Town of Leonardtown, MD
St. Marys County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
No building, structure or land, or any part thereof, shall hereafter be used, created or enlarged until a zoning permit has been issued by the Town Administrator or Town Planner. The issuance of a zoning permit does not waive provisions of other laws, ordinances or requirements.
B. 
Certificate for other permits. If the proposed building, structure or use of land is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter or complies with decisions of the Board of Appeals or conditions of the Planning Commission, and the Town Commissioners, a zoning permit shall be issued by the Town Administrator or Town Planner. The issuance of a zoning permit shall serve as an authorization to secure other required or requested permits from various agencies.
[Amended 5-20-2008 by Ord. No. 135; 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
Any zoning permit, building permit, concept approval, preliminary approval or final approval shall become invalid if the authorized use, approval or construction for which the permit or approval was issued is not commenced within 12 months of the date of issuance for residential and two years for commercial. There must also be evidence of ongoing construction activity for the permit to remain valid. The Town Administrator or Town Planner may, upon good cause shown, extend a building permit for an additional period not exceeding 12 months. Extensions for any plans approved by the Planning Commission can only be granted by the Planning Commission. In granting an extension, the Commission may not impose additional requirements. After expiration, the project must go back through the approval process to obtain reapproval. If a project is developed in phases, each phase must be approved separately, and each phase’s approval will be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance for residential and two years for commercial.
A. 
An occupancy permit shall be required prior to any of the following:
(1) 
Occupancy and use of a building hereafter erected or structurally altered.
(2) 
Change in use of an existing building to a use of a different zone classification.
(3) 
Occupancy or change in use of unimproved land.
(4) 
Any permitted change in a nonconforming use.
(5) 
Any change in ownership or tenancy of a commercial or industrial use.
B. 
Filing.
(1) 
Written application for an occupancy permit shall be made at any time after all inspections have been completed. Said permit shall be issued within 10 days after a written request for the same has been made to the Planning and Zoning Commission and after the erection or alteration of such building or part thereof has been completed in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and any other law or ordinance.
(2) 
Written application for an occupancy permit for the use of vacant land or a change in the use of land or of a building resulting in a change in a nonconforming use, as herein provided, shall be made to the Planning and Zoning Commission; if the proposed use is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, the certificate of occupancy therefor shall be issued within 10 days after the application for the same has been made.
(3) 
Each application for an occupancy permit shall be submitted on forms provided therefor, obtainable from the Commission.
(4) 
The fee for such occupancy permits shall be determined by the Town Commissioners.
C. 
The Planning and Zoning Commission shall issue an occupancy permit upon a finding that:
(1) 
All parking and other required facilities have been completed and are available for use.
(2) 
The building or the proposed use of a building or land complies with all provisions of the laws and regulations of Leonardtown.
A. 
No building shall be erected, constructed, altered, moved, converted, extended or enlarged without the owner's or owners' first having obtained a building permit from the Commission. Such permit shall require conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 5-20-2008 by Ord. No. 135]
B. 
No building permit lawfully issued prior to the effective date of this chapter or of any amendment hereto, which permit, by its own terms and provisions, is in full force and effect at said date, shall be invalidated by the passage of this chapter or any such amendment but shall remain a valid and subsisting permit subject only to its own terms and provisions and ordinances, rules and regulations appertaining thereto and in effect at the time of the issuance of said permit, provided that all such permits shall expire not later than 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, unless actual construction shall have theretofore begun and continued pursuant to the terms of said permit.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 48, Building Construction, Art. I, Building Permits.
All applications for building permits shall be accompanied by a drawing or plat, in duplicate, or as required by the Commission, showing, with dimensions, the lot lines, the building or buildings, the location of buildings on the lot and such other information as may be necessary to provide for the enforcement of these regulations, including, if necessary, a boundary survey and a staking of the lot by a competent surveyor and complete construction plans. The drawings shall contain suitable notations indicating the proposed use of all land and buildings. A careful record of the original copy of such applications and plats shall be kept in the offices of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and a duplicate copy shall be kept at the building at all times during construction.
The purpose of these site development standards is to assure detailed compliance with the applicable requirements of this chapter and/or subdivision regulations,[1] and to prescribe the standards for the preparation and submission of site plan drawings and for the design and construction of required improvements.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 131, Subdivision Regulations.
A site plan is required and shall be submitted for any development or land use involving:
A. 
A planned unit development (excluding single-family dwellings).
B. 
Any residential development, excluding single-family detached dwellings and one individual duplex unit.
C. 
Commercial and industrial structures or changes of uses therein.
D. 
Churches, temples, synagogues and similar institutions.
E. 
Special exception uses.
F. 
Public buildings or land, such as, but not limited to, schools, government offices and ancillary uses, recreational uses.
Every site plan that is submitted in accordance with this article shall contain the following information:
A. 
Location of tract by an insert map such that the reviewer can easily identify location of the site and such information as the names and numbers of adjoining roads, streams and bodies of water, railroads, subdivisions, election districts or other landmarks sufficient to clearly identify the location of the property.
B. 
A boundary survey of the tract.
C. 
Certificate setting forth the source of title of the owner of the tract and the place of record or the last instrument in the chain of title, if such certificate has not been provided with a development plan or concept development plan.
D. 
Location, dimensions, height and setbacks of all existing and proposed buildings.
E. 
All existing and proposed streets and easements, their names, numbers and width; existing and proposed utilities; watercourses and their names; owners, zoning and present use of adjoining tracts if not previously submitted with a development plan; Tax Map/parcel number; current and proposed zoning; parking required/provided; structure use; plan preparer; percent landscaped, etc. should be provided in tabular form.
F. 
Location, type and complete dimensions of vehicular entrances to the site and same for sidewalks and parkways and provisions for handicapped movement, including any off-site improvements such as traffic control devices and acceleration and deceleration lanes.
G. 
Location, type, size and height of fencing, retaining walls, trash containers and screen planting where required under the provisions of this chapter.
H. 
All off-street parking, loading spaces and walkways, indicating type of surfacing, size, angle of stalls, width of aisles and a specific schedule showing the number of parking spaces provided and the number required in accordance with Article XI of this chapter, including connection with adjacent developments and dimensions of landscaped areas, and type of curbing.
I. 
All locations and sizes of proposed water and sewer installations or proposed additions to existing water and sewer installations, as well as any design features which are unusual or which deviate from normal design practices. The proximity to the nearest hydrant and its area of coverage shall also be shown.
J. 
Provisions for the adequate disposition of natural and storm drainage in accordance with the duly adopted design criteria and standards of the Town as delineated in Article XV of this chapter indicating location, sizes, types and grades of ditches, catch basins and pipes and connections to existing drainage system. Copies of all pertinent calculations and assumptions relative to the storm drainage design (to include the delineation and consideration of the off-site contributing watershed and affected areas) and provisions for sediment control and/or stormwater management which are to be incorporated in all phases of construction shall accompany the site plan submissions for review.
K. 
Description of all watercourses, impoundments and wetlands on or adjacent to the site or into which stormwater flows.
L. 
Delineation of one-hundred-year floodplains, if applicable.
M. 
Structure classification (SCS Pond Standard 378).
N. 
Computations of hydrology; hydraulic and structural.
O. 
Where deemed necessary by the approving authority, the developer shall submit to the approving authority an analysis of the impacts of stormwater flows downstream in the watershed. The analysis shall include hydrologic and hydraulic calculations necessary to determine the impacts of hydrographic timing modifications of the proposed development upon a dam, highway, structure or natural point of restricted stream flow, established with the concurrence of the approving authority, downstream of a tributary of the following size:
(1) 
The first downstream tributary whose drainage area equals or exceeds the contributing area to the pond; or
(2) 
The first downstream tributary whose peak discharge exceeds the largest designed release rate of the pond.
P. 
Existing topography with a maximum of two-foot contour intervals; where existing ground is on a slope of less than 2%, either one-foot contours or spot elevations, where necessary, but not more than 50 feet apart in all directions. A drainage area map shall be to a usable scale.
Q. 
Proposed finished grading by contours supplemented where necessary by spot elevations.
R. 
All horizontal dimensions shown on the site plan shall be in feet and decimals of a foot to be closest to 1/100 of a foot; and all bearings in degrees, minutes and seconds to the nearest 10 seconds (closure to be within acceptable survey tolerances, minimum 1:10,000).
S. 
Plan for signage.
T. 
Other information required by the Planning Commission.
A. 
A concept development plan may be submitted to the Planning Commission for approval prior to submission of a site plan or shall accompany a site plan or subdivision where application for plan approval is made for 75% or less of the land area of the parcel within which the development will occur.
B. 
The concept development plan shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Accurate sketch of the property to scale.
(2) 
Record owner of property.
(3) 
Vicinity sketch.
(4) 
Identification of adjacent property owners.
(5) 
Topographic information in sufficient detail to determine drainage patterns and sedimentation or grading permit problems.
(6) 
Proposed access to public rights-of-way.
(7) 
Generalized identification of existing features on the site, including vegetation, drainage patterns, structures and other site improvements.
(8) 
Proposed siting of water and sewage facilities for the entire parcel.
(9) 
Proposed siting of structures and their uses.
(10) 
Proposed siting of parking facilities.
(11) 
Proposed siting of vehicular and pedestrian circulation facilities.
A. 
Plans to be prepared by authorized persons. Any site plan or any portion thereof, including "as-built" site plans involving the practice of engineering, architecture or land surveying, shall be prepared and certified respectively by an engineer, architect, landscape architect or land surveyor duly authorized by the State of Maryland to practice as such. A site plan may be prepared in one or more sheets to show clearly the information required by this section and to facilitate the review and approval of the plan. If prepared in more than one sheet, match lines shall clearly indicate where the several sheets join. Every site plan shall show the name and address of the owner or developer, election district, North point, date and scale of drawing, number of sheets, existing zoning, Town Zoning Case Number and the Tax Map and parcel number. The date of originals and index of all previous revisions shall be provided with each revision. In addition, it shall reserve adequate space for the use of the approving authority.
B. 
Scale and sheet size. Site plans shall be prepared to a scale sufficient to show all required details; the sheet shall not exceed the dimensions of 36 inches by 48 inches.
C. 
Number of copies, submission deadlines and fees. Clearly legible, blueline or blackline copies of a site plan shall be submitted to the Planning Director, together with the payment of any site plan fees for processing and approval. Fees for filing site plans shall be those as adopted by the Town Council. Copies shall be submitted in sufficient number to satisfy agency review requirements as determined by the Planning Director or designee. The number of copies and deadlines for submission shall be determined by the Planning Director and shall be listed as an appendix to this chapter.[1] This appendix may be changed as needed by the Planning Director without having to amend this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: This appendix is on file in the Town offices.
A. 
Approval of a site plan submitted under the provisions of this article shall expire one year after the date of such approval unless building permits have been obtained for construction in accordance therewith.
B. 
A single one-year extension may be given by the Planning Director upon written request by the applicant to be made at least 30 days before the expiration of the approved site plan. The Planning Director shall act on the request within 15 days of receipt of the request.
C. 
An appeal of a Planning Commission decision regarding site plans is to the Circuit Court of St. Mary's County. An appeal must be made within 30 days of the Planning Commission decision.
Any currently valid site plan may be revised in the same manner as originally approved. Any requirement of this chapter may be waived by the Planning Commission in specific cases where such requirement is found to be unreasonable or unnecessary to evaluate the revision. No such waiver shall be adverse to the purpose of this section.
No permit shall be issued for any structure or improvement in any area covered by the site plan that is required under the provisions of this article except as it is in conformity with such site plan which has been duly approved.
A. 
Unless specifically provided in this section, the construction standards for all off-site improvements and on-site improvements required by this article shall conform to the county design and construction standards. Appropriate authorities shall approve the plans and specifications for all required improvements and shall inspect the construction of such improvements to assure conformity thereto.
B. 
Inspection during the installation of the off-site improvements shall be made by the department responsible for such improvements as required to certify compliance with the approved site plan and applicable standards.
C. 
The owner shall notify the Town in writing three days prior to the beginning of all street, storm sewer or water and sewer facilities work shown to be constructed on the site plan.
D. 
Upon satisfactory completion of the required improvements and after having received verification by the appropriate approving authorities, the Planning Director or the Town Administrator shall have the authority on behalf of the Town Council to release any bond or other form of surety which may have been furnished for the guarantee of satisfactory installation of such improvements or parts thereof. This release may provide for 10% of the total bond to be retained for a period of 12 months after completion of all work. Said retainer shall be for the protection of the Town to cover failures, discrepancies, etc., in the previously approved improvements.
E. 
The installation of improvements as required in this article shall in no case serve to bind the Town to accept such improvement for the maintenance, repair or operation thereof.
Upon satisfactory completion of required improvements as shown on the approved site plan or a section thereof, the developer shall submit to the Planning Director the number of copies as required of the "as built" site plan, certified by the licensed professional as defined by COMAR for occupancy of any building, for the review and approval for conformity with the approved site plan by the Town as designated in this section. The Planning Director shall not process the occupancy permit until the appropriate "as built" site plan has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate agencies. If built as approved, said approved plan may be certified by the licensed professional as the "as-built."
A. 
Planning Director. The Planning Director or designee shall be responsible for checking the site plan for general completeness and compliance with such administrative requirements as may be established prior to routing copies thereof to reviewing departments, agencies and officials. The Planning Director shall see that all reviews are completed in a timely manner and that site plans are submitted to the Planning Commission within a reasonable period, except under abnormal circumstances, from the receipt thereof in the planning office.
B. 
All site plans shall be submitted for consideration by the Planning Commission after having been reviewed for completeness by the Planning Director and appropriate state or county departments, relative to the following requirements:
(1) 
The location and design of the vehicular entrances and exits for streets giving access to the site and pedestrian traffic.
(2) 
The concurrence of the State Department of Transportation or County Department of Public Works with the location and design of the vehicular entrances and exits to and from state- or county-maintained streets and highways.
(3) 
Location and adequacy of automobile parking areas.
(4) 
Adequate provision for traffic circulation and control within the site and for access to adjoining property.
(5) 
Compliance with requirements of this chapter for setbacks and screening.
(6) 
Adequacy of drainage, water supply, fire protection and sanitary sewer facilities.
(7) 
Compliance with applicable established design criteria, construction standards and specifications for all improvements as may be required by the Town Council and Town ordinances.
(8) 
Check for inclusion of erosion and sediment control measures.
(9) 
Compliance with this chapter.
(10) 
Availability and adequacy of other public services.
(11) 
Reforestation plan.
In furtherance of the purposes of this chapter and to assure public safety and general welfare, the Town shall require the improvements as shown in the following standards section:
A. 
General site plan standards.
(1) 
Designation of pedestrian walkways so that patrons may walk on same from store to store or building to building within the site and to adjacent sites.
(2) 
Construction of vehicular travel lanes or driveways to the appropriate standard in the Leonardtown Road Ordinance[1] which will permit vehicular travel on the site and to and from adjacent parking areas and adjacent property, provided that on any site bordering a state primary highway or adjacent to an existing service road in the arterial highway system, the developer of any site, in lieu of providing travel lanes or driveways in order to provide vehicular travel to and from adjacent parking areas and adjacent property, may dedicate, where necessary, and construct a service road under the appropriate Town, county or state specifications for such.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Streets and Sidewalks, Art. VIII, Road Construction and Specifications.
(3) 
Connection, wherever possible, of all sidewalks, walkways, travel lanes and driveways with similar facilities in adjacent developments.
[Amended 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
(4) 
Screening, fences, landscaping, walls, curbs and gutters as are required by the provisions of this chapter and other ordinances of the Town.
(5) 
Easements or rights-of-way for all facilities to be publicly maintained. Such easement shall be clearly defined for the purpose intended.
(6) 
Adequate traffic control devices along such vehicular travel lanes or driveways to prohibit parking on such.
(7) 
Adequate drainage system for the disposition of storm and natural waters to include, when required, stormwater management devices.
(8) 
Temporary and permanent erosion and sediment controls measures.
B. 
Where not otherwise specified in this chapter, open space and recreation area designations and reservations may be required by the Planning Commission, upon recommendation by the staff to preserve natural areas, stream belts, historic sites, wetlands and other areas of critical concern to the Town, county and/or state. Such designations and reservations of open space and recreation area may be prescribed by easements, acquisitions, dedications or other appropriate means. Floodplains, flood hazard areas and areas within the regulatory flood zones may be included in such reservations and designations. The Planning Commission shall require in all cases that the applicant shall submit for appropriate approval specific arrangements for the perpetual management and responsibility of the designated open space and recreation area.
C. 
Solid waste disposal stations shall be provided in such numbers and at such locations so as to provide for the convenient storage and collection of garbage and trash.
D. 
Agricultural uses shall be exempted from those standards set forth in this section of this chapter.
E. 
Site developments that propose gated communities shall be prohibited since such development precludes opportunity to achieve the standard set forth in Subsection A(3) of this section.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
A. 
The proposed development project shall be designed to minimize left turn movements or conflicts on the site and in the street. Driveways should be designed to achieve clear sight lines in accordance with the Leonardtown Road Ordinance standards.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Streets and Sidewalks, Art. VIII, Road Construction and Specifications.
B. 
Site access and circulation should conform to the following standards:
(1) 
Where reasonable access is available, the vehicular access to the site should be arranged to avoid traffic use of local residential streets situated in or bordered by residential districts.
(2) 
Where a site or lot has frontage on two or more roads, the access to the site should be provided to the site from the lower classified road, unless there is less potential for traffic congestion and for hazards to traffic and pedestrian movement from the higher classified road.
(3) 
The road giving access to the site should have traffic-carrying capacity and be suitably improved to accommodate the amount and type of traffic generated by the proposed development.
(4) 
Where necessary to safeguard against hazards to traffic and pedestrians and/or to avoid traffic congestion, the Planning Commission may require that provisions shall be made for turning lanes, traffic directional islands, frontage roads, driveways and traffic controls when necessary within the road or on existing access roads. The Planning Commission may prohibit such traffic control devices it determines to be unnecessary or inappropriate, whether on the site or off-site.
(5) 
Access driveways should be designed with sufficient capacity to avoid queuing of entering vehicles on any road or street.
(6) 
Driveways into sites should have proper grades and alignments, as well as transition grades and sight distances, for safe, convenient and efficient access and should meet the road right-of-way and travelways of the road in such a manner as to conform to the standard cross section for the road or street as specified by the County Road Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 128, Streets and Sidewalks, Art. VIII, Road Construction and Specifications.
(7) 
Where topographic and other conditions are reasonably usable, provision should be made for circulation driveway connections to adjoining lots of similar existing or potential use when such driveway connection will facilitate fire protection services or when such driveway will enable the public to travel between two existing or potential uses, open to the public generally, without need to travel upon a road.
(8) 
There should be no more than one driveway connection from any site or lot to any street, except where separate entrances and exit driveways may be necessary to safeguard against hazards and to avoid congestion. Additional driveways should also be considered for large tracts and uses of extensive scope, if traffic flow on adjacent roads will be facilitated by the additional connections.
(9) 
Where necessary to provide for suitable access or for extension or construction of planned highway system improvements, provisions should be made for appropriate continuation of such streets and roads terminating on a site.
A. 
The Planning Commission shall be the approving authority for all site plans. Such approval shall be based on recommendation of the Planning Director, and other appropriate agencies, and provisions contained in this chapter.
B. 
Where the requirements of this article are found to be unreasonable in specific cases, the Planning Commission may state specific findings and waive the requirement in favor of an alternative standard which is found to be consistent with this article. No such waiver shall be adverse to the purpose of this section.
The Town Commissioners shall establish by resolution a schedule of fees, charges and expenses and a collection procedure for occupancy permits, building permits and other matters pertaining to this chapter. The schedule of fees shall be posted in the office of the Planning and Zoning Commission and may be altered or amended only by the Town Commissioners after referral to the Commission.