[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Commissioners of Caroline County 4-14-1987 as Bill No. 86-6. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is authorized under the provisions of Article 25, 122A, of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
This chapter shall apply to the unincorporated areas in Caroline County, Maryland. Its provisions shall not apply within the corporate limits of any incorporated town within the County unless and until the governing body thereof shall indicate, by written resolution, its intention to be governed by these provisions. Upon adoption of such a resolution by an incorporated town, the County Commissioners may enter into an enforcement agreement with the town. Enforcement responsibility shall not transfer from the town to the County unless and until an enforcement agreement is fully executed.
In this chapter, unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context, the following words and terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Caroline County, Maryland.
- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
- The County Commissioners of Caroline County, Maryland.
- ILLEGAL SALVAGE YARD
- A salvage yard or portion of a salvage yard that was established or is maintained in violation of state law or this chapter, except that a nonconforming salvage yard is not an "illegal salvage yard."
- NONCONFORMING SALVAGE YARD
- A salvage yard that was lawfully established before October 1, 1968, and which has been duly licensed and in operation continuously since then.
- OUTSIDE STORAGE
- The keeping, maintenance or accumulation of equipment, products, merchandise, vehicles, containers or other goods in usable condition or good working order in an open, unenclosed area.
- OWNER OR OPERATOR
- The person who has control over the maintenance and operation of a salvage yard.
- An individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, fiduciary or representative of any kind or any partnership, firm or association, public or private corporation or other entity.
- PUBLIC ROAD
- A state highway or County road.
- SALVAGE, JUNK OR SCRAP
- Any old, scrap, dismantled, inoperable or dilapidated motor vehicles and parts thereof; machinery; household furniture and appliances; boats; construction equipment and materials; rubble; tanks; drums; tires; pipes; wire; wood; paper; other organic waste material; metals; rags; glass; or any other kind of salvage or waste materials.
- SALVAGE YARD
- Any land or structure used for the storage, keeping, collection, recycling, recovery, sale, disassembling, wrecking, baling, maintenance or abandonment of salvage, junk scrap or other discarded material, including junkyards and automotive dismantling and recycling facilities.
- Includes fencing, walls, trees and shrubbery that completely blocks the public's view of a salvage yard from public roads and surrounding properties.
- Capable of being seen without visual aid by a person of normal eyesight.
It shall be illegal to store or keep items defined as salvage, junk or scrap on any property except:
An industrially zoned property where items defined as salvage, junk or scrap are by-products of or are incidental to the business operation on the premises and are stored and screened from public view.
Where items defined as salvage, junk or scrap are incidentally included as outside storage and not restricted by zoning regulations and are screened from public view.
In a licensed salvage yard.
Where specifically permitted by zoning, outside storage shall be permitted, provided that:
All items are stored and maintained in a neat and orderly manner.
No outside storage in other than a licensed salvage yard shall be within 25 feet of any side property line or within 40 feet of the front property line or public roads.
License required. On and after October 1, 1987, no person shall establish, operate or maintain a salvage yard or expand the area of an existing salvage yard without first making application for and obtaining an annual license from the County Commissioners. This regulation is in addition to the provisions of the Caroline County Zoning Ordinance. The County Commissioners shall evaluate the applications and plans and shall be the authority in determining compliance with this chapter.
Fees and collection procedures.
[Amended 5-8-2007 by Bill No. 2007-2]
The Caroline County Commissioners shall establish a fee and a collection procedure for licenses. The fee may be amended from time to time by resolution of the County Commissioners.
All licenses issued under this chapter shall be effective beginning October 1 and shall expire on the 30th day of September next following the date of issue. Any license for a period of less than one year shall cost the licensee the fee prescribed for one year.
Salvage yard licenses may not be assigned or transferred.
Each applicant for a salvage yard license shall be required to submit the following with the application for a license:
A plat of the property showing property lines and the location of the salvage yard operation, buildings, barriers and other natural and man-made features of the property. The scale of the plat shall be one inch equals 50 feet, or larger.
A description of provisions to adequately restrict entry from roads and adjoining property.
Applicants for license renewal may also be required to provide a plan for correction of deficiencies that may exist.
All salvage yards shall be effectively screened by plantings or by an architectural screen that effectively blocks the view of the salvage yard, during all 12 months of the year, from public and surrounding property.
A planting screen shall consist of trees, shrubs or other vegetation that, at the time of the planting, shall provide a four-foot screen and that, within three years, shall be of a size and density to screen the salvage yard from view from public roads and surrounding property. As of three years after the effective date of this chapter, all licensed salvage yards shall have screening of a size and density to screen view of the salvage yard from public roads and surrounding property.
An architectural screen may consist of an earth mound, wall or fence. Earth mounds shall be graded and rounded to a reasonably natural appearance to blend in with the existing landscape and shall be planted with ground cover or other low-growing plant material, which shall be neatly maintained. Screens shall be of sturdy construction and shall be generally uniform in appearance. Screens shall be of such quiet color as will allow them to blend with the environment.
Planting and architectural screens shall not be located within public rights-of-way nor located and installed in such a manner that they will constitute a hazard for the traveling public, nor shall advertisement signs be placed or affixed to the same.
It shall be the licensee's responsibility to ensure that all plantings and architectural screens are in good order and well-maintained. Plantings shall be kept in live, healthy condition, and any plant not in live, healthy condition shall be replaced. Replacement plants must meet the requirements of this section.
The County Commissioners may waive some or all provisions of this section for nonconforming salvage yards. To obtain a waiver, the owner or operator of a nonconforming salvage yard shall include in the plan for correction of deficiencies that is submitted with the application for a license a request for a waiver. Waiver requests must be received at least 90 days before the effective date of the next license year. The request for waiver shall include a statement of the specific provision to be waived and the reason for the request. The Commissioners shall consider and act on the request in a regular public meeting at least 60 days before the effective date of the next license year, and, if approved, the waiver shall be included in the terms of the license for a time period specified by the County Commissioners. No new waivers may be granted after October 1, 1989.
All salvage yards shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.
The operator shall effectively control rats and vermin and take the necessary steps to prevent harboring the same.
The operator shall control weeds on the property and shall not permit the grass or weeds to grow over 12 inches in height.
The operator shall take all reasonable measures to control dust.
Vehicles and other types of salvage, junk or scrap shall not be stored more than 15 feet high. Under no circumstances shall salvage, junk or scrap be piled to a height greater than that of the fencing or screening, nor shall any salvage, junk or scrap be visible from public roads or surrounding property.
The County Commissioners shall designate a County official to be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. The official's responsibilities shall include reviewing applications and plans, issuing licenses, inspections and issuing citations for violations of this chapter.
The official appointed by the County Commissioners to enforce this chapter may order service of a citation on a person believed to be committing a violation under this chapter. Service shall be made by the Caroline County Sheriff's Department or by certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of the citation shall be retained by the official and shall bear a certification attesting to the truth of the matters set forth. The citation shall contain:
The name and address of the person charged.
The nature of the violation.
The location and time of the violation.
The amount of the fine assessed.
The manner, location and time in which the fine shall be paid, if not protested.
The alleged violator's right to stand trial for the violation.
A person who receives a citation may elect to stand trial for the offense by filing with the official a notice of intention to stand trial. The notice shall be given at least five days before the deadline for fine payment as set forth in the citation. On receipt of the notice of intention to stand trial, the official shall forward to the appropriate court having jurisdiction a copy of the citation and the notice of intention to stand trial. On receipt of the citation, the court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the defendant of the trial date. All fines, penalties or forfeiture collected by the court for violation of this chapter shall be remitted to Caroline County.
A violation of this chapter is a misdemeanor, subject, upon conviction, to a fine of not less than $25. Each day on which a violation continues is a separate offense.