued; and
(4) 
Allow time, as set forth in this Part III, for the performance of any act it requires.
(5) 
Contain an outline of remedial action, which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this Part III and with the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(6) 
Timeframe for correction.
(I) 
In cases where the Code Enforcement Official or designated representative determines there has been a violation of Section 3.18, Subsections A through F, inclusive, of this Article whereby all exterior areas are not in a clean, safe and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of debris, garbage, litter, refuse, or rubbish; or grass is more than six inches tall; or the premises is not free of rodents or an infestation; or the premises is not free of abandoned, junked, wrecked, untagged or unlicensed motor vehicles; or all aprons and sidewalks in the state, county or Town right-of-way are not free of debris, dirt, sand, eroded or broken pavement materials, litter, refuse, rubbish, vegetation, standing water, snow or ice; or if all shrubbery located on exterior property areas is not maintained in such a way as not to pose a danger or obstruction to adjoining property, persons walking on designated walking areas or not to obstruct the line-of-sight at street intersections or along streets; such notice shall contain the requirement that the violation must be fully corrected within five days from the date of the notice, and that in the event the owner fails to do so within the five-day period, a second notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of an added charge or fine payable to the Town. In the event that the violation is not fully corrected within five days of the date of the second notice, a third notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of a further charge or fine. Each additional five days thereafter that this violation exists will constitute an additional charge or fine. For each additional prescribed period that the violation is not fully corrected, notice will be issued of the fine amount as due and payable to the Town of Forest Heights. Fines for failure to take remedial action shall be $300 and may be established or changed by resolution of the Town Council and shall not exceed the amount of $1,000 per violation. Failure to pay fine(s) will result in the amount of any fine(s) imposed being recorded as a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes.
(II) 
In cases where the Code Enforcement Official or designated representative determines there has been a violation of Section 3.18, Subsections G through K inclusive, of this Article, such notice shall contain the requirement that the violation must be fully corrected within 15 days from the date of the notice, and that in the event the owner fails to do so within the fifteen-day period, a second notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of a charge or fine payable to the Town. In the event the violation is not fully corrected within 15 days of the date of the second notice, a third notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of a further charge or fine. Each additional 15 days thereafter that this violation exists will constitute an additional charge or fine. For each additional prescribed period that the violation is not fully corrected, notice will be issued of the fine amount as due and payable to the Town of Forest Heights. Fines for failure to take remedial action shall be $200 and may be established or changed by resolution of the Town Council and shall not exceed the amount of $1,000 per violation. Failure to pay fine(s) will result in the amount of any fine(s) imposed being recorded as a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes.
(III) 
In cases where the Code Enforcement Official or designated representative determines there has been a violation of Section 3.18, Subsections L through T, inclusive, of this Article, such notice shall contain the requirement that the violation must be fully corrected within 30 days from the date of the notice, and that in the event the owner fails to do so within the thirty-day period, a second notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of a charge or fine payable to the Town. In the event that the violation is not fully corrected within 30 days of the date of the second notice, a third notice shall be sent advising the owner of the imposition of a further charge or fine. Each additional 30 days thereafter that this violation exists will constitute an additional charge or fine. For each additional prescribed period that the violation is not fully corrected, notice will be issued of the charge or fine amount as due and payable to the Town of Forest Heights. However, the Code Enforcement Official is authorized to work with the property owner to develop a corrective action plan and compliance time schedule to correct all infrastructure and equipment violations set forth in Section 3.18, L through T above and beyond the thirty-day compliance schedule. Fines for failure to take remedial action shall be $150 and may be established or changed by resolution of the Town Council and shall not exceed the amount of $1,000 per violation. Failure to pay fine(s) will result in the amount of any fine(s) imposed being recorded as a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes.
B. 
Abatement of original violation by Town. The Town of Forest Heights shall have the right, after 10 calendar days of continued violation and one calendar day of continued violation in the case of violations of Section 3.18, Subsections A through F, inclusive, of this Article, to enter onto the premises of the property in violation to abate any violation, the costs of which will be charged to the property owner. Failure to pay these costs within 10 days of the date of the notice will result in the filing of a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes. Repeat violations may be abated in five calendar days and any subsequent repeat violations may be abated immediately. Abatement by the Town does not constitute compliance as defined in Subsection A(6)(I), (II) or (III) of Section 3.21. Action for abatement of Section 3.18O may include the boarding up or razing of building(s) on premises pursuant to the standards found in Section 3.8 of the Ordinance Code, the costs of which will be charged to the property owner. Failure to pay these costs within 10 days of the date of the notice will result in the filing of a lien against the property and collection in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes. Where a clean commercial lot problem is refuse improperly put out for private collection, the right to abate and collect costs will be as prescribed herein according to additional standards found in Section 11.3 of this Ordinance Code, Trash receptacles (trash and garbage disposal and receptacles). The procedures for summary abatement regarding the elimination of the accumulation of refuse, the growth of weeds, the presence of stagnant water or of combustible material from any unimproved lot or vacant premises within the Town as found in Section 33-20(b)(49) of the Town Charter shall be used in appropriate cases.
C. 
Service of notice that the premises or structure(s) is in violation shall be as follows:
(1) 
By delivery to the owner or agent personally or by leaving the notice at the usual place of business of the owner or office of agent with a person of suitable age and discretion who shall be informed of the intent thereof; or
(2) 
By certified or registered mail addressed to the owner or agent at the address provided to the Town by the owner as required by this Part III with postage prepaid thereon with return receipt requested, or if said letter is returned with receipt showing nondelivery; then
(3) 
By posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by such notice.
A. 
Any violations of this Commercial Lots Ordinance reoccurring within a twelve-month period shall be considered a repeat of the original violation. It shall be the responsibility of any owner or responsible person duly notified under the provisions of this section to fully correct the repeat violation charged within five calendar days from the date of the notice for the repeat violation. Any subsequent repeat violation will be cause for immediate fine. However, the Code Enforcement Official shall have the authority to issue an immediate fine for repeat violations within a twelve-month period of Section 3.18, Subsections A through F, inclusive, of this Article.
B. 
Upon noncompliance of the violation notice within the time limits imposed in this section, a second notice shall be issued, in accordance with the notice requirements of this Part III advising the person found in violation of the imposition of a fine payable to the Town of Forest Heights. In the event that the violation has not been fully corrected within the period prescribed in the second notice, a third notice shall be issued, in accordance with the notice requirements of this Part III, advising the person found in violation of the imposition of a further charge or fine payable to the Town of Forest Heights. For each additional prescribed period that the violation is not fully corrected, notice will be issued of the fine amount as due and payable to the Town of Forest Heights. Fines for failure to take remedial action under this section shall be $400 and may be established or changed by resolution of the Town Council and shall not exceed the amount of $1,000 per violation. Failure to pay fine(s) will result in the amount of any fine(s) imposed being recorded as a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes.
C. 
Abatement of subsequent violations. The Town of Forest Heights shall have the right, after five calendar days of continued violation, and one calendar day of continued violation of Section 3.18, Subsections A through F, inclusive, of this Article, to enter onto the premises of the property in violation to abate any violation, the costs of which will be charged to the property owner. Failure to pay these costs within 10 days of the date of the notice will result in the filing of a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes. Repeat violations may be abated in five calendar days and any subsequent repeat violations may be abated immediately. Abatement by the Town does not constitute compliance as defined in Subsection A(6)(I), (II) or (III) of Section 3.21. Action for abatement of Section 3.18O may include the boarding up or razing of building(s) on premises pursuant to the standards found in Section 3.8 of the Ordinance Code, the costs of which will be charged to the property owner. Failure to pay these costs within 10 days of the date of the notice will result in the filing of a lien against the property and be collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes. Where a clean commercial lot problem is refuse improperly put out for private collection, the right to abate and collect costs will be as prescribed herein according to additional standards found in Section 11.3 of this Ordinance Code, entitled Trash receptacles (trash and garbage disposal and receptacles). The procedures for summary abatement regarding the elimination of the accumulation of refuse, the growth of weeds, the presence of stagnant water or of combustible material from any unimproved lot or vacant premises within the Town as found in Section 33-20(b)(49) the Town Charter shall be used in appropriate cases.
In addition to the fines established in this Commercial Lot Ordinance, a fine schedule for this Part III and Article may be set from time to time by resolution of the Town Council.
A. 
Any person affected by any notice of violation issued under this Part III may elect to appeal to the Town Council.
(1) 
Any person affected by any notice of violation which had been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this Commercial Lot Ordinance may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter by the Town Council, provided that such person shall within 10 days after service of a notice of violation, file with the Town Council a signed written notice of appeal, requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the reasons therefor. Upon receipt of such notice of appeal, the Town Council shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall determine appeals as promptly as practicable. The Town Council, with a quorum present, shall hear appeals.
(2) 
After such hearing, the Town Council may, by a majority of members present, affirm, amend, modify or withdraw the notice of violation that has been appealed. Any person who shall fail, refuse or neglect to comply with the decision of the Town Council shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this Commercial Lot Ordinance.
(3) 
In the event a person wishes to contest the decision of the Town Council, he or she may notify the Town of his or her intent within 10 days after the rendering of the decision by the Town Council. In that event, the Town shall issue a municipal infraction citation to the aggrieved person who may request a hearing in the District Court of Maryland pursuant to the municipal infraction procedure as found in Section 23.10 of this Ordinance Code and Title 6 of the Local Government Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. The decision of the Town Council in such a case shall be stayed, pending a decision by the District Court. To the extent of this section of Part III, all violations of this Commercial Lot Ordinance will be considered municipal infractions of the Town.
B. 
Failure to pay after adjudication or request of adjudication by the Town will result in the amount of any fine imposed being recorded as a lien against the property and collected in the same manner as delinquent Town taxes.
The Mayor and Town Council of Forest Heights shall decide questions of interpretation of this Part III. Upon written request, the Mayor and Town Council may waive or vary particular provisions of this Part III to the extent that the waiver is not inconsistent with Annotated Code of Maryland if:
A. 
Geographic differences or unique local conditions justify the waiver.
B. 
The waiver would not threaten the health or safety of a tenant, occupant or the public.
The Town Council may pass such rules and regulations as are consistent with the purpose, intent and enforcement of this Commercial Lot Ordinance. No rule or regulation passed consistent with this Part III may take effect unless previously published in a newspaper of general circulation, or by delivery by first class U.S. mail to each owner of record of a commercial lot located within the Town, and posting the regulations in a conspicuous place at the Town's municipal building for a period of 30 days.
If any section or part of a section of this Part III shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this Part III.