Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 10-24-2000 by Bill No. 2000-6]
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
CLOSING; CLOSURE
Permanently prohibiting motorized vehicles from using or from having access to or from a county public road. Closing does not include prohibiting use of a portion of a roadway if motorized vehicles can continue to use or have access to or from the remainder of the roadway.
COUNTY ROAD/STREET
Any road which is listed in the Wicomico County Road Inventory, as adopted by resolution of the County Council and amended from time to time.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
RELOCATION
Relocation is any permanent improvement or permanent alteration to a county public road where a part or all of the new county public road does not overlap or is not contiguous with the previously existing county public road.
The opening, altering, relocating or closing of county roads and streets, and the use of their associated rights-of-way shall be in accordance with this article.
A. 
The County Council shall have the power at any time to open a county road in accordance with the general plan of laying out and locating roads and streets in the county or in accordance with the approval of a capital project.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
B. 
Whenever any person shall desire to have an existing road accepted as a county road in the Wicomico County Road Inventory and thereafter maintained for the public benefit, such person may petition the County Council in accordance with the county's roads and streets policy, as adopted and established from time to time.
A. 
No county road may be altered, closed or relocated unless the County Council has approved the alteration, closing or relocation, either by resolution or by the approval of a capital project.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
B. 
Initiating a road alteration, closing or relocation:
(1) 
The County Council may initiate the alteration, closing or relocation of a road by introduction of a resolution approving the alteration, closing or relocation.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
(2) 
Any person may initiate the alteration, closing or relocation of a road by filing a petition with the Director of the Department of Public Works requesting the alteration, closing or relocation. The petitioner shall supply the information required in Subsection C below with the petition.
C. 
The following information shall be supplied in order to prepare a resolution to alter, close or relocate a road:
(1) 
A detailed description of the county public road to be closed or relocated.
(2) 
A certified plat signed and sealed by a professional land surveyor or property line surveyor particularly describing the county public road to be closed or relocated.
(3) 
Identification of ownership of the roadbed and abutting owners and rights-of-way, including any easements which may exist.
(4) 
A plan for changes to traffic control which may result from the proposed closing or relocation.
D. 
Any person initiating a road alteration, closing or relocation shall pay all costs associated with advertising the proposed closing, notifying persons whose property adjoins the road, and legal expenses.
E. 
When a road is to be altered, closed or relocated at the request of the County Council or upon petition, at least 30 days' notice shall be given of the date, time and place of the public hearing on the proposed alteration, closing or relocation, by publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation for three successive weeks. The notice shall set forth a description of the county road to be altered, closed or relocated and the names of the abutting property owners. In addition to such notice by publication, a copy of the public notice shall be served by certified mail, postage prepaid, upon the abutting property owners or left on the premises with the person in charge thereof.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
F. 
The Department of Public Works, Department of Planning and Zoning, Emergency Services, and Sheriff's Department shall report to the County Council on the effect of the closing or relocation of the road on public safety, the traffic network and public convenience and shall recommend denial or approval of the closing or relocation.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
G. 
The County Council may approve the alteration, closure or relocation of a road if it finds that the altering, closing or relocation will not adversely affect public safety, the traffic network, or public convenience.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
H. 
Approval of a road closing or relocation does not affect the legal ownership of the roadbed, rights-of-way, or any easements.
A. 
When plats of subdivisions in Wicomico County are submitted by the owners of property, approved by the Wicomico County Planning and Zoning Commission and/or Department of Public Works and recorded among the land records of said county, those portions of land designated on said plats as streets, roads and other thoroughfares shall be considered irrevocably offered for dedication to public use. Recordation of said plats shall constitute a grant unto Wicomico County, Maryland, its successors and assigns of the following:
(1) 
The right to lay, construct and maintain sewers, drains, water pipes and other utilities and services, in and under all roads and/or street rights-of-way and the specific easement areas shown on said plat;
(2) 
An irrevocable offer of dedication to the county for public use of the beds of the streets and/or roads;
(3) 
The right to require a deed to the county conveying the fee simple title to the beds of the streets and/or roads; and
(4) 
The dedication of storm drainage facilities and drainage easements for the specific purpose of their construction, repair and maintenance.
B. 
No irrevocable offer of dedication of any street, road or thoroughfare in a recorded plat of subdivision shall be accepted by Wicomico County until certification by the Director of Public Works that the street, road or thoroughfare has been duly and properly graded, paved and drained, and the County Council has, by resolution, accepted such street, road or thoroughfare as a county road and included the same in the Wicomico County Road Inventory.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
C. 
Upon certification of a platted street, road or thoroughfare as provided in Subsection B above, the County Council is authorized to require and accept the same by a good and sufficient deed conveying fee simple title.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
D. 
All streets, roads, thoroughfares, facilities and improvements with respect to which the owner makes an offer of dedication to public use shall be maintained by the owner until the offer of dedication of such street, road, thoroughfare, facility or improvement has been accepted by the County Council, or a legal entity such as a homeowners' association.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
E. 
Whenever the County Council shall determine that the dedication to public use is no longer in the public interest, it may, by resolution, simultaneous with, or subsequent to, permanently close the street, road, or thoroughfare in accordance with this chapter, and terminate the dedication and acceptance.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
F. 
Declaration of road as public highway when used by public for certain time. Whenever any road shall have been in use by the public for 20 years, the County Council may declare the road to be a county road, upon the recommendation of the Director of the Department of Public Works, and a determination that the public health, safety and welfare requires the designation as a county road. Upon inclusion of the road in the Wicomico County Road Inventory, the County Council shall have full power to relocate and straighten the same, in its discretion, and shall publish a notice to that effect once a week for two successive weeks in one or more newspapers of general circulation. The county shall cause a description and plat of such road to be made and recorded or filed among its records, and thereafter such road so declared to be a county road shall be kept in good order and repair as other county roads.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
G. 
Dedication of future street extensions. The dedication of a future street extension, which is intended to provide for coordinated continuous street access to adjoining property, may be terminated by the County Council in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 197-15, upon the favorable recommendation of the Department of Public Works.
[Added 3-4-2003 by Bill No. 2003-7; amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]