Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Wicomico County 3-7-1972 as Ord. No. 36; amended in its entirety 2-13-1989 by Bill No. 1989-4. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Electrical standards — See Ch. 138.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 149.
Housing standards — See Ch. 160.
Plumbing — See Ch. 183.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 200.
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Authority — See Anno. Code of Maryland (1957), Art. 25A, § 5.
[Amended last 8-4-2015 by Bill No. 2015-09]
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to establish building regulations that will promote and protect, in accordance with present and future needs, the safety, health, and general welfare of the citizens of Wicomico County and to provide reasonable protection to the public against hazards to life, health, and property.
B. 
The State of Maryland has adopted the International Building Code, the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code as the Maryland building performance standards, COMAR 05.02.07, with modifications. This chapter is intended to establish building regulations for Wicomico County, Maryland by adopting the International Building Code, the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code by incorporating modifications to the International Building Code, the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code that are in accordance with local conditions and requirements.
C. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the unincorporated territory of Wicomico County, Maryland. This chapter may be applied to the territory of any municipality within Wicomico County, Maryland, to the extent established by and only upon a written agreement between Wicomico County and the governing body of said municipality.
The County Council of Wicomico County hereby adopts the provisions set forth in the International Building Code (hereinafter referred to as "IBC"), 2015 Edition, including the appendices, as the building code for Wicomico County, Maryland and incorporated by reference. The provisions shall be controlling for all buildings within the corporate limits of Wicomico County, Maryland, unless otherwise exempted herein.
The following modifications are made to the International Building Code:
A. 
Section [A]103.1, Creation of enforcement agency: delete this section.
B. 
Section [A]103.2, Appointment: delete this section and replace with the following:
The Chief Building Official/Inspector shall have at least 10 years' experience as an architect, engineer, building inspector, building contractor or superintendent of building construction, for five years of which he shall have been the responsible person in charge of the work.
C. 
Section [A]103.3, Deputies: delete this section and replace with the following:
[A] 103.3 Inspectors. The Chief Building Official, with the approval of the Director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, may employ such number of officers, inspectors and assistants as shall be authorized from time to time. No person shall be employed as an inspector who has not had at least five years' experience as a building inspector, builder, engineer, architect or as a superintendent, foreman or competent mechanic in charge of construction.
D. 
Section [A]105.1, Required: delete this section and replace with the following:
[A] 105.1 Permit required.
1.
Any owner, authorized agent or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, to erect or construct a sign of any description, shall first make application to the Chief Building Official and obtain any required permit.
2.
A general permit shall carry with it the right to install in any building or structure or part thereof heating apparatus, elevators, sidewalk elevators, vaults, chutes, coal holes, lifts, cranes, derricks, steam-power boilers or steam, oil, gas or vapor engines, provided that the same are shown on the drawings and set forth in the specifications filed with the application for the permit, but where these are not shown on the drawings and covered by the specifications submitted with said application, special permits shall be required.
3.
Ordinary minor repairs may be made with the approval of the Chief Building Official without a permit, provided that such repairs shall not violate any of the provisions of this code.
E. 
Section [A]105.2, Work exempt from permit: delete this section and replace with the following:
[A] 105.2 Work exempt from permit. Exemptions from the permit requirement of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:
Building:
1.
Reserved.
2.
Fences not over eight feet high.
3.
Reserved.
4.
Retaining walls that are not over four feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III A liquids.
5.
Reserved.
6.
Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
7.
Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
8.
Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
9.
Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,925 l) and are installed entirely above ground.
10.
Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
11.
Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
12.
Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1,372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Groups R-3 and U occupancies.
13.
Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over five feet nine inches (1,753 mm) in height.
F. 
Section [A]105.2.1, Emergency repairs: delete this section and replace with the following:
Where repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the Chief Building Official.
G. 
Section [A]105.2.2, Repairs: delete this section and replace with the following:
Application or notice to the Chief Building Official is required for repairs to structures, where such repairs include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements or other work affecting public health or general safety, or changes in occupancy classification to existing structures.
H. 
Section [A]105.2.3, Public service agencies: delete this section.
I. 
Section [A]105.2.4, Withholding of permits: add the following new section:
Whenever the Chief Building Official shall find that the applicant is in violation of the provisions of this code or of the rules and regulations of any other department of Wicomico County in connection with the erection, maintenance or repair of buildings, structures, lands or equipment thereon or therein, he may refuse to grant any further permits to such applicant until such violations have been corrected.
J. 
Section [A]105.3.2, Time limitation of application: delete this section and replace with the following:
An application for a permit for any proposed work shall be deemed to have been abandoned 180 days after the date of filing, unless such application has been pursued in good faith or a permit has been issued; except that the chief building official is authorized to grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.
K. 
Section [A]105.4, Validity of permit and Section [A]105.5, Expiration: delete these sections and replace with the following:
A permit issued shall be construed to be a license to proceed with the work and shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel, alter or set aside any of the provisions of this code, nor shall such issuance of a permit prevent the Chief Building Official from thereafter requiring a correction of errors in plans or in construction or of issuing violations of this code. Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized by such permit is commenced within six months after its issuance. One extension of time, for a period not to exceed six months may be allowed for the initial start of work. Work authorized by such permit must be finished within three years from the date of issuance or extension, if granted by the Chief Building Official. Extension of time to finish the work as determined by the Chief Building Official may also be allowed. All extension requests are to be made in writing, and justifiable cause will have to be demonstrated.
Exception: Carports, decks, demolition and disposal, pools, portable sheds and solar panels must be completed within 180 days from the issuance of the permit.
L. 
Section [A]107.3.2, Previous approvals: delete this section and replace with the following:
This code shall not require changes in the construction documents, construction or designated occupancy of a structure for which a lawful permit has been heretofore issued or otherwise lawfully authorized, and the construction of which has been pursued in good faith within six months after the effective date of this code and has not been abandoned.
M. 
Section [A]108.3, Temporary power: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standard shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
N. 
Section [A]109.1, Payment of fees, Section [A]109.5, Related fees, and Section [A]109.6, refunds: delete these sections and replace with the following:
On all buildings, structures and alterations requiring a permit, a fee for each permit shall be paid as required at the time of the filing of the application, in accordance with the schedule as established by County Council resolution.
O. 
Section [A]109.2, Schedule of permit fees: delete this section and replace with the following:
For any type of work as specified herein, a permit fee shall be paid as required at the time of filing the application, in accordance with the schedule as established by County Council resolution.
P. 
Section [A]109.3, Building permit valuations: add the following sentence to the end of the section:
The permit fee required by this chapter shall be based on the estimated construction cost of the proposed work.
Q. 
Section [A]109.4, Work commencing before permit issuance: delete this section and replace with the following:
Any person who commences any type of work as specified herein without the necessary permits shall pay four times the usual permit fees, unless the person obtains the necessary permit within two business days of a stop-work order for failure to have the necessary permit, as specified in the schedule of permit fees established by County Council resolution.
R. 
Section [A]110.3.3, Lowest floor elevation: Delete this section and replace with the following:
The elevation certification required in Section 1612.5 shall conform to Chapter 149 of the County Code and be submitted to the Chief Building Official.
S. 
Section [A]111.2, Certificate issued: delete these subsections, Items 7 through 12.
T. 
Section [A]112.1, Connection of service utilities: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
U. 
Section [A]112.2, Temporary connection: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
V. 
Section [A]113, Board of Appeals: Delete this section and replace with the following:
An application for appeal shall be submitted to the Board of Appeals and shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted hereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply or an equally good or better form of construction is proposed. The Board of Appeals shall not have authority to waive requirements of this code. The Board of Appeals shall mean the Board of Appeals as established by Chapter 7 of the Wicomico County Code.
W. 
Section [A]114, Violations: delete this section and replace with the following:
[A] 114 Exemptions.
Religious groups exemption. No bona fide religious group or corporation shall be required to pay any fees set forth herein for a permit for the construction, erection, altering, repairing, removing or demolition of any church building, parsonage or any other auxiliary building used for church purposes. This exemption, however, shall not apply to any building constructed, erected, altered or repaired by such group wherein any revenue shall be derived therefrom from rentals, etc.; subject, nevertheless, to the conditions that such bona fide religious groups or corporations shall comply with any and all of the terms and conditions of this building code applicable thereto.
Farm building exemption. Farm accessory buildings that are deemed necessary in the operation of a farm, used for agricultural purposes and can be classified as Group U under the provisions of Chapter 3, Use and occupancy classification, in the 2015 International Building Code, require a building permit and all inspections. However farm accessory buildings and farm buildings shall be exempt from any fees set forth herein for a permit for construction, erection, altering, repairing, removing or demolition of any farm building or farm accessory building.
Volunteer Fire Department exemption. No Volunteer Fire Department shall be required to pay any fees set forth herein for a permit for the construction, erection, altering, repairing, removing or demolition of any Volunteer Fire Department building and related review fees, such as fire protection system plan review and inspection fees, floodplain permit fee, stormwater review fee, and electrical and utility permit and inspection fees, in connection with constructing a new Fire Department building. This exemption is subject to such Volunteer Fire Department complying with any and all of the terms and conditions of this building code applicable thereto.
X. 
Chapter 11, Accessibility: delete this chapter and replace with the following:
The Maryland Accessibility Code set for in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 05.02.02.
Y. 
Chapter 27, Electrical: delete this chapter and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
Z. 
Chapter 29, Plumbing Systems: delete this chapter and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 183 of the Wicomico County Code and enforced by the Plumbing Official.
AA. 
Appendices: delete Appendix B, C, D, E, G, J, K, L, M.
The County Council of Wicomico County hereby adopts the provisions set forth in the International Residential Code (hereinafter referred to as "IRC"), 2015 Edition, including the appendices, and as such shall be adopted, along with the IBC, as the building code for Wicomico County, Maryland, and incorporated by reference. The provisions shall be controlling for all buildings within the corporate limits of Wicomico County, Maryland, unless otherwise exempted herein.
The following modifications are made to the International Residential Code:
A. 
Section R101.2, Scope: add the following at the end of the first paragraph:
Structures moved into or within the jurisdiction shall comply with the provisions of this code for new structures. All applicable covenants of record and restrictions, including architectural, square footage and other structural requirements, shall remain in effect where the structure is placed.
B. 
Section R103.1, Creation of enforcement agency: delete this section.
C. 
Section R103.2, Appointment: delete this section and replace with the following:
The Chief Building Official/Inspector shall have had at least 10 years' experience as an architect, engineer, building inspector, building contractor or superintendent of building construction, for five years of which he shall have been the responsible person in charge of the work.
D. 
Section R103.3, Deputies: delete this section and replace with the following:
R103.3. Inspectors. The Chief Building Official, with the approval of the Director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, may employ such number of officers, inspectors and assistants as shall be authorized from time to time. No person shall be employed as an inspector who has not had at least five years' experience as a building inspector, builder, engineer, architect or as a superintendent, foreman or competent mechanic in charge of construction.
E. 
Section R105.1, Permit required: delete this section and replace with the following:
R105.1 Required.
1.
Any owner, authorized agent or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, to erect or construct a sign of any description, shall first make application to the Chief Building Official and obtain such required permit therefor.
2.
A general permit shall carry with it the right to install in any building or structure or part thereof heating apparatus, elevators, sidewalk elevators, vaults, chutes, coal holes, lifts, cranes, derricks, steam-power boilers or steam, oil, gas or vapor engines, provided that the same are shown on the drawings and set forth in the specifications filed with the application for the permit, but where these are not shown on the drawings and covered by the specifications submitted with said application, special permits shall be required.
3.
Ordinary minor repairs may be made with the approval of the Chief Building Official without a permit, provided that such repairs shall not violate any of the provisions of this code.
F. 
Section R105.2, Work exempt from permit: delete this section and replace with the following:
Exemptions from permit requirement of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:
Building:
1.
Portable one-level accessory structure not exceeding 250 square feet and that is not in a floodplain.
2.
Fences not over eight feet high.
3.
Reserved.
4.
Reserved.
5.
Reserved.
6.
Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
7.
Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,925 l) and are installed entirely above ground.
8.
Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
9.
Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1,372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Groups R-3 and U occupancies.
10.
Decks that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4.
11.
Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
12.
Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over five feet nine inches (1,753 mm) in height.
G. 
Section R105.2.1, Emergency repairs: delete this section and replace with the following:
Where repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the Chief Building Official.
H. 
Section R105.2.2, Repairs: delete this section and replace with the following:
Application or notice to the Chief Building Official is required for repairs to structures, where such repairs include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements or other work affecting public health or general safety, or changes in occupancy classification to existing structures.
I. 
Section R105.2.3, Public service agencies: delete this section.
J. 
Section R105.2.4, Withholding of permits: add the following new section:
Whenever the Chief Building Official shall find that the applicant is in violation of the provisions of this code or of the rules and regulations of any other department of Wicomico County in connection with the erection, maintenance or repair of buildings, structures, lands or equipment thereon or therein, he may refuse to grant any further permits to such applicant until such violations have been corrected.
K. 
Section R105.3.1.1, Determination of substantially improved or substantially damaged existing buildings in flood hazard areas: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
L. 
Section R105.3.2, Time limitation of application: delete this section and replace with the following:
An application for a permit for any proposed work shall be deemed to have been abandoned 180 days after the date of filing, unless such application has been pursued in good faith or a permit has been issued; except that the Chief Building Official is authorized to grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.
M. 
Section R105.4, Validity of permit and Section R105.5, Expiration: delete these sections and replace with the following:
A permit issued shall be construed to be a license to proceed with the work and shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel, alter or set aside any of the provisions of this code, nor shall such issuance of a permit prevent the Chief Building Official from thereafter requiring a correction of errors in plans or in construction or of violations of this code. Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized by such permit is commenced within six months after its issuance. One extension of time, for a period not to exceed six months may be allowed for the initial start of work. Work authorized by such permit must be finished within three years from the date of issuance or extension, if granted by the Chief Building Official. Extension of time to finish the work as determined by the Chief Building Official may also be allowed. All extension requests are to be made in writing, and justifiable cause will have to be demonstrated.
Exception: Carports, decks, demolition and disposal, pools, portable sheds and solar panels must be completed within 180 days from the issuance of the permit.
N. 
Section R106.1, Submittal documents: delete this section and replace with the following:
R106.1 Construction documents.
Construction documents, special inspection and structural observation programs and other data shall be submitted in two or more sets with each application for a permit. Where special conditions exist, the Chief Building Official is authorized to require additional construction documents to be prepared by a registered design professional.
Exception: The Chief Building Official is authorized to waive the submission of construction documents and other data if it is found that the nature of work applied for is such that reviewing of construction documents is not necessary to obtain compliance with this building code.
O. 
Section R106.1.4, Information for construction in flood hazard areas: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
P. 
Section R106.3.2, Previous approvals: delete this section and replace with the following:
This code shall not require changes in the construction documents, construction or designated occupancy of a structure for which a lawful permit has been heretofore issued or otherwise lawfully authorized, and the construction of which has been pursued in good faith within six months after the effective date of this code and has not been abandoned.
Q. 
Section R107.3, Temporary power: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standard shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
R. 
Section R108.1, Payment of fees, Section R108.4, Related fees, and Section R108.5, Refunds: delete these sections and replace with the following:
On all buildings, structures, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and gas systems or alterations requiring a permit, a fee for each permit shall be paid as required at the time of the filing of the application, in accordance with the schedule as established by County Council resolution.
S. 
Section R108.2, Schedule of permit fees: delete this section and replace with the following:
For any type of work as specified herein, a permit fee shall be paid as required at the time of filing application, in accordance with the schedule as established by County Council resolution.
T. 
Section R108.3, Building permit valuations: add the following sentence to the end of the section:
The permit fee required by this chapter shall be based on the estimated construction cost of the proposed work. The estimated cost of construction shall be computed by the Chief Building Official or his designee and shall be based on the construction cost schedule adopted by County Council resolution.
U. 
Section 108.6, Work commencing before permit issuance: delete this section and replace with the following:
Any person who commences any type of work as specified herein without the necessary permits shall pay four times the usual permit fees, unless the person obtains the necessary permit within two business days of a stop-work order for failure to have the necessary permit, as specified in the schedule of permit fees established by County Council resolution.
V. 
Section R109.1.2, Plumbing, mechanical, gas and electrical systems inspection: delete this section.
W. 
Section R109.1.3, Floodplain inspections: delete this section and replace with the following:
For construction in flood hazard areas as established by Table R301.2(1), upon placement of the lowest floor, including basement, and prior to further vertical construction, the Chief Building Official shall require submission of documentation, prepared and sealed by a registered design professional, of the elevation of the lowest floor, including basement, required in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
X. 
Section R109.1.6.1, Elevation documentation: delete this section and replace with the following:
If located in a flood hazard area, the documentation of elevations required in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code shall be submitted to the Chief Building Official prior to the final inspection.
Y. 
Section R111.1, Connection of service utilities: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standard shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
Z. 
Section R111.2, Temporary connection: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
AA. 
Section R112, Board of Appeals: delete this section and replace with the following:
An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted hereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do fully apply or an equally good or better form of construction is proposed. The Board of Appeals shall not have authority to waive requirements of this code. The Board of Appeals shall mean the Board of Appeals as established by Chapter 7 of the Wicomico County Code.
BB. 
Section R301.2.4, Floodplain construction: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
CC. 
Section R304.1, Minimum area and Section R.304.2, Minimum dimensions: delete these sections and replace with the following:
The objective of space requirements is to assure that each living unit provides complete living facilities ordinarily considered necessary to a permanent home, arranged and equipped to provide suitable and desirable living, sleeping, cooking and dining accommodations and adequate storage and sanitary facilities.
1.
The square footage of all rooms of a single-bedroom house shall have an inside minimum square footage of 446 square feet with an outside minimum square footage of 528 square feet, with the various rooms therein of the following minimum sizes:
Room
Square Feet
Living room
150
Kitchen or dining room
120 (total)
First bedroom
100
Closet or closets
16 (total)
Bathroom
30
Utility room
30
Total
446
2.
The square footage of all rooms of a two-bedroom house shall have an inside minimum square footage of 532 square feet with an outside minimum square footage of 624 square feet, with the various rooms therein of the following minimum sizes:
Room
Square Feet
Living room
150
Kitchen or dining room
130 (total)
First bedroom
100
Second bedroom
70
Closet or closets
22 (total)
Bathroom
30
Utility room
30
Total
532
3.
The square footage of all rooms of a three-bedroom house shall have an inside minimum square footage of 678 square feet with an outside minimum square footage of 768 square feet, with the various rooms therein of the following minimum sizes:
Room
Square Feet
Living room
165
Kitchen or dining room
155 (total)
First bedroom
100
Second bedroom
100
Third bedroom
70
Closet or closets
28 (total)
Bathroom
30
Utility room
30
Total
678
DD. 
Section R306, Sanitation: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 183 of the Wicomico County Code.
EE. 
Section R309.3, Flood hazard areas: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
FF. 
Section R311.7.5.1, Risers: Add the following sentence to the end of the section:
3.
The riser height of stairways leading to unconditioned areas that are used only for storage above attached or detached garages may have a maximum riser height of 8 1/2 inches. Such storage areas cannot be converted to a habitable space unless the riser height of the stairway is reduced to a maximum height of the stairway of 7 3/4 inches.
GG. 
Section R311.7.5.2, Treads: add the following sentence to the end of the section:
1.
The riser height of stairways leading to unconditioned areas that are used only for storage above attached or detached garages may have a minimum tread depth of nine inches. Such storage areas cannot be converted to habitable space unless the tread depth is increased to a minimum of 10 inches.
HH. 
Section R311.7.8, Handrails: add the following sentence to the end of the section:
1.
For handrails on exterior stairways, the top of the fourth riser shall not exceed 30 inches, measured from the finished adjacent grade, and shall be in accordance with section R311.7.5.1.
II. 
Section R317.1, Location required: delete Paragraph 1 and replace with the following:
1.
When wood joists or the bottom of wood structural floors without joists are closer than 24 inches or wood girders are closer than 18 inches to exposed ground located within the periphery of the building over a crawl space or unexcavated areas, they shall be of approved naturally durable wood or pressure-treated wood. For additions to existing dwellings, this requirement will be determined by the chief building official.
JJ. 
Section R322, Flood-resistant construction: delete this section and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 149 of the Wicomico County Code.
KK. 
Chapter 11: delete this chapter.
LL. 
Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23: delete these chapters.
MM. 
Chapters 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33. delete these chapters and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 183 of the Wicomico County Code and enforced by the Plumbing Official.
NN. 
Chapters 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43: delete these chapters and replace with the following:
The standards shall be as set forth in Chapter 138 of the Wicomico County Code.
OO. 
Appendices: delete Appendix A, B, D through Q, T, U.
The County Council of Wicomico County hereby adopts the provisions set forth in the International Energy Conservation Code (hereinafter referred to as "IEC"), 2015 Edition, including the appendices and as such shall be adopted, along with the IBC and IRC, as the building code for Wicomico County, Maryland, and incorporated by reference. The provisions shall be controlling for all buildings within the corporate limits of Wicomico County, Maryland, unless otherwise exempted herein.
This code is hereby declared to be remedial and shall be construed to secure the beneficial interests and purposes thereof, which are the health, public safety and welfare of the general public.
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or agent who shall violate any provision of this article or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted thereof before a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both, and, in addition, shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate and additional offense.
B. 
Any person, firm, corporation or agent who shall violate any provision of this article or fail to comply thereafter or with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of a civil infraction and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation. The fine shall be as specified in the schedule of fines adopted by County Council resolution for the violation charged. The Director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development or his designee is hereby authorized to issue citations for civil infractions of this chapter. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
C. 
In case of any violation of this article, the County may, in addition to other remedies provided herein, institute any appropriate action or proceeding in Circuit Court, either by injunction or otherwise, to prevent such unlawful action and/or to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of such building or structure and to prevent any illegal act in or about such premises.
[Added 7-18-2006 by Bill No. 2006-6]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this article is to establish minimum standards to insure a reasonable degree of reliability for emergency services communications from within buildings and structures within the county to and from emergency communications centers.
B. 
General. Except as otherwise provided, no person shall maintain, own, erect or construct any building or structure or any part thereof or cause the same to be done which fails to support adequate radio coverage for emergency service workers, including but not limited to firefighters and law enforcement officers.
C. 
A certificate of occupancy may not be issued for any building or structure which fails to comply with the requirements contained in this section. A contractor or owner of any building or structure seeking a certificate of occupancy must present the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development a written letter from the Department of Emergency Services ("DES") or a DES form stating approval of the project, before any certificate of occupancy is issued.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15; 12-18-2012 by Bill No. 2012-13]
[Added 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OWNER
Any person owning the building at issue or a person the owner designates to represent him or her in these matters.
A. 
Descriptively, "adequate coverage" means the ability for emergency services personnel to transmit into the building an intelligible voice signal that may be heard; the ability to receive an intelligible voice signal transmitted and originating from within the building; and, the ability to transmit and receive intelligible voice signals among emergency personnel who are within the building.
B. 
For purposes of this section, adequate radio coverage shall include all of the following:
(1) 
A minimum signal strength of minus 95 dbm available in 90% of the area of each floor of the building when transmitted from the dispatch communications system of the emergency personnel;
(2) 
A minimum signal strength of minus 95 dbm received at the dispatch communications system of the emergency personnel when transmitted from 90% of the area of each floor of the building;
(3) 
The frequency range which must be supported shall be as determined by the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services ("DES"). The Wicomico County Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development is responsible for notifying the contractor, owner, or submitting party of the need to contact the DES regarding plan submittal to the DES for approval of the system. The DES will notify the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development after review, as to whether the plan is approved or not approved.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15; 12-18-2012 by Bill No. 2012-13]
(4) 
A reliability factor of 90%.
C. 
When measuring the performance of a bidirectional amplifier, signal strength measurements are based on one input signal adequate to obtain a maximum continuous operating output level.
D. 
Industry standard DAQ definitions are shown in Table 1. DAQ Level 3 is commonly specified as the minimum performance level for public safety systems.
Table 1
Delivered Audio Quality (DAQ)
Delivered Audio Quality
Subjective Performance Description
1
Unusable, speech present but unreadable
2
Understandable with considerable effort; frequent repetition due to noise/distortion
3
Speech understandable with slight effort; occasional repetition required due to noise/distortion
3.5
Speech understandable with repetition only rarely required; some noise/distortion.
4
Speech easily understood; occasional noise/distortion
4.5
Speech easily understood; infrequent noise/distortion
5
Speech easily understood
A. 
Buildings and structures which cannot support the required level of radio coverage as determined by the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services ("DES") shall be equipped with any of the following in order to achieve the required adequate radio coverage:
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
(1) 
A radiating cable system; or
(2) 
An internal multiple antenna system with or without FCC-accepted bidirectional amplifiers as needed.
B. 
If any part of the installed system(s) contain(s) an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operating on an independent battery and/or generator system for a period of at least 12 hours without external power input. The battery system shall automatically charge in the presence of an external power input. The amplification system, if powered, will be monitored by the building fire alarm system. If the system shifts to auxiliary power as stated above, the building fire alarm system will indicate trouble for that dedicated zone. If used, bidirectional amplifiers shall include filters to reduce adjacent frequency interference at least minus 35 db below the NPSPAC band. The filters shall be tuned to the MHz range determined in accordance with § 117-4B(3). Other settings may be used, provided that they do not attenuate the NPSPAC frequencies and further provided that they are not more than one MHz from the NPSPAC frequencies.
C. 
In the event that a signal booster is employed, it shall be fully encased within a NEMA 4 (or equivalent) dust/waterproof case.
A. 
Acceptance testing. Officials from the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services ("DES") or police or fire personnel of this jurisdiction may require tests to ensure sufficient overall two-way coverage within the building, including all areas located below grade as evidence of compliance with this Code. Tests are to be performed in the presence of said county personnel at no expense to this jurisdiction.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
B. 
Annual tests. When an in-building radio system is required, the building owner shall test all active components of the system, including but not limited to amplifiers, power supplies and backup batteries, a minimum of once every 12 months. Amplifiers shall be tested to ensure that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load for a period of one hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the one-hour test period, in the opinion of the testing technician, the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional one-hour periods until the testing technician confirms the integrity of the battery. All other active components shall be checked to determine that they are operating within the manufacturer's specifications for the intended purpose.
C. 
Five-year tests. In addition to the annual test, the building owner shall perform a radio coverage test a minimum of once every five years to ensure that the radio system continues to meet the requirements of the original acceptance test. The procedure set forth above shall apply to such tests.
D. 
Field tests. Police or fire personnel, or personnel from DES, after providing reasonable notice to the owner or his representative, shall have the right to enter onto the property to conduct field testing to be certain the required level of radio coverage is present.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
E. 
Qualifications of testing personnel. All tests shall be conducted, documented and signed by a person in possession of:
(1) 
A current FCC license; or
(2) 
A current technician certification issued by the Associated Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO); or
(3) 
The Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA); or
(4) 
By a qualified member of the police or emergency services personnel.
F. 
Retention of records. All test records shall be retained on the inspected premises by the building owner and a copy submitted to DES. DES may enter onto the property to inspect the records maintained.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
This article shall not apply to: buildings or structures owned by the State of Maryland, including public schools, universities, colleges, and community colleges; single-family residences of less than 5,000 square feet in residential districts that are not put to commercial or institutional use; any building constructed of wood frame; any building 35 feet high or less; as long as none of the aforementioned buildings make use of any metal construction or any underground storage or parking areas. For purposes of this section, parking structures and stairwells are included in the definition of "building" and stair shafts are included in the definition of “all parts of a building” but elevators may be excluded.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
The requirements of this article may be lessened upon a written request of the owner when unique or unusual circumstances exist within a building or structure which make full compliance with the article practically infeasible. Upon a review of the application by county staff, including the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services ("DES"), Fire Chief, and Police Chief and their determination that said circumstances exist, to merit a lower standard of compliance without sacrificing the general intent of the article, a written waiver will be issued detailing the permissible variances. DES shall notify the building official and owner in writing of any waiver granted.
[Amended 12-1-2009 by Bill No. 2009-15]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a civil infraction and, upon conviction thereof, a citation will be issued and the person shall be fined in a sum not to exceed $500 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues to occur. The following officials from the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services are authorized to issue citations for violations of this article: Director, Deputy Director and the Radio Systems Manager.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this article shall for any reason be held to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this article.