[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Dorchester County 2-19-2008 by Bill No. 2008-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building Code — See Ch. 65.
Minimum livability code — See Ch. 110.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 121.
Sanitary system construction — See Ch. 131.
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former Ch. 119, Plumbing, adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Dorchester County 10-10-1995 by Ord. No. 238.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CODE OFFICIAL
- That person designated by the County Council of Dorchester County, Maryland, responsible and charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
- The practice, materials and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, extension, alteration and removal of all piping, plumbing fixtures, plumbing appliances and plumbing appurtenances connected to, or to be connected to, any of the following:
Creation of the position. There is hereby established the position of Code Official. The County Council of Dorchester County, Maryland (the "County Council") shall appoint a Code Official.
Administration and enforcement.
This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Code Official. The Code Official may be provided with the assistance of such other persons as the County Council may direct, and he may delegate, upon the approval of the County Manager, such duties and responsibilities in connection with the administration and enforcement of this chapter as are appropriate, in his judgment.
The Code Official shall have the authority to issue plumbing licenses and to issue plumbing permits under this chapter. The Code Official shall have the authority to revoke any license or permit issued under this chapter for cause.
The requirements of the plumbing regulations adopted by the Maryland Board of Commissioners of Practical Plumbing shall be the minimum requirements under this chapter.
It shall be unlawful in Dorchester County for any person, firm or corporation to begin any work on the installation, replacement or major repair of any plumbing, except when permitted by the State Plumbing Code and/or § 119-9 of this chapter, without first applying for, on forms furnished by the Code Official, and obtaining a permit to do such work from the Code Official. Permits shall be issued only to persons, firms and corporations holding valid licenses to do such work in Dorchester County. The fees for all such permits are to be paid prior to the time of issuance.
The plumbing fees may be changed from time to time at the discretion of the Code Official with the concurrence of the County Council.
It shall be unlawful in Dorchester County for any person, firm or corporation to engage in the business of installation of plumbing without having first obtained a license to perform such work from the Code Official. These licenses are to be renewed annually. The license fee shall be determined by the County Council and shall be issued to qualified persons, firms or corporations making written application on forms provided by the Code Official. Licenses shall be required only of persons, firms and corporations contracting to do plumbing work and are not required for persons performing such work under the direct supervision of a licensed person, firm or corporation.
There shall be one type of license under this chapter to do work in Dorchester County, as follows:
General plumbing license.
This license shall be issued by the Code Official upon payment of the required fee by the person, firms or corporation making necessary application and furnishing proof of qualification to contract for and perform such work. Proof of qualification will be in the form of a valid license as required by the laws of the State of Maryland.
Persons, firms or corporations desiring license to do general plumbing work in Dorchester County shall be in possession of a valid master plumber's certificate issued by the Maryland State Board of Practical Plumbing.
The Code Official shall have the power to suspend or revoke any license issued under this chapter for cause or if the same was obtained through fraud or if a licensee has for a second time willfully violated any of the provisions of this chapter. Whenever the Code Official shall find that such violation has occurred, the Code Official shall give written notice to the licensee that it contemplates the suspension or revocation of such license and shall give its reason therefor. Said notice shall appoint a time and place of hearing before the Code Official and shall be mailed by certified or registered mail to the licensee affected. At the time of such hearing, the licensee may, personally or through legal representation, present such evidence as he deems fit, and, after hearing all the testimony, the Code Official shall decide the question in such a manner as to him appears just and right.
All moneys received by and on behalf of the Code Official under the terms and provisions of this chapter shall be deposited with the Director of Finance of Dorchester County to be applied against the annual expenses of the Code Official.
This chapter shall not prevent an individual property owner from personally performing plumbing construction work in a single-family dwelling used exclusively for living purposes or related accessory outbuildings, provided that such property owner is a bona fide owner and occupant of such dwelling for a period of six months immediately following completion and said owner and occupant purchases all materials and personally performs all labor in connection therewith. Said plumbing construction work shall be carried out under a permit issued by the Code Official.
This chapter shall not prevent maintenance employees of any plant or business from performing their duties of repairing or maintaining existing plumbing facilities at their place of employment. Permanent employees of this type will not be required to hold the plumbing construction license required by this chapter.
With the approval of the County Council, the Code Official shall, from time to time, make, revise or revoke rules and regulations necessary to the administration of this chapter.
Where there is an easement, appurtenant to land and property, valid on its face, the use of the easement by the dominant owner shall not be subject to the consent of the servient owner in any permitting process under this chapter.
Appeal. Any person allegedly aggrieved by any decision of the Code Official in the administration or enforcement of this chapter may file an appeal with the Board of Building Appeals. This shall be the exclusive procedure to file an appeal from a decision of the Code Official.
Time limit for appeal. Any person allegedly aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Building Appeals may appeal the same to the Circuit Court of Dorchester County within 30 days of the notification of the decision.
Stays. The filing of an appeal does not stay an order or action of the Board of Building Appeals. Upon motion and after hearing, the Court may grant a stay, unless prohibited by law, upon conditions as to bond or otherwise that the Court considers proper.
Cost of transcript. The appellant shall be responsible for paying the expense of transcription.
Liability of Board of Building Appeals for costs. Costs shall not be allowed against the Board of Building Appeals unless it shall appear to the Circuit Court that the Board of Building Appeals acted with gross negligence or in bad faith or with malice in making the decision appealed from.
Any person who violates any part of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil infraction under the authority of Chapter 147 of the Dorchester County Code. The maximum civil penalty for each violation of this chapter shall be $1,000. Each new day may constitute a separate violation. An occurrence may contain more than one offense.
This chapter may be cited as the "Dorchester County Plumbing Code".