Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners (now County Council) of Wicomico County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 117.
Trailer camps — See Ch. 211.
Zoning — See Ch. 225.
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Authority — See Anno. Code of Md. (1957). Art. 25, § 27.
[Adopted 7-14-1964 by Ord. No. 21; amended in its entirety 10-1-2002 by Bill No. 2002-13]
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
Pursuant to the power and authority vested in the County Council of Wicomico County, under Article 25A, § 5A of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Article XI-A of the Constitution of Maryland, the following provisions are hereby adopted with respect to licensing and regulating the location, operation and construction of hotels, motels, dance halls, carnivals, circuses and racetracks, outside the limits of incorporated towns and cities in Wicomico County and inside the limits of such incorporated town and cities where the charter provisions of said incorporated towns and cities contain no provision to license and regulate them or any of them or to refuse any such license.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
Any person, persons or corporations desiring to locate, operate or construct a hotel, motel, dance hall, carnival, circus or racetrack within the corporate limits of Wicomico County, including all areas inside the limits of incorporated towns and cities whose charter provisions contain no provision to license, refuse to license or regulate them or any of them shall be required to first obtain a license from the Director of Administration.
A. 
Application completed in compliance with this chapter shall be made at least 10 days prior to June 1 of each year.
[Amended 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
B. 
The application shall be on the form prescribed by the County. The applicant shall furnish such references as to character, past conduct and financial responsibility.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11; 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
C. 
The application shall contain a consent to inspection during reasonable hours during the entire term of the license.
D. 
Applications to renew a hotel or motel license shall include a statement from the Director of Finance that all taxes required by Chapter 203, Taxation, Article VII, Public Accommodations Tax, have been paid.
E. 
A firesafety inspection of the property for which application will be made shall be conducted and successfully completed prior to filing the application.
[Added 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11; 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
The Director of Administration reserves the right to refuse to grant any such permission. If and when such permission is granted, it shall be given in the form of a license issued, which license shall give the date of issue, the period covered by such license, the name of the person, persons or corporation to whom issued, the location to which same shall be applicable and the fee paid upon application for said license.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
No license shall be issued for a period longer than one year. Renewal of licenses may be had for additional one-year periods upon compliance with the same terms and conditions and upon payment of new license fees.
[Amended 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
The license fee is required to be paid at the time of application for the license under this article. The license and fee shall cover a period of one year from June 1 to the succeeding May 31 and shall be as follows:
A. 
For hotels and motels: $50.
B. 
Tourist camps: $50.
C. 
For dance halls: $100.
D. 
For carnivals, circuses and racetracks: the sum of $100 or at the rate of $25 per day, whichever is greater.
[Amended 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
A. 
A license as provided in §§ 170-2 through 170-6 hereof shall not be issued in Wicomico County to a person, persons or corporation for the construction, location or operation of a hotel or motel unless the following requirements and conditions are met:
(1) 
All information required by the County pursuant to § 170-3 has been submitted, which includes the hotel or motel being current on the public accommodation tax owed to the County.
(2) 
A firesafety inspection of the property for which application has been made shall be conducted and successfully completed prior to the issuance of the license. If the inspection indicates the property is not in compliance with all applicable laws or regulations, the license may be denied until remedial action, as determined by the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, remedies the violation.
(3) 
The hotel or motel is in compliance with all applicable County laws and regulations.
B. 
In the event a hotel or motel license holder shall fail to comply with the provisions of this chapter, he/she will be subject to the penalties in § 170-9.1. Additionally, the Director of Administration may refuse to issue a license, suspend or revoke the license.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11; 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
A. 
The Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development (Department) shall cause the inspection of a hotel or motel at least on a yearly basis.
B. 
If an inspection reveals that a hotel or motel is not in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, the license may be subject to revocation, refusal to reissue, or other remedial action by the Director of Administration upon the recommendation of the Department. A license may be revoked or suspended if the owner, after 10 days' written notice fails to eliminate or initiate bona fide efforts to eliminate code violations. Revocation or suspension of a license shall be in addition to and not in substitution for such other penalties as may be applicable.
[Amended 7-6-2004 by Bill No. 2004-6; 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11; 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
A. 
Upon the recommendation of the Department to refuse to reissue, suspend or revoke a license, the Director of Administration shall:
(1) 
Notify the holder of the license of the Director of Administration's decision in writing by certified mail; and
(2) 
State the reasons for the action.
B. 
The holder of the license not reissued, revoked or suspended by the Director of Administration may, within 10 days of the decision, appeal the decision to the Board of Appeals.
A. 
On and after the date of the final passage of the foregoing article, it shall be unlawful for any person, persons or corporation to establish, operate, construct or maintain any hotels, motels, dance halls, carnivals, circuses or racetracks outside the limits of incorporated towns and cities in the County and inside the limits of incorporated towns and cities whose charter provisions contain no power or authority to license, regulate or refuse to license them or any of them.
B. 
Any person, persons or corporation violating any provision or provisions of the foregoing article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each offense, and such place or establishment shall also be subject to be abated as a nuisance. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
[Amended 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
C. 
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil infraction and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of $100 a day for each offense, and such place or establishment shall also be subject to abatement. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The following officials from the Wicomico County Department of Finance and Planning, Zoning and Community Development are authorized to issue citations for violations of this chapter: Director or his designee, the Fire Marshal and Fire Inspectors.
[Added 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
D. 
In addition, the County may institute injunctive, mandamus or other appropriate action or proceedings of law to correct violations of this chapter. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue temporary or permanent restraining orders, injunctions or mandamus, or other appropriate forms of relief.
[Added 11-20-2012 by Bill No. 2012-11]
[Adopted 2-13-1992 by Bill No. 1992-6]
For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases shall mean:
ADULT BOOKSTORE
An establishment having as its stock-in-trade, for sale, rent, lease, inspection or viewing, books, films, video cassettes, magazines or other periodicals which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to specific sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, and, in conjunction therewith, having facilities for the presentation of adult-oriented entertainment, as defined below, including adult-oriented films or movies for observation by patrons therein.
ADULT-ORIENTED ENTERTAINMENT
An exhibition of any motion pictures, live performance, display or dance of any type which has as its dominant theme or is distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on any actual or simulated specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, or the removal of articles of clothing or appearing partially or totally nude.
ADULT-ORIENTED ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT
Includes adult bookstores and further means any premises to which public patrons or members are invited or admitted and which are so physically arranged so as to provide booths, rooms, cubicles, compartments or stalls separate from the common areas of the premises for the purpose of viewing adult-oriented entertainment, whether or not such adult-oriented entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for a profit, direct or indirect.
OPERATORS
Any person, partnership or corporation operating, conducting, maintaining or owning any adult-oriented entertainment establishment.
SPECIFIED ANATOMICAL AREAS
Less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttocks and female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola; human male genitals in a discernible turgid state, even if opaquely covered.
SPECIFIED SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
Simulated or actual showing of human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; acts of masturbation, sexual intercourse, sodomy, bestiality, necrophilia, sadomasochistic abuse, fellatio or cunnilingus; fondling or erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breasts.
Any adult-oriented entertainment establishment having available for customers, patrons or members any booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall for private viewing of any adult-oriented entertainment must comply with the following requirements:
A. 
Access. Each booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall shall be accessible solely from aisles and public areas of the adult-oriented entertainment establishment and shall be unobstructed by a door, curtain, lock or other control-type device.
B. 
Construction. Every such booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall shall meet the following construction requirements:
(1) 
It shall be separated from adjacent booths, rooms, cubicles, compartments or stalls and any other nonpublic area.
(2) 
It shall be located within the establishment so as to provide a totally unobstructed view from a location where the employee, operator or owner is stationed and can monitor the activities within every booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall within the establishment.
(3) 
It shall have the side facing the public room totally open and unobstructed from view at all times by anyone in such public room.
(4) 
Every video screen shall be positioned within the booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall in a manner so as to be hidden from view from persons in the public area.
(5) 
The lighting of the public room shall be a minimum of 20 footcandles at all times, as measured from the floor.
(6) 
All walls within each booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall shall be solid and without openings, extended from the floor a minimum of six feet and be light-colored, nonabsorbent, smooth-textured and easily cleanable.
(7) 
All floors within each booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall shall be light-colored, nonabsorbent, smooth-textured and easily cleanable.
C. 
Occupants. Only one individual shall occupy a booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall at any time.
D. 
Prohibited activities.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any occupant of a booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall to engage in any type of sexual activity, cause any bodily discharge or litter while in the booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to damage or deface any portion of the booth, room, cubicle, compartment or stall.
(3) 
It shall be unlawful for any employee, operator or owner of such adult-oriented entertainment establishment to engage in any of the acts enumerated in Subsection D(1) or (2) hereof or allow any person to engage in any activity set forth in Subsection D(1) or (2) hereof.
A. 
Every act or omission by an employee of an adult-oriented entertainment establishment constituting a violation of the provisions of this article shall be deemed to be the act or omission of the operator of the adult-oriented entertainment establishment. The operator shall be punishable for any such act or omission in the same manner as one who has committed the act or caused the omission.
B. 
No employee, operator, owner or agent of an adult-oriented entertainment establishment shall allow any minor to enter, loiter around or to frequent such establishment or allow any minor to view any adult-oriented entertainment.
C. 
The operator shall maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner at all times.
D. 
The operator shall see that the proper illumination is maintained at all times within the adult-oriented entertainment establishment.
E. 
The operator shall ensure compliance of the establishment and its patrons with the provisions of this article.
Any violation of this article perpetrated by any employee or operator of an adult-oriented entertainment establishment shall be deemed to be an action of the owner and subject the owner to the fines and penalties set forth herein.
A. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who is found to have violated this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined a sum not exceeding $1,000 or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed six months, or both.
B. 
Each violation of this article shall be considered a separate offense, and any violation continuing more than one day shall be considered a separate offense.
The invalidity of any portion of this article will not affect the validity of the other portions of this article.
The Wicomico County Sheriff's Department shall have the authority to enter any adult-oriented entertainment establishment at all reasonable times, including but not limited to normal business hours, to inspect the premises and enforce this article.