Wicomico County, MD
 

§ 225-43
A-2 Airport Overlay District. 

§ 225-44
HP, Historic Preservation Districts. 

§ 225-45
Paleochannel Overlay District. 

§ 225-46
Neighborhood Preservation Overlay District. 

§ 225-43 A-2 Airport Overlay District.

A. 

Purpose. The purpose of this overlay district is to maintain and protect the public safety by preventing the establishment of hazards to aviation and property in the vicinity of the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport, protecting users of the airport and preventing unreasonable limitation or impairment on the use and expansion of airport facilities and the public investment which has been made therein.

B. 

Specific use restrictions.

(1) 

Uses shall be those established by the underlying base zoning district, except that the following uses are not permitted within the area identified on the Zoning Map as the airport protection zone which is designated as that area within an eight-thousand-foot radius around the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport:

(a) 

Elderly day care;

(b) 

Day-care center;

(c) 

Hospitals;

(d) 

Apartment buildings and townhouses;

(e) 

Places of assembly;

(f) 

Sanitariums/sanatoriums;

(g) 

Schools, including nursery and general and special instruction schools; and

(h) 

Wireless telecommunications towers and antennas.

(2) 

Bulk regulations. All area, setback, lot sizes and dimensions for both principal and accessory buildings and structures and other related regulations, shall be the same as those established for the underlying base zoning district.

C. 

Performance standards.

(1) 

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no use shall be made of land within the A-2 Airport Overlay District which:

(a) 

Creates electrical interference with radio communications between the airport and aircraft, including radio and television transmitting towers or studios, wireless telecommunications towers and antennas and large radiation or X-ray equipment.

(b) 

Includes aboveground storage of petroleum or any other explosive material.

(c) 

Emits smoke or odor.

(d) 

Contains lights or signals which may be confused with airport navigational lights.

(e) 

Results in glare to pilots approaching, leaving or circling the airport or which impairs visibility in the A-2 Airport District.

(f) 

Provides private airfields or runways for the use of planes other than those used in the principal airport in the district.

(g) 

Otherwise endangers the landing, taking off or maneuvering of aircraft.

(2) 

Any disagreement with the Zoning Administrator's interpretation of the provisions of this section may be appealed to the Board of Appeals.

D. 

Height limitations. No structure, tower or tree shall be constructed, altered, allowed to grow or maintained in violation of the following height restrictions:

(1) 

Airport approach zones: as determined by the Wicomico County Planning, Zoning and Community Development Department in conjunction with the Airport Manager.

[Amended 12-18-2012 by Bill No. 2012-13]

(2) 

Airport turning zones: not in excess of 150 feet above ground level.

E. 

Hazard marking and lighting. Any permit or variance granted may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purposes of this district and reasonable in circumstances, be conditioned as to require the owner of a structure, tower or tree, at his own expense, to install, operate and maintain thereon such markers and lights as may be necessary to indicate to flyers the presence of an airport hazard.

§ 225-44 HP, Historic Preservation Districts.

A. 

Purpose.

(1) 

It is the purpose of the Historic Preservation Districts to safeguard and promote the history and heritage of Wicomico County by preserving areas, structures and sites of cultural, archeological, social, economic, political, architectural or historical significance, thereby strengthening and improving the local economy by stabilizing and improving property values. Preservation activities will foster civic beauty and promote the use and preservation of these areas for the education, welfare and pleasure of the public. By designating such structures and sites representing a variety of historic and architectural periods, a significant public purpose can be attained by preserving a visual record of the heritage of Wicomico County.

(2) 

The regulations within these districts are established to:

(a) 

Protect against destruction of or encroachment upon these areas and the structures and premises therein;

(b) 

Encourage uses which will lead to their continuance, conservation and improvement in a manner appropriate to the preservation of the cultural, social, economic, political and archaeological heritage of the county;

(c) 

Prevent creation of environmental influences adverse to such purposes;

(d) 

Assure that new structures and uses within such districts will be in keeping with the character to be preserved and enhanced.

(3) 

The following general regulations are based upon this intent, which is consistent with the historic preservation goals and recommendations contained in the Comprehensive Plan.

B. 

Definitions. As used within the context of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

ALTERATION
Any exterior change that would affect the historic, archeological, or architectural significance of a designated site or structure, any portion of which is visible or intended to be visible from a public way, including, but not limited to, construction, reconstruction, restoration, removal, moving, or demolition.
APPURTENANCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGS
All of the space of grounds and structures thereon which surrounds a designated site or structure and to which it relates physically or visually. Appurtenances and environmental settings shall include, but are not limited to, walkways, and driveways (whether paved or unpaved), trees, landscaping, pastures, croplands, waterways, open space, setbacks, parks, public spaces, and rocks.
DEMOLITION
Includes any willful neglect in maintenance and repair of a structure, not including appurtenances and environmental settings, held or used in a trade or business or for the production of income, that does not result from financial inability to maintain and repair the structure and that threatens to result in any substantial deterioration of the exterior features of the structure.
EXTERIOR FEATURES
The architectural style, design, and general arrangement of the exterior of an historic structure, including the nature and texture of building material, and the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, or similar items found on or related to the exterior of an historic structure.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
An area in the county which is deemed to be of historic or architectural value, the boundaries of which are established by the County Council.
ORDINARY MAINTENANCE
Work that does not alter the exterior fabric or features of a site or structure and has no material affect on the historical, archeological, or architectural significance of the historical site or structure. Exterior features include the architectural style, design, and general arrangement of the exterior; the color, nature, and texture of building materials; and the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, and similar items found on, or related to the exterior of a designated historic structure or landmark. Basically, ordinary maintenance is that which will have no material effect on the historical, architectural, cultural, or archaeological value of the designated historic structure, site or landmark. This definition of ordinary maintenance applies, whenever appropriate, to the appurtenances and environmental setting of the property, as well as the building, structure or object itself. The following considered to be ordinary maintenance include:
(1) 

Repair or replacement of roofs, gutters, siding, external doors and windows, trim, lights, and other appurtenant fixtures with like materials of like design.

(2) 

Landscaping, except the removal of significant healthy trees.

(3) 

Paving repair using like materials of like design.

(4) 

Repainting of surfaces using the same or substantially the same color.

RECONSTRUCTION
The process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished structure, or part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time.
RESTORATION
The process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property as it appeared in a specific period of time by means of removal of later work or replacement of work from that period now missing or deteriorated beyond repair.
SITE
The location of an event of historic significance or a structure, whether standing or ruined, which possesses documented historic, architectural, archeological, or cultural significance.
STRUCTURE
A combination of material to form a construction that is stable, including, among other things, buildings, stadiums, reviewing stands, platforms, staging, observation towers, radio towers, water tanks and towers, trestles, piers, paving, bulkheads, wharves, sheds, coal bins, shelters, fences and display signs. The term also includes natural land formations, appurtenances and environmental settings. The term "structure" shall be construed as if followed by the words "or part thereof."
C. 

Establishment of boundaries.

(1) 

The County Council may establish, change, lay out and define districts which are deemed to be of historic or architectural value in accordance with the procedures applicable to the establishment of zoning districts set forth in Part 2, Article V, of this chapter. With respect to historic districts, it shall not be necessary to show a mistake in the original boundaries or a change in the character of the area.

(2) 

The County Council or the Planning Commission may, in the process of establishing boundaries, designate the Historic District Commission, the County Committee of the Maryland Historic Trust and/or the Maryland Historic Trust to make an analysis of and recommendation concerning the proposed district.

(3) 

Historic District boundaries shall be shown on the official Zoning Map as an HP Zoning Overlay District over the underlying base zoning district.

(4) 

All provisions of the underlying zoning district shall be applicable in addition to the provisions of the Historic Preservation District.

D. 

Historic District Commission.

(1) 

The Wicomico County Historic District Commission (Historic Commission) shall have a membership of at least seven persons, all of whom are residents of the county and are qualified by special interest, knowledge or training in such fields as history, architecture, preservation or urban design and who have knowledge of and have demonstrated an interest in the preservation of historic and architectural areas of the county.

(2) 

The members shall be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council for terms of three years each, in staggered terms. Members shall be eligible for reappointment.

(3) 

In the event of a vacancy on the Historic Commission, an interim appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be made by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council.

[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]

(4) 

Organization.

(a) 

The Historic Commission shall organize annually and select a Chairman from its membership.

(b) 

Rules and regulations. The Historic Commission may amend its rules and regulations, provided that such amendments are presented and approved by the County Council and made available for public comment prior to adoption.

(c) 

The County Executive may, from time to time, appoint professional advisers to the Historic Commission.

[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]

(5) 

Meetings.

(a) 

All meetings of the Historic Commission shall be open to the public. Any interested person or his duly constituted representative shall be entitled to appear and be heard on a matter before the Historic Commission.

(b) 

The Historic Commission shall keep a written record of its proceedings and actions, including all applications received, and the official action of the Historic Commission on each application, which shall be on file for public view in the office of the Secretary.

(c) 

Notice of the Historic Commission's meetings shall be given in accordance with provisions for public notice established in the Historic Commission's rules and regulations.

(d) 

A quorum shall consist of four members.

E. 

Applications, powers and procedures.

(1) 

Application.

(a) 

Any person, individual, firm or corporation proposing to construct, alter, reconstruct, move, demolish or repair any structure within an Historic District, if such changes would affect its exterior appearance, shall file an application for permission to undertake such construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving, demolition or repair. The application shall be filed with the Department, which shall forward the application, together with all relevant maps, plans and all other data, to the Historic Commission.

(b) 

Each application shall include all necessary data required by the rules of the Historic Commission and shall be advertised in such manner as provided for in the rules of the Historic Commission.

(2) 

It shall be the duty of the Historic Commission to review any application to construct, alter, reconstruct or move any structure within an Historic District if any such changes would affect its exterior appearance and to approve or reject such application. No permit for any such change may be granted until the Historic Commission has acted thereon.

(3) 

In reviewing an application, the Historic Commission shall give consideration to:

(a) 

The historic or architectural value and significance of the structure and its relation to the historic value of the surrounding area;

(b) 

The relationship of the exterior architectural features of such structure to the remainder of the structure and to the surrounding area;

(c) 

The general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used;

(d) 

Special features in historic areas, such as their architectural integrity and spatial relationships among buildings. Spatial relationships include courtyards, street patterns, the scale of buildings and open space;

(e) 

Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship that characterize a building, structure or site shall be treated with sensitivity;

(f) 

The United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation; and

(g) 

Any other factors, including aesthetic factors, which the Commission deems to be pertinent to the proposed application.

(4) 

In determining actions which may be permitted, the Historic Commission shall follow the following standards:

(a) 

Deteriorated architectural features shall be reconstructed rather than replaced wherever possible. In the event that replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture and other visual qualities. Reconstruction or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplication of features, substantiated by historic, physical or pictorial evidence, rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures;

(b) 

The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken; and

(c) 

Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archeological resources affected by or adjacent to any project.

(5) 

The Historic Commission shall act on only the exterior features of a structure and shall not consider interior arrangement, nor shall it disapprove applications except with regard to the considerations set forth above.

(6) 

Nothing in this section of the chapter shall be taken or construed to prevent work or repairs on any structure coming under the heading of ordinary maintenance.

(7) 

Intent of Historic Commission review.

(a) 

It is the intent of these regulations that the Historic Commission be strict in its judgment of plans for structures deemed to be valuable according to studies performed for districts of historic or architectural value.

(b) 

It is not the intent of these regulations to limit new construction, alteration or repair to any one period or architectural style.

(c) 

It is also the intent of these regulations that an Historic Commission shall be lenient in its judgment of plans for structures of little historic value or new construction except where such plans would seriously impair the historic or architectural value of surrounding structures.

(d) 

It is recognized that there are a number of structures within Historic Districts that are neither architecturally nor historically significant or valuable and that most changes to such structures, including demolition thereof, would not be detrimental to an Historic District and may represent improvement thereof.

(8) 

The Historic Commission shall have the right to petition the County Council for designation of appropriate areas as Historic Districts.

(9) 

Special consideration.

(a) 

In the case of an application for alterations affecting the exterior appearance of a structure which the Historic Commission deems of unusual importance to the county or unusual importance to the entire state or nation, the Historic Commission shall endeavor to formulate, with the owner, an economically feasible plan for the preservation of such structure.

(b) 

Unless the Historic Commission is satisfied that the proposed construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving or demolition will not materially impair the historic value of the structure, the Historic Commission shall reject the application and shall file with the Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector a written copy of the rejection of such application.

(c) 

No new applications for the same or similar work shall be filed within one year after such rejection, except in the event of a change in such structure arising from casualty.

(d) 

If an application is submitted for construction, reconstruction, alteration or for moving or demolition of a structure that the Historic Commission deems of unusual importance and no economically feasible plan can be formulated, the Historic Commission shall have 90 days from the time it concludes that no economically feasible plan can be formulated to negotiate with the owner and other parties in an effort to find a means of preserving the structure.

(e) 

In the case of any such structure deemed to be valuable for the period of architecture it represents and important to the neighborhood or area within which it exists, the Historic Commission may approve such application to demolish or alter such structure if:

[1] 

Such structure is a deterrent to a major improvement program which will be of substantial benefit to the county;

[2] 

Retention of such structure would cause undue financial hardship to the owner; or

[3] 

Retention of such structure would not be in the best interests of the majority of the community.

F. 

Architectural easements. Wicomico County may purchase architectural easements in connection with structures located in or adjacent to an Historic District. Such easements shall grant to Wicomico County the perpetual right to have the exterior appearance of any structure upon which it is applied retained in substantially the same character as when the easement took effect.

G. 

Approval or rejection of application.

(1) 

The Historic Commission shall file with the Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector its certificate of approval, modification or rejection of all applications submitted to it for review. The Historic Commission shall set forth, in writing, its reason for approval, modification or rejection of an application.

(2) 

No work shall begin on any project until such a certificate of approval has been filed.

(3) 

In the case of rejection, such certificate shall be binding on the Zoning Administrator and Building Inspector, and no building permit for such change or construction shall be issued.

(4) 

Failure of the Historic Commission to act within 45 days from the date an application is filed shall constitute approval unless an extension is mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Historic Commission.

H. 

Appeals. Any applicant, interested person or persons, firm or corporation aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Commission shall have the right to appeal that decision to the Board of Appeals. Written notice of appeal shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Board of Appeals within 30 days from the Historic Commission's decision.

§ 225-45 Paleochannel Overlay District.

A. 

Purpose. The paleochannel is a buried riverbed estimated to store approximately seven billion gallons of water. The known portion of the channel extends into the northerly and central sections of Wicomico County. This resource currently provides potable water for the City of Salisbury and is an important future water supply for the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County. Because of its vast potential as a source of potable water, protective measures, in the form of use limitations, performance standards and detailed review procedures, are necessary to ensure that the channel is protected from contamination resulting from environmentally incompatible land uses. The following use restrictions and standards have been developed in order to conserve and protect this vital natural resource.

B. 

Establishment of boundaries. The Paleochannel District shall be shown on the Official Zoning Map as a district overlying the existing underlying base zoning district(s), including all that area outside of the corporate limits of Salisbury shown as the paleochannel on the Maryland Geological Survey Map, for the paleochannel. The boundaries of this district may be changed from time to time as better information concerning the location of the paleochannel may become known from qualified scientific sources.

C. 

Permitted uses. Permitted, special exception and accessory uses shall be those allowed in the underlying zoning district in which the property is located, except as hereinafter modified. Such uses shall be subject to the regulations imposed for that underlying district, unless a more specific requirement is provided for herein.

D. 

Prohibited uses. The following uses are prohibited in any district over which the Paleochannel Overlay District is applied:

(1) 

Soil remediation facility.

(2) 

Hazardous waste storage or facility.

(3) 

Toxic waste storage or facility.

(4) 

Infectious waste storage or facility.

(5) 

Any use that will include the underground storage or generation of materials that are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic, hazardous, infectious or chemical or petroleum laden. This provision shall not apply to:

(a) 

Existing industrial uses where materials that are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic, hazardous, infectious, chemical or petroleum laden are part of the means of production; or

(b) 

The storage of petroleum or chemicals incidental to permitted agriculture uses.

(c) 

Storage of natural gas or propane used for heating and cooling the premises where located.

(d) 

Above ground storage of such materials in compliance with all State and Federal regulations which may from time to time be promulgated.

(6) 

Mineral extraction (i.e., sand, gravel and clay excavations) or borrow pit operation.

(7) 

Sanitary landfill.

(8) 

Salvage or recycling yards and junkyards.

(9) 

Rubble landfill.

(10) 

Sludge storage or application.

E. 

Application.

(1) 

All proposals for either uses or development allowed as permitted or special exception uses on any lot or parcel of land which is wholly or partially located in the Paleochannel Overlay District, shall first be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission. These provisions shall not apply to a single-family, or two-family residence; an agricultural use; an on-site sign; a family day-care home (up to eight children); or a home office (with no site disturbance).

(2) 

An application for said use shall be made to the Zoning Administrator.

(3) 

The application shall include a site plan and include the following information:

(a) 

A narrative description by the applicant of the proposed use and activities to occur on-site, including the types of materials to be used and any process occurring on the site in question.

(b) 

A natural, cultural, historic and archeological features inventory of the site.

(c) 

The features inventory shall clearly show on the site plan the following information:

[1] 

Hydric, alluvial and highly permeable soils and slopes over 15%.

[2] 

Wooded areas on the site.

[3] 

Streams, free-flowing or intermittent.

[4] 

Natural drainageways or swales.

[5] 

Tidal or nontidal wetlands.

[6] 

One-hundred-year floodplain boundaries.

[7] 

The location of significant historic, cultural, or archeological features.

[8] 

Drainage basin boundaries.

[9] 

Wellhead protection areas

(d) 

The Planning Commission may request any additional information it deems necessary be added to the required site plan.

(e) 

Written review comments from the Wicomico County Health Department.

(f) 

One copy of any on-site mitigation plans for nontidal wetlands or forest conservation or any other mitigation plan as approved by any state or federal agency as may be required by law if required by the Planning Commission.

(4) 

Copies of any applications made to any state or federal agency for approval of the proposed use on the site if required by the Planning Commission.

F. 

Development standards. In addition to the development standards for the underlying zoning district in which the proposed use is located, the following shall be required:

(1) 

Alterations. No more than 85% of the site may be altered in any manner. The Planning Commission, after reviewing justification provided by the applicant, may permit disturbance on the remaining 15% of the site for minor grading and site preparation.

(2) 

Removal. No more than 15% of any existing natural vegetation, one inch or larger in size, on the site shall be removed except as may be specifically authorized by the Planning Commission.

(3) 

Slope. In reviewing the type of stormwater management proposed for the use, the Planning Commission may require that a greater amount of stormwater be stored on site than the minimum required under the County Stormwater Management Regulations. In addition, the Planning Commission may require a less steep slope than required by existing regulations and may require that the applicant stabilize the banks of all slopes and bottom of the stormwater management pond with sod before such facilities can become operational. Any such additional requirements by the Planning Commission shall first be submitted to the Director of Public Works for review and comment.

(4) 

Stream buffer. A minimum thirty-five-foot buffer shall be retained abutting the bank of any free-flowing or intermittent stream on site. Land areas included within this thirty-five-foot buffer area may be counted toward the overall percentage of the site required to remain undisturbed.

G. 

Planning Commission review and approval procedures.

(1) 

Once a complete application has been received by the Zoning Administrator, and deemed of sufficient concern to warrant a full review, the proposal for development of any lot or parcel of land for any permitted use described herein shall be submitted to the Planning Director for the preparation of a report to be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission.

(2) 

The Planning Commission shall review the use, its operating characteristics and the proposed location relative to any existing or future possibility of contamination of the paleochannel through the operation, storage or handling of raw or waste materials or from the particular manufacturing, storage or other process proposed. The Planning Commission may solicit any technical advice or information it deems necessary in its review of the proposed use to assure that possible contamination will not occur, including but not limited to an environmental impact statement or any information necessary to obtain any permit from any applicable state or federal agency or an impact statement from an independent consultant to be selected by the Planning Commission and paid for by the applicant.

(3) 

If the Planning Commission is satisfied that the proposal poses no risk of contamination to the paleochannel, the application shall be approved and notice provided to the Zoning Administrator.

(4) 

If the Planning Commission determines that there is the potential that the proposal will contaminate or may pose a serious risk of contamination to the paleochannel, then the request shall be denied. A written findings of fact, listing the final decision of the Planning Commission and its reasons for denial, shall be provided within 90 days of the Planning Commission's action.

(5) 

A proposal which has been rejected by the Planning Commission may be resubmitted for review, provided that there has been a major change in the method proposed for processing, storage or handling of materials, products or wastes that eliminates or substantially reduces the risk of contamination to the paleochannel.

(6) 

Appeal from the Planning Commission's final decision may be made to the Board of Appeals in accordance with the provisions of Part 13 of this chapter.

§ 225-46 Neighborhood Preservation Overlay District.

A. 

Purpose. The purpose of this district is to preserve, protect and maintain those areas which were established as single-family residential or are planned to be in predominantly single-family residential development. Special restrictions are designed to encourage high standards of residential development for single-family use, thus ensuring existing and future residents of the continued advantages of low-density development and compatible land uses, thereby resulting in stable property values and neighborhoods. The following use restrictions and standards have been developed in order to conserve and protect these neighborhoods.

B. 

Establishment of boundaries. The Neighborhood Preservation District shall be shown on the Official Zoning Map as a district overlying the existing underlying zoning. The boundaries of this district may be changed from time to time without the necessity of showing a mistake in the original boundaries or a change in the neighborhood.

C. 

Uses.

(1) 

Permitted and accessory uses shall be those allowed in the underlying zoning district in which the property is located, except as modified in this section.

(2) 

For any use that includes the term "family," the following definition shall apply:

FAMILY
One person or two or more persons related by blood or marriage, or a group of not more than two persons not necessarily related by blood or marriage, in any case, living together as a single housekeeping unit.
D. 

Prohibited uses. The rental of guest rooms shall be a prohibited use in districts over which the Neighborhood Preservation District is applied.