Town of Rock Hall, MD
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall 1-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2006-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Commission — See Ch. 36.
The Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall (the "Council") shall have the authority, to be exercised at their discretion, to act as the governing body and the public principal to consummate, amend and/or terminate development rights and responsibilities agreements ("DRRAs") as authorized under § 13.01 of Article 66B, Land Use, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended. In addition, the Council, at its discretion, shall have the authority to be a party to a DRRA between a developer and another local government or between a developer and another governmental entity that affects property within the Town.
The purpose for consummating a DRRA is:
A. 
For the developer: so that the developer can, through execution of a DRRA, establish for the duration of the DRRA the zoning and subdivision laws, regulations and requirements applicable to a proposed development, thereby assuring, for the duration of the DRRA, that the laws, regulations, and requirements applicable to the proposed development will not be revised, altered, amended or otherwise changed, except as provided in this Chapter 7; to state the approvals required for the proposed development that have been conferred prior to the execution of the DRRA; and to assure that such approvals will not be revoked, except as provided in this Chapter 7.
B. 
For the Town: to obtain agreements from a developer to make or do some or all of the following:
(1) 
Dedications of land to public use and/or to the government or public entities; and/or
(2) 
Construction and/or financing of on-site and off-site infrastructure improvements; and/or
(3) 
Payments to the Town and other public entities for public services and improvements; and/or
(4) 
Improvements to public lands; and/or
(5) 
Preservation of agricultural, natural, environmental, and/or heritage resources; and/or
(6) 
A binding commitment that development will proceed in accordance with plans and schedules submitted in conjunction with the DRRA; and/or
(7) 
Such other matters as may be determined by the Mayor and Council as are permitted by applicable law.
A. 
A DRRA may not confer a right to develop contrary to or in derogation of the applicable laws in effect at the time the DRRA is executed.
B. 
A DRRA may not excuse a developer from obtaining any special use exception or variance otherwise required under the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 225 of the Code of the Town of Rock Hall (the "Zoning Ordinance"), or any other approval required by law.
A. 
Any person having a legal or equitable interest in real property located within the Town may petition the Council to enter into an agreement pertaining to the development of that property.
B. 
The Council, in accordance with this Chapter 7 of the Code, may execute a DRRA with a person described in § 7-4A of this chapter.
C. 
The Council may include a federal, state, or local government jurisdiction or unit thereof as an additional party to a DRRA.
A. 
At a minimum, a DRRA shall contain the following:
(1) 
A legal description of the real property subject to the DRRA;
(2) 
A certification that the person petitioning for the DRRA has either a legal or equitable interest in the property; together with a copy of the deed to the property which will be subject to the DRRA and, where applicable, a copy of the contract of purchase or sale, or other document that reflects the nature of the equitable interest of the petitioner in the property;
(3) 
The name, address, and contact information of each person having any legal or equitable interest in the real property subject to the DRRA. Information regarding an entity shall include the name of its president or chief executive officer, its state of organization, the address of its principal office, the name, address, and contact information of the person within Maryland who will accept service of process, a Certificate of Good Standing from the entity's state of organization, and documentation verifying registration with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation;
(4) 
The duration of the DRRA;
(5) 
The zoning district(s) and current land use(s) in which the real property subject to the DRRA is located and the permissible uses in such zoning district(s) under the Zoning Ordinance in effect at time of execution of the DRRA;
(6) 
The density and intensity of use of the real property permitted under the applicable zoning requirements, or, if the developer has agreed to a plan of development that is less dense or intense than that permitted under the Zoning Ordinance, the density and intensity to which the developer has agreed;
(7) 
The maximum height and size of the structures and buildings permitted under the applicable zoning requirements, or, if the developer has agreed to a plan of development that calls for structures and buildings of less height or size than that permitted under the Zoning Ordinance, the height and size to which the developer has agreed;
(8) 
All plan approvals, special use exceptions, variances and/or other permits or approvals issued or conferred prior to the execution of the DRRA shall be attached to the DRRA, and the DRRA shall state all other plan approvals, special use exceptions, conditional uses, or variances required prior to commencement of development;
(9) 
An official resolution of the Rock Hall Planning Commission (the "Planning Commission") stating whether the development proposed by the DRRA is consistent with Town plans and policies and with any other applicable development laws or regulations. The Planning Commission may include whatever conditions, or development requirements or limitations, it deems necessary or appropriate to achieve compliance and consistency for the proposed development with Town plans and policies or any other applicable development laws or regulations;
(10) 
A description of the conditions, terms, restrictions or other requirements determined by the Council to be necessary to ensure the public health, safety and welfare;
(11) 
To the extent necessary or appropriate for the transactions and agreements contemplated in the DRRA, provisions for bonding or other forms of security guaranteeing the performance of the DRRA, including provisions concerning bankruptcy, default, dissolution, and other events of nonperformance or inadequate performance; and
(12) 
To the extent applicable to the proposed development project, provisions for:
(a) 
Dedication of a portion of the real property for public use;
(b) 
Protection of sensitive areas and/or environmental resources;
(c) 
Preservation and restoration of historic structures and/or heritage resources;
(d) 
Preservation of agricultural and/or natural resources;
(e) 
Construction or financing of public facilities; and
(f) 
A map of the subject property with all applicable information available under the Town's mapping system, including sensitive areas, environmental resources, heritage resources, and other relevant and valuable data layers.
B. 
A DRRA may fix the time frame and terms for development and construction to commence and be completed, as well as provide for other matters consistent with this title, including the phasing of development in such a manner that public facilities and services may be provided in an orderly and sequential fashion.
C. 
A DRRA may include such other terms and conditions not inconsistent with § 13.01 of Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as from time to time amended.
A. 
Application. A developer shall apply for a DRRA on an application provided by the Planning Commission. The Council, by resolution, may establish a fee structure for review of an application that has the following components:
(1) 
A base review fee;
(2) 
Reimbursement for all expenses incurred by the Town to retain independent consultants with the expertise necessary to review any submittals relative to the application or to review determinations of the infrastructure issues attendant with the proposed development, or to review or analyze any aspect of the proposed development the review of which is not customarily included in the fees routinely charged by the county in connection with development plan and review processes;
(3) 
Payment of additional fees based on the size (number of acres) of the proposed development;
(4) 
Reimbursement of any legal fees incurred by the Town for review of the application and the proposed DRRA.
B. 
Public hearing. After the application is determined to be sufficiently complete by the Planning Commission and a draft DRRA is ready for review by the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing to determine whether the proposed DRRA is consistent with Town plans and policies and with any other applicable development laws or regulations.
C. 
Notice of public hearing. The developer shall pay for advertisement of the public hearing before the Planning Commission. Notice of the public hearing shall be made by the Planning Commission in accordance with § 36-4A of the Code.
D. 
Determination of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall make specific findings within 60 days after completing a public hearing on the application. The Planning Commission may find the application and the proposed DRRA consistent or inconsistent with Town plans and policies. The Planning Commission may recommend conditions or development requirements or limitations that it deems necessary or appropriate to make the development plan consistent with Town plans and policies. The Council may not enter into a DRRA unless the Planning Commission makes a determination as to whether the proposed DRRA is consistent with Town plans and policies.
A. 
Requirement of public hearing. The Council shall hold a public hearing on a proposed DRRA before executing such DRRA. This public hearing shall be held after the determination made by the Council pursuant to § 7-6.
B. 
Notice of public hearing. The Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed DRRA, such hearing to be held in accordance with the Town's regular procedures for advertising and conducting public hearings for ordinances.
C. 
Determination of the Council. The Council may accept or reject the consistency determination of the Planning Commission. The Council may enter into a DRRA whether or not the Planning Commission has determined that the Development Plan outlined in the proposed DRRA is consistent with Town plans and policies. The Council may reject, and/or impose additional or different conditions, requirements or limitations than those recommended by the Planning Commission, if any.
A. 
Right to amend. Subject to Subsection B of this section, and after a public hearing conducted by the Council in accordance with § 7-7B, the parties to a DRRA may amend the DRRA by mutual consent. An amendment may not excuse compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in effect at the time of the execution of the DRRA, unless the reason for the amendment is to bring a previously approved plan into conformity with the current requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and/or any other currently applicable development laws, regulations or requirements. An amendment may not grant or confer a right to develop that otherwise would have to be conferred by way of the special use exception, conditional use, or variance process.
B. 
Planning Commission consistency determination required. The parties may not amend a DRRA unless the Planning Commission determines that the proposed amendment is consistent with Town plans and policies. The amendment may be consistent either with Town plans and policies in effect at the time the DRRA was executed or Town plans and policies in effect at the time of the proposed amendment.
C. 
Notice of Planning Commission Hearing. The petitioner shall pay for advertisement of the public hearing before the Planning Commission. Notice of the public hearing shall be made by the Planning Commission in accordance with § 36-4A of the Code.
D. 
Determination of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall make specific findings within 60 days after completing a public hearing on the proposed amendment. The Planning Commission may find the proposed amendment to the DRRA consistent or inconsistent with Town plans and policies. The Planning Commission may recommend conditions or development requirements or limitations that it deems necessary or appropriate to make the proposed amendment consistent with Town plans and policies. The Council may not enter into an amendment unless the Planning Commission determines the proposed amendment is consistent with Town plans and policies.
A. 
The parties to a DRRA may terminate the DRRA by mutual consent.
B. 
If the Council determines that suspension or termination of a DRRA is essential to ensure the public health, safety, or welfare, the Council may suspend or terminate such DRRA after a public hearing. Such public hearing shall be held in accordance with the Town's regular procedures for advertising and conducting public hearings for ordinances.
C. 
A DRRA shall be void five years after the date on which the parties execute the DRRA unless:
(1) 
Otherwise established in accordance with the terms of the DRRA; or
(2) 
Extended by an amendment pursuant to § 7-8.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, the laws, rules, regulations and policies governing the use, density, or intensity of the real property subject to the DRRA shall be the laws, rules, regulations and policies in force at the time of DRRA execution.
B. 
If the Council determines that compliance with the laws, rules, regulations, and policies enacted or adopted after the effective date of the DRRA is essential to ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of all or a part of the Town, a DRRA may not prevent the Town from requiring a person to comply with those laws, rules, regulations, and policies, including, but not limited to, a party to such DRRA.
A. 
A DRRA that is not recorded in the Land Records of Kent County, Maryland, within 20 days after the day on which the parties execute the DRRA is void.
B. 
The parties to a DRRA, and their successors in interest, are bound to the DRRA after the DRRA is recorded.
Unless terminated under § 7-9, the Council or the petitioner, and their successors in interest, may enforce a DRRA.
WHEREAS, § 13.01 of Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland authorizes the governing body of a local jurisdiction to establish by ordinance the procedures and requirements for the consideration and execution of development rights and responsibilities agreements; and
WHEREAS, under Section 501 of the Charter of the Town of Rock Hall (the "Charter"), the Council shall have the power to pass all such ordinances not contrary to the Constitution and laws of the State of Maryland or the Charter as it may deem necessary for the good government of the Town; for the protection and preservation of the Town's property, rights, and privileges; for the preservation of space and good order; for securing persons and property from violence, danger, or destruction; and for the protection and the promotion of the health, safety, comfort, convenience, welfare, and happiness of the residents of, and visitors to, the Town; and
WHEREAS, under Section 502-55 of the Charter, the Council is authorized to exercise the powers as to planning and zoning conferred upon municipal corporations generally in Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, subject, however, to the limitations and provisions of said Article; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council, for the good and welfare of the community, deem it necessary and appropriate to add Chapter 7 of the Code for the purposes of providing for the authority of the Council to enter into and amend development rights and responsibilities agreements; providing for the ability for persons to petition the Council that such agreements be considered and executed; providing that such agreements contain certain provisions; providing that such agreements may contain additional provisions; providing that such petitions be referred to the Planning Commission for review of consistency with Town plans and policies; providing for a public hearing to be conducted by the Council prior to the execution of any such agreement; authorizing certain persons to amend or terminate such agreements under certain circumstances; providing that certain laws, rules, regulations, conditions, and policies govern such agreements under certain circumstances; and providing generally for matters relating to such agreements.