[Added 10-12-2004 by Bill No. 2004-24]
The Board of Zoning Appeals is granted the authority to hear and decide appeals from the decision of the Director of Planning regarding the calculation of the amount of the building excise tax under Chapter 144 of the Dorchester County Code.
Types of applications.
Applications to the Board may be filed by any government agency or individual with a committed financial, contractual or proprietary interest in the property to be affected. If the individual filing the application is not the owner of the affected property, the owner shall cosign the application. Applications may be filed with respect to the following matters:
With respect to other matters, appeals to the Board may be filed by any person who allegedly is directly aggrieved by any order, requirement, decision or determination of any county department, agency or official in connection with the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
Appeals and applications. Appeals and applications shall be on forms provided by the Director of Planning. Such appeals or applications shall be acted upon within a reasonable time, not to exceed 6o days from the date of the receipt of the application of such lesser period as may be provided by the rules of the Board. Appeals and applications, accompanied by the required fees as established by the County Council, shall be filed with the Director of Planning who shall forthwith transmit to the Board all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. Be it further provided that no permit, approval, variance or special exception for any property located within the CA - Critical Area Protection District shall be issued, unless the person seeking the permit, approval, variance, or special exception has:
[Amended 3-2-2010 by Bill No. 2010-4]
Fully paid all administrative, civil, and criminal penalties imposed by this chapter for violation for the subject property within the CA - Critical Area Protection District; and
Prepared a restoration or mitigation plan, approved by the County, to abate impacts to water quality or natural resources as a result of the violation for the subject property within the CA - Critical Area Protection District; and
Performed the abatement measures in the approved plan in accordance with the County's Critical Area Program for the subject property; and
Satisfaction of all conditions specified under this section shall be a condition precedent to the issuance of any permit, approval, variance, or special exception for the affected property; and
Unless an extension of time is appropriate because of adverse planting conditions, within 90 days of the issuance of a permit, approval, variance, or special exception for the affected property, any additional mitigation required as a condition of approval for the permit, approval, variance, or special exception shall be completed.
The Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of appeals and applications, consistent with its rules of practice and procedure. Public notice shall be given by the Board of all hearings relating to zoning matters in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 155-6 of this chapter.
A calendar of the Board showing the times and dates of hearings relating to zoning matters shall be maintained and posted in a conspicuous location in the office of the Director of Planning. The Board shall assure that a current copy of the calendar is provided to the Planning Commission.
Before deciding any application for special exception or variance, the Board of Appeals shall seek the advice and recommendation of the Planning Commission in reference to such applications. The advice of the Planning Commission shall not be binding upon the Board of Appeals. The Board may request from the Planning Commission such technical service, data or factual evidence as will further assist the Board in reaching decisions, and any such information forwarded by the Planning Commission shall be incorporated into the record, and it shall also be made available to the applicant, should he so desire.
An appeal that is filed with the Board of Appeals stays all actions by the Director seeking enforcement of or compliance with the order or decision appealed from, unless the Director certifies to the Board of Appeals that (because of facts stated in the certificate), in his opinion, such stay will cause imminent peril to life or property. In that case, proceedings shall not be stayed except by order of the Board of Appeals or a court-issued application of the party seeking the stay, for due cause shown, after notice to the Director.
If an application or appeal is disapproved by the Board of Appeals, thereafter the Board shall not accept for filing another application for substantially the same proposal on the same premises until after one year from the date of such disapproval.
An appeal or application may be withdrawn prior to advertisement of the hearing without prejudice; however, the fees for such appeal or application may be retained by the county, at the discretion of the Board of Appeals.
In the event that an appeal or application is withdrawn subsequent to advertisement of the public hearing, the applicant shall be precluded from filing another application or appeal for substantially the same proposal on the same premises for one year from the date of withdrawal unless good cause shall be shown to the Board. The fees for such application or appeal may be retained by the county, at the discretion of the Board of Appeals.
Time limit for appeal. Any person allegedly aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals or by a reclassification by the County Commissioners 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 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.
Hearing; testimony. If, upon the hearing, it shall appear to the Court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take evidence or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct and report the same to the Court, with his proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which the determination of the Court shall be made.
Liability of Board of Appeals for costs. Costs shall not be allowed against the Board of Appeals unless it shall appear to the Circuit Court that the Board acted with gross negligence or in bad faith or with malice in making the decision appealed from.
Decision; subsequent appeals. Upon its determination of the case, the Circuit Court shall file a formal order embodying its final decision. An appeal may be taken to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland or the Court of Appeals of Maryland, during the period and in the manner prescribed by the rules of the Court of Appeals, from any decision of the Circuit Court. In such cases, the award of costs shall be subject to the discretion of the Court of Appeals.