Talbot County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Talbot County 7-25-2006 by Bill No. 1002.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Road naming — See Ch. 131.
Subdivision regulations — See Ch. 168.
[1]
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former Ch. 134, Roads and Bridges, adopted 11-26-1996 by Bill No. 630, as amended. In addition, Bill No. 1002 provided that, to the extent of any inconsistency between the bill and the Design Manual, the provisions of the bill would apply and that the adoption of the bill would not affect any vested rights, existing contracts and liabilities or pending suits and prosecutions.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Talbot County Roads Ordinance."
Unless otherwise stated, this chapter applies to all County roads, roadways, and bridges throughout the County, and to all property rights, easements, appurtenances, rights-of-way, permits, approvals, and licenses associated with County roads, roadways, and bridges.
In this chapter, the following words have the meanings indicated:
AASHTO
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and criteria and standards developed or endorsed by the Association for the construction, inspection, upgrade, modification, or maintenance of roads, roadways, and bridges.
ACCESS
A location along a County roadway planned, designed, or used to enter or exit a County roadway from a highway, street, road, roadway, alley, lane, thoroughfare, right-of-way, easement, driveway, or field. "Access" includes the right to use such a location.
ACCESS PERMIT
A written license issued by the County Engineer or Superintendent pursuant to procedures and criteria established by this chapter.
AGRICULTURAL ACCESS
Ingress or egress of farm equipment to or from a County roadway for agricultural land management activities.
BRIDGE
A traffic-bearing structure within a roadway, spanning a waterway, drainageway, depression, or obstruction, that requires periodic documented and certified inspection and condition survey under provisions of the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Federal Highway Administration.
BUFFER
Any area restricted from maintenance or construction activities without special permits, designated to protect, preserve, or enhance certain specified conditions.
COUNTY
Talbot County, Maryland.
COUNTY BRIDGE
A bridge that is owned, controlled, or maintained by the County, funded by public revenues, and accessible for use by and for the benefit of the general public.
COUNTY ENGINEER
The Director of the Talbot County Department of Public Works, or an authorized representative of the Talbot County Department of Public Works.
COUNTY ROAD or COUNTY ROADWAY
A road or roadway that is owned, controlled, or maintained by the County, funded by public revenues, and accessible for use by and for the benefit of the general public.
DESIGN MANUAL
The Talbot County Road and Storm Drain Design and Construction Standards, as approved by resolution of the County Council.
DEVELOPER
A person who engages in development.
DEVELOPMENT
Any activity other than farming, gardening, or yard maintenance that results in a change or intensification of land use or improvement of property.
EASEMENT
A right of use or enjoyment of land of another.
ENTRANCE
An access for commercial, industrial, or institutional use.
FHWA
The Federal Highway Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Transportation.
FRONTAGE
Portions of a lot or area that adjoin a road or roadway.
LAND RECORDS
The land records of Talbot County, Maryland.
MITIGATION PLAN
An agreement to provide infrastructure, property, or other roadway improvements, all of which are funded privately, to ameliorate impacts from proposed development.
MUNICIPALITY
Any municipal corporation in Talbot County.
MUNICIPAL REVIEW
Any municipal process involving review or approval of development that will access or impact a County roadway, including without limitation:
A. 
Subdivision of land;
B. 
Site-plan approval;
C. 
Issuance of a building permit; or
D. 
Design or location of a municipal highway, street, road, roadway, or access.
OFF-SITE
Outside the boundaries of the property that is the subject of any request for development approvals or permits, excluding frontage improvements.
ON-SITE
Within the boundaries of the property that is the subject of any request for development approvals or permits, including frontage improvements.
OUTFALL
Any area containing a natural or constructed drainageway, receiving and transporting storm runoff from a roadway.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, municipal corporation, partnership, association, and any other entity recognized as having legal existence.
PRIVATE or PRIVATELY OWNED
Refers to a roadway, bridge, lane, driveway, right-of-way, easement, or accessway that is not owned, deeded to, controlled, or maintained by the County, a municipality, or the state, and is not generally accessible to the public, or is restricted from use by the general public.
PROPERTY
Any real or personal property, including any interest therein.
PUBLIC or PUBLICLY OWNED
Refers to a roadway, bridge, right-of-way, or easement that is owned, deeded to, controlled, or maintained by the County, and funded by public revenues.
RESTRICTED TRAFFIC or RESTRICTED USE
Any class or volume of vehicles that is restricted from use of a County road, roadway, or bridge, or any reduction of accessibility of a County road, roadway, or bridge, in accordance with FHWA, SHA, or County Council imposed criteria, for purposes of the safety and welfare of the general public.
ROAD
The traffic-bearing pavement, or driving surface, and associated base course, constructed and maintained within a roadway.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION DISTRICT
The procedure utilized to upgrade a specific existing road, roadway, or bridge structure, and the entity created by a legislative act of the County Council to fund the upgrade.
ROADWAY
The land area comprising the entire width and length of any right-of-way or easement containing a road, including traffic surfaces, intersections, entrances, culs-de-sac, turnarounds, accesses, parking areas, public landings, shoulder areas, drainage ditches and structures, utilities and utility reservation areas, maintenance areas, plantings, vehicle clearances, and any other structures, signage or appurtenances needed for the safe and beneficial use of the roadway.
SHA
The Maryland State Highway Administration, an agency of the Maryland Department of Transportation.
STATE
The State of Maryland.
STORM RUNOFF, STORMWATER RUNOFF, or RUNOFF
Surface water generated by precipitation that moves on grade to a point of discharge, or an outfall, or a body of water.
SUPERINTENDENT
The Director of the Talbot County Roads Department or an authorized representative of the Talbot County Roads Department.
TALBOT COUNTY ROADS DEPARTMENT or ROADS DEPARTMENT
The agency of the County with responsibility for the maintenance and emergency service of County roads, roadways, and bridges.
TRAFFIC
Any class or volume of vehicles for which a roadway is accessible.
UPGRADE
A physical roadway or bridge improvement within existing or expanded rights-of-way, as approved according to the requirements of this chapter.
The County Council is authorized to adopt and amend ordinances or regulations to govern all aspects of County roadways and bridges, including any right or franchise therein. The County Council is authorized to establish fines and penalties for violation thereof, and to enact laws providing appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings, remedies, civil penalties, and other sanctions for enforcement.
A. 
Conflicting laws. Whenever any provision of this chapter conflicts with any other provision of law covering the same subject matter, whether set forth in this chapter or elsewhere, that provision which is more restrictive or imposes the higher standard or requirement, as determined by the County Engineer or Superintendent, shall govern.
B. 
Equitable remedies. The County may enforce this chapter by injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in addition to other available remedies. All such remedies are cumulative and the County may elect to pursue any or all of them, from time to time, as permitted by law.
A. 
General. Subject to the control of the County Manager and within the scope of their delegated authority, the County Engineer and Superintendent shall administer and enforce this chapter and any regulations now or hereafter adopted. The County Engineer and Superintendent shall manage the Department of Public Works and the Roads Department, respectively, and shall have incidental authority to perform, authorize, and delegate such acts as are necessary or proper for these purposes.
B. 
Design manual. The County Council, by resolution, may adopt, amend, and modify a design manual to establish design, performance, construction, material, and other standards for County roadways and bridges based on the County Engineer's recommendations.
C. 
Police power. This chapter is adopted and shall be administered and enforced under the police power delegated to the County. It shall be construed liberally to achieve its purposes, including the full exercise of discretionary authority to determine whether, when, and under what conditions or circumstances to take or refrain from any act authorized by law. This chapter shall not be construed to require the County to act or refrain from any act provided the act is otherwise lawful and within the County's discretionary exercise of the police power.
D. 
Title and inventories. County roadways and bridges shall be held by and in the name of Talbot County, Maryland, and scheduled in the Inventories of County Roadways and Bridges as specified in this section. Access to County roadways shall be scheduled in an Inventory of Access to County Roadways as specified in this section.
(1) 
Roadways. The County shall maintain an Inventory of County Roadways listing each County roadway. No privately owned road or roadway shall be included in such inventory. County roadways shall not include privately owned roadways formerly known as "Other Public Roads" or "OP Roads," which the County has not maintained since July 1, 1991.
(2) 
Bridges. The County shall maintain an Inventory of County Bridges listing each County bridge. No privately owned bridge shall be included in such inventory.
(3) 
Access. The County shall maintain an Inventory of Access to County Roadways. Aerial photographs of the County taken during March 2006, as supplemented from time to time, shall be used to determine the existence, location, and nature of existing access.
E. 
Location. To establish the proper location or width of a County roadway or bridge, the County may cause the same to be surveyed and a description and plat made and recorded among the land records. The description and plat shall be made by reference to the original description of the roadway or bridge when it was acquired. If the original description cannot be found, the description and plat shall be made of the roadway or bridge as existing. Upon recordation, the description and plat shall be the official legal description of the roadway or bridge and the County and courts shall consider it prima facie correct unless the contrary is proven.
A. 
Acquisition. The County may acquire property for public use in connection with County roadways and bridges.
(1) 
Dedication. The County, by resolution adopted by the County Council, may accept any offer of dedication of property from the United States, the state, a municipality, or any person. Nothing in this section shall prohibit acceptance by another method.
(2) 
Prescription. The County may acquire title to property through adverse possession or prescription.
(a) 
Authority. When any such property has been in use by the public for 20 years, though the same may never have been condemned or granted to the County, if the County Council finds that public necessity requires acquisition of the same, the County Council may declare the same to be County property.
(b) 
Publication. The County shall publish a notice of the County's intention under this section once a week for two successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation.
(c) 
Recordation. The County shall cause a description and plat of the same to be made and recorded or filed among the land records. The description and plat shall be made of the roadway or bridge or appurtenant use, as existing. For claims based on color of title, the limits of ownership shall be defined by the instrument recorded in the land records, otherwise the limits of maintenance and service applied to the property, or limits normally necessary to keep the property in a safe and functional condition. For roadways, such limits shall generally be between the exterior of the drainage ditches on each side of the road.
(d) 
Official description. Upon recordation, the description and plat shall be the official legal description of the property and the County and courts shall consider it prima facie correct unless the contrary is proven.
(e) 
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the County from acquiring property by adverse possession or prescription by operation of law, without resort to this section, nor shall anything in this section be construed to affect or impair any title or interest acquired by the County previously, presently, or in the future, without resort to this section.
(3) 
Eminent domain. The County Council, by resolution, may authorize acquisition of property for public use through condemnation under the power of eminent domain.
B. 
Disposition. The County may not dispose of a County roadway, bridge, or other property held for public use without a public hearing under Art. 25A § 5B, Maryland Annotated Code, and a finding that such property is no longer needed for public use.
(1) 
Notice. All property owners abutting any County roadway proposed for disposition shall be notified in writing of the proposed disposition and the date, time and place of the public hearing at least three weeks in advance. The public hearing shall be advertised at least once per week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.
(2) 
Maintenance agreement and covenants.
(a) 
Prior to approval of a transfer of any County roadway or bridge to any private party that will provide access for multiple lots or parcels, the grantee(s) shall submit a proposed road or bridge maintenance agreement and deed covenants acceptable to the County Council, which shall:
[1] 
Identify the properties served or to be served that will bear the maintenance and improvement responsibility, including the proportionate share of each property.
[2] 
Establish procedures for sufficient assessments to maintain and improve the roadway or bridge surface, subsurface, shoulders, ditches and culverts, and provide emergency access and snow removal equal to comparable County roadways.
[3] 
Establish a mechanism to require periodic payment of such expenses from the owners of properties served.
[4] 
Prohibit any change, modification, amendment, rescission, or annulment of the maintenance agreement and covenants without the consent of the County Engineer.
(b) 
All such maintenance agreements and covenants shall run with and bind the land, and shall be recorded among the land records before recording any deed of conveyance.
(3) 
The County Council, based on a recommendation from the County Engineer, may establish other terms, conditions, covenants, or restrictions upon any transfer consistent with the public interest.
(4) 
The requirements of § 134-4.2B(2)(a) and (b) apply only to transfers that result in access for multiple lots or parcels via the private road or bridge, and shall not apply to access for a single lot or parcel, or to transfers that will result in the permanent abandonment and discontinuation of the access.
A. 
Payment of all scheduled fees established by the County Council shall be a condition of any review, approval, or permit issued under this chapter. In addition to scheduled fees, a developer or applicant shall pay all other costs incurred in connection with development reviews, including any professional, legal, or other services for studies, analyses, reviews, design, construction, or inspections.
B. 
The County may assess fees for specialized use of the County roadways and bridges in accordance with the provisions of this chapter except that normal agricultural operations shall be exempt from such special use fees.
A. 
General requirements. Except in accordance with a permit obtained from the County Engineer or Superintendent, a person may not:
(1) 
Make an opening in any County roadway or bridge;
(2) 
Place any structure, utility line, or equipment within any County roadway or on any bridge;
(3) 
Change or renew any structure, utility line, or equipment placed within any County roadway or on any bridge;
(4) 
Disturb any County roadway or bridge for any purpose, including the placement of an access or entrance, pipes, sewers, poles, wires, or rails;
(5) 
Place any obstruction or improvement on any County roadway or bridge; or
(6) 
Plant or remove any tree or shrub on any County roadway.
B. 
Issuance of permit. The County Engineer or Superintendent may issue a permit for work otherwise prohibited by Subsection A of this section.
(1) 
All work under the permit shall be performed subject to the inspection, approval, and satisfaction of the County Engineer or Superintendent.
(2) 
Every permit shall require, as a minimum, that the County roadway or bridge be restored to a condition that is equal to its preexisting condition, and if the permit calls for a higher standard, the higher standard shall govern.
(3) 
Every permit shall provide that all work performed on any County roadway or bridge shall be performed at the risk of the permittee, who shall indemnify and hold the County harmless from and against any liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of or relating to the work.
C. 
Suspension, revocation, or withholding. The County Engineer or Superintendent may suspend, revoke, or withhold any permits or approvals issued or granted 1) in error, or 2) based on incorrect, inaccurate, or incomplete information, or 3) in violation of any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation. No such permit or approval shall be considered to have been legally issued or effective for any purpose whatsoever. Suspension and withholding shall continue until all information and violations have been corrected, and all civil penalties and fees, if any, have been paid.
Access to a County roadway shall proceed in accordance with the requirements of this section.
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
No person shall construct, install, or use a new access without an access permit issued by the Superintendent or County Engineer.
(2) 
No person shall upgrade or intensify the use of any existing access without an access permit issued by the Superintendent or County Engineer.
(3) 
The Superintendent or County Engineer may impose restrictions, limitations, or conditions upon the issuance of access permits in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Application procedure.
(1) 
Driveways and agricultural access. The Superintendent shall issue access permits for driveways and agricultural access.
(2) 
Other. The County Engineer shall issue all other access permits, including public or private road access.
C. 
Municipal reviews.
(1) 
General. The County Engineer, as the approving authority for access to County roadways, shall be given notice of all municipal reviews. The applicant for any development involving municipal review shall schedule a preapplication conference with the County Engineer before any such review. The County Engineer shall evaluate the impacts caused by the proposed development under § 134-12 and may request recommendations from the Public Works Advisory Board, the County Planning Commission, and the State Highway Administration.
(2) 
County access permit. Access to County roadways from development within a municipality shall proceed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter for the issuance of an access permit. No access to a County roadway may be approved through any municipal review without approval of the County Engineer and issuance of a County access permit.
D. 
Subdivision plats. No plat for any subdivision requiring an access permit shall be recorded without the signature of the County Engineer.
E. 
Violations. In addition to other remedies the County Engineer or Superintendent may order any person who 1) fails to obtain an access permit, or 2) violates the terms of an access permit, or 3) owns property on which a nonpermitted access exists, to permanently remove, modify, repair, or replace the access and restore the County roadway to its former condition. All such work shall be at the expense of such persons, jointly and severally, and subject to inspection, approval, and satisfaction of the County Engineer or Superintendent. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the County from performing or contracting others to perform such work at such person's expense.
A. 
General. County roadways and bridges shall be available for use by any person and for the operation of any legal class of vehicle, except as restricted under this chapter or otherwise by law.
B. 
Access.
(1) 
Residential. Any County roadway shall be available for a single access for up to two residential lots from a driveway, provided that an access permit is issued approving the location, construction, and orientation of the requested access.
(2) 
Agricultural. Any County roadway shall be available for agricultural access in accordance with a permit issued by the Superintendent.
(3) 
All others. All other applications for access permits shall include such information as the County Engineer may require under § 134-12 for evaluation of impacts, mitigation, construction, drainage, traffic, and public safety.
C. 
Emergency closure. The Superintendent or the County Engineer may close or restrict the use of any County roadway or bridge in an emergency to protect public safety or public or private property. The Roads Department shall clearly post emergency restrictions and closures by appropriate signs. The County Manager shall be notified within 12 hours.
D. 
Permanent restrictions. The County Council may permanently restrict or close a County roadway or bridge in accordance with the requirements of law to protect public safety or public or private property.
E. 
Prohibition on use. A person may not drive or move any vehicle or other equipment on or across any County roadway or bridge if the vehicle or equipment is likely to cause damage to the roadway or bridge.
A. 
General. The County Council, by resolution, may adopt regulations for preservation of County roadways that include restrictions or limitations upon the use of County roadways by vehicles or other equipment that cause more than ordinary wear and tear.
B. 
Notice. Except for emergencies, before any regulation may be adopted under this section it shall be published once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.
C. 
Violation prohibited. A person may not knowingly violate any regulation adopted under this section
A. 
General. If the County Council finds that a County roadway is in danger of serious damage from deterioration, rain, snow, or any other condition, the County Council, by resolution, may:
(1) 
Prohibit the operation of vehicles on the roadway;
(2) 
Restrict the weight of vehicles permitted to drive on the roadway; or
(3) 
Reduce the maximum speed limit for vehicles operating on the roadway.
B. 
Exceptions. Notwithstanding any resolution adopted by the County Council under this section, vehicles supplying emergency service may use the County roadway under a written permit issued by the County Engineer or Superintendent.
C. 
Time limitations. A restriction imposed under this section may not restrict the right to use a County roadway for:
(1) 
More than 60 consecutive days; or
(2) 
More than 90 days during any one calendar year.
D. 
Posting signs. If a restriction is adopted under this section, the Roads Department shall place and maintain signs at each end of that part of the roadway affected by the restriction advising the public of the restriction on the use of the roadway. A restriction adopted under this section is not effective unless the required signs are posted.
E. 
Violation prohibited. No person, whether the owner of the vehicle, the person having charge and control over the vehicle, or an employee or agent of either, may drive or cause to be driven any vehicle on any County roadway in violation of any restriction imposed under this section.
F. 
Civil liability. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any owner or person in control of a vehicle violating any restriction imposed under this section is liable to the County for all damages sustained by a County roadway as a result of the violation.
A. 
General. The County Council may regulate the weight and speed of any vehicle passing over any County bridge or culvert by placing and maintaining signs at each end of the bridge or culvert. For structures classified under State Highway Administration criteria as a bridge, the County may not impose any restriction under this section without approval of the State Highway Administration.
A. 
Driver. Any person who drives or moves any vehicle or other equipment on any County roadway is liable for all damage that the roadway sustains as a result of:
(1) 
Driving or moving the vehicle or equipment illegally; or
(2) 
Driving or moving a vehicle or equipment that weighs more than the maximum statutory weight specified in state law or County regulation, even if the overweight is authorized by a special permit issued under state law or this chapter.
B. 
Owner. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle or equipment, but is driving or moving it with the express or implied permission of the owner, the owner and driver are jointly and severally liable for the damage to the roadway.
A. 
Study. The County Engineer or Superintendent may conduct appropriate studies to determine whether the safety and general welfare of a residential community are threatened by noise, vibration, or incidence of truck traffic on any County roadway. In determining whether or not to conduct such a study, the County Engineer or Superintendent shall consider the number of complaints about truck traffic received, if any, from residents of an area.
B. 
Restrictions. If the County Council determines that a residential community is threatened and that the safety and general welfare of the residential community would be promoted by the adoption of restrictions on the use of the County roadway by trucks, the County Council, may establish routes, speed limits, time restrictions, weight restrictions, or other measures with respect to truck traffic on the County roadway, which will minimize the adverse effects of that traffic on the residential area or cause that traffic to avoid the residential area entirely.
C. 
Alternate routes. Under this section, truck traffic may be prohibited entirely on any County roadway or part of a County roadway, if an adequately functional alternate route is available to carry the truck traffic, taking into consideration the amount of additional fuel that would be required over the alternate route and the economic impact on the citizens of the County caused by the alternate route.
D. 
Exceptions. The provisions of this section:
(1) 
Do not apply to any Class E (truck) vehicles of 10,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight; and
(2) 
Do not preclude the making of local deliveries of supplies or services in any residential communities.
The Superintendent or the County Engineer, in accordance with regulations adopted by the County Council, may control the use of County roadways and bridges through issuance of permits for specific commercial activities, including without limitation, weight and use restrictions, designated haul routes for hazardous materials, or designated times when certain commercial transport activities may occur, as may be necessary to protect the safety and welfare of the public or to maintain or protect the condition of roadways. Normal agricultural operations shall be exempt from such special use permit restrictions. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to conduct a regulated activity without, or in violation of, a required permit. Notwithstanding the issuance of any such permit, the permittee shall be liable to the County for any costs, expenses, or damages caused by operation of the vehicle or equipment.
A. 
Temporary obstructions. It is unlawful to temporarily obstruct a County roadway or bridge by any vehicle or equipment left untended in the traveled portion of the roadway or bridge. The County may remove any vehicle or equipment left untended in the traveled portion of a County roadway or bridge at the owner's expense. The County shall not be responsible for any damage to such vehicle or equipment caused during removal.
B. 
Abandoned vehicles. It is unlawful to permanently abandon any vehicle or equipment on any County roadway or bridge. Any vehicle or equipment left untended on a County roadway or bridge for more than 48 hours may be removed by the County at the owner's expense. The County shall not be responsible for any damage to an abandoned vehicle or equipment caused during removal.
C. 
Damage. It is unlawful to damage, deface, or alter any County roadway or bridge except as authorized by the County in accordance with a permit or contract.
D. 
Unauthorized work. It is unlawful to perform any work on a County roadway or bridge without prior written authorization and issuance of all required permits from the Superintendent or County Engineer. All work performed on any County roadway or bridge shall be performed at the risk of the persons performing the work, who shall indemnify and hold the County harmless from and against any liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of or relating to the work.
E. 
Dislodged materials. It is unlawful to throw, abandon, deposit, or dump solid or liquid waste or other material of any kind from any vehicle or other equipment on any County roadway or bridge, including unintentional or incidental dislodgment.
F. 
Illegal use or operation. It is unlawful to drive or move any vehicle or other equipment on or across any County roadway or bridge if the vehicle or equipment is overweight or not properly equipped as required by law.
G. 
Civil liability. Violation of any provision of this chapter, whether by the owner of the vehicle, the person having control over the vehicle, or an employee or agent of either, shall result in civil liability of all such persons, jointly and severally, for all damages, costs, and expenses resulting from the violation, including all costs of repair or restoration, and all such amounts shall be assessed in addition to any other fines or civil penalties.
A. 
County roadways. The Roads Department, under the direction of the Superintendent, shall be responsible for maintenance and upkeep and for clearing debris, hazards and other obstructions for all County roadways, bridges, and all associated drainage and other easements and structures. Services by the Roads Department are restricted to County roadways and bridges, outfalls, or other areas affecting a County roadway or bridge, as determined by the Superintendent.
B. 
Private property. Services by the Roads Department shall be prohibited on private property, private roadways, and roadways owned by the state or a municipality unless such work is specifically required 1) to properly maintain a County roadway or bridge, 2) to address an emergency, or 3) is otherwise authorized by the County Council. Services performed on private property shall be at the property owner's expense.
C. 
Tree and brush removal. The Superintendent shall have authority to order or perform any tree, brush, or vegetation clearance, control, or removal as necessary to preserve the safe and adequate passage of traffic, maintain drainage, or to maintain proper visibility and sight lines for any County roadway or bridge. The criteria utilized for establishing sight lines shall not exceed those designated in the FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for signage clearance.
Authorized agents and employees of Department of Public Works and the Roads Department may enter on private land in the County at reasonable times for the purposes of inspecting and performing their official duties, and shall, upon request, present proper credentials. No person may hinder, obstruct, or refuse entry to such persons while in the performance of their official duties.
All County and private roadways, except driveways, shall be addressed in accordance with state, federal, and local requirements and named in accordance with Chapter 131, Road Naming, of the Talbot County Code. The Roads Department shall be responsible for maintaining all roadway name signs.
The following drainage provisions apply to management and control of stormwater runoff for County roadways and bridges:
A. 
Generally.
(1) 
Drainage ditches. The County is authorized to maintain adequate drainage for all County roadways and bridges, and to manage and direct runoff as necessary.
(2) 
Outfalls. The County is authorized to maintain all drainage outfalls that receive runoff from a County roadway or bridge in adequate condition to accommodate a ten-year frequency storm event as defined by the Design Manual or otherwise as necessary to mitigate flooding or improve drainage for the roadway or bridge. The County shall not be required to perform maintenance or improve or correct deficient drainage in any drainageway, outfall, or drainage structure that does not receive runoff from a County roadway or bridge.
B. 
Unlawful acts.
(1) 
Alteration. It is unlawful to fill in, cultivate, plow, or alter any drainage ditch, structure, outfall, or any other structure affecting drainage for a County roadway or bridge, or that is on County property, without approval of the Superintendent. Any person violating this provision shall remove the unauthorized material or alteration and restore the disturbed structures or areas to their former condition, at the person's expense, in addition to any fines, fees, or civil penalties.
(2) 
Directing runoff.
(a) 
It is unlawful to direct temporary or seasonal runoff drainage leaders to County roadways from agricultural properties or construction sites:
[1] 
Without suitable management of runoff or control of sediment and soil erosion from the drainage area; or
[2] 
If it creates a condition requiring special maintenance; or
[3] 
It impairs the safety of the County roadway.
(b) 
If the Superintendent or County Engineer determine that 1) unmanaged runoff is being directed into a County roadway; or 2) sediment deposits from unmanaged runoff are impeding or altering the drainage flows in a roadway ditch; or 3) unmanaged runoff is flooding the roadway, he or she may order the property owner, at the owner's expense, to implement controls, modifications or to alter existing practices to suitably manage the runoff.
(c) 
At a minimum, such runoff management and sediment and erosion control measures shall be in accordance with the recommendations of the Maryland Natural Resources Conservation Service and the best management criteria of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. If the property owner fails to comply with any such order, the drainage leaders may be closed by the Roads Department. The property owner shall be liable for the costs incurred by the Roads Department in performing the corrective action authorized under this section.
A. 
Private road maintenance agreements. No subdivision creating lots or parcels served by a private roadway or bridge shall be approved unless a maintenance agreement and deed covenants complying with the requirements of § 134-4.2B(2)(a) and (b), at a minimum, shall first be recorded among the land records. All persons having a property interest in the private road or bridge shall approve the maintenance agreement. The County Engineer may require additional terms, conditions, covenants, or restrictions consistent with the public interest. The subdivision plat and deed covenants shall state that the roadway or bridge is privately owned and that the County is not responsible for maintenance, upgrade, or safety.
B. 
Drainage. No subdivision plat shall be recorded among the land records for any subdivision that creates lots or parcels served by a privately owned roadway or bridge, and no required permit shall be issued unless suitable drainage easements, maintenance agreements, and deed covenants shall first be approved by the County Engineer and recorded among the land records.
C. 
Upgrades. Existing public or private roads proposed for use by new lots or parcels in any subdivision shall be upgraded to meet then current roadway classification standards unless waived by the County Engineer.
D. 
Roadway width. All property proposed for subdivision that is adjacent to an existing County roadway that is less than 60 feet wide shall, by acceptable means, provide 1/2 the width necessary to bring the County roadway up to the sixty-foot standard. This does not apply to alleys.
The following classifications are hereby established. Design criteria for each classification shall be as specified in the design manual.
A. 
Roadways.
(1) 
Privately owned. An existing or proposed right-of-way, easement, road, roadway, or bridge not owned, controlled, or maintained by the state, the County, a municipality, or the federal government shall be classified as privately owned.
(a) 
Driveways. A driveway is a privately owned access for not more than two residential lots.
(b) 
Entrances. A entrance is a privately owned access for commercial, industrial, or institutional use.
(c) 
Private roads.
[1] 
A privately owned access or road for not more than 10 residential lots shall be classified as a private road. The minimum roadway width of a proposed private road shall be 40 feet, including a minimum road width of 12 feet.
[2] 
Increasing lots. The County Council, by resolution, may approve a request to increase the number of lots that utilize a private road, provided that, 1) The road meets the County standards for publicly owned roads for the number and type of lots to be served, and 2) the owner demonstrates that adequate provisions have been made for maintenance and emergency vehicle access.
(2) 
Publicly owned. An existing or proposed roadway, bridge, right-of-way, or easement that is owned, controlled, or maintained by the state, the County, a municipality, or the federal government shall be classified as publicly owned. County roadways shall be classified as follows:
(a) 
Minor road. A minor road provides access for not more than 50 residential lots, not more than a total of five commercial, industrial, or institutional lots, or not more than 25 residential lots and not more than a total of three commercial, industrial, or institutional lots when the majority of lot sizes are 20,000 square feet or greater. The minimum roadway width of a proposed minor collector road shall be 60 feet, including a minimum road width of 32 feet. The County Engineer may increase the roadway width to accommodate a separate parallel pedestrian walkway.
(b) 
Village road. A Village road provides access for not more than 50 residential lots and not more than a total of five commercial, industrial, or institutional lots, when the majority of lot sizes are less than 20,000 square feet. The minimum roadway width of a proposed Village road shall be 60 feet, including a minimum road width of 36 feet. If adequate on-premises off-street parking is provided for each residential unit on the roadway, the minimum road width may be reduced to 32 feet.
(c) 
Major road. A major road provides access for more than 50 residential lots and not more than a total of five commercial, industrial, or institutional lots. The minimum roadway width of a proposed major road shall be 60 feet, including a minimum road width of 36 feet.
(d) 
Heavy use road. A heavy use road provides access for more than five commercial, industrial, or institutional lots. The minimum roadway width of a proposed heavy use road shall be 66 feet, including a minimum road width of 40 feet.
(e) 
Cul-de-sac. All proposed new and upgraded County roadways shall include a circular cul-de-sac or approved traffic turnaround configuration at any road end not intersecting another public roadway. The minimum cul-de-sac right-of-way radius shall be 60 feet, or the width of the roadway right-of-way, whichever is greater. The cul-de-sac shall include a circular traffic surface, with a minimum radius of 40 feet. Alternate turnaround configurations shall accommodate all classes of vehicles for which the roadway is available.
(f) 
Intersections with state highways. All proposed new or upgraded County roadways that intersect a state highway shall include a right-of-way having a minimum width of 100 feet to permit widening of the intersection, to provide for the adequate and safe passage of traffic, and to mitigate impacts from development. The right-of-way shall be measured along the edge of the state right-of-way at the intersection and shall extend a suitable distance from the intersection along the County roadway.
(3) 
Modification of standards. The County Engineer may modify these standards to impose different or greater standards based upon unique physical characteristics that, in his judgment, reasonably require the modification to protect the public safety, public or private property, or the integrity of the roadway.
B. 
Bridges. All bridges shall be classified as follows:
(1) 
County-owned. Any existing or proposed bridge with both approaches classified as County-owned roadways shall be classified as a County-owned bridge. All proposed County-owned bridges shall be constructed and maintained with a minimum access width at least equal to the width of the wider approach roadway or 24 feet clear opening, whichever is greater.
(2) 
Privately owned. Any existing or proposed bridge with at least one approach classified as a privately owned roadway shall be classified as a privately owned bridge.
C. 
Approval of alternate proposals. The County Engineer may approve alternate proposals within a classification for rights-of-way, road widths and sections, or drainage in accordance with § 134-16 of this chapter.
A. 
General. The County Engineer shall evaluate impacts to existing roadways and bridges caused by proposed development and determine appropriate mitigation for those impacts. Issuance of any permit or approval for proposed development shall be subject to evaluation and mitigation of impacts as provided in this section.
B. 
Impact area.
(1) 
General. The impact area of a proposed development includes all County and state roadways located in the County in all directions from each point of entrance to and exit from the proposed development, through the intersection with the first arterial or major collector road, and along that road in both directions, to and including the intersection at the second intersecting arterial road.
(2) 
Comprehensive Plan Map. The Talbot County Comprehensive Plan map entitled "Federal Highway Functional Classification," shall be used to determine the impact area.
C. 
Roads included. Impact to existing roadways from proposed development shall be measured as of the scheduled completion year of the proposed development. When determining impacts from a proposed development, the following roadways are considered to be existing:
(1) 
Roadways in existence on the date the developer submits the application for approval of the development.
(2) 
Planned roadways or improvements which:
(a) 
Have an appropriation of 100% of the construction cost; and
(b) 
Are programmed for construction in the County's current adopted capital improvement program or the current state consolidated transportation program; and
(c) 
For which all applicable federal, state, and County permits have been approved and rights-of-way have been acquired through agreement, dedication, or conveyance.
(3) 
New roadways or improvements to existing roadways in other approved mitigation plans.
D. 
Standards. The following standards apply to evaluation of impacts from proposed development:
(1) 
Levels of service. Each lane and lane approach for roadways in the impact area will operate at or above the minimum level of service of "C" using the Highway Capacity Method. Each lane and lane approach for any roadway already operating at levels of service of "D" or "E" before impacts from the proposed development shall be no worse as a result of impacts from the proposed development. Each lane and lane approach for any roadway already operating at levels of service of "F" before impacts from the proposed development shall be mitigated and improved to a level of service of "E."
(2) 
Impact studies.
(a) 
No impact study shall be required if, in the scheduled completion year of the development, the cumulative impact from the development:
[1] 
Creates 50 or fewer daily trips; or
[2] 
The County Engineer makes an express finding that roadways in the impact area will be adequate with respect to road capacity, alignment, sight distance, structural condition, design, lane width, and traffic controls, and that each lane or lane approach will operate at or above the minimum of "C" level of service, calculated using the Highway Capacity Method.
(b) 
Impact studies shall be required for all other proposed development to ensure that, in the scheduled completion year of the development and considering the cumulative total from all development, including required mitigation, roadways in the impact area will be adequate with respect to road capacity, alignment, sight distance, structural condition, design, lane width, and traffic controls, and that each lane or lane approach will operate at or above the minimum of "C" level of service, calculated using the Highway Capacity Method.
(c) 
Contents. The content of impact studies shall be determined by the County Engineer in consultation with the developer, and for impacts to state roadways, the State Highway Administration, before the study is performed. Impact studies shall utilize the Highway Capacity Method and shall provide all information and supplements required to evaluate impacts from the proposed development, including, without limitation, road capacity, alignment, sight distance, structural condition, design, lane width, traffic controls, and level of service for each lane and lane approach for roadways in the impact area.
(d) 
Preparation and cost. Impact studies shall be prepared at the developer's expense by a Maryland licensed professional engineer.
E. 
Evaluation. The County Engineer shall evaluate the impacts to determine mitigation required to meet the standards established by § 134-12D(1), Levels of service. The County Engineer may contract professional services at the developer's expense to review, evaluate, or supplement the study and may request review and recommendations from the Public Works Advisory Board, the County Planning Commission, and the State Highway Administration.
F. 
Mitigation. Mitigation consists of dedication of property or construction or funding of improvements to off-site roadways or bridges in the impact area by a developer that increase capacity and safety on each roadway or bridge that is below the minimum standard established by § 134-12D(1) so that the capacity and safety of the roadway or bridge after construction of the development will be equal to or greater than if the development had not been constructed. A proposed mitigation plan shall be subject to approval by the County Engineer. Mitigation proposed for state roadways shall also be subject to review and approval by the State Highway Administration.
G. 
Timing and payment for mitigation. If the County Engineer determines that the timing of capital projects or the need to ensure continuity in the transportation network makes it more efficient to delay the construction of all or part of proposed mitigation, the County Engineer shall require the developer to:
(1) 
Delay the construction of all or part of the improvements to a date certain and sign a public works agreement guaranteeing the construction of the delayed improvements;
(2) 
Agree to pay the County the estimated cost of the mitigation, which the County shall use to fund all or part of a capital project to improve the facilities that were to have been mitigated by the developer; or
(3) 
Enter into an agreement satisfactory to the State Highway Administration concerning construction or payment for improvements to state roadways.
H. 
Approvals.
(1) 
Date of approval. Approval of mitigation for impacts occurs on the date that the County Engineer approves a mitigation plan. Approvals shall be valid for a period of one year, subject to an extension by the County Engineer for good cause for an additional period of one year.
(2) 
Excess impact. If the impact of a development exceeds the impact shown in the original impact study, the development shall be re-evaluated at the developer's expense and additional or different mitigation may be required.
(3) 
Failure to retain approval. If the County Engineer determines that the impact of a development exceeds the impact shown in the original impact study, the mitigation plan is void.
A. 
General. Any privately owned roadway or bridge may be upgraded, and any County roadway bridge or unimproved right-of-way may be upgraded through establishment of a road construction district.
B. 
Conditions. A petition to establish a district shall include:
(1) 
A title insurance policy insuring all property interests in the roadway or upgrade that are to be conveyed to the County, identifying the County as the named insured, and certifying that the property interests to be conveyed are complete and legally sufficient to transfer good and marketable title to the County for the entire length and width of the proposed roadway or upgrade, including associated drainageways.
(2) 
A plat prepared by a Maryland registered surveyor suitable for recording among the land records establishing the boundaries of the proposed roadway or upgrade by metes and bounds, courses and distances, that identifies where abutting property owners' boundaries intersect the proposed roadway or upgrade, and that identifies that portion of each abutting property to be conveyed to the County by metes and bounds, courses and distances.
(3) 
For any property interests required for the proposed roadway or upgrade that the members of the proposed district do not own or control, identification of all such property interests, together with a certified appraisal of their value.
(4) 
A complete listing of all proposed members of the district, the location of the abutting property owned by each, and the method for allocating all costs of the project, as agreed among the members.
C. 
Procedure. At least 90% of the owners whose property abuts the roadway or who utilize the roadway or bridge for access shall submit a petition to the County Council to establish a district. The County Council may, by resolution, create a district upon such terms and conditions as it may deem appropriate. At a minimum, the resolution shall state that:
(1) 
If the project is finally approved under Subsection C(6), below, the members shall irrevocably appoint the County Engineer to administer and supervise the project, with full authority to make decisions that will be final and binding on the district and its members.
(2) 
All property required for the project is to be transferred to the County upon terms and conditions set forth in the resolution.
(3) 
District members agree to repay the County for all costs incurred for title, engineering, surveying, legal, appraisal, bonding, construction, inspection, and any other services acquired or provided by the County for the project.
(4) 
District members shall agree upon and specify the proportionate share of each member's contribution to the overall costs of the project.
(5) 
The program shall be developed in accordance with the provisions of a public works agreement between the County and the authorized representative of the district, who shall be authorized to represent and bind all district members. The proposed public works agreement may include, without limitation, the following options:
(a) 
Utilization of County resources for necessary engineering, design, construction, inspection, and management services to develop the upgrade program.
(b) 
Solicitation, by the County, of necessary engineering, design, construction, and inspection services to provide the upgrade, and management of the contracts by the County.
(c) 
Solicitation, by the petitioners requesting the upgrade, of necessary engineering, design, construction, inspection, and management services to develop the upgrade, under the supervision and approval of the County.
(6) 
Public meeting. The County Council shall conduct a public meeting prior to construction when the costs of the project can be reasonably estimated. All property owners in the district shall be given written notice of the date, time, and place of the meeting, which shall be publicly advertised for two consecutive weeks prior to the meeting in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. At the meeting, the property owners shall be advised of the estimated costs of the upgrade and the terms of the proposed public works agreement, which shall include a maximum time period for project completion, roadway classification criteria, and transfer provisions. The property owners shall indicate, based on a majority vote, whether they elect to proceed with the project. After conducting the meeting and receiving public comments and the recommendations of the County Engineer, the Roads Superintendent, the Council shall determine whether to proceed with the proposed project, and, if so, the Council shall adopt a resolution as provided herein.
(7) 
Deeds and assessments. If the Council elects to proceed with the project, within 60 days after such election, the district members shall, at their expense, prepare, execute, and deliver deeds or other instruments as required by the County to convey to the County good and merchantable title to the property identified in § 134-13B above. The District members shall also execute and deliver irrevocable consent to the establishment of special benefit assessments by the County on their respective properties to repay their proportionate share of all costs incurred by the County for the project.
D. 
Costs. All costs incurred by the County in the development and implementation of the project, including financing costs, shall be reimbursed to the County by the property owners comprising the District. All costs incurred by the property owners in the development of the project shall be borne directly by the property owners. The County may establish a pre-development improvement fund, in which special benefit assessments are charged and funds accrued prior to incurring costs, or create a postdevelopment special benefit assessment of lump sum or amortized costs, upon rates and terms established by the County Council.
(1) 
Special benefit assessments. If the project is financed by the County, special benefit assessments shall be levied by the County upon all real property in the district. The special benefit assessments shall be levied and imposed by the Finance Department beginning July 1 following the first year that the County incurs any costs. All costs incurred by the County shall be allocated annually among the members through successive special benefit assessments until the entire cost for the project has been allocated among the District members and levied upon the District properties. The special benefit assessments shall be sufficient to reimburse the County for all costs incurred for the project, including the principal and interest payments on any debt created by the County to finance the project. The special benefit assessments shall be a lien upon the real property against which they are assessed and shall be collectible in the same manner as real estate taxes assessed against the property.
E. 
Acceptance of improvements. Upon completion of the project, and upon recordation of any instrument transferring the property to the County, such roadway or bridge shall be incorporated into, or reclassified within, the Inventory of County Roads or the Inventory of County Bridges, at which time the County shall assume full responsibility for the roadway or bridge.
F. 
County upgrades. Nothing in this chapter shall require the establishment of a road construction district. The County may modify or upgrade any existing County roadway, bridge, or unimproved right-of way whenever required by the public interest.
A. 
General. The design, construction, inspection, testing, acceptance, warranty, transfer, and maintenance of all new and upgraded County roadways and bridges shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of this section. A public works agreement shall be required for all work on County roadways, bridges, and rights-of-way, regardless of the classification of the proposed roadway except as authorized by a permit issued by the Superintendent or County Engineer.
B. 
Exceptions. Notwithstanding the requirements of Subsection A, the installation of a driveway, agricultural access, or private roadway shall not require a public works agreement, but shall require access permits, and compliance with all requirements for construction in a County right-of-way, including grade, disturbance, drainage, and construction permit criteria. The owner, developer, and contractor constructing a private road shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the County Engineer that the road was constructed in accordance with the requirements, provisions, and specifications of this chapter and the Design Manual before issuance of any required County permit or approval.
C. 
Terms. All new County roadway construction or upgrade of existing roadways or bridges, except those that are performed or funded by the County, shall proceed in accordance with the terms and provisions of a public works agreement executed between the owner, contractor, or developer and the County. Such agreement shall contain provisions for planning, administration, design, materials, construction, testing, inspection, approval, acceptance, transfer, warranty, and maintenance of the roadway or bridges, and such other terms and provisions as the County Engineer may consider necessary or appropriate. All public works agreements shall include provisions for insurance, funding, performance bonds, and maintenance bonds to assure that the work is completed and protected in accordance with the specifications. Provisions for payment of fees shall be included in accordance with § 134-5. In the event of default, the agreement shall assign to the County the right of immediate access to any security, bond, or letter of credit, to complete the project. The public works agreement shall also include specific provisions for the settlement of disagreements and disputes during the course of the construction such that suitable and timely remedies are available without undue hardship to the owner, contractor, developer, or the County.
D. 
Additional requirements. Construction and development authorized by a public works agreement shall be performed in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local requirements, including, without limitation, wetland certifications, critical habitat restrictions, sediment and erosion control, woodland and forest preservation, shoreline protection, stormwater management, utility location and protection, tributary stream, floodplain buffer zones and special use areas, SHA right-of-way use and access, construction or building codes, special restrictions, planning coordination, other impacts and considerations, and any other applicable federal, state or local regulations. The County shall not enter into any agreement for work or road construction on any property for which all owners have not approved the scope and terms of the agreement, and the agreement is in such form as may be required by the County.
E. 
Fees. A public works agreement shall not be executed by the County until all applicable fees, assessments, or special charges have been received by the County.
F. 
Authority of County Engineer. The County Engineer shall have the authority to enter into and administer public works agreements on behalf of the County.
G. 
Subdivision and site plan approvals. The County Engineer may not approve any subdivision plat or any site plan that requires construction, improvement, or upgrade of a County roadway or bridge unless an approved public works agreement has been executed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. All public works agreements shall be consistent with County planning policies, zoning ordinances, and subdivision regulations.
H. 
Disapproval and withholding permits. No construction or upgrade in any County roadway or bridge shall occur after the effective date of this chapter 1) without execution of a public works agreement, 2) without securing all required federal, state, and local permits, and, 3) without ongoing compliance with all applicable requirements during the course of construction. Violation of these requirements shall result in the withholding of all required permits until such violation is corrected, including withholding building permits and other approvals for lots abutting and served by any unapproved roadway.
I. 
Design requirements. All new County roadways or upgrades of existing private roadways to be transferred to the County shall require an engineered design, prepared and sealed by a registered civil engineer or land surveyor in the State of Maryland. Such design shall include horizontal plans and layouts, vertical profiles, soil investigations, sections and details, drainage structures, baseline surveys, wetland delineations, rights-of-way, easements, survey metes and bounds, and any other data, information, or specifications required by the Design Manual or by the County Engineer, from time to time, to direct, verify, document, approve, and certify construction of the roadway.
A. 
Enforcement. The County Engineer or his designee shall enforce this chapter. Subject to the approval of the County Manager, the County Engineer may delegate such enforcement authority as he may deem appropriate. Any reference to "County Engineer" in this section shall include all persons to whom the County Engineer has delegated enforcement authority.
B. 
Violations. No person shall violate any provision of this chapter. Each violation that occurs and each calendar day that a violation continues shall be a separate offense. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to separate fines, orders, sanctions, and civil penalties for each offense.
C. 
Responsible persons. The following persons may each be held jointly or severally responsible for a violation:
(1) 
Persons who apply for or obtain any permit or approval;
(2) 
Contractors;
(3) 
Subcontractors;
(4) 
Property owners;
(5) 
Managing agents; or
(6) 
Any other person who has committed, assisted, or participated in a violation.
D. 
Civil penalties.
(1) 
General. Each offense shall be punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per calendar day. The amount of a civil penalty shall be administratively imposed by the County Engineer pursuant to Art. 24, § 14-101, Maryland Annotated Code. Before imposing any civil penalty, the person(s) believed to have violated this chapter shall receive: 1) written notice of the alleged violation(s) including which, if any, are continuing violations; and 2) an opportunity to be heard. The amount of the civil penalty for each violation, including each continuing violation, shall be determined separately. For each continuing violation, the amount of the civil penalty shall be determined per day. The County Engineer shall consider the following in setting the amount of any civil penalty:
(a) 
The severity of the violation for which the penalty is to be assessed;
(b) 
The presence or absence of good faith of the violator;
(c) 
Any history of prior violations.
(2) 
Continuing violations. Civil penalties for continuing violations shall accrue daily, for each separate offense for so long as each violation continues, with no requirement for additional notice or hearings. The total amount payable for continuing violations shall be the amount of the civil penalty assessed per day for each offense multiplied by the number of days that the violation has existed or continues. When any continuing violation ceases, the person(s) responsible shall promptly provide the County Engineer written notice specifying the violation and the date that it ceased. Assessment and payment of civil penalties shall be in addition to and not in substitution for recovery by the County of all damages, costs, and other expenses caused by the violation, including the cost to correct any violation or repair, restore, or replace any County property. Payment of all civil penalties assessed shall be a condition precedent to the issuance of any permit or other approval required by this chapter.
E. 
Civil infractions. Violations of this chapter may be prosecuted as municipal infractions. All penalties, procedures for enforcement and other provisions concerning enforcement, violations and penalties shall be as specified by Article 23A, § 3(b), Maryland Annotated Code, as amended from time to time. All references to "municipal," "municipality" or other such terms in Article 23A, § 3(b), shall refer to Talbot County, Maryland, and all references to "enforcement officer(s)" shall refer to the County Engineer or his designee.
F. 
Administrative abatement orders.
(1) 
The Superintendent or County Engineer may issue an administrative abatement order to any person to perform any act or thing required by this chapter. The administrative abatement may order such person:
(a) 
To correct, discontinue or abate any violation.
(b) 
To cease any activity being performed in violation of this chapter.
(c) 
To apply for any permit, approval, or variance required by this chapter.
(d) 
To remove any construction materials, equipment, and any structures or other construction work built or erected in violation of this chapter.
(e) 
To restore any County property to its condition as it existed before any violation of this chapter.
(f) 
To perform any condition, covenant, undertaking, or obligation required by this chapter or by any contract, deed, or other instrument executed or recorded pursuant to the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
Administrative abatement orders shall be sent to the alleged violator by certified mail, return receipt requested, and simultaneously by first-class mail, postage prepaid, bearing a return address. Service shall be effective upon mailing. In addition, any other method of service reasonably calculated to provide actual notice, and any method that does provide actual notice, shall be sufficient, including service by personal delivery to a responsible person at any construction site or posting the order in a conspicuous place on any structure, sign, land, or equipment.
(3) 
An administrative abatement order shall include:
(a) 
A description of each violation, including the applicable County ordinance, regulation, or other requirement allegedly violated.
(b) 
The time within which any required action is to occur, taking into account the specific action required to comply with the order and any existing or intervening harm or threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. Except for emergencies, which can require compliance as soon as 24 hours or otherwise less than 30 days, there is a rebuttable presumption that request for compliance within 30 days from the date of the order is reasonable.
(c) 
Notice of the right to appeal the order to the Board of Appeals and the period within which any such appeal must be filed.
A. 
General. (1) The County Engineer may approve a waiver of the requirements of this chapter pursuant to procedures and criteria set forth below.
B. 
Procedure. An application for a waiver shall be submitted in writing and clearly set forth all grounds for the request. The applicant shall serve a copy of the application on all adjacent property owners. The applicant shall provide the County Engineer with a list of all property owners served and a copy of each notice, which shall be placed into the record. The County Engineer may require the applicant to serve any additional persons or property owners whom the application may affect. Service shall notify recipients of 1) the application, 2) the criteria for granting waivers set forth below, and 3) the opportunity to provide written comments to the County Engineer for a period not less than 14 days from the date of service. The County Engineer shall place all written comments from any interested person into the record.
C. 
Criteria.
(1) 
An applicant for a waiver shall prove to the satisfaction of the County Engineer, either:
(a) 
The property for which the waiver is sought i) contains unique physical characteristics not common to other property, and ii) if the requirement were applied to the property, these unique physical characteristics would create either extraordinary hardship or practical difficulty, and not mere inconvenience, and iii) the waiver, if granted, will nevertheless achieve substantial compliance with the purposes of the requirement; or
(b) 
The alternative proposal will better serve the purpose of the requirement.
(2) 
In addition to either Subsection C(1)(a) or (b), the applicant shall prove that all of the following requirements are met:
(a) 
The waiver will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare or injurious to other property.
(b) 
The waiver will not nullify, generally, the purpose or effect of any requirement of this chapter.
(c) 
The waiver will not vary the provisions of any other adopted County plans, programs, or ordinances in any manner.
D. 
Burden of proof.
(1) 
The applicant for a waiver has the burden of proof, including the burden of going forward with the evidence and the burden of persuasion with respect to any question of fact. No waiver shall be granted unless the applicant establishes all of the applicable requirements to the satisfaction of the County Engineer by a preponderance of the evidence of record.
(2) 
Decisions regarding waivers are discretionary. Proof of existence of grounds for a waiver permits, but does not require, the County Engineer to grant any waiver.
E. 
Decision. The County Engineer shall issue a written decision containing separate findings of fact on each applicable criterion of Subsection C(1) and (2) above. The County Engineer may impose alternate or additional terms and conditions on any waiver to secure the purposes of this chapter. The written decision shall set forth all conditions, time limits for implementation, and notice of the right to appeal. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the applicant and to any person who submitted written comment.
F. 
Exceptions. The County Engineer shall have no authority to waive any requirement of this chapter which is reserved for decision by the County Council.
Any person aggrieved by any written order or decision by the County Engineer or Superintendent under this chapter may file an appeal to the Board of Appeals.
A. 
An appeal is taken by filing an application for administrative review in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Board of Appeals.
B. 
An appeal must be filed within 30 days after the date of the written order, decision, or determination being appealed.
C. 
An appellant may request the County Engineer to stay any order or decision pending appeal, including suspension of any additional daily civil penalties imposed for continuing violations. The County Engineer shall promptly issue a written decision on the request.
The Planning Commission may not require the County Engineer to accept alternatives, substitutes, or waivers of any requirements of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Appeals under this chapter may appeal the decision to the Circuit Court in accordance with Subtitle B of the Maryland Rules of Procedure.
The captions or headlines of the several sections and subsections in this chapter that are set apart from the body of the text are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the sections and subsections. They are not to be deemed as titles of these sections and subsections, or as any part thereof.