§ 205-415.1Permit compliance; prohibitions;
notice; enforcement; penalties.
§ 205-416Certificate of occupancy.
§ 205-418Plot plans.
§ 205-419Approval of conditional uses;
§ 205-420Approval of conditional uses
not requiring formal site plan review.
§ 205-422Requirements for conditional
uses not requiring formal site plans.
§ 205-425Filing fees.
§ 205-426Violations and penalties.
§ 205-429Manufactured home siting requirements.
It shall be the duty of the Division of Inspections and Enforcement to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to refuse to issue any permit for any buildings, or for the use of any premises which would violate any of the provisions of said chapter. It shall also be the duty of all officers and employees of the County to assist the enforcement of this chapter by reporting to the Division of Inspections and Enforcement any seeming violation in new construction, reconstruction or land uses.
Any person who violates any provision(s) of the Kent County Code, or has land use related violations, or fails to comply with any of the requirements hereof, or who maintains, erects, constructs. alters, or repairs a building, structure or premises in violation of an approved plan or directive of the Department of Planning Services, or of a permit or a certificate issued under this chapter, shall be subject to any of the enforcement mechanisms and penalties outlined in this chapter.
The enforcement mechanisms of this chapter shall also apply to violations of any former County Code provisions, regulations, rules, laws, ordinances, or any other requirements relating to land use to the extent that such provisions were legally applicable at the time of the violation.
Except as provided in Subjection A(4), no land use application shall be granted by any Kent County department or Board of Kent County if the applicant is not in good standing with Kent County. If any Kent County department or Board of Kent County denies a land use application based upon the fact that the applicant is not in good standing, such decision must be sent to the applicant in writing, outlining the basis for the conclusion that the applicant is not in good standing.
An administrative board or commission of appropriate jurisdiction may consider and decide a land use application so long as the applicant is not delinquent in its payment of monies owed to Kent County, where the application is submitted in an effort to resolve an existing Code violation. In such situations, the County will stay enforcement of the Code violation, so long as there is no imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare to the citizens of Kent County, until the administrative board has issued its written decision on the application.
Whenever the Director of Planning Services determines that there has been a Kent County Code violation or land use related violations or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice shall be given to the owner of record and the responsible party for the property who shall be legally responsible for such violation. All notices shall:
Be in writing;
Contain the address of the property or a description of the property sufficient for identification:
Include a clear statement of the reason or reasons why the notice is being issued: and
Include a correction order allowing reasonable time to achieve compliance with the Kent County Code regulation, rule, law or ordinance, which shall in no case be greater than 30 days, unless an extension for cause is approved by the Director of Planning Services.
Method of service. Notice required by this section shall be satisfied where a copy of the notice required by this section is:
Delivered to the owner of record and any responsible party personally; or
Mailed by certified United States mail, return receipt requested, and addressed to the owner of record and responsible party at his or her last known address as reflected by Kent County records; and
Posted in a conspicuous place on the property affected by such notice.
Exceptions to this section.
In no case shall the Department of Planning Services be required by this section to provide a correction order to any owner or person previously provided notice pursuant to this section or under any former Code provision where the same Code violation or land use related violation is alleged by the Department to exist. This exception shall apply regardless of whether the new violation exists on the same property for which notice had previously been given or a different property.
In the event that a code violation or land use related violation exists or is reasonably believed to exist because work is being done in an unsafe or dangerous manner, jeopardizes the health, safety or welfare of the public, or is being done (or was done) in the absence of necessary approval(s), plan(s), or permit(s), no correction order is required by this section.
Code violations: health, safety, welfare of public not in jeopardy. Predeprivation show-cause hearing: If such violations are not remedied within the time specified in this notice, the Director of Planning Services shall schedule a rule-to-show-cause hearing and provide the person an opportunity to defend his, her, or its conduct at a show-cause hearing prior to any penalty being imposed. After such rule-to-show-cause hearing, the Director of Planning Services shall render a decision within 10 days and send a written letter to the person informing him or her of his or her decision and detail the reasons for any adverse action taken.
Unsafe work, work jeopardizing the health, safety or welfare of the public, or work being done in the absence of necessary approval(s), plan(s) or permit(s). Post-deprivation show-cause hearing: Whenever the Director of Planning Services determines that work on any premises is being done in an unsafe or dangerous manner, jeopardizes the health, safety or welfare of the public, or is being done (or was done) in the absence of necessary approval(s), plan(s), or permit(s), such work shall be immediately stopped by the issuance of a stop-work order. In addition to the notice requirements contained in § 205-415.1(B)(1), the notice shall require the person notified to appear within no more than 10 days at, a specified time in the office of the Director of Planning Services to show cause why the work should be allowed to continue. The Director of Planning Services shall render a decision within 10 days and send a written letter to the person informing him or her of his or her decision and detail the reasons for any adverse action taken.
Unlawful continuance. Any person who shall continue any work in or about the structure after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person has been directed to perform to remove a violation as per the correction order, shall be considered to be in violation of this chapter.
Removal of placard. Any person who defaces or removes a violation notice or stop-work order notice or placard shall be considered to be in violation of this chapter.
Penalties that may be imposed after hearing:
Refusal to issue any further building permits and/or certificates of occupancy. The Director of Planning Services may refuse to grant any further building permits or certificates of occupancy to the applicant or to any entity in which the applicant has a controlling interest or to any entity formed by the applicant in an attempt to circumvent the effect of this penalty. The Director of Planning Services is authorized to withhold additional permits and/or certificates of occupancy only until the applicant remedies outstanding Code and/or land use related violations. This section does not apply to property owned by the applicant with other individuals or entities in which the other individuals or entities have a legitimate interest.
Institution of remedial action. The County may initiate action to remedy the violation. Upon completion of such remedial work, the violator shall be provided the opportunity to reimburse the County for the cost incurred. In addition to any expense incurred by the County for the removal or abatement of such violations, a minimum administrative fee of $100 shall be assessed to the owner of record or responsible party. If the amount is not paid within 30 days after notice requesting reimbursement is received, such amount, together with a penalty of 10% of such expense and interest of eight percent per annum shall be assessed against the owner of record or responsible party. If the violator fails to reimburse the County within the 30 days, the County may call or collect on any bond or insurance established for this purpose; place a lien on any property within the County held by the person as permitted by State law; and/or institute a civil action for the recovery of such expense, together with any penalty and/or interest, against the person, and the County shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees. This section shall not be construed to limit any other actions or remedies at law or equity.
Civil enforcement. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a civil proceeding instituted by the County Attorney. The County may apply to the Court of Chancery for injunctive relief against the person to prevent, abate, or enjoin any continuing violation of the provisions of this chapter. The violator shall be responsible for any costs incurred in preventing, abating or enjoining such violations, including reasonable attorney fees.
Criminal enforcement. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a criminal proceeding instituted by any code enforcement officer and/or the County Attorney. It is unnecessary to prove the defendant's state of mind with regard to offenses which constitute violations hereunder as the legislative purpose of this chapter is to impose strict liability for such offenses. If a penalty is not otherwise provided for, violators will be subject to a fine of $500. Each day that a continuing violation is maintained or permitted shall constitute a separate offense. All notices given prior to criminal enforcement shall comply with constitutional due process requirements.
No land shall be occupied or used, except for agricultural uses, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement.
No premises shall be used, and no buildings hereafter erected or structurally altered shall be used, occupied or changed in use, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement stating that the building or proposed use of a building or premises complies with the building laws and the provisions of these regulations.
Certificates of occupancy - refer to Section 118 of the BOCA National Building Code and the Kent County Building Code Supplement to the BOCA National Building Code.
No excavation for any building shall be allowed before an application has been made for a building permit.
No building shall be erected, constructed, altered, moved, converted, extended or enlarged without the owner or owners first having obtained a building permit. Such permit shall require conformity with the provisions of this chapter. When issued, such permit shall be valid for the period of time specified thereon.
No mobile or manufactured home shall be placed at any location outside a manufactured home park without the owner first having obtained a building permit from the Division of Inspections and Enforcement. Separate placement permits shall be required for each mobile home as authorized in an approved mobile home park as established prior to the enactment of applicable zoning regulations.
No building permit by the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement lawfully issued prior to the effective date of this chapter, or of any amendment hereto, and which permit, by its own 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 pertaining thereto, and in effect at the time of the issuance of such 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.
All applications for building permits shall be accompanied by a drawing or plot plan in duplicate or as required by the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement 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 such land and buildings. A careful record of the original copy of such applications and plats shall be kept in the offices of the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement and a duplicate copy shall be kept at the building at all times during construction. In a particular case, the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement may waive the requirement for plot plans when such a plan is clearly unnecessary to a decision or the record on the case.
Preapplication meeting; formal site plan review. Conditional use approval may be initiated by arranging a preapplication meeting with an agent of the Regional Planning Commission. At the preapplication meeting, the administrator shall discuss the proposed use to determine whether formal site plan review is required in accordance with Chapter 187, Subdivision and Land Development.
Existing conditional uses. Any conditional use legally existing prior to the effective date of this chapter which is listed as a conditional use for the district where the use is located shall be permitted to continue as a conditional use. Any conditional use legally existing prior to the conditional use for the district where the use is located shall be a nonconforming use, unless it is listed as a permitted use for that district.
Revocation of permits. Permits issued under a conditional or special use approval may be revoked by the administrator for failure to comply with conditions of approval or applicable regulations.
Those uses listed in this chapter as conditional uses not requiring formal site plan review shall be reviewed by the administrator, the Regional Planning Commission and the Levy Court. The procedure for conditional use approval shall begin with a preapplication meeting with the administrator.
The preliminary conceptual plan shall comply with all the requirements of § 205-422 of this article and shall be accompanied by all required paperwork and by any other written or graphic materials as may be necessary or desirable in aiding the administrator, Planning Commission and the Levy Court. The conditional use shall comply with all the requirements of the appropriate County ordinances.
The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing thereon, before submitting its report to the Levy Court. Notice of public hearing shall be given by publishing the date, time, place and nature of the hearing at least 15 days before the date of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. In addition, the date, time, place and nature of the hearing shall be posted conspicuously on the property in accordance with the rules of the Levy Court. The published and posted notices shall contain references to the times and place or places within the County where the text, maps and/or conceptual plan for the proposed use may be examined.
The Planning Commission shall review the proposed use for compliance with the regulations of this chapter. Before recommending the approval of the conditional use, the Planning Commission may establish reasonable additional requirements to protect adjoining uses or residentially zoned lots or residential uses, including, but not limited to, requirements as to utilities, drainage, landscaping and maintenance thereof, lighting, signs and advertising devices, screening, accessways, curb cuts, traffic control, height of buildings and setbacks, the length of time that the conditional use can be granted for and the amount of space (e.g., square footage) that can be granted for the conditional use. The application shall be forwarded to the Levy Court, with the appropriate documentation from the staff and the Regional Planning Commission, for their review and approval.
Before approving any proposed conditional use, the Levy Court shall hold a public hearing thereon, notice of said hearing to be accomplished by publication in a newspaper as prescribed above in Subsection C.
Following the Levy Court's final approval, the conditional use application and conceptual plan shall be filed, with all applicable paperwork, with the Department of Planning Services, Division of Planning. The final application, conceptual plan and paperwork may be approved by the administrator and shall comply with the specifications of the Planning Commission, Levy Court and the applicable laws, regulations and ordinances governing the subdivision of land.
Permits issued under an approved conditional use may be revoked by the County for failure to comply with the approved plan, the conditions attached thereto, or other applicable regulations.
Conditional uses which do not require formal site plan review shall submit a conceptual plan which includes the following:
A scaled drawing or document accurately describing the following:
Location to nearest intersecting road and area of petition (in square feet or acres to the nearest hundredth).
All property lines with their distances.
Location and dimensions of all or any easements or right-of-way affecting the property.
The location, accurately dimensioned, of all buildings and structures, existing and proposed, including wells, septic tanks and tiled fields.
Any deed restriction affecting the property.
Location of the proposed use.
Any additional information the administrator or Planning Commission deem pertinent to the plan.
All persons, firms or corporations making application to the Board of Adjustment shall be required to pay a fee which represents the actual cost of processing the application, including staff time, publication fees and materials.
All persons, firms or corporations applying for conditional use permits under the provisions of this chapter or applying for an amendment to this chapter or a change in the classification of the district or a portion thereof, necessitating in the publication of notices in the newspaper, shall be required to pay, in advance, a fee in accordance with the fee schedule contained in Appendix H of this chapter.
The payment of such money in advance shall be deemed a condition precedent to the consideration of such appeal, conditional use permit or amendment. Fees shall be refunded on request if an application is withdrawn before publication.
In case any building is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired or converted or any building or land is used in whole or part in violation of this chapter, the Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement, any other Code Enforcement Official or attorney hired by or retained by the County is authorized and directed to institute, prosecute and take all reasonably necessary actions to conclude any appropriate civil or criminal action to put an end to such violation.
In case any building or structure is or is proposed to be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, maintained or used or any land is or is proposed to be used in violation of this article or of any regulation or provision of any regulation or change thereof enacted or adopted by the County government, the attorney thereof, or any owner of real estate within the district in which such building, structure or land is situated, may, in addition to other remedies provided by law, institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or any other appropriate action or actions, proceeding or proceedings to prevent, enjoin, abate or remove such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance or use.
Any person or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, or who shall build or alter any building in violation of any detailed statement or plan submitted and approved hereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor or of a civil offense, and shall be liable to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than 10 days, or both, and each and every day such violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense. The Division Head of Inspections and Enforcement or his designee, any other Code Enforcement Official or attorney hired by or retained by the County shall bring charges of any violation(s) pursuant to this provision in a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County, which court shall have original jurisdiction for such matters. The minimum fine of $100 is mandatory and is not subject to suspension or reduction.
The owner or owners of any building or premises, or part thereof, where anything in violation of this chapter shall be placed or shall exist, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith who have assisted in the commission of any such violation shall be guilty of a separate offense and upon conviction thereof shall be fined and/or imprisoned as hereinbefore provided.
The following requirements shall be met when locating a manufactured or mobile home within Kent County:
All mobile or manufactured homes shall be subject to the applicable Kent County ordinances.
All manufactured homes shall be anchored with a minimum of four anchors. Each tie-down anchor shall be a minimum of four feet in length or 30 inches in length if double tie-down anchors are provided. The need for additional anchors shall be determined by the manufacturer's recommendations.
Within 30 days of placement the manufactured home shall be firmly anchored to the ground as specified in Subsection B above, and the open space beneath the unit shall be skirted with an approved material which meets the requirements of all approved fire safety standards.
Any manufactured or mobile home placed outside of a manufactured home park shall have the tongue removed within 30 days of placement, provided that the home is equipped with a removable tongue unit.
Every manufactured home to be placed on any lot or within a manufactured home park shall first apply for and obtain a building permit from the Division of Inspections and Enforcement, and shall not be occupied prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.