Talbot County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Talbot County 3-5-1991 by Bill No. 443. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 112.
Sanitary District — See Ch. 138.
Septage management — See Ch. 145.
Subdivision regulations — See Ch. 168.
An emergency exists, in that failing septic systems are prevalent in certain poorly drained areas of the County, and it is likely that establishment of County (community) sanitary sewerage systems will not take place in the foreseeable future, but that properly established and administered shared sanitary facilities could alleviate this problem in such areas.
This Shared Sanitary Facilities Chapter may be cited as the "Talbot County Shared Sanitary Facilities Law," and shall be codified under Chapter 152, Shared Sanitary Facilities, of the Talbot County Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
It is the legislative finding of the County Council of Talbot County that it is necessary for the existing and future health, safety, and welfare of the general public that shared sanitary facilities be permitted to be constructed and operated under private ownership and under the regulatory supervision of the Talbot County Department of Public Works.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply throughout Talbot County, including the planning areas of sanitary facilities owned by Talbot County, but shall not apply within the corporate limits of any municipality located in Talbot County, or as specifically prohibited by the policy or regulation of the approving authority. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any legally licensed or permitted shared sanitary facility in operation, existence, or under construction in Talbot County, nor to any expansion of such shared sanitary facility in operation, existence, or under construction, as of the effective date hereof; provided, however, that the provisions hereof may be applicable to said existing facility or facilities upon petition by the owner, or jurisdiction or order of the approving or controlling authorities pursuant to § 152-12 hereof. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to sanitary facilities owned by political subdivisions or governmental bodies or agencies; nor to the extension, expansion, or continuance thereof under provisions of separate agreement as authorized by the controlling authority.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning respectively ascribed to them by this section:
APPROVING AUTHORITY
One or more official, agent, or agency of local government, designated by the local governing body or provisions of Environmental Article, Title 9, Subtitle 5, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, to take certain actions as a part of implementation, administration, regulation, and enforcement of the provisions hereof. The approving authority with jurisdiction over the Talbot County Shared Sanitary Facilities Law shall be the Talbot County Health Department.
COMMUNITY SEWERAGE SYSTEM
Any system, whether publicly or privately owned, serving two or more individual lots for the collection and disposal of sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature, including various devices for the treatment of such sewage and industrial wastes.
COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM
A source of potable water and a distribution system, including treatment and storage facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, serving two or more individual lots.
CONTROLLING AUTHORITY
A governmental body or agency empowered by the County to provide for management, operation, and continuous preventive and corrective maintenance of a shared sanitary facility, as specified herein. The controlling authority with jurisdiction over the Talbot County Shared Facilities Law shall be the Talbot County Department of Public Works.
COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE WATER AND SEWERAGE PLAN or PLAN
The comprehensive plan, and all amendments and revisions to it, for the protection of surface, ground, and tidal water resources and the provision of adequate water supply and sewerage systems, whether an individual or community system or publicly or privately owned, throughout the County, including incorporated municipalities.
DEPARTMENT
The Maryland Department of the Environment.
DEVELOPER
Any person, group or corporate entity proposing to establish, develop, construct, upgrade, expand, own, use or operate a shared sanitary facility, as specified herein.
EQUIVALENT DWELLING UNIT
An estimated daily water supply or sewer capacity required to serve a detached single-family residence. A minimum equivalent dwelling unit for service from an individual water supply system shall be defined as 180 gallons. A minimum equivalent dwelling unit for service from a community water supply system shall be defined as 250 gallons. Unless otherwise documented through specific engineering determinations, the average equivalent dwelling unit shall be 450 gallons.
EXISTING SERVICE AREA
That area which is currently served by a community water supply or sewerage system.
FINAL PLANNING STAGES
A work or works of shared sanitary facilities for which contract plans and specifications have been completed; sanitary, sewer, or water construction permits have been issued; and public works agreements have been executed.
INDIVIDUAL SEWERAGE SYSTEMS
A system of sewers, piping, treatment tanks, or other facilities serving a single undividable lot or one equivalent dwelling unit and disposing of sewage or individual wastes of a liquid nature, in whole or in part, on or in the soil of the property, into the waters of the State of Maryland, or by other approved methods.
INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM
A system of piping, pumps, tanks or other facilities utilizing a source of ground or surface water to supply potable water to a single undividable lot or one equivalent dwelling unit.
MARINA
A dock, wharf, or basin providing mooring for boats, which contain on-board toilet facilities operated under public or private ownership, either free or on a fee basis for the convenience of the public or club membership.
NONPOINT SOURCE
Liquid pollution runoff, for which no specific outfall can be identified.
OWNERSHIP
Fee simple ownership. Public ownership shall mean ownership by a government entity. Private ownership shall mean ownership by a private entity.
POINT SOURCE
Liquid pollution runoff, for which a specific outfall can be identified.
SANITARY DISTRICT
A water or sewer service jurisdiction within which government-owned sanitary facilities provide community service.
SANITARY FACILITIES OR SYSTEMS
Any sewerage system for the collection, handling, treatment, and disposal of liquid wastewater, septage, or sewage sludge; or water supply system for the distribution, treatment and storage of potable water; whether an individual or community system, or publicly or privately owned.
SEPARATE
Private ownership, other than the users.
SEPTAGE
All solid and liquid contents of chemical toilets, septic tanks, seepage pits, privies and watertight holding tanks.
SERVICE AREA
That area currently served by a community or shared sanitary facility, or for which such service is allocated or reserved.
SEWAGE SLUDGE
Any thickened liquid, suspension, settled solid, or dried residue that a sewage treatment plant extracts from sewage.
SHARED SANITARY FACILITY or FACILITIES
Any sanitary facility or system privately owned, separately or in common, by the users or the developer, serving two or more detached single-family dwelling units or commercial facilities, on separately recorded land lots or parcels; or three or more equivalent dwelling units on the same lot or parcel; classified as follows:
A. 
A shared sanitary facility serving six or fewer land lots or parcels; or with total capacity of six or fewer equivalent dwelling units.
B. 
A shared sanitary facility serving more than six, but not more than 20, land lots or parcels; or with total capacity of more than six, but not more than 20, equivalent dwelling units.
C. 
A shared sanitary facility serving more than 20 land lots or parcels; or with total capacity of more than 20 equivalent dwelling units.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A work or works of shared sanitary facilities where actual construction is progressing, or where a notice to proceed with a contract for such work has been issued.
USER
The owner of any property, land, parcel, or structure with a separate and direct service connection from a single-family dwelling unit, multiresidential unit, commercial unit, or equivalent thereof, to a shared sanitary facility.
A. 
It shall be unlawful to construct, upgrade, expand, operate, or use a shared sanitary facility, in the unincorporated area of Talbot County, which is not in compliance with the provisions of this regulation. All facilities developed hereto shall be and remain in the private ownership, either separately or in common, of the developer(s) and/or user(s), and under the supervision and regulation of the approving and controlling authorities, unless otherwise authorized or directed in accordance with provisions for public ownership or system correction as specified herein.
B. 
No final subdivision approval, or final plat approval, shall be executed for properties involving a shared sanitary facility unless the said facility has been accepted by the approving and controlling authorities as in the final planning stage, as defined herein.
C. 
No building permit for property improvement involving use of a shared sanitary facility shall be issued unless the said facility is under construction, as defined herein.
D. 
No occupancy permit for property improvements involving use of a shared sanitary facility shall be issued unless the said facility is approved and accepted as complete and usable by the approving and controlling authorities.
E. 
No new shared sanitary facility shall be permitted in an existing service area for like sanitary utility service, except as approved by the approving and controlling authorities in accordance with comprehensive or facility planning directives. Should a publicly owned community sanitary system be extended into the service area of a shared sanitary facility, said facility shall be abandoned as provided herein.
F. 
Temporary or interim shared sanitary facilities, designed or proposed for less than six years service to planned improvements, pending priority extension of community facilities in accordance with the Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan, shall be prohibited.
Excluded from the prohibition enacted herein shall be any legally licensed or permitted shared sanitary facility and expansion thereto, in compliant operation, existence or under construction in Talbot County, as of the effective date hereof, or as otherwise excluded under provisions of § 155-4, Applicability, herein.
The following authorizations and provisions shall be applicable relative to the regulation and ownership of shared sanitary facilities in Talbot County:
A. 
A developer may purchase, hold, lease, construct, own, operate, repair, replace, modify, maintain, upgrade, or improve a shared sanitary facility only under contractual agreement with the County and as permitted by the approving and controlling authorities.
B. 
The controlling authority shall make such provisions as are necessary to assure that all shared sanitary facilities within its jurisdiction cannot be abandoned or otherwise made legally or functionally inoperative unless said facilities are replaced by facilities which provide equal service or better protection of the health of the users and the public, except when the users no longer require sanitary facilities.
C. 
The controlling authority may establish, operate, regulate, supervise, administer, monitor, inspect, or manage a shared sanitary facility if this action does not violate any local, state, or federal laws or regulations, is in accordance with effective terms and provisions of contractual agreements and permit requirements, is in compliance with the plan, and is in the best interest of public health and safety.
D. 
The controlling authority shall have the same powers as in sanitary district service areas to be exercised as necessary to assure proper development and service of shared sanitary facilities.
E. 
The approving authority shall authorize establishment of shared sanitary facilities through permit issuance for sanitary construction of said facilities. Such permit issuance shall be in conformance with required permits of state and federal agencies and all applicable local, state, and federal laws, policies, ordinances, and regulations.
F. 
The approving authority shall review the actions of the controlling authority and may order the controlling authority to perform repairs or corrections, or establish ownership by the County, as necessary to assure proper operations of shared sanitary facilities. The controlling authority may not be the approving authority.
G. 
The approving authority and controlling authority shall honor all permits issued for shared sanitary facilities by any state agency charged with issuance of such permits; provided, however, that they may adopt or require additional or stricter construction, operational, or managerial standards necessary for the proper development and use of the shared sanitary facilities.
A. 
Petition. The developer or owner(s) of a property or properties desiring to construct or create a shared sanitary facility must file a written petition with the controlling authority requesting amendment of the Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan for priority service classification to establish a shared sanitary facility. The plan amendment shall be processed in accordance with applicable procedures of the plan and regulations pertaining to planning water supply and sewerage systems. The petition must be endorsed by notarized signature of all owners to be served by the proposed shared sanitary facility and must be accompanied by full payment of all required application fees and supporting documentation as specified herein.
B. 
Contents of petition. The petitioners shall provide, at their own expense, all mapping, plans, data tabulations, studies, environmental impact analyses, hydrogeological evaluations, schedules, cost estimates, audits, and other documentation relating to the service area delineation, service capacity, growth and expansion considerations, and installation of the proposed shared sanitary facility, as specified by the plan amendment procedures and rules or regulations adopted pursuant hereto; and as requested by the controlling and approving authorities.
C. 
Action on petition. The controlling authority shall approve the petition request for designation of a proposed shared sanitary facility service area only if it is determined that:
(1) 
The proposed shared sanitary facility is necessary for the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the County who will immediately, or in the future, be served by the proposed shared sanitary facility;
(2) 
It is technically and fiscally feasible to establish, construct, and operate the proposed shared sanitary facility in accordance with the provisions hereto and the requirements of applicable local, state, and federal regulations and legislated policies;
(3) 
There are no prohibitions in effect to preclude issuance of any required permits pertaining to the establishment, construction, and operation of the proposed shared sanitary facility; and
(4) 
The proposed shared sanitary facility and service area is consistent with planning goals and objectives.
D. 
Appeal following petition denial. If the controlling authority denies the petition, in whole or in part, the petitioners, within 30 days after the denial, may appeal to the County Council. Such appeal shall be in writing, including documentation of all proceedings through the controlling authority and a statement of the reasons for appeal. The County Council, in the event of an appeal, shall:
(1) 
Determine whether the proposed shared sanitary facility meets the applicable provisions as required herein; and
(2) 
Affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the controlling authority.
E. 
Action following approval. Upon petition approval by the controlling authority, or appeal decision approval of the County Council, the controlling authority shall introduce legislation to the County Council, in resolution format, for plan amendment to develop the proposed shared sanitary facility. The resolution shall proceed in accordance with the plan provisions and legislative regulations for amendment, including the advertisement, procedure, and documentation of public hearing. The time for legislative action for plan amendment may be extended by the County Council. Should the County Council fail to adopt the plan amendment for establishment of the shared sanitary facility within 65 days from the date of introduction, the petition shall be nullified.
F. 
Action following amendment. With passage of a resolution for plan amendment for establishment of the proposed shared sanitary facility and related service area(s), the County Council authorizes the controlling authority to:
(1) 
Enter into an agreement with the petitioner(s) specifying the procedures to be followed in the development, use and continuity of the shared sanitary facility; and
(2) 
File the adopted resolution for plan amendment and the executed agreement for development among the Land Records of Talbot County, Maryland. Any such resolution and agreement adopted hereunder shall be deemed a covenant running with the land so affected or served.
The developer, applicant, owner, or petitioner proposing to develop a shared sanitary facility shall consult with the approving and controlling authorities throughout the planning and construction phases as specified herein. A formally executed public works agreement shall accompany and govern the development of all authorized shared sanitary facilities established in Talbot County hereto. The agreement shall be of suitable form, including provisions for fees, technical provisions, attachments, submittals, bonds and references necessary to address the following minimum procedures and requirements:
A. 
Fees.
(1) 
Payment of all application fees must be received by the controlling authority (payable to "Talbot County, Maryland"), prior to introduction of a resolution for plan amendment to establish the proposed shared sanitary facility. Such fees, due with submittal of the petition for establishment of the requested facility, shall be paid in accordance with the following schedule, subject to annual review and revision by the Talbot County Council:
(a) 
Limited (Class I) shared sanitary facility: $125/equivalent dwelling unit, not to exceed $500 total fee.
(b) 
Intermediate (Class II) shared sanitary facility: $225/equivalent dwelling unit, not to exceed $4,000 total fee.
(c) 
Major (Class III) shared sanitary facility: $7,500 flat fee.
(2) 
Application fees shall fund administrative and technical review and inspection costs of the controlling authority associated with the establishment, development, and construction of the shared sanitary facility. Application fees are 85% refundable should the application petition be denied, nullified, or withdrawn.
B. 
Permits:
(1) 
The owner shall submit, as required by the controlling and approving authorities and prior to any construction activities or site disturbance, copies of all permits required to develop the proposed construction, alteration, expansion, extension, or replacement of the approved shared sanitary facility.
(2) 
The owner shall secure all required permits for operation of a constructed shared sanitary facility, or alteration, expansion, extension, or replacement thereto, prior to approval by the approving and controlling authorities, for start-up, use, and operation of said facility.
(3) 
Permits for construction and operation of the proposed shared sanitary facility shall include all permits required by local, state, and federal regulations, including the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program, applicable to the development and operation of said facility.
(4) 
No owner or developer shall construct, alter, or extend a shared sanitary facility in the County without having received a sanitary construction permit therefor from the approving authority. No such permit shall be issued without approval of all required submittals by the approving and controlling authorities.
(5) 
Subject to the provisions of § 152-4, above, no owner or developer shall start, operate, or use a constructed or altered shared sanitary facility in the County without having received an operating permit therefor from the controlling authority. No operating permit shall be issued or renewed without receipt and approval of all required submittals, including audits and/or financial management planning documents, as specified herein. The operating permit shall be renewed annually by July 1.
(6) 
The owner shall be responsible to renew, extend and maintain in a current status all permits as required by the Department and the approving and controlling authorities. No local operating permit shall be renewed or extended without the valid status of other state or federal operating or discharge permits required.
(7) 
The owner shall bear the complete costs for all permits necessary to develop and operate the shared sanitary facility. All permits issued by the approving and controlling authorities shall be to the owner and are nontransferable. Transfer of ownership shall require the new owner to secure new permits.
C. 
Plans and specifications:
(1) 
No permit for development of a shared sanitary facility shall be issued until complete plans and specifications for construction, alteration, expansion, extension, or replacement of said facility, together with such additional information as may be required, have been submitted to and approved by the Department or controlling and approving authorities.
(2) 
Such plans and specifications shall assure compliance with all applicable codes and regulations, including building, plumbing, electrical and sanitary construction codes in effect, and shall address applicable policy requirements pertaining to water and sewerage plan objectives, land use plan objectives, groundwater protection plan criteria, critical area regulations, zoning and subdivision regulations, stormwater management, sediment and erosion control, wetlands protection, and other controls and design criteria as may be directed by local, state, or federal policies and regulations.
(3) 
Additional supplementary or supporting design information in such form of study, evaluation, report or survey as required, including cost data, shall be submitted prior to final approval of the plans and specifications by the controlling and approval authorities.
(4) 
Where so required by applicable regulations, or by the controlling and approving authorities, plans and specifications for the development of a shared sanitary facility shall be certified in signature and seal by a professional engineer registered in the State of Maryland.
(5) 
Plans and specifications shall be submitted to and approved by the Department as required prior to issuance of a permit by the approving authority for development of a shared sanitary facility.
(6) 
No deviations from the approved plans and specifications shall be constructed in the development of the shared sanitary facility without approval by the controlling and approval authorities, and as may be further required by the Department.
(7) 
Upon completion of construction of the shared sanitary facility, the owner shall submit to the controlling and approval authorities and the Department, as required, a full and complete plan and documentation of the system as built.
(8) 
The developer shall bear the complete cost of the design plans and specifications for the shared sanitary facility, including any supplemental estimates, studies, evaluations, reports, or surveys required by the Department or the controlling and approving authorities.
(9) 
Approval of any submittal required hereto, by the controlling and approving authorities or the Department, does not exempt the development of the shared sanitary facility from conformance with other applicable regulations, covenants, contracts, or enforceable provisions.
D. 
Construction:
(1) 
The developer shall be responsible for the construction of an approved shared sanitary facility or any alteration, upgrade, repair, replacement or expansion thereto, in full compliance and accordance with the required public works agreement, approved plans and specifications, and all permits issued and in effect.
(2) 
The developer shall bear the complete cost of construction of the shared sanitary facility, including required testing and inspection, quality control, design modifications approved during construction and supplemental estimates, studies, evaluations, reports, or surveys required by the Department or the controlling and approving authorities during the construction phase.
(3) 
The developer shall perform all corrections ordered by the Department or the controlling and approving authorities during the construction phase, and shall bear all costs for same.
(4) 
The developer shall submit all bidders' lists, subcontractor's listings, contractor qualification statements, bonds, and insurance certificates, construction schedules, equipment and material submittals, equipment and parts listings, test results, equipment and system calibrations and certifications, warranties, data sheets, records, operation and maintenance manuals and other installation and operational information and compilations as required by the Department, or approving and controlling authorities.
(5) 
The Developer shall provide all inspection, testing, quality control, and certification services as required to assure construction in compliance with the approved design. Such services shall be defined prior to construction and provided as specified through the construction phase.
(6) 
Upon satisfactory completion of all requirements of construction, the developer shall submit to the controlling authority certification of payment and release of liens pertinent to all design, construction and service contracts associated with the development of the shared sanitary facility.
E. 
Start-up and acceptance:
(1) 
Upon satisfactory completion of all requirements of construction the developer shall secure the services of the design engineer to start the facility in operation and certify in writing that all components, processes, equipment, systems and units are operable in accordance with the approved design.
(2) 
The controlling authority shall verify satisfactory construction and start-up of the shared sanitary facility and authorize its use, in writing, under provisions of applicable operating permits issued and in effect. No authorization for use and operation of the shared sanitary facility shall be valid without the effective status of all required permits and licenses.
(3) 
Prior to start-up and authorization by the controlling authority for use and operation of the shared sanitary facility, the developer shall submit an operational plan, including general, maintenance, emergency and safety procedures for the use and operation of all units, components, equipment, processes, and systems constructed with the shared sanitary facility. The operational plan shall include manufacturer's and safety data sheets for all major equipment units, spare and repair parts inventory listings, and identification and telephone listings of all operating personnel. The operational plan shall be revised, updated, or modified as required, to reflect the operational status of the facility. The operational plan shall be prepared and certified by the design engineer and shall satisfactorily address all requirements of local, state and federal regulations and permit provisions applicable to the approved shared sanitary facility. The operational plan shall be submitted to and approved by the Department and approving and controlling authorities as required. The developer shall bear all costs associated with preparation of the approved operational plan.
F. 
Schedule. The development and construction of a shared sanitary facility shall proceed in accordance with the priority classification for service as amended to the plan. For immediate priority status, this means the shared sanitary facility shall be placed into operation within three years from the effective date of plan amendment to establish the shared sanitary facility. Should this schedule not be achieved, the authorization petition for development and construction of the shared sanitary facility may be nullified. An extension of not more than one year shall be considered if requested by the developer, in writing, within six months prior to the date of expiration. No additional extensions shall be permitted.
G. 
Operation:
(1) 
Prior to operation and service of the completed shared sanitary facility, the developer shall submit in approved form and content, as required attachments to the public works agreement for recording among the Land Records of Talbot County, Maryland, the following items:
(a) 
A maintenance and use agreement among the users and developer of the shared sanitary facility providing for and defining the ownership of said facility by the owners of the properties served thereby, the developer, or an organization, association, or corporate entity established to own and operate the facility. The maintenance agreement shall identify an owner's contact representative with authority to respond to orders of the Department, controlling and approving authorities on matters related to the use, operation, licensing, and permitting of the shared sanitary facility. The maintenance agreement shall provide for the continuous operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the shared sanitary facility at the expense of the owners of the properties served thereby. The maintenance agreement shall be structured to include future service areas or users incorporated through approved extension or expansion of the shared sanitary facility and shall include specific use and service connection requirements applicable to all users. Such use provisions shall be compatible with applicable regulations.
(b) 
A financial management plan which identifies all costs for capital installation, operation, maintenance, service, depreciation, and insurance of the shared sanitary facility and assessments for collection of revenues from users to balance said costs. The financial management plan shall be updated and submitted annually with application for the operating permit renewal.
(2) 
The developer or owner shall secure and maintain all required operating permits and/or licenses required as specified in § 152-10B herein.
(3) 
The developer or owner shall provide a staff of operating personnel as required to manage and operate the shared sanitary facility in accordance with the operating permit(s) in effect. The plant operator shall be certified in accordance with applicable state regulations for the class of facility permitted.
(4) 
The developer or owner shall assure that a testing and monitoring program is in effect at all times in accordance with the requirements of the operating permit(s). The services of a certified, independent laboratory shall be contracted as necessary to satisfy the monitoring requirements of the shared sanitary facility. The costs for such services shall be included in the financial management plan as an operational expense. Testing reports shall be submitted as required by the Department and approving or controlling authorities. Supplemental tests shall be conducted as requested by the Department and approving or controlling authorities, at the expense of the facility users.
(5) 
The developer or owner shall provide record storage for equipment maintenance and operations manuals, operational plans, safety data sheets, as-built plans, repair parts listings, permits, personnel listings; and shall maintain operating files for administrative, personnel, maintenance, operation, inventory, and accounting records, necessary to manage the shared sanitary facility.
(6) 
At the end of one year of operation after initial start-up, and if the facility is serving at least 10% of its design capacity, the design engineer shall certify, in writing, that the shared sanitary facility is operating in accordance with the design, permit, and regulatory requirements. With such certification, and with completion of all outstanding items of construction or warranty, any active maintenance bonds will be released and terminated.
(7) 
The developer or owner shall assure the shared sanitary facility is continuously managed, operated, and maintained in full compliance with requirements of the permit(s) in effect and applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
A. 
Permission and license for access and entry to all components of the shared sanitary facility for purposes of inspection, testing, monitoring, or observation shall be granted at any time during development, construction, start-up, operation, correction, repair, replacement, or alteration of the facility, to the Department and the approving and controlling authorities, or their agents, agencies, departments, officials, designees, and representatives.
B. 
Provision of access shall include establishment of easements and rights-of-way over private properties as necessary to assure continuity of access. The cost of preparing and recording such property encumbrances shall be borne by the developer or owner of the shared sanitary facility. Easements and rights-of-way shall be in such form as approved by the County Attorney prior to recordation.
C. 
Access and entry shall be available through all phases of establishment, development, construction, and operation of the shared sanitary facility.
D. 
The developer or owner shall pay such fees and reimbursements as the approving and controlling authorities, in their sole discretion, determine necessary and appropriate for additional inspection activities during construction and operation of the shared sanitary facility to assure compliance with the agreements, permits, or regulations in effect.
A. 
Private ownership. It is the intent of this regulation that all shared sanitary facilities, planned, approved, established, constructed, and operated hereunder, shall remain in the private ownership of the developer, users, or special entity as suitably defined by the required maintenance and use agreement. The ownership of existing privately owned shared sanitary facilities shall remain unchanged, unless acquired by the controlling authority as specified herein.
B. 
Jurisdiction. Notwithstanding § 152-4, above, the approving and controlling authorities shall have jurisdiction over all shared sanitary facilities constructed after the effective date hereto, and all existing shared sanitary facilities within the unincorporated areas of Talbot County which are subject to the laws of the Public Service Commission of Maryland. Such jurisdiction shall include authorization for permitting, inspection, monitoring, and enforcement as specified herein, or as otherwise required by applicable local, state, or federal regulation. Should such jurisdiction be extended to existing shared sanitary facilities, the requesting authority shall conduct a public hearing in accordance with applicable regulations for plan amendment, including a notice which shall be published locally at least two weeks in advance, providing details, intentions and reasons the jurisdictional action is sought.
C. 
Acquisition. The controlling authority is authorized and empowered to purchase or acquire by gift any shared sanitary facility, or parts thereof, necessary for the purpose of providing adequate sanitary utility service for the residents of Talbot County. Such acquisitions shall proceed through the plan amendment process, involving petition, public hearing, and approval by the County Council, and shall be executed under terms of a public works agreement to which all owners are party.
D. 
Transfer. Transfer of ownership of any shared sanitary facility under the jurisdiction of these provisions shall require reissue of all permits in effect by the approving and controlling authorities, registered notification of all users, and revision of all plans, records, and agreements as necessary to coordinate the new ownership with continued development or operation of the facility. The controlling authority may require any statements necessary to assess the financial stability of the new owner. The responsiveness of the new owner shall be demonstrated prior to the effective date of the transfer of the shared sanitary facility. Should the transfer occur before the assessment of the new owner is approved by the controlling authority, or should it be evident in the judgment of the controlling authority that the new owner is not qualified or capable to construct, maintain, and operate the facility in a proper and legal manner, the operating permit may be withheld and the facility seized under a condemnation action by the County Council, as specified hereinafter.
E. 
Abandonment. It shall be unlawful for any owner of a shared sanitary facility to abandon ownership and management of said facility without suitable and legal provisions for its continued and uninterrupted service in accordance with all permit and regulatory requirements. If such abandonment occurs, the owner shall be subject to the provisions of penalty for violation and the facility seized under a condemnation action by the County Council, as specified hereinafter.
F. 
Condemnation. In the event of default, abandonment, or service deficiency for the residents of Talbot County, pertaining to the construction, operation, and maintenance of a shared sanitary facility, or part thereof, or should it be otherwise proper and advisable, as determined by the controlling authority, to acquire a shared facility, or part thereof, and should the conditions for purchase, acquisition, or take-over of said facility be unavailable through normal procurement procedures, the County Council may seize the facility in the same manner as it is empowered to acquire land. In the condemnation of shared sanitary facilities, the jury shall take into consideration as a part of their award, after assessment of costs for corrections of conditions of default as determined by the controlling authority, any payment, contribution, assessment or tax upon the respective lot owners or purchasers toward the construction and operation of said facilities, and, where said facilities have been built in connection with or for the purpose of developing home sites, subdivisions or villages, or by any individual, firm or corporation, and such facilities have been offered as an inducement for the purchase of a lot or land therein, the jury shall deduct from the determined value of the plant or system such sum as it may reasonably determine was added to the purchase price of said land or lots in the sale thereof for the purpose of constructing said facilities. Privately owned systems shall be taken by said condemnation by the County free and clear of all debts and liens, but the County shall make a party defendant any person, firm or corporation having any recorded lien or encumbrance against same, and the Circuit Court is hereby empowered and authorized to determine the respective amounts due the defendants, and, from and after payment to the Court or to the proper parties, the County Council shall be authorized to take possession of, maintain and operate said facilities as a part of its system, and, from the date of such payment, all properties along the line of any sewer of the facilities so acquired shall stand in the same relation, bear the same benefit and use assessments and be subject to the same regulations and penalties as though the facilities so acquired had been constructed and put into operation by the County Engineer or authorities specified under the provisions for sanitary construction and environmental protection of the Talbot County Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 112, Plumbing Standards; Ch. 138, Sanitary District; Ch. 148, Sewer System.
With development of an approved shared sanitary facility, the controlling authority shall require such financial assurances in the form of bonds, cash deposits, escrow accounts, letters of credit, sureties, insurance or other suitable securities as necessary to assure the financial stability of the project through construction, start-up, operation, repair, replacement and continuity of use. The owner shall provide the following minimum coverages as required by the controlling authority, or as otherwise specified:
A. 
Construction bond. A suitable performance bond for construction equal to at least 120% of the estimated value of construction or the acceptable low bid for construction, in favor of and payable to Talbot County, shall be continuously effective through the performance period to construction completion. The controlling authority may reduce the bond amount in accordance with the value of work remaining, dependent on the satisfactory performance of the construction requirements. In the event that work is proceeding in a manner not in accordance with the requirements for development of the shared sanitary facility, the controlling authority may initiate action for, or order, completion of work by the County, utilizing bond funding.
B. 
Maintenance bond. A suitable maintenance bond shall be provided, effective through a minimum warranty period of one year from the date of satisfactory completion of the constructed shared sanitary facility and equal to at least 50% of the value of the constructed facility. The maintenance bond shall be in favor of and payable to Talbot County and shall be released upon operational certification, as specified herein, at the end of the warranty period. In the event that deficiencies are uncorrected, or the facility is not operating in accordance with the requirements of permit or regulation, the controlling authority may initiate action for, or order, performance of the necessary repairs or corrections utilizing bond funding.
C. 
Facility fund. The owner shall establish a facility fund for major repair and replacement, at the time of start-up of the shared sanitary facility, consisting of 10% of the value of the constructed facility. The facility fund shall be subsidized in the minimum amount of 2.5% of the value of initial construction, each year after start-up, through assessments of connection, service, and use fees as approved in the user charge plan and accrued interest compounded into the fund. The facility fund shall be maintained at a minimum worth of 10% of the value of initial construction.
D. 
Insurance. The owner shall obtain and continue adequate insurance protection for damage and liability, effective from the date of start-up of the shared sanitary facility. Minimum insurance coverages shall be for property damage in the amount of 10% of the current cost of replacement or capital value of the facilities, and for general liability in the amount of $300,000. Current certificates of insurance shall be submitted to the controlling authority requisite to the operating permit issuance or renewal. All costs for insurance protection shall be funded by the owner and/or user charges for operation as approved in the financial management plan. If necessary, and if so requested at any time by the approving or controlling authorities, insurance certificates shall be revised payable to and upon due claim by the County.
E. 
Financial management plan. A financial management plan shall be submitted prior to start-up and operation of the shared sanitary facility and with annual application for the operating permit renewal. The form and content of the financial management plan shall be as required by the Department or controlling authority and shall suitably address all items of cost and revenue required to use, operate, maintain, repair and replace the shared sanitary facility. The financial management plan shall identify all revenues required to fund costs, including user charges and assessments, and any other information requested to demonstrate the financial status of the shared sanitary facility. The financial management plan, or designated parts thereto, shall be recorded among the land records for the properties of the users or the shared sanitary facility or attached to the plan as ordered by the controlling authority.
F. 
Revenues. The owner shall collect revenues through user assessments as necessary to fund costs associated with the development, construction, use, operation, administration, management, maintenance, improvement, repair, replacement, or correction of the approved shared sanitary facility. Such revenues shall be available to the controlling authority for funding of ordered corrections as specified herein. Revenue assessments shall be properly audited as required in the financial management plan and shall be in accordance with applicable regulations and policies of the Maryland Public Service Commission. It shall be unlawful for the owner to assess and collect revenues from users of the shared sanitary facility in excess of the funds necessary to comply with the approved financial management plan.
G. 
Assessments. In the event that the County, approving, or controlling authorities shall accrue costs for corrections, improvements, repairs, condemnation, operation, construction, completion, repair, maintenance, replacement, or expansion associated with the continuity and compliance of use of the shared sanitary facility, said costs shall be assessed against the owners of the facility and the users served thereby. The assessments provided for herein shall become a lien upon each property served by the shared facilities and any lands held in common. The lien shall be created by the filing of a notice of assessment in the Talbot County Finance Office, with a copy thereof to the property owner affected thereby. Said lien shall be enforced by the Finance Office for Talbot County in the same manner that liens for unpaid real estate taxes are enforced. No property subject to the lien described herein shall be transferred until said lien has been discharged. The lien shall be subordinate only to federal, state and local tax liens, or other governmentally imposed liens in effect.
A. 
Misdemeanor. The owner shall be responsible to assure that the shared sanitary facility is developed, constructed, altered, expanded, used, operated and maintained in full compliance with all effective permits and applicable provisions of this chapter. Any violations of said permits or provisions, as determined by the Department, or the controlling or approving authorities, shall constitute a misdemeanor or civil infraction, subject to the provisions for enforcement, citation, conviction, and penalty as specified herein.
B. 
Violation. Each item of noncompliance with effective permits, applicable provisions of this chapter, or order to correct, and each day of occurrence of such noncompliance, as determined by the Department, or the approving or controlling authorities, shall constitute a violation and be subject to citation as a separate offense, except when corrective action is in progress in accordance with specific orders of the Department, or the approving or controlling authorities.
C. 
Enforcement. The controlling authority shall be the enforcement office for the Talbot County Shared Sanitary Facilities Law. Under this provision the controlling authority may deliver a citation which certifies and documents each violation, orders corrections determined to be necessary to abate or mitigate the conditions and circumstances for violation, assesses applicable fines and penalties as specified herein, and gives notice of the right of trial against the citation for violation.
D. 
Correction. The controlling authority, upon determination of an instance of violation, with or without the request of the approving authority, may order the owner to take whatever corrective action is necessary to return the status of the shared sanitary facility to compliance with the effective permits and applicable provisions of this chapter. Such order for correction shall be issued in writing, and suitably responded to, as directed, within 24 hours for an emergency violation and within 30 days for a nonemergency violation. An emergency violation shall be determined as a condition requiring corrective action in order to protect the public health, safety, or welfare in the use and operation of the shared sanitary facility. Costs of ordered corrections, whether performed by the owner or the controlling authority, shall be borne by the owner and/or users through application of available funds of the required financial assurances as specified herein.
E. 
Penalty:
(1) 
Criminal conviction. A fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days shall be charged to the owner for conviction of each violation for which the owner fails to correct or respond to as ordered by the controlling authority and which results in, or is related to, a public health and safety hazard. The user of the land upon which the violation occurs or exists, as well as the owner of the shared sanitary facility and any other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation may be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties herein provided. To the maximum extent reasonable, the court shall order, in addition to orders of the controlling authority, any actions as the court may deem appropriate to safeguard against continuing or future violations of this chapter. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, seizure of all properties and assets of the shared sanitary facility, by the County, for immediate control, use, and operation of the facility under condemnation procedures as specified herein.
(2) 
Civil infraction. A fine not to exceed $100 per violation may be imposed by the controlling authority as a civil infraction. A person who receives a citation for civil infraction may elect to stand trial for the offense by filing with the controlling authority a notice of intention of same within 15 days of receipt of the citation. The controlling authority shall forward to the District Court having venue, a copy of the citation and the notice of intention to stand trial. On receipt of the citation, the District Court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the defendant of the trial date. All fines, penalties, or forfeitures collected by the District Court for civil infraction violations shall be remitted to Talbot County. If election of trial is not found within 15 days and the citation is not satisfied, the controlling authority may request adjudication of the case through the District Court. The District Court shall schedule the case for trial and summon the defendant to appear. Adjudication of a violation under this provision for civil infraction is not a criminal conviction, nor does it impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by a criminal conviction. In a proceeding before the District Court, the violation shall be prosecuted in the same manner and to the same extent as set forth in municipal infractions in Article 23A, § 3(b)(8) through (15) of the Maryland State Code. The County Council may authorize the County Attorney to prosecute a civil infraction violation. If a person is found by the District Court to have committed a civil infraction violation, he shall be liable for the costs of the proceedings in the District Court.
There shall be no provisions for exceptions and variances available in this chapter. A waiver may be granted for any provision, or part thereof, by the controlling authority. Such waivers shall be specific to each facility project at the discretion of the controlling authority, but shall not be granted if the protection of the public interest, health, safety and welfare is adversely affected, or if such waivers are prohibited by the Department, the approving authority, the provisions of the plan, or any other local, state, or federal regulations in effect.
A. 
Any developer, owner, user, or citizen aggrieved by a decision of the Department or approving authority shall have the right to have the decision reviewed in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Maryland Rules of Procedure, or provisions for judicial review as stipulated in the Environmental Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
B. 
Any developer, owner, user, or citizen aggrieved by a decision of the controlling authority, except as considered by the County Council as specified in § 152-8D herein, shall have the right to hearing before the Talbot County Board of Appeals, in accordance with the procedures for such hearing as specified by Chapter 21, Board of Appeals Rules of Procedure. The Board of Appeals shall have the power to decide on appeals pertaining to administrative review alleging error in approval, order, requirement, decision, or determination by the controlling authority in the enforcement of this chapter, and the allowance of waivers applicable as specified hereinabove, pertinent to the development, construction, start-up, use, operation, maintenance, repair, improvement, expansion, alteration, or replacement of the shared sanitary facility.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals, with regard to this chapter may appeal the decision to the Circuit Court for Talbot County, in accordance with the rules and procedures applicable and in effect for the Circuit Court.
D. 
Costs for appeal shall not be allowed against the County unless it shall be determined in court that the County, or the controlling authority acted with gross negligence, in bad faith, capriciously, or with malice in making the appealed decision.