Dorchester County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 155-32 Zoning districts designated.

The county is hereby divided into the following districts:
A. 
Primary districts. Primary districts are designated as follows:
AC
Agricultural Conservation District
AC-RCA
Agricultural Conservation -- Resource Conservation Area District
RC
Resource Conservation District
RR-C
Rural Residential-Conservation District
RR
Rural Residential District
RR-RCA
Rural Residential -- Resource Conservation Area District
SR
Suburban Residential District
SR-RCA
Suburban Residential -- Resource Conservation Area District
V
Village District
B-1
Neighborhood Business District
B-2
General Business District
I-1
Light Industrial District
I-2
Heavy Industrial District
B. 
Overlay districts. Overlay districts are designated as follows:
AP
Airport Protection District
CA
Critical Area Protection District
FP
Floodplain District
HP
Historic Preservation District
MH
Manufactured Home Overlay District
C. 
Floating districts. Floating districts are designated as follows:
EE
Economic And Employment District
SW
Solid Waste District

§ 155-33 Purpose and intent of zoning districts.

A. 
Primary districts.
(1) 
Agricultural Conservation (AC). The Agricultural Conservation District is established to conserve farmland and to encourage agricultural activities thereby ensuring that commercial agriculture will continue as a long-term land use and viable economic activity within the county. Agriculture is the preferred use in the AC District, and within the district agricultural uses are protected from development that might adversely affect them. A wide range of uses related to agriculture are permitted, including agriculture-related commercial and industrial uses. Low-density residential development is permitted where it is located and designed to minimize impacts on natural environments and the rural landscape.
(2) 
Agricultural Conservation - Resource Conservation Area (AC-RCA). The Agricultural Conservation-Resource Conservation Area District is established to recognize those portions of Agricultural Conservation Districts that are within the critical area. In the AC-RCA District residential development is permitted at very low density and only where it is located and designed to minimize impacts on natural and agricultural environments.
(3) 
Resource Conservation (RC). The Resource Conservation District is established to conserve natural environments (maritime areas, wetlands and forests) and to encourage resource development activities, such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, thereby helping to ensure that resource development continues as a long-term land use and a viable economic activity in the county. Residential development at very low density is permitted in the RC District where it is located and designed to respect existing features of the natural landscape. This district includes land within the critical area.
(4) 
Rural Residential Conservation (RR-C). The Rural Residential Conservation District is established to permit very low-density residential development within areas dominated by natural environments, particularly waterfront areas and wetlands, and resource development activities such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Residential development is permitted at very low density only where it is located and designed to minimize impacts on natural environments and the rural landscape. A limited range of agricultural and agriculture-related uses are permitted in the RR-C District to help ensure that commercial agriculture will continue as a long-term land use and viable economic activity.
(5) 
Rural Residential District (RR). The Rural Residential District is established to encourage and concentrate low- to medium-density residential development in limited areas of the county, near existing towns or in development corridors where public services can be efficiently provided, thereby helping to preserve Resource Conservation and Agricultural Conservation Districts. Rural Residential Districts are not to be served by public community water or sewer systems.
(6) 
Rural Residential - Resource Conservation Area (RR-RCA). The Rural Residential - Resource Conservation Area District is established to recognize those portions of Rural Residential Districts that are within the critical area. In the RR-RCA District residential development is permitted at very low density and only where it is located and designed to minimize impacts on natural environments. The RR-RCA District is predesignated for growth allocation that meets the eligibility requirements.
(7) 
Suburban Residential (SR). The Suburban Residential District is established to encourage and concentrate medium-to high-density residential development near existing towns, where public services can be efficiently provided, thereby helping to preserve Resource Conservation and Agricultural Conservation Districts. All areas within the SR District may ultimately be served by public community water and sewer systems.
(8) 
Suburban Residential - Resource Conservation Area (SR-RCA). The Suburban Residential - Resource Conservation Area District is established to recognize those portions of Suburban Residential Districts that are within the critical area. In the SR-RCA District residential development is permitted at very low density and only where it is located and designed to minimize impacts on natural environments. The SR-RCA District is predesignated for growth allocation that meets the eligibility requirements.
(9) 
Village (V). The Village District is established to encourage the growth and development of villages in the county's rural areas, strengthen villages as community centers and protect their historic and cultural resources. The V District allows for a mix of residential, commercial and maritime/agricultural service uses at medium to high residential density and at low to moderate nonresidential intensity.
(10) 
Neighborhood Business (B-1). The Neighborhood Business District is established to provide areas for low-intensity business, commercial and personal service uses serving primarily local, neighborhood needs.
(11) 
General Business (B-2). The General Business District is established to provide for a broad range of business, commercial and personal service uses serving a large geographic area.
(12) 
Light Industrial (I-1). The Light Industrial District is established to allow a limited range of business, manufacturing, processing and storage uses that are compatible with adjoining uses.
(13) 
Heavy Industrial (I-2). The Heavy Industrial District is established to allow a broad range of business, manufacturing, processing and storage uses that may need to be separated from other uses because of characteristics that may adversely affect these other uses.
B. 
Overlay districts.
(1) 
Airport Protection District (AP). The AP District shall prevent undesirable development hazardous to air navigation.
(2) 
Critical Area Protection District (CA). See § 155-38.
(3) 
Floodplain District (FP). See § 155-37.
(4) 
Historic Preservation District (HP). See § 155-35.
(5) 
Manufactured Home Overlay District (MH). The Manufactured Home Overlay District is established to recognize those areas of the county where there exist concentrations of older manufactured homes. Because of these concentrations, in the Manufactured Home Overlay District certain categories of manufactured homes are permitted that are not permitted in other districts.
C. 
Floating districts.
(1) 
Economic and Employment District (EE). The purposes of the EE District are to:
(a) 
Help implement the Comprehensive Plan's goals with respect to economic development, giving the county flexibility to respond to significant employment or economic development opportunities.
(b) 
Provide a flexible approach to the development of land that will have a beneficial economic impact on the county.
(c) 
Ensure that large or intensive economic or employment land uses that could have significant impacts on nearby lands with regards to compatibility, environmental impacts, lighting, noise, traffic and the like are built at appropriate locations in the county.
(2) 
Solid Waste Overlay District (SW). The SW District is established to ensure that certain solid waste disposal uses that could have significant impacts on nearby lands with regards to compatibility, environmental impacts, noise, odor, traffic, aesthetics and the like are built at appropriate locations in the county.

§ 155-34 District regulations.

A. 
General regulations.
(1) 
Except as hereinafter specified, no land, building, structure or premises shall hereafter be occupied or used and no building, other structure or part thereof shall be located, erected, reconstructed, extended, moved, enlarged, converted or altered except in conformity with the district regulations hereinafter provided.
(2) 
In the event that any territory has not been specifically included within a district or in the event that territory which is contained within the zoning jurisdiction of the incorporated towns becomes a part of the zoning jurisdiction of the county, such territory shall automatically be classified in the AC District until otherwise classified.
(3) 
No part of a yard or other open space or off-street parking or loading space which is required for any building or use under the provisions of this chapter shall be included as a part of the yard, open space, off-street parking or loading space which is required for any other building or use.
B. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Use table. A Table of Permitted Uses by Zoning District listing the uses permitted in each zoning district with any special requirements is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Open space areas in cluster developments.
(a) 
Uses. Uses that are permitted in open space areas are shown in the following table, subject to any specific requirements for each use contained in the Table of Permitted Uses by Zoning District and in the supplementary use regulations:
Table of Permitted Uses in Open Space Areas of Cluster Developments
Dorchester County, Maryland
Use
Inside the
Critical Area
Outside the
Critical Area
Accessory agricultural uses and structures
P
P
Accessory uses and structures clearly incidental and customary to the permitted principal uses and structures
P
P
Agricultural production
P
P
Aquaculture
S, except not permitted in the SR-RCA District
S
Commercial riding and boarding stables
S, except not permitted in the AC-RCA, RR-RCA or SR-RCA Districts
S
Community piers and related boat facilities
P
P
Conservation areas
P
P
Golf courses and country clubs
S
Hatcheries
S
S
Hunting, fishing and trapping
P
P
Impervious surface areas such as tennis courts, clubhouses or other active recreation facilities, limited to less than 25% of the open space
P
P
One single-family dwelling
P
Poultry and hog houses, horse and dairy barns and manure storage
S, except not permitted in the RR-RCA or SR-RCA Districts
S
Shooting ranges
S, except not permitted in the AC-RCA or SR-RCA Districts
S
Timber growing
P
P
Two-family dwellings
S
Walking, biking or equestrian trails
P
P
Notes:
P = Permitted
S = Permitted by Special Exception
Blank = Not Permitted
(b) 
Ownership and maintenance.
[1] 
Ownership and maintenance of open space areas are subject to the provisions set forth under parks and open spaces in Article VIII, Improvements, of the Dorchester County Subdivision Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 140-34A, Parks and open spaces.
[2] 
Ownership, development and maintenance of open space areas in the critical area is subject to provisions set forth in § 155-38.
C. 
General design regulations.
(1) 
Density, lot size and bulk regulations. A table listing the minimum density, lot size and bulk regulations for permitted uses in each zoning district is included at the end of this chapter.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See the Density, Lot Size and Bulk Regulations Table.
(2) 
Cluster development.
(a) 
Cluster development is permitted in all districts.
(b) 
In cluster development lots are clustered together on a portion or portions of a site with the remaining area retained as open space through agreements that prohibit or regulate future subdivision.
(c) 
To encourage cluster development in the AC District an increased overall density of approximately one dwelling unit per 10 acres is permitted. (See the Density, Lot Size and Bulk Regulations Table.)
(d) 
Cluster developments in the RR District must have shared water and sewer facilities. Off-site drain fields are also permitted subject to Health Department approval.
(e) 
Permitted uses in open space areas are set forth in § 155-34B(2).
(f) 
In cluster developments in the AC and RR Districts, per the Density, Lot Size and Bulk Regulations Table, the minimum required amount of open space within the specified ranges shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Planning Commission during its review of the subdivision plan. The Planning Commission's determination shall be made based on the owner's proposal in relation to:
[1] 
Need;
[2] 
Practicality, management and maintenance considerations;
[3] 
Likely use of the open space; and
[4] 
Proximity to other open spaces.
(g) 
In the critical area, as a condition of granting growth allocation, the Planning Commission may require thirty-percent minimum open space (see § 155-38N).
(3) 
Development abutting state roads. All development abutting a state road and/or requiring access thereon shall be subject to the policies and standards of the State Highway Administration (SHA). Construction to be performed within the SHA right-of-way shall require the issuance of the appropriate permit by that agency.
(4) 
Parking and loading. Off-street parking and loading shall be provided consistent with Article XI of this chapter.
D. 
Design regulations for specific districts.
(1) 
AC District density calculation. In calculating permitted density on a lot or parcel in the AC District (see Density, Lot Size and Bulk Regulations Table), the acreage needed for the first three dwelling units is subtracted from the gross lot or parcel area before the additional one unit per 10 or 15 acres is added. For example, assume a thirty-five-acre parcel created prior to March 15, 1972, never subdivided and containing 3 dwelling units on 5 acres. The available acreage for further subdivision is 30 acres. This would allow three additional units clustered or two additional units not clustered, for a total of six units in a cluster-type subdivision, or a total of five units in a noncluster development.
(2) 
RR-C District. In the RR-C District, both inside and outside the critical area, intrafamily transfers of land are permitted at the densities set forth in § 140-54 of the Subdivision Regulations.
(3) 
B-1 District. Dwellings in the B-1 District shall meet the lot, yard and height requirements of the SR District.
(4) 
I-1 and I-2 Districts.
(a) 
Outside storage shall be enclosed or screened from public view on all sides by landscaping or earthworks and enclosed by a fence or wall not less than six feet in height, designed to prohibit unauthorized entry. Such enclosure shall be maintained in good condition.
(b) 
All manufacturing, compounding, processing, packaging or treatment shall be carried on within buildings.

§ 155-35 HP Historic Preservation District.

A. 
Statement of intent. It is the intent hereof to provide, as authorized by Article 66B, § 8.01, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, for the preservation of structures in the county which have historic value, together with their appurtenances and environmental settings in order to:
(1) 
Safeguard the heritage of the county by preserving the districts therein which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history.
(2) 
Stabilize and improve property values within such districts.
(3) 
Foster civic beauty.
(4) 
Strengthen the local economy.
(5) 
Promote the use and preservation of historic districts for the education, welfare and pleasure of the residents of the county.
B. 
Establishment of districts. For the purposes of this section, the County Commissioners may establish, change, lay out and define districts which are deemed to be of historic or architectural value, following the procedures which are set forth in this chapter for the reclassification of zoning. Such districts may include structures, lots and tracts of land, as well as portions thereof.
C. 
Applicability of greater restrictions. The provisions of this section are in addition to the provisions of other districts of this chapter. In all cases of conflicting requirements, the provision which represents the greater restriction or higher standard shall govern.
D. 
Historic District Commission. The County Commissioners may create a commission, to be called the "Historic District Commission." The Historic District Commission shall have a membership of seven persons, all of whom are qualified by special interest, knowledge or training in such fields as history, architecture, preservation or urban design and agree to serve on this Commission and all of whom are residents of the county. The members shall serve without compensation and be appointed for terms of three years, except that in making the initial appointments, two shall be for one year, two shall be for two years and three shall be for three years. Members of the Historic District Commission shall be eligible for reappointment. Any vacancy on the Historic District Commission shall be filled by the County Commissioners for the unexpired term of the particular position. The County Commissioners may consult private societies or agencies to request the names of possible members on the Historic District Commission. The Historic District Commission shall have the right to accept and use grants and gifts from whatever source for the exercise of the functions. The Planning Commission shall review the Historic District Commission's budget.
E. 
Report by Maryland Historical Trust. The Maryland Historical Trust may be designated by the Historic District Commission to make an analysis of any recommendation concerning the preservation of structures of historic and architectural value within the area served by the Historic District Commission. Such report may include proposed boundaries of districts and the uses recommended to be permitted in the districts, as well as identify and designate particular structures recommended to be preserved and protected.
F. 
Architectural easements. The Historic District Commission may purchase architectural easements in connection with structures located in or adjacent to any historic district. Such easement shall grant to the Historic District Commission, the residents of the historic district and the general public the perpetual right to have the exterior appearance of any structure upon which is applied retained in substantially the same character as when the easement took effect, or to facilitate the restoration, if necessary, of the exterior appearance of the structures to a character which is compatible with the architectural period or surroundings.
G. 
Application for construction or change. Before the construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving or demolition of any structure within the HP District, if any changes are involved which would affect the exterior appearance of a structure visible or intended to be visible from an adjacent public way in the district, the person proposing to make the construction or change shall file with the Historic District Commission an application for permission to build, alter, reconstruct, move, demolish or make the addition. Every such application shall be referred to and considered by the Historic District Commission and accepted or rejected by the Historic District Commission. No permit for any such change shall be granted until the Historic District Commission has acted thereon as hereinafter provided.
H. 
Factors considered upon review of construction plans. In reviewing the plans for any such construction or change, the Historic District Commission shall give consideration to the historic or architectural value and significance of the structure and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area; the relationship of the exterior architectural features of the structure to the remainder of the structure and to the surrounding area; the general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used; and any other factors, including aesthetic factors, which the Historic District Commission deems to be pertinent.
I. 
Consideration of exterior features only. The Historic District Commission shall consider only exterior features of a structure and shall not consider any interior arrangements. Also, the Historic District Commission shall not disapprove an application except with respect to the several factors specified in Subsection H above.
J. 
Strictness and leniency in judgment of plans; limitation of architectural style. The Historic District Commission shall be strict in its judgment of plans for those structures deemed to be valuable according to studies performed for districts of historic or architectural value. The Historic District Commission shall be lenient in its judgment of plans for structures of little historic value or for plans involving new construction, unless such plans would seriously impair the historic or architectural value of structures of the surrounding area. The Historic District Commission is not required to limit new construction, alteration or repairs to the architectural style of any one period.
K. 
Reconstruction or alteration of structures designated as having historic or architectural value.
(1) 
Application shall be made to the Historic District Commission for permission to undertake any proposed reconstruction or alterations affecting the exterior appearance of a structure or for the moving or demolition of a structure if it has been designated as of historic or architectural value under the provisions of Subsection B hereof. Unless the Historic District Commission is satisfied that the proposed work or changes will not materially impair the historic or architectural value of the structure, the Historic District Commission shall reject the application, filing a copy of its rejection with the Planning Commission. The application shall not be renewed in less than one year from the date of such rejection. Prior to any such rejection, the Historic District Commission shall attempt, with the owner of the structure, to formulate an economically feasible plan for its preservation. Should the Historic District Commission conclude that no economically feasible plan can be formulated, it shall have 90 days from the time it so concludes to negotiate further with the owner and other parties in an effort to find a means of preserving the building or structure.
(2) 
In the case of a structure deemed to be valuable for the period of architecture it represents and important to the neighborhood within which it exists, the Historic District Commission may approve the proposed reconstruction, demolition or alteration despite the fact that the changes come within the provisions of Subsection J above if the structure is a deterrent to a major improvement program which will be of substantial benefit to the county, if retention of the structure would cause undue financial hardship to the owner or if the retention of the structure would not be to the best interest of a majority of persons in the community.
L. 
Commission meetings; right to appear and be heard; records. All meetings of the Historic District Commission shall be open to the public. Any interested person or his representative is entitled to appear and be heard by the Historic District Commission before it reaches a decision on any matter. The Historic District Commission shall keep an open record of its resolutions, proceedings and actions, which shall be kept available for public inspection during reasonable business hours. The Historic District Commission shall not reject an application without first providing notice to the applicant of its intention to do so and providing the applicant the opportunity to appear before the Historic District Commission and be heard.
M. 
Certificate of approval, modification or rejection; time limit. The Historic District Commission shall file with the Planning Commission a certificate of its approval, modification or rejection of all applications and plans submitted to it for review. Work shall not be commenced on any such project until such a certificate of approval has been filed, and no building permit for such change or construction shall be issued unless and until such a certificate of approval has been received. The failure of the Historic District Commission to act upon a pending application within 45 days from the date the application was filed shall be deemed to constitute automatic approval of the proposed change unless an extension of this forty-five-day period is agreed upon mutually by the applicant and the Historic District Commission.
N. 
Effect of provisions on ordinary maintenance; continuance of work previously authorized. Nothing in this section shall be taken or construed to prevent work and repairs on any structure coming under the heading of ordinary maintenance. Nothing in this section affects the right to complete any work covered by a permit issued prior to the date upon which such historic districts may be established.

§ 155-36 AP Airport Protection District.

A. 
Applicability. The AP Airport Protection District provisions shall apply to the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport, including the following:
(1) 
The aircraft runway existing at the time of adoption of this chapter with the proposed extension shown on the approved airport layout plan.
(2) 
A proposed runway shown in the Airport Layout Plan contained in the Master Plan, Cambridge-Dorchester Airport, dated February 1990.
(3) 
Surrounding lands as herein defined.
B. 
Applicability of greater restrictions. The provisions of this section are in addition to the provisions of other districts of this chapter. In all cases of conflicting requirements, the provision which represents the greater restriction or higher standard shall govern.
C. 
Prohibited uses. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful to put any land or structure located within the AP District to any of the following prohibited uses:
(1) 
Overhead high-power transmission lines in excess of 69 kilovolts.
(2) 
Manufacturing establishments or other uses which produce smoke interfering with the safe use of the airport.
(3) 
Rifle ranges and private landing fields which would interfere with the health, safety and general welfare of the public in the use of the airport.
(4) 
All plants, businesses or structures of every kind which emit or discharge smoke, gases and odor that would or may interfere with the health, safety and general welfare of the public in the use of the airport.
(5) 
Any use which would create electrical, magnetic or other interference with radio communication between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for flyers to distinguish between airport lights and others, result in glare in the eyes of flyers using the airport, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport or otherwise endanger the landing, taking-off or maneuvering of aircraft.
D. 
Height restrictions. The following height restrictions shall apply to the AP District:
(1) 
Existing extended runway. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no building, structure, tree or any object of natural growth shall be erected, altered, allowed to grow or maintained to a height in excess of the height of the approach, horizontal, transitional or conical surfaces above such zones. The boundary lines of the zones and the height above mean sea level for the approach, horizontal, transitional and conical surfaces above such zones for the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport are indicated on the Dorchester County Zoning Maps or overlays.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Dorchester County Zoning Maps are on file and open to public inspection in the office of the County Clerk.
(2) 
Proposed runway. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no building or structure shall be erected or altered to a height in excess of the height of the approach, horizontal, transitional or conical surfaces above such zones unless approved by the Board of Appeals. The boundary lines of the zones and the height above mean sea level for the approach, horizontal, transitional and conical surfaces above such zones for the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport are indicated on the Dorchester County Zoning Maps or overlays.

§ 155-37 Floodplain Management District.

[Amended 6-13-2000 by Ord. No. 284; 9-24-2002 by Ord. No. 314; 3-15-2011 by Bill No. 2011-1; 1-6-2015 by Bill No. 2015-1[1]]
A. 
General provisions.
(1) 
Findings.
(a) 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has identified special flood hazard areas within the boundaries of Dorchester County. Special flood hazard areas are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare. Structures that are inadequately elevated, improperly floodproofed, or otherwise unprotected from flood damage also contribute to flood losses.
(b) 
Dorchester County, by resolution, agreed to meet the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program and was accepted for participation in the program on October 15, 1981. As of that date, the initial effective date of the Dorchester County Flood Insurance Rate Map, all development and new construction as defined herein, are to be compliant with these regulations.
(2) 
Statutory authorization. The Maryland General Assembly, in Md. Code Ann., Land Use Article, Title 4, has established as policy of the state that the orderly development and use of land and structures requires comprehensive regulation through the implementation of planning and zoning control, and that planning and zoning controls shall be implemented by local government in order to, among other purposes, secure the public safety, promote health and general welfare, and promote the conservation of natural resources. Therefore, the County Council of Dorchester County does hereby adopt the following Floodplain Management Regulations.
(3) 
Statement of purpose. It is the purpose of these regulations to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and to:
(a) 
Protect human life, health and welfare;
(b) 
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future;
(c) 
Minimize flooding of water supply and sanitary sewage disposal systems;
(d) 
Maintain natural drainage;
(e) 
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units and its residents, by discouraging unwise design and construction of development in areas subject to flooding;
(f) 
Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
(g) 
Minimize prolonged business interruptions;
(h) 
Minimize damage to public facilities and other utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges;
(i) 
Reinforce that those who build in and occupy special flood hazard areas should assume responsibility for their actions;
(j) 
Minimize the impact of development on adjacent properties within and near flood-prone areas;
(k) 
Provide that the flood storage and conveyance functions of floodplains are maintained;
(l) 
Minimize the impact of development on the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains;
(m) 
Prevent floodplain uses that are either hazardous or environmentally incompatible; and
(n) 
Meet community participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 44 CFR 59.22.
(4) 
Areas to which these regulations apply. These regulations shall apply to all special flood hazard areas within the jurisdiction of Dorchester County, and identified in Subsection A(5).
(5) 
Basis for establishing special flood hazard areas and BFEs.
(a) 
For the purposes of these regulations, the minimum basis for establishing special flood hazard areas and base flood elevations is the Flood Insurance Study for Dorchester County, Maryland, and Incorporated Areas, dated May 24, 2011, and March 16, 2015, or the most recent revision thereof, and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Map(s), and all subsequent amendments and revisions to the FIRMs. The FIS and FIRMs are retained on file and available to the public at Department of Planning and Zoning.
(b) 
Where field-surveyed topography or digital topography indicates that ground elevations are below the closest applicable base flood elevation, even in areas not delineated as a special flood hazard on the FIRM, the area shall be considered as special flood hazard area.
(c) 
To establish base flood elevations in special flood hazard areas that do not have such elevations shown on the FIRM, the Floodplain Administrator may provide the best available data for base flood elevations, may require the applicant to obtain available information from federal, state or other sources, or may require the applicant to establish special flood hazard areas and base flood elevations as set forth in Subsection B(3), (4) and (5) of these regulations.
(6) 
Abrogation and greater restrictions. These regulations are not intended to repeal or abrogate any existing regulations and ordinances, including subdivision regulations, zoning ordinances, building codes, or any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. In the event of a conflict between these regulations and any other ordinance, the more restrictive shall govern.
(7) 
Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of these regulations, all provisions shall be:
(a) 
Considered as minimum requirements;
(b) 
Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and,
(c) 
Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.
(8) 
Warning and disclaimer of liability.
(a) 
The degree of flood protection required by these regulations is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur, and flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. These regulations do not imply that land outside of the special flood hazard areas or uses that are permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damage.
(b) 
These regulations shall not create liability on the part of Dorchester County, any officer or employee thereof the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for any flood damage that results from reliance on these regulations or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.
(9) 
Severability. Should any subsection or provision of these regulations be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the regulations as a whole, or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.
(10) 
Definitions.
(a) 
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in these regulations shall be interpreted to have the meaning they have in common usage and to give these regulations the most reasonable application.
(b) 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
A building or structure on the same lot with, and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to, the principal structure. For the purposes of these regulations, an accessory structure shall be used solely for parking of vehicles and limited storage.
AGREEMENT TO SUBMIT AN ELEVATION CERTIFICATE
A form on which the applicant for a permit to construct a building or structure, to construct certain horizontal additions, to place or replace a manufactured home, to substantially improve a building, structure, or manufactured home, agrees to have an elevation certificate prepared by a licensed professional engineer or licensed professional surveyor, as specified by the Floodplain Administrator, and to submit the certificate:
[1] 
Upon placement of the lowest floor and prior to further vertical construction; and
[2] 
Prior to the final inspection and issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
ALTERATION OF A WATERCOURSE
For the purpose of these regulations, alteration of a watercourse includes, but is not limited to, widening, deepening or relocating the channel, including excavation or filling of the channel. Alteration of a watercourse does not include construction of a road, bridge, culvert, dam, or in-stream pond unless the channel is proposed to be realigned or relocated as part of such construction.
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
A designated Zone AO on the Flood Insurance Rate Map with a one-percent annual chance or greater of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable, and where velocity flow may be evident; such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
BASE BUILDING
The building to which an addition is being added. This term is used in provisions relating to additions.
BASE FLOOD
The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceed in any given year; the base flood also is referred to as the one-percent-annual-chance (one-hundred-year) flood.
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
The water surface elevation of the base flood in relation to the datum specified on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map. In areas of shallow flooding, the base flood elevation is the highest adjacent natural grade elevation plus the depth number specified in feet on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, or at least four feet if the depth number is not specified.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
BUILDING CODE(S)
The effective Maryland Building Performance Standards (COMAR 05.02.07), including the building code, residential code, and the Dorchester County Building Code.
COASTAL A ZONE
An area within a special flood hazard area, landward of a coastal high-hazard area (V Zone) or landward of a shoreline without a mapped coastal high-hazard area, in which the principal source(s) of flooding are astronomical tides and storm surges, and in which, during base flood conditions, the potential exists for breaking waves with heights greater than or equal to 1.5 feet. The inland limit of the Coastal A Zone may be delineated on FIRMs as the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiWMA).
COASTAL HIGH-HAZARD AREA
An area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms. Coastal high-hazard areas also are referred to as "V Zones" and are designated on FIRMs as Zones VE or V1-30.
COMMUNITY
A political subdivision of the State of Maryland (county, city or town) that has authority to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations within its jurisdictional boundaries.
CRITICAL AND ESSENTIAL FACILITIES
Buildings and other structures that are intended to remain operational in the event of extreme environmental loading from flood, wind, snow or earthquakes. (NOTE: See Maryland Building Performance Standards, Section 1602 and Table 1604.5.) Critical and essential facilities typically include hospitals, fire stations, police stations, storage of critical records, facilities that handle or store hazardous materials, and similar facilities.
DECLARATION OF LAND RESTRICTION (NONCONVERSION AGREEMENT)
A form signed by the owner to agree not to convert or modify in any manner that is inconsistent with the terms of the permit and these regulations, certain enclosures below the lowest floor of elevated buildings and certain accessory structures. The form requires the owner to record it on the property deed to inform future owners of the restrictions.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, placement of manufactured homes, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.
ELEVATION CERTIFICATE
The FEMA form on which surveyed elevations and other data pertinent to a property and a building are identified and which shall be completed by a licensed professional land surveyor or a licensed professional engineer, as specified by the Floodplain Administrator. When used to document the height above grade of buildings in special flood hazard areas for which base flood elevation data are not available, the elevation certificate shall be completed in accordance with the instructions issued by FEMA. (NOTE: FEMA Form 086-0-33 and instructions are available online at http:// www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1383.)
ENCLOSURE BELOW THE LOWEST FLOOR
An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure that is located below an elevated building, is surrounded by walls on all sides, and is usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage, in an area other than a basement area, provided that such enclosure is built in accordance with the applicable design requirements specified in these regulations. Also see "lowest floor."
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
The federal agency with the overall responsibility for administering the National Flood Insurance Program.
FLOOD-DAMAGE-RESISTANT MATERIALS
Any construction material that is capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact with floodwaters without sustaining any damage that requires more than cosmetic repair.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
An official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has delineated special flood hazard areas to indicate the magnitude and nature of flood hazards, to designate applicable flood zones, and to delineate floodways, if applicable. FIRMs that have been prepared in digital format or converted to digital format are referred to as Digital FIRMs (DFIRM). These DFIRMs and printed products using these DFIRMs are equivalent to FIRMs, and as implemented in FEMA's "Use of Digital Flood Hazard Data" policy (42 U.S.C. § 4101), may be used for all official NFIP purposes and these regulations.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
The official report in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided flood profiles, floodway information, and the water surface elevations.
FLOOD OPENING
A flood opening (nonengineered) is an opening that is used to meet the prescriptive requirement of one square inch of net open area for every square foot of enclosed area. An engineered flood opening is an opening that is designed and certified by a licensed professional engineer or licensed architect as meeting certain performance characteristics, including providing automatic entry and exit of floodwaters; this certification requirement may be satisfied by an individual certification for a specific structure or issuance of an Evaluation Report by the ICC Evaluation Service, Inc. (NOTE: See NFIP Technical Bulletin No. 1, "Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures.")
FLOOD or FLOODING
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
[1] 
The overflow of inland or tidal waters; and/or
[2] 
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOODPLAIN
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. (See definition of "flood or flooding.")
FLOODPROOFING CERTIFICATE
FEMA form that is to be completed, signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer or licensed architect to certify that the design of floodproofing and proposed methods of construction are in accordance with the applicable requirements of Subsection D(5)(b) of these regulations. (NOTE: FEMA Form 086-0-34 is available online at http:// www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1600.)
FLOODPROOFING or FLOODPROOFED
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to buildings or structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents, such that the buildings or structures are watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy. (NOTE: State regulations at COMAR 26.17.04.11(B)(7) do not allow new nonresidential buildings in nontidal waters of the state to be floodproofed.)
FLOOD PROTECTION ELEVATION
The base flood elevation plus two feet of freeboard. Freeboard is a factor of safety that compensates for uncertainty in factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, obstructed bridge openings, debris and ice jams, climate change, and the hydrologic effect of urbanization in a watershed.
FLOOD PROTECTION SETBACK
A distance measured perpendicular to the top of bank of a watercourse that delineates an area to be left undisturbed to minimize future flood damage and to recognize the potential for bank erosion. Along nontidal waters of the state, the flood protection setback is:
[1] 
One hundred feet, if the watercourse has special flood hazard areas shown on the FIRM, except where the setback extends beyond the boundary of the flood hazard area; or
[2] 
Fifty feet, if the watercourse does not have special flood hazard areas shown on the FIRM.
FLOODWAY
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to pass the base flood discharge such that the cumulative increase in the water surface elevation of the base flood discharge is no more than a designated height. When shown on a FIRM, the floodway is referred to as the "designated floodway."
FREE-OF-OBSTRUCTION
A term that describes open foundations (pilings, columns, or piers) without attached elements or foundation components that would obstruct the free passage of floodwaters and waves beneath structures that are elevated on such foundations. (NOTE: See NFIP Technical Bulletin No. 5, "Free-of-Obstruction Requirements.")
FLOOD ZONE
A designation for areas that are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps:
[1] 
Zone A: special flood hazard areas subject to inundation by the one-percent-annual-chance (one-hundred-year) flood; base flood elevations are not determined.
[2] 
Zone AE and Zone A1-30: special flood hazard areas subject to inundation by the one-percent annual chance (one-hundred-year) flood; base flood elevations are determined; floodways may or may not be determined. In areas subject to tidal flooding, the limit of moderate wave action may or may not be delineated.
[3] 
Zone AH and Zone AO: areas of shallow flooding, with flood depths of one to three feet (usually areas of ponding or sheet flow on sloping terrain), with or without BFEs or designated flood depths.
[4] 
Zone B and Zone X (shaded): areas subject to inundation by the two-tenths-percent-chance (five-hundred-year) flood; areas subject to the one-percent-annual-chance (one-hundred-year) flood with average depths of less than one foot or with contributing drainage area less than one square mile; and areas protected from the base flood by levees.
[5] 
Zone C and Zone X (unshaded): areas outside of zones designated A, AE, A1-30, AO, VE, V1-30, B, and X (shaded).
[6] 
Zone VE and Zone V1-30: special flood hazard areas subject to inundation by the one-percent-annual-chance (one-hundred-year) flood and subject to high velocity wave action. (Also see "coastal high-hazard area.")
FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE
A use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water; the term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship-building and ship-repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed foundation of a structure.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Any structure that is:
[1] 
Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the United States Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listings on the National Register;
[2] 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district; or
[3] 
Individually listed on the Maryland Register of Historic Places.
HYDROLOGIC AND HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING ANALYSES
Analyses performed by a licensed professional engineer, in accordance with standard engineering practices that are accepted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways) and FEMA, used to determine the base flood, other frequency floods, flood elevations, floodway information and boundaries, and flood profiles.
LETTER OF MAP CHANGE (LOMC)
A Letter of Map Change is an official FEMA determination, by letter, that amends or revises an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map or Flood Insurance Study. Letters of Map Change include:
[1] 
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): an amendment based on technical data showing that a property was incorrectly included in a designated special flood hazard area. A LOMA amends the current effective Flood Insurance Rate Map and establishes that a specific property or structure is not located in a special flood hazard area.
[2] 
Letter of Map Revision (LOMR): a revision based on technical data that may show changes to flood zones, flood elevations, floodplain and floodway delineations, and planimetric features. A Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) is a determination that a structure or parcel of land has been elevated by fill above the base flood elevation and is, therefore, no longer exposed to flooding associated with the base flood. In order to qualify for this determination, the fill must have been permitted and placed in accordance with the community's floodplain management regulations.
[3] 
Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR): a formal review and comment as to whether a proposed flood protection project or other project complies with the minimum NFIP requirements for such projects with respect to delineation of special flood hazard areas. A Conditional Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (CLOMR-F) is a determination that a parcel of land or proposed structure that will be elevated by fill would not be inundated by the base flood if fill is placed on the parcel as proposed or the structure is built as proposed. A CLOMR does not revise the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map or Flood Insurance Study; upon submission and approval of certified as-built documentation, a Letter of Map Revision may be issued by FEMA, to revise the effective FIRM.
LICENSED
As used in these regulations, licensed refers to professionals who are authorized to practice in the State of Maryland by issuance of licenses by the Maryland Board of Architects, Maryland Board of Professional Engineers, Maryland Board of Professional Land Surveyors, and the Maryland Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors Commission.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement) of a building or structure; the floor of an enclosure below the lowest floor is not the lowest floor, provided the enclosure is constructed in accordance with these regulations. The lowest floor of a manufactured home is the bottom of the lowest horizontal supporting member (longitudinal chassis frame beam).
LIMIT OF MODERAL WAVE ACTION (LiMWA)
Inland limit of the area affected by waves greater than 1.5 feet during the base flood. Base flood conditions between the VE Zone and the LiMWA will be similar to, but less severe than those in the VE Zone.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a recreational vehicle.
MARKET VALUE
The price at which a property will change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither party being under compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts. For the purposes of these regulations, the market value of a building is determined by a licensed real estate appraiser or the most recent, full phased-in assessment value of the building (improvement) determined by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (MDE)
A principal department of the State of Maryland that is charged with, among other responsibilities, the coordination of the National Flood Insurance Program in Maryland (NFIP State Coordinator) and the administration of regulatory programs for development and construction that occur within the waters of the state, including nontidal wetlands, nontidal waters and floodplains, and state and private tidal wetlands (tidal wetlands). Unless otherwise specified, "MDE" refers to the Department's Wetlands and Waterways Program.
MIXED-USE STRUCTURE
Any structure that is used or intended for use for a mixture of nonresidential and residential uses in the same structure.
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP)
The program authorized by the United States Congress in 42 U.S.C. §§ 4001 to 4129. The NFIP makes flood insurance coverage available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce minimum regulatory requirements for development in areas prone to flooding. (See definition of "special flood hazard area.")
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures, including additions and improvements, and the placement of manufactured homes, for which the start of construction commenced on or after October 15, 1981, the initial effective date of the Dorchester County Flood Insurance Rate Map, including any subsequent improvements, alterations, modifications, and additions to such structures.
NFIP STATE COORDINATOR
See "Maryland Department of the Environment."
NONTIDAL WATERS OF THE STATE
See "waters of the state." As used in these regulations, "nontidal waters of the state" refers to any stream or body of water within the state that is subject to state regulation, including the "one-hundred-year frequency floodplain of free-flowing waters." COMAR 26.17.04 states that "the landward boundaries of any tidal waters shall be deemed coterminous with the wetlands boundary maps adopted pursuant to Environment Article, § 16-301, Annotated Code of Maryland." Therefore, the boundary between the tidal and nontidal waters of the state is the tidal wetlands boundary.
PERSON
An individual or group of individuals, corporation, partnership, association, or any other entity, including state and local governments and agencies.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle that is built on a single chassis, 400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection, designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck, and designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling, but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA)
The land in the floodplain subject to a one-percent-or-greater chance of flooding in any given year. Special flood hazard areas are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Flood Insurance Studies and on Flood Insurance Rate Maps as Zones A, AE, AH, AO, A1-30, and A99. The term includes areas shown on other flood maps that are identified in Subsection A(5).
START OF CONSTRUCTION
The date the building permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition placement, or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The "actual start" means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory structures, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For substantial improvements, the "actual start of construction" means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE
That which is built or constructed; specifically, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above the ground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage of any origin sustained by a building or structure whereby the cost of restoring the building or structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the building or structure before the damage occurred. For regulatory requirements that are not set forth in these regulations, the most current edition of FEMA publication P-758, "Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference," shall be used. Also used as "substantially damaged" structures.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a building or structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the building or structure before the start of construction of the improvement. For regulatory requirements that are not set forth in these regulations, the most current edition of FEMA publication P-758, "Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference," shall be used. The term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
[1] 
Any project for improvement of a building or structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official prior to submission of an application for a permit and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
[2] 
Any alteration of an historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure.
TEMPORARY STRUCTURE
A structure installed, used, or erected for a period of less than 180 days.
VARIANCE
A grant of relief from the strict application of one or more requirements of these regulations.
VIOLATION
Any construction or development in a special flood hazard area that is being performed without an issued permit. The failure of a building, structure, or other development for which a permit is issued to be fully compliant with these regulations and the conditions of the issued permit. A building, structure, or other development without the required design certifications, the elevation certificate, or other evidence of compliance required is presumed to be a violation until such time as the required documentation is provided.
WATERCOURSE
The channel, including channel banks and bed, of nontidal waters of the state.
WATERS OF THE STATE
(See Environment Article, Title 5, Subtitle 1, Annotated Code of Maryland.) Waters of the state include:
[1] 
Both surface and underground waters within the boundaries of the state subject to its jurisdiction;
[2] 
That portion of the Atlantic Ocean within the boundaries of the state;
[3] 
The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries;
[4] 
All ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, public ditches, tax ditches, and public drainage systems within the state, other than those designed and used to collect, convey, or dispose of sanitary sewage; and
[5] 
The floodplain of free-flowing waters determined by MDE on the basis of the one-hundred-year flood frequency.
B. 
Administration.
(1) 
Designation of the Floodplain Administrator. The Planning Director of Dorchester County or his designee is hereby appointed to administer and implement these regulations and is referred to herein as the Floodplain Administrator. The Floodplain Administrator may:
(a) 
Delegate duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations to qualified technical personnel, plan examiners, inspectors, and other employees.
(b) 
Enter into a written agreement or written contract with another Maryland community or private sector entity to administer specific provisions of these regulations. Administration of any part of these regulations by another entity shall not relieve the community of its responsibilities pursuant to the participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 44 CFR 59.22.
(2) 
Duties and responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator. The duties and responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator shall include but are not limited to:
(a) 
Review applications for permits to determine whether proposed activities will be located in flood hazard areas.
(b) 
Interpret floodplain boundaries and provide available base flood elevation and flood hazard information.
(c) 
Review applications to determine whether proposed activities will be reasonably safe from flooding and require new construction and substantial improvements to meet the requirements of these regulations.
(d) 
Review applications to determine whether all necessary permits have been obtained from the federal, state or local agencies from which prior or concurrent approval is required; in particular, permits from MDE for any construction, reconstruction, repair, or alteration of a dam, reservoir, or waterway obstruction (including bridges, culverts, structures), any alteration of a watercourse, or any change of the course, current, or cross-section of a stream or body of water, including any change to the one-hundred-year frequency floodplain of free-flowing nontidal waters of the state.
(e) 
Verify that applicants proposing an alteration of a watercourse have notified adjacent communities and MDE (NFIP State Coordinator), and have submitted copies of such notifications to FEMA.
(f) 
Advise applicants for new construction or substantial improvement of structures that are located within an area of the Coastal Barrier Resources System established by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act that Federal flood insurance is not available on such structures; areas subject to this limitation are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps as Coastal Barrier Resource System Areas (CBRS) or Otherwise Protected Areas (OPA).
(g) 
Approve applications and issue permits to develop in flood hazard areas if the provisions of these regulations have been met, or disapprove applications if the provisions of these regulations have not been met.
(h) 
Inspect or cause to be inspected, buildings, structures, and other development for which permits have been issued to determine compliance with these regulations or to determine if noncompliance has occurred or violations have been committed.
(i) 
Review elevation certificates and require incomplete or deficient certificates to be corrected.
(j) 
Submit to FEMA, or require applicants to submit to FEMA, data and information necessary to maintain FIRMs, including hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses prepared by or for Dorchester County within six months after such data and information become available if the analyses indicate changes in base flood elevations or boundaries.
(k) 
Maintain and permanently keep records that are necessary for the administration of these regulations, including:
[1] 
Flood Insurance Studies, Flood Insurance Rate Maps (including historic studies and maps and current effective studies and maps) and Letters of Map Change; and
[2] 
Documentation supporting issuance and denial of permits, elevation certificates, documentation of the elevation (in relation to the datum on the FIRM) to which structures have been floodproofed, other required design certifications, variances, and records of enforcement actions taken to correct violations of these regulations.
(l) 
Enforce the provisions of these regulations, investigate violations, issue notices of violations or stop-work orders, and require permit holders to take corrective action.
(m) 
Advise the Board of Appeals regarding the intent of these regulations and, for each application for a variance, prepare a staff report and recommendation.
(n) 
Administer the requirements related to proposed work on existing buildings:
[1] 
Make determinations as to whether buildings and structures that are located in flood hazard areas and that are damaged by any cause have been substantially damaged.
[2] 
Make reasonable efforts to notify owners of substantially damaged structures of the need to obtain a permit to repair, rehabilitate, or reconstruct, and prohibit the noncompliant repair of substantially damaged buildings except for temporary emergency protective measures necessary to secure a property or stabilize a building or structure to prevent additional damage.
(o) 
Undertake, as determined appropriate by the Floodplain Administrator due to the circumstances, other actions which may include but are not limited to issuing press releases, public service announcements, and other public information materials related to permit requests and repair of damaged structures; coordinating with other federal, state, and local agencies to assist with substantial damage determinations; providing owners of damaged structures information related to the proper repair of damaged structures in special flood hazard areas; and assisting property owners with documentation necessary to file claims for increased cost of compliance (ICC) coverage under NFIP flood insurance policies.
(p) 
Notify the Federal Emergency Management Agency when the corporate boundaries of Dorchester County have been modified, and:
[1] 
Provide a map that clearly delineates the new corporate boundaries or the new area for which the authority to regulate pursuant to these regulations has either been assumed or relinquished through annexation; and
[2] 
If the FIRM for any annexed area includes special flood hazard areas that have flood zones that have regulatory requirements that are not set forth in these regulations, prepare amendments to these regulations to adopt the FIRM and appropriate requirements, and submit the amendments to the governing body for adoption; such adoption shall take place within six months of the date of annexation and a copy of the amended regulations shall be provided to MDE (NFIP State Coordinator) and FEMA.
(q) 
Upon the request of FEMA, complete and submit a report concerning participation in the NFIP which may request information regarding the number of buildings in the SFHA, number of permits issued for development in the SFHA, and number of variances issued for development in the SFHA.
(3) 
Use and interpretation of FIRMs. The Floodplain Administrator shall make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of special flood hazard areas, floodplain boundaries, and floodway boundaries. The following shall apply to the use and interpretation of FIRMs and data:
(a) 
Where field-surveyed topography indicates that ground elevations:
[1] 
Are below the base flood elevation, even in areas not delineated as a special flood hazard area on a FIRM, the area shall be considered as special flood hazard area and subject to the requirements of these regulations;
[2] 
Are above the base flood elevation, the area shall be regulated as special flood hazard area unless the applicant obtains a Letter of Map Change that removes the area from the special flood hazard area.
(b) 
In FEMA-identified special flood hazard areas where base flood elevation and floodway data have not been identified and in areas where FEMA has not identified special flood hazard areas, any other flood hazard data available from a federal, state, or other source shall be reviewed and reasonably used.
(c) 
Base flood elevations and designated floodway boundaries on FIRMs and in FISs shall take precedence over base flood elevations and floodway boundaries by any other sources if such sources show reduced floodway widths and/or lower base flood elevations.
(d) 
Other sources of data shall be reasonably used if such sources show increased base flood elevations and/or larger floodway areas than are shown on FIRMs and in FISs.
(e) 
If a Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map and/or a Preliminary Flood Insurance Study has been provided by FEMA:
[1] 
Upon the issuance of a Letter of Final Determination by FEMA, if the preliminary flood hazard data is more restrictive than the effective data, it shall be used and shall replace the flood hazard data previously provided from FEMA for the purposes of administering these regulations.
[2] 
Prior to the issuance of a Letter of Final Determination by FEMA, the use of preliminary flood hazard data shall be deemed the best available data pursuant to Subsection A(5)(c) and used where no base flood elevations and/or floodway areas are provided on the effective FIRM.
[3] 
Prior to issuance of a Letter of Final Determination by FEMA, the use of preliminary flood hazard data is permitted where the preliminary base flood elevations, floodplain or floodway boundaries exceed the base flood elevations and/or designated floodway widths in existing flood hazard data provided by FEMA. Such preliminary data may be subject to change and/or appeal to FEMA.
(4) 
Permits required and expiration.
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to begin any development or construction which is wholly within, partially within, or in contact with any flood hazard area established in Subsection A(5), including but not limited to filling; grading; construction of new structures; the substantial improvement of buildings or structures, including repair of substantial damage; placement or replacement of manufactured homes, including substantial improvement or repair of substantial damage of manufactured homes; erecting or installing a temporary structure, or alteration of a watercourse, until a permit is obtained from Dorchester County. No such permit shall be issued until the requirements of these regulations have been met.
(b) 
In addition to the permits required in Subsection B(4)(a), applicants for permits in nontidal waters of the state are advised to contact MDE. Unless waived by MDE, pursuant to Code of Maryland Regulations 26.17.04, Construction on Nontidal Waters and Floodplains, MDE regulates the "one-hundred-year frequency floodplain of free-flowing waters," also referred to as "nontidal waters of the state." To determine the one-hundred-year frequency floodplain, hydrologic calculations are based on the ultimate development of the watershed, assuming existing zoning. The resulting flood hazard areas delineated using the results of such calculations may be different than the special flood hazard areas established in Subsection A(5) of these regulations. A permit from Dorchester County is still required in addition to any state requirements.
(c) 
A permit is valid provided the actual start of work is within 180 days of the date of permit issuance. Requests for extensions shall be submitted in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated prior to the permit expiration date. The Floodplain Administrator may grant, in writing, up to two extensions of time, for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each and provided there has been no amendment or revision to the basis for establishing special flood hazard areas and BFEs set forth in Subsection A(5).
(5) 
Application required. Application for a permit shall be made by the owner of the property or the owner's authorized agent (herein referred to as the applicant) prior to the start of any work. The application shall be on a form furnished for that purpose. At a minimum, applications shall include:
(a) 
Site plans drawn to scale showing the nature, location, and dimensions of the area in question, and the location of existing and proposed structures, excavation, filling, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and other proposed activities.
(b) 
Elevation of the existing natural ground where buildings or structures are proposed, referenced to the datum on the FIRM.
(c) 
Delineation of flood hazard areas, designated floodway boundaries, flood zones, base flood elevations, and flood protection setbacks. Base flood elevations shall be used to delineate the boundary of flood hazard areas and such delineations shall prevail over the boundary of SFHAs shown on FIRMs.
(d) 
Where floodways are not delineated or base flood elevations are not shown on the FIRMs, the Floodplain Administrator has the authority to require the applicant to use information provided by the Floodplain Administrator, information that is available from federal, state, or other sources, or to determine such information using accepted engineering practices or methods approved by the Floodplain Administrator. [NOTE: See "Managing Floodplain Development in Approximate Zone A Areas: A Guide for Obtaining and Developing Base (one-hundred-year) Flood Elevations" (FEMA 265).]
(e) 
Determination of the base flood elevations, for development proposals and subdivision proposals, each with at least five lots or at least five acres, whichever is the lesser, in special flood hazard areas where base flood elevations are not shown on the FIRM; if hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses are submitted, such analyses shall be performed in accordance with the requirements and specifications of MDE and FEMA.
(f) 
Hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses for proposals in special flood hazard areas where FEMA has provided base flood elevations but has not delineated a floodway; such analyses shall demonstrate that the cumulative effect of proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood by more than one foot or a lower increase if required by MDE.
(g) 
For encroachments in floodways, an evaluation of alternatives to such encroachments, including different uses of the site or portion of the site within the floodway, and minimization of such encroachment.
(h) 
If fill is proposed to be placed for a purpose other than to elevate structures, the applicant shall indicate the intended purpose for the fill.
(i) 
For proposed buildings and structures, including substantial improvement and repair of substantial damage, and placement and replacement of manufactured homes, including substantial improvement and repair of substantial damage:
[1] 
The proposed elevation of the lowest floor, including basement, referenced to the datum on the FIRM and a signed agreement to submit an elevation certificate.
[2] 
The signed declaration of land restriction (nonconversion agreement) that shall be recorded on the property deed prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy, if the application includes an enclosure below the lowest floor or a crawl/underfloor space that is more than four feet in height.
[3] 
A written evaluation of alternative methods considered to elevate structures and manufactured homes, if the location is in nontidal waters of the state and fill is proposed to achieve the elevation required in Subsection D(4)(a) or (5)(a).
(j) 
For accessory structures that are 900 square feet or larger in area (footprint) and that are below the base flood elevation, a variance is required as set forth in Subsection F. If a variance is granted, a signed declaration of land restriction (nonconversion agreement) shall be recorded on the property deed prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
(k) 
For temporary structures and temporary storage, specification of the duration of the temporary use.
(l) 
For proposed work on existing buildings, structure, and manufactured homes, including any improvement, addition, repairs, alterations, rehabilitation, or reconstruction, sufficient information to determine if the work constitutes substantial improvement or repair of substantial damage, including but not limited to:
[1] 
If the existing building or structure was constructed after October 15, 1981, evidence that the work will not alter any aspect of the building or structure that was required for compliance with the floodplain management requirements in effect at the time the building or structure was permitted.
[2] 
If the proposed work is a horizontal addition, a description of the addition and whether it will be independently supported or structurally connected to the base building and the nature of all other modifications to the base building, if any.
[3] 
Documentation of the market value of the building or structure before the improvement or, if the work is repair of damage, before the damage occurred.
[4] 
Documentation of the actual cash value of all proposed work, including the actual cash value of all work necessary to repair and restore damage to the before-damaged condition, regardless of the amount of work that will be performed. The value of work performed by the owner or volunteers shall be valued at market labor rates; the value of donated or discounted materials shall be valued at market rates.
(m) 
Certifications and/or technical analyses prepared or conducted by a licensed professional engineer or licensed architect, as appropriate, including:
[1] 
The determination of the base flood elevations or hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses prepared by a licensed professional engineer that are required by the Floodplain Administrator or are required by these regulations in: Subsection C(2) for certain subdivisions and development; Subsection D(3)(a) for development in designated floodways; Subsection D(3)(c) for development in flood hazard areas with base flood elevations but no designated floodways; and Subsection D(3)(e) for deliberate alteration or relocation of watercourses.
[2] 
The floodproofing certificate for nonresidential structures that are floodproofed as required in Subsection D(5)(b).
[3] 
Certification that engineered flood openings are designed to meet the minimum requirements of Subsection D(4)(c)[3] to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces.
[4] 
Certification that the proposed elevation, structural design, specifications and plans, and the methods of construction to be used for structures in coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) and Coastal A Zones, are in accordance with accepted standards of practice and meet the requirements of Subsection E(3)(c).
(n) 
For nonresidential structures that are proposed with floodproofing, an operations and maintenance plan as specified in Subsection D(5)(b)[3].
(o) 
Such other material and information as may be requested by the Floodplain Administrator and necessary to determine conformance with these regulations.
(6) 
New technical data.
(a) 
The applicant may seek a Letter of Map Change by submitting new technical data to FEMA, such as base maps, topography, and engineering analyses to support revision of floodplain and floodway boundaries and/or base flood elevations. Such submissions shall be prepared in a format acceptable to FEMA and any fees shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant. A copy of the submittal shall be attached to the application for a permit.
(b) 
If the applicant submits new technical data to support any change in floodplain and designated floodway boundaries and/or base flood elevations but has not sought a Letter of Map Change from FEMA, the applicant shall submit such data to FEMA as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available. Such submissions shall be prepared in a format acceptable to FEMA and any fees shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant.
(7) 
Review of application. The Floodplain Administrator shall:
(a) 
Review applications for development in special flood hazard areas to determine the completeness of information submitted. The applicant shall be notified of incompleteness or additional information that is required to support the application.
(b) 
Notify applicants that permits from MDE and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and other state and federal authorities may be required.
(c) 
Review all permit applications to assure that all necessary permits have been received from the federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required. The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining such permits, including permits issued by:
[1] 
The United States Army Corps of Engineers under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act;
[2] 
MDE pursuant to COMAR 26.23 (Nontidal Wetlands) and Section 401 of the Clean Water Act;
[3] 
MDE for construction on nontidal waters of the state pursuant to COMAR 26.17.04; and
[4] 
MDE pursuant to COMAR 26.24 (Tidal Wetlands).
(d) 
Review applications for compliance with these regulations after all information required in Subsection B(5) of these regulations or identified and required by the Floodplain Administrator has been received.
(8) 
Inspections. The Floodplain Administrator shall make periodic inspections of development permitted in special flood hazard areas, at appropriate times throughout the period of construction in order to monitor compliance. Such inspections may include:
(a) 
Stake-out inspection, to determine location on the site relative to the flood hazard area and designated floodway.
(b) 
Foundation inspection, upon placement of the lowest floor and prior to further vertical construction, to collect information or certification of the elevation of the lowest floor.
(c) 
Inspection of enclosures below the lowest floor, including crawl/underfloor spaces, to determine compliance with applicable provisions.
(d) 
Utility inspection, upon installation of specified equipment and appliances, to determine appropriate location with respect to the base flood elevation.
(e) 
Final inspection prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
(9) 
Submissions required prior to certificate of occupancy. Pursuant to the agreement to submit an elevation certificate submitted with the application as required in Subsection B(5)(i), the permittee shall have an elevation certificate prepared and submitted prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for elevated structures and manufactured homes, including new structures and manufactured homes, substantially improved structures and manufactured homes, and additions to structures and manufactured homes.
C. 
Requirements in all flood hazard areas.
(1) 
Application of requirements. The general requirements of this subsection apply to all development proposed within all special flood hazard areas identified in Subsection A(5).
(2) 
Subdivision proposals and development proposals.
(a) 
In all flood zones:
[1] 
Subdivision proposals and development proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and are subject to all applicable standards in these regulations.
[2] 
Subdivision proposals and development proposals shall have utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage.
[3] 
Subdivision proposals and development proposals shall have adequate drainage paths provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards and to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures.
[4] 
Subdivision proposals and development proposals containing at least five lots or at least five acres, whichever is the lesser, that are wholly or partially in flood hazard areas where base flood elevation data are not provided by the Floodplain Administrator or available from other sources, shall be supported by determinations of base flood elevations as required in Subsection B(5) of these regulations.
(b) 
In special flood hazard areas of nontidal waters of the state:
[1] 
Subdivision proposals shall be laid out such that proposed building pads are located outside of the special flood hazard area and any portion of platted lots that include land areas that are below the base flood elevation shall be used for other purposes, deed restricted, or otherwise protected to preserve it as open space.
(3) 
Protection of water supply and sanitary sewage systems.
(a) 
New and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems.
(b) 
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into systems and discharges from systems into floodwaters.
(c) 
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to or contamination from them during conditions of flooding.
(4) 
Buildings and structures. New buildings and structures (including the placement and replacement of manufactured homes) and substantial improvement of existing structures (including manufactured homes) that are located, in whole or in part, in any special flood hazard area shall:
(a) 
Be designed (or modified) and constructed to safely support flood loads. The construction shall provide a complete load path capable of transferring all loads from their point of origin through the load-resisting elements to the foundation. Structures shall be designed, connected and anchored to resist flotation, collapse or permanent lateral movement due to structural loads and stresses, including hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads and the effects of buoyancy, from flooding equal to the flood protection elevation or the elevation required by these regulations or the building code, whichever is higher.
(b) 
Be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
(c) 
Use flood-damage-resistant materials below the elevation of the lowest floor required in Subsection D(4)(a) or (5)(a) (for A Zones) or Subsection E(3)(b) (for V Zones and Coastal A Zones).
(d) 
Have electrical systems, equipment and components, and mechanical, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and plumbing appliances, plumbing fixtures, duct systems, and other service equipment located at or above the elevation of the lowest floor required in Subsection D(4)(a) or (5)(a) (A Zones) or Subsection E(3)(b) (for V Zones and Coastal A Zones). Electrical wiring systems are permitted to be located below elevation of the lowest floor, provided they conform to the provisions of the electrical part of the building code for wet locations. If replaced as part of a substantial improvement, electrical systems, equipment and components, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing appliances, plumbing fixtures, duct systems, and other service equipment shall meet the requirements of this subsection.
(e) 
As an alternative to Subsection C(4)(d), electrical systems, equipment and components, and heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and plumbing appliances, plumbing fixtures, duct systems, and other service equipment are permitted to be located below the elevation of the lowest floor, provided they are designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components and to resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and stresses, including the effects of buoyancy, during the occurrence of flooding to that elevation.
(f) 
Have the electric panelboard elevated at least three feet above the BFE.
(g) 
If located in flood hazard areas (A Zones) that are not identified as Coastal A Zones and coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones), comply with the specific requirements of Subsection D(1) through (7).
(h) 
If located in Coastal A Zone, comply with the specific requirements of:
[1] 
Subsection E (new construction and placement of new manufactured homes); or
[2] 
Subsection D (substantial improvements (including repair of substantial damage) and replacement manufactured homes).
(i) 
If located in coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones), comply with the specific requirements of Subsection E.
(j) 
Comply with the requirements of the most restrictive designation if located on a site that has more than one flood zone designation (A Zone, designated floodway, Coastal A Zone, V Zone).
(5) 
Placement of fill.
(a) 
Disposal of fill, including but not limited to earthen soils, rock, rubble, construction debris, woody debris, and trash, shall not be permitted in special flood hazard areas.
(b) 
Fill shall not be placed in Coastal A Zones or coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) except as provided in Subsection E(2).
(c) 
Fill proposed to be placed to elevate structures in flood hazard areas (A Zones) that are not Coastal A Zones or coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) shall comply with the floodways requirements in Subsection D(3)(a), (b) and (c) and the limitations of Subsection D(4)(b).
(6) 
Historic structures. Repair, alteration, addition, rehabilitation, or other improvement of historic structures shall be subject to the requirements of these regulations if the proposed work is determined to be a substantial improvement, unless a determination is made that the proposed work will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure. The Floodplain Administrator may require documentation of a structure's continued eligibility and designation as a historic structure.
(7) 
Manufactured homes.
(a) 
New manufactured homes shall not be placed or installed in floodways.
(b) 
For the purpose of these regulations, the lowest floor of a manufactured home is the bottom of the lowest horizontal supporting member (longitudinal chassis frame beam).
(c) 
New manufactured homes located outside of floodways and coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones), replacement manufactured homes in any flood hazard areas, and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of existing manufactured homes in all flood hazard area, shall:
[1] 
Be elevated on a permanent, reinforced foundation in accordance with Subsection D(1) through (7) or Subsection E, as applicable to the flood zone;
[2] 
Be installed in accordance with the anchor and tie-down requirements of the building code or the manufacturer's written installation instructions and specifications; and
[3] 
Have enclosures below the lowest floor of the elevated manufactured home, if any, including enclosures that are surrounded by rigid skirting or other material that is attached to the frame or foundation, that comply with the requirements of Subsection D(1) through (7) or Subsection E, as applicable to the flood zone. [NOTE: See "Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards: A Multi-Hazard Foundation and Installation Guide" (FEMA P-85).]
(8) 
Recreational vehicles. Recreational vehicles shall:
(a) 
Meet the requirements for manufactured homes in Subsection C(7); or
(b) 
Be fully licensed and ready for highway use; or
(c) 
Be on a site for less than 180 consecutive days.
(d) 
Not be added onto or improved upon with the exception of a fully screened-in porch or open (uncovered) deck which is not structurally connected to the recreational vehicle.
(9) 
Critical and essential facilities. Critical and essential facilities shall:
(a) 
Not be located in coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones), Coastal A Zones or floodways.
(b) 
If located in flood hazard areas other than coastal high-hazard areas, Coastal A Zones and floodways, be elevated to the higher of elevation required by these regulations plus one foot, the elevation required by the building code, or the elevation of the two-tenths-percent-chance (five-hundred-year) flood.
(10) 
Temporary structures and temporary storage. In addition to the application requirements of Subsection B(5), applications for the placement or erection of temporary structures and the temporary storage of any goods, materials, and equipment, shall specify the duration of the temporary use. Temporary structures and temporary storage in floodways shall meet the limitations of Subsection D(3)(a) of these regulations. In addition:
(a) 
Temporary structures shall:
[1] 
Be designed and constructed to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement resulting from hydrodynamic loads and hydrostatic loads during conditions of the base flood;
[2] 
Have electric service installed in compliance with the electric code; and
[3] 
Comply with all other requirements of the applicable state and local permit authorities.
(b) 
Temporary storage shall not include hazardous materials.
(11) 
Gas or liquid storage tanks.
(a) 
Underground tanks in flood hazard areas shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement resulting from hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy, during conditions of the base flood.
(b) 
Aboveground tanks in flood hazard areas shall be anchored to a supporting structure and elevated to or above the base flood elevation, or shall be anchored or otherwise designed and constructed to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy, during conditions of the base flood.
(c) 
In flood hazard areas, tank inlets, fill openings, outlets and vents shall be:
[1] 
At or above the base flood elevation or fitted with covers designed to prevent the inflow of floodwater or outflow of the contents of the tanks during conditions of the base flood; and
[2] 
Anchored to prevent lateral movement resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy, during conditions of the base flood.
(12) 
Functionally dependent uses. Applications for functionally dependent uses that do not conform to the requirements of these regulations shall be approved only by variances issued pursuant to Subsection F(1) through (4). If approved, functionally dependent uses shall be protected by methods that minimize flood damage during the base flood, including measures to allow floodwaters to enter and exit, use of flood-damage-resistant materials, and elevation of electric service and equipment to the extent practical given the use of the building.
D. 
Requirements in flood hazard areas (A zones) that are not coastal high-hazard areas (V zones) or Coastal A Zones.
(1) 
General requirements. In addition to the general requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12), the requirements of this subsection shall:
(a) 
Apply in flood hazard areas that are not identified as coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) and Coastal A Zones. These flood hazard areas, referred to collectively as "A Zones," include special flood hazard areas along nontidal waters of the state, landward of coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones), and landward of Coastal A Zones (if delineated).
(b) 
Apply to all development, new construction, substantial improvements (including repair of substantial damage), and placement, replacement, and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of manufactured homes.
(2) 
Flood protection setbacks. Within areas defined by flood protection setbacks along nontidal waters of the state:
(a) 
No new buildings, structures, or other development shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates that the site cannot be developed without such encroachment into the flood protection setback and the encroachment is the minimum necessary after consideration of varying other siting standards, such as side, front, and back lot line setbacks.
(b) 
Disturbance of natural vegetation shall be minimized and any disturbance allowed shall be vegetatively stabilized.
(c) 
Public works and temporary construction may be permitted.
(3) 
Development that affects flood-carrying capacity of nontidal waters of the state.
(a) 
Development in designated floodways. For proposed development that will encroach into a designated floodway, Subsection B(5)(g) requires the applicant to submit an evaluation of alternatives to such encroachment, including different uses of the site or the portion of the site within the floodway, and minimization of such encroachment. This requirement does not apply to fences that do not block the flow of floodwaters or trap debris. Proposed development in a designated floodway may be permitted only if:
[1] 
The applicant has been issued a permit by MDE; and
[2] 
The applicant has developed hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses and technical data prepared by a licensed professional engineer reflecting such changes, and the analyses, which shall be submitted to the Floodplain Administrator, demonstrate that the proposed activity will not result in any increase in the base flood elevation; or
[3] 
If the analyses demonstrate that the proposed activities will result in an increase in the base flood elevation, the applicant has obtained a Conditional Letter of Map Revision and a Letter of Map Revision from FEMA upon completion of the project. Submittal requirements and fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(b) 
Development that includes the placement of fill in nontidal waters of the state. For proposed development that includes the placement of fill in nontidal waters of the state, other than development that is subject to Subsection D(3)(d) a hydraulically equivalent volume of excavation is required. Such excavations shall be designed to drain freely.
(c) 
Development in areas with base flood elevations but no designated floodways. For development in special flood hazard areas of nontidal waters of the state with base flood elevations but no designated floodways:
[1] 
The applicant shall develop hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses and technical data reflecting the proposed activity and shall submit such technical data to the Floodplain Administrator as required in Subsection B(5)(f). The analyses shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in a format required by FEMA for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision and a Letter of Map Revision upon completion of the project. Submittal requirements and fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
[2] 
The proposed development may be permitted if the applicant has received a permit by MDE and if the analyses demonstrate that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and potential flood hazard area encroachments will not increase the base flood elevation more than 1.0 foot at any point.
(d) 
Construction of roads, bridges, culverts, dams and in-stream ponds. Construction of roads, bridges, culverts, dams, and in-stream ponds in nontidal waters of the state shall not be approved unless they comply with this subsection and the applicant has received a permit from MDE.
(e) 
Alteration of a watercourse. For any proposed development that involves alteration of a watercourse not subject to Subsection D(3)(e)[3], unless waived by MDE, the applicant shall develop hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses and technical data reflecting such changes, including the floodway analysis required in Subsection B(5)(a) through (o), and submit such technical data to the Floodplain Administrator and to FEMA. The analyses shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in a format required by MDE and by FEMA for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision or Letter of Map Revision. Submittal requirements and fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant. Alteration of a watercourse may be permitted only upon submission, by the applicant, of the following:
[1] 
A description of the extent to which the watercourse will be altered or relocated;
[2] 
A certification by a licensed professional engineer that the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse will not be diminished;
[3] 
Evidence that adjacent communities, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and MDE have been notified of the proposal, and evidence that such notifications have been submitted to FEMA; and
[4] 
Evidence that the applicant shall be responsible for providing the necessary maintenance for the altered or relocated portion of the watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity will not be diminished. The Floodplain Administrator may require the applicant to enter into an agreement with Dorchester County specifying the maintenance responsibilities; if an agreement is required, the permit shall be conditioned to require that the agreement be recorded on the deed of the property which shall be binding on future owners.
(4) 
Residential structures and residential portions of mixed-use structures. New residential structures and residential portions of mixed-use structures, and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of existing residential structures and residential portions of mixed-use structures shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and this subsection. See Subsection D(6) for requirements for horizontal additions.
(a) 
Elevation requirements.
[1] 
Lowest floors shall be elevated to or above the flood protection elevation.
[2] 
In areas of shallow flooding (Zone AO), the lowest floor (including basement) shall be elevated at least as high above the highest adjacent grade as the depth number specified in feet on the FIRM plus two feet, or at least four feet if a depth number is not specified.
[3] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall meet the requirements of Subsection D(4)(c).
(b) 
Limitations on use of fill to elevate structures. Unless otherwise restricted by these regulations, especially by the limitations in Subsection D(3)(a), (b) and (c), fill placed for the purpose of raising the ground level to support a building or structure shall:
[1] 
Consist of earthen soil or rock materials only.
[2] 
Extend laterally from the building footprint to provide for adequate access as a function of use; the Floodplain Administrator may seek advice from the State Fire Marshal's Office and/or the local fire services agency;
[3] 
Comply with the requirements of the building code and be placed and compacted to provide for stability under conditions of rising and falling floodwaters and resistance to erosion, scour, and settling;
[4] 
Be sloped no steeper than one vertical to two horizontal, unless approved by the Floodplain Administrator;
[5] 
Be protected from erosion associated with expected velocities during the occurrence of the base flood; unless approved by the Floodplain Administrator, fill slopes shall be protected by vegetation if the expected velocity is less than five feet per second, and by other means if the expected velocity is five feet per second or more; and
[6] 
Be designed with provisions for adequate drainage and no adverse effect on adjacent properties.
(c) 
Enclosures below the lowest floor.
[1] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, crawl/underfloor spaces, or limited storage.
[2] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall be constructed using flood-damage-resistant materials.
[3] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall be provided with flood openings which shall meet the following criteria:
[a] 
There shall be a minimum of two flood openings on different sides of each enclosed area; if a building has more than one enclosure below the lowest floor, each such enclosure shall have flood openings on exterior walls.
[b] 
The total net area of all flood openings shall be at least one square inch for each square foot of enclosed area (nonengineered flood openings), or the flood openings shall be engineered flood openings that are designed and certified by a licensed professional engineer to automatically allow entry and exit of floodwaters; the certification requirement may be satisfied by an individual certification or an evaluation report issued by the ICC Evaluation Service, Inc.
[c] 
The bottom of each flood opening shall be one foot or less above the higher of the interior floor or grade, or the exterior grade, immediately below the opening.
[d] 
Any louvers, screens or other covers for the flood openings shall allow the automatic flow of floodwaters into and out of the enclosed area.
[e] 
If installed in doors, flood openings that meet requirements of Subsection D(4)(c)[3][a] through [d], are acceptable; however, doors without installed flood openings do not meet the requirements of this subsection.
(5) 
Nonresidential structures and nonresidential portions of mixed-use structures. New nonresidential structures and nonresidential portions of mixed-use structures, and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of existing nonresidential structures and nonresidential portions of mixed-use structures shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and the requirements of this subsection. See Subsection D(6) for requirements for horizontal additions.
(a) 
Elevation requirements. Elevated structures shall:
[1] 
Have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the flood protection elevation; or
[2] 
In areas of shallow flooding (Zone AO), have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated at least as high above the highest adjacent grade as the depth number specified in feet on the FIRM plus two feet, or at least four feet if a depth number is not specified; and
[3] 
Have enclosures below the lowest floor, if any, that comply with the requirements of Subsection D(4)(c); or
[4] 
If proposed to be elevated on fill, meet the limitations on fill in Subsection D(4)(b).
(b) 
Floodproofing requirements.
[1] 
Floodproofing of new nonresidential buildings:
[a] 
Is not allowed in nontidal waters of the State [COMAR 26.17.04.11B(7)].
[b] 
Is not allowed in Coastal A Zones.
[2] 
Floodproofing for substantial improvement of nonresidential buildings:
[a] 
Is allowed in nontidal waters of the state.
[b] 
Is allowed in Coastal A Zones.
[3] 
If floodproofing is proposed, structures shall:
[a] 
Be designed to be dry floodproofed such that the building or structure is watertight with walls and floors substantially impermeable to the passage of water to the level of the flood protection elevation plus 1.0 foot; or
[b] 
If located in an area of shallow flooding (Zone AO), be dry floodproofed at least as high above the highest adjacent grade as the depth number specified on the FIRM plus three feet, or at least five feet if a depth number is not specified; and
[c] 
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy;
[d] 
Have floodproofing measures that are designed taking into consideration the nature of flood-related hazards; frequency, depth and duration of flooding; rate of rise and fall of floodwater; soil characteristics; flood-borne debris; at least 12 hours of flood warning time from a credible source; and time necessary to implement any measures that require human intervention;
[e] 
Have at least one door above the applicable flood elevation that allows human ingress and egress during conditions of flooding;
[f] 
Have an operations and maintenance plan that is filed with local emergency management officials and that specifies the owner/occupant's responsibilities to monitor flood potential; the location of any shields, doors, closures, tools, or other goods that are required for implementation; maintenance of such goods; methods of installation; and periodic inspection; and
[g] 
Be certified by a licensed professional engineer or licensed architect, through execution of a floodproofing certificate that states that the design and methods of construction meet the requirements of this subsection. The floodproofing certificate shall be submitted with the construction drawings as required in Subsection B(5)(m).
(6) 
Horizontal additions.
(a) 
A horizontal addition proposed for a building or structure that was constructed after the date specified in Subsection A(1) shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and this subsection.
(b) 
In nontidal waters of the state that are subject to the regulatory authority of MDE, all horizontal additions shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and this subsection, and:
[1] 
If the addition is structurally connected to the base building, the requirements of Subsection D(6)(c) apply.
[2] 
If the addition has an independent foundation and is not structurally connected to the base building and the common wall with the base building is modified by no more than a doorway, the base building is not required to be brought into compliance.
(c) 
For horizontal additions that are structurally connected to the base building:
[1] 
If the addition combined with other proposed repairs, alterations, or modifications of the base building constitutes substantial improvement, the base building and the addition shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and this subsection.
[2] 
If the addition constitutes substantial improvement, the base building and the addition shall comply with all of the applicable requirements of Subsection C(1) through (12) and this subsection.
(d) 
For horizontal additions with independent foundations that are not structurally connected to the base building and the common wall with the base building is modified by no more than a doorway, the base building is not required to be brought into compliance.
(e) 
A horizontal addition to a building or structure that is not substantial improvement, and is not located in nontidal waters of the state, is not required to comply with this subsection. [NOTE: See "Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference" (FEMA P-758).]
(7) 
Accessory structures, additions to accessory structures, and attached garages.
(a) 
Accessory structures.
[1] 
Detached private garages and other accessory structures containing 299 square feet or less shall be elevated to the base flood elevation or may be exempt from the elevation requirement but must be equipped with flood openings or water equalizing vents as in Subsection D(4)(c). A nonconversion agreement must be signed by the property owner.
[2] 
Detached private garages and other accessory structures between 300 and 899 square feet shall be elevated to the base flood elevation or may be exempt from the elevation requirement, provided that these structures meet all of the following conditions:
[a] 
Not be used for human habitation.
[b] 
Be designed to have low flood damage potential.
[c] 
Be constructed and placed on the lot to offer minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters.
[d] 
Be firmly anchored to prevent flotation which may result in damage to other structures.
[e] 
Have the floor of the structure at or above grade.
[f] 
Comply with the provisions of Subsection D(4)(c) or be floodproofed.
[g] 
The County must determine that the use will be accessory, and not have any commercial implications.
[h] 
All electrical, mechanical and heating devices must be elevated above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
[i] 
These conditions must be recorded in a declaration of land restriction (nonconversion agreement) prior to permit issuance.
[3] 
Detached private garages and other accessory structures over 899 square feet must comply with the lowest floor elevation requirements as well as Subsection D(7)(a)[2] above. However these structures are only required to be elevated to the base flood elevation.
(b) 
Additions to accessory structures.
[1] 
Additions or the sum total of successive additions of less than 300 square feet to accessory structures which legally existed as of the effective date of this chapter, as amended, are exempt from this subsection. However, they must comply with the provisions of Subsection D(4)(c) and are only required to be elevated to the base flood elevation, or be floodproofed.
[2] 
Additions between 300 and 899 square feet.
[a] 
Additions or the sum total of successive additions of between 300 square feet and 899 square feet to accessory structures which legally existed on the effective date of this chapter, as amended, are exempt from this subsection, provided that the addition(s):
[i] 
Not be used for human habitation.
[ii] 
Be designed to have low flood damage potential.
[iii] 
Be constructed and placed on the lot to offer minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters.
[iv] 
Be firmly anchored to prevent flotation which may result in damage to other structures.
[v] 
The County must determine that the use will be accessory, and not have any commercial implications.
[vi] 
A declaration of land restriction (nonconversion agreement) must be signed and recorded prior to permit issuance.
[b] 
The floor of the addition must be at or above finished grade.
[c] 
Fully enclosed areas below the base flood elevation shall be designed to equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
[i] 
A minimum of two openings on different walls having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.
[ii] 
The bottom of all openings shall be no more than one foot above grade.
[iii] 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the entry and exit of floodwaters.
[3] 
Additions or the sum of successive additions of over 899 square feet to accessory structures which legally existed as of the effective date of this chapter, as amended, shall:
[a] 
Have the lowest floor of the addition(s) constructed at or above the base flood elevation.
[b] 
Provide the Department with a signed elevation certificate that the lowest floor of the addition has been built at or above the base flood elevation before the structure may be used for its intended purpose. This certificate shall be obtained from a registered surveyor or engineer after the benchmark has been established on the building site by a registered surveyor or engineer.
(c) 
Attached garages. A garage built during the initial construction of the principal dwelling shall be elevated to the greatest extent possible and be equipped with flood openings or water equalizing vents as in Subsection D(4)(c). However, garages built both during and after the initial construction of the principal dwelling may be permitted as an exemption to the elevation requirement if used solely for the parking of vehicles, storage or building access and the following conditions are met:
[1] 
The ground floor of the private garage cannot be converted to a living space. (A declaration of land restriction (nonconversion agreement) must be signed and recorded by the applicant.)
[2] 
The garage must be properly anchored with adequate footings.
[3] 
All mechanical, heating, and electrical equipment must be elevated at or above the base flood elevation.
E. 
Requirements in coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) and Coastal A Zones.
(1) 
General requirements. In addition to the general requirements of Subsection D, the requirements of this subsection shall:
(a) 
Apply in flood hazard areas that are identified as coastal high-hazard areas (V Zones) and Coastal A Zones (if delineated).
(b) 
Apply to all development, new construction, substantial improvements (including repair of substantial damage), and placement, replacement, and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of manufactured homes. Exception: In Coastal A Zones, the requirements of Subsection E shall apply to substantial improvements (including repair of substantial damage), and substantial improvement of manufactured homes (including repair of substantial damage) and replacement manufactured homes. [NOTE: See "Coastal Construction Manual" (FEMA P-55).]
(2) 
Location and site preparation.
(a) 
The placement of structural fill for the purpose of elevating buildings is prohibited.
(b) 
Buildings shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.
(c) 
Minor grading, and the placement of minor quantities of fill, shall be permitted for landscaping and for drainage purposes under and around buildings and for support of parking slabs, pool decks, patios and walkways.
(d) 
Site preparations shall not alter sand dunes unless an engineering analysis demonstrates that the potential for flood damage is not increased.
(3) 
Residential and nonresidential structures. New structures and substantial improvement (including repair of substantial damage) of existing structures shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection D and the requirements of this subsection.
(a) 
Foundations.
[1] 
Structures shall be supported on pilings or columns and shall be adequately anchored to such pilings or columns. Pilings shall have adequate soil penetrations to resist the combined wave and wind loads (lateral and uplift). Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood. Wind loading values shall be those required by applicable building codes. Pile embedment shall include consideration of decreased resistance capacity caused by scour of soil strata surrounding the piling.
[2] 
Slabs, pools, pool decks and walkways shall be located and constructed to be structurally independent of structures and their foundations to prevent transfer of flood loads to the structures during conditions of flooding, scour, or erosion from wave-velocity flow conditions, and shall be designed to minimize debris impacts to adjacent properties and public infrastructure.
(b) 
Elevation requirements.
[1] 
The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member that supports the lowest floor shall be located at or above the flood protection elevation.
[2] 
Basement floors that are below grade on all sides are prohibited.
[3] 
The space below an elevated building shall either be free-of-obstruction or, if enclosed by walls, shall meet the requirements of Subsection E(3)(d). (NOTE: See NFIP Technical Bulletin No. 5, "Free-of-Obstruction Requirements.")
(c) 
Certification of design. As required in Subsection B(4)(m), the applicant shall include in the application a certification prepared by a licensed professional engineer or a licensed architect that the design and methods of construction to be used meet the requirements of Subsection E(3)(a), (b), (d), and the building code.
(d) 
Enclosures below the lowest floor.
[1] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access or limited storage.
[2] 
Enclosures below the lowest floor shall be less than 299 square feet in area (exterior measurement).
[3] 
Walls and partitions are permitted below the elevated floor, provided that such walls and partitions are designed to break away under flood loads and are not part of the structural support of the building or structure. [NOTE: See NFIP Technical Bulletin No. 9, "Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls."]
[4] 
Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing system components shall not be mounted on or penetrate through walls that are designed to break away under flood loads.
[5] 
Walls intended to break away under flood loads shall be constructed with insect screening or open lattice, or shall be designed to break away or collapse without causing collapse, displacement or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. Such walls, framing and connections shall have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 pounds per square foot and no more than 20 pounds per square foot; or
[6] 
Where wind loading values of the building code exceed 20 pounds per square foot, the applicant shall submit a certification prepared and sealed by a licensed professional engineer or licensed architect that:
[a] 
The walls and partitions below the lowest floor have been designed to collapse from a water load less than that which would occur during the base flood.
[b] 
The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system have been designed to withstand the effects of wind and flood loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and nonstructural). Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood; wind loading values used shall be those required by the building code.
[c] 
In Coastal A Zones, in addition to the requirements of this subsection, walls below the lowest floor shall have flood openings that meet the requirements of Subsection D(4)(c)[3].
(4) 
Horizontal additions to structures.
(a) 
A horizontal addition proposed for a building or structure that was constructed after the date specified in Subsection A(1) shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C and this subsection.
(b) 
For horizontal additions, whether structurally connected or not structurally connected, to the base building:
[1] 
If the addition combined with other proposed repairs, alterations, or modifications of the base building constitutes substantial improvement, the base building and the addition shall comply with the applicable requirements of Subsection C and this subsection.
[2] 
If the addition constitutes substantial improvement, the base building and the addition shall comply with all of the applicable requirements of Subsection C and this subsection. [NOTE: The base building is required to comply otherwise it is an obstruction that does not comply with the free-of-obstruction requirement that applies to the elevated addition, see Subsection E(3)(b)[3].]
(c) 
A horizontal addition to a building or structure that is not substantial improvement is not required to comply with this subsection.
(5) 
Accessory structures.
(a) 
Accessory structures shall be limited to not more than 300 square feet in total floor area.
(b) 
Accessory structures shall comply with the elevation requirements and other requirements of Subsection E(3) or, if not elevated, shall:
[1] 
Be useable only for parking of vehicles or limited storage;
[2] 
Be constructed with flood-damage-resistant materials below the base flood elevation;
[3] 
Be constructed and placed to offer the minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters;
[4] 
Be anchored to prevent flotation;
[5] 
Have electrical service and mechanical equipment elevated to or above the base flood elevation; and
[6] 
If larger than 100 square feet in size, have walls that meet the requirements of Subsection E(3)(d)[3] through [6], as applicable for the flood zone; and if located in Coastal A Zones, walls shall have flood openings that meet the requirements of Subsection D(4)(c)[3].
(6) 
Other structures and development. (Note: See NFIP Technical Bulletin No. 5, "Free-of-Obstruction Requirements.")
(a) 
Decks and patios. In addition to the requirements of the building code or the residential code, decks and patios shall be located, designed, and constructed in compliance with the following:
[1] 
A deck that is structurally attached to a building or structure shall have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member at or above the flood protection elevation and any supporting members that extend below the design flood elevation shall comply with the foundation requirements that apply to the building or structure, which shall be designed to accommodate any increased loads resulting from the attached deck.
[2] 
A deck or patio that is located below the flood protection elevation shall be structurally independent from structures and their foundation systems, and shall be designed and constructed either to remain intact and in place during base flood conditions or to break apart into small pieces that will not cause structural damage to adjacent elevated structures.
[3] 
A deck or patio that has a vertical thickness of more than 12 inches or that is constructed with more than the minimum amount of fill that is necessary for site drainage shall not be approved unless an analysis demonstrates no harmful diversion of floodwaters or wave runup and wave reflection that would increase damage to adjacent elevated structures.
[4] 
A deck or patio that has a vertical thickness of 12 inches or less and that is at natural grade or on fill material that is similar to and compatible with local soils and is the minimum amount necessary for site drainage may be approved without requiring analysis of the impact on diversion of floodwaters or wave runup and wave reflection.
(b) 
Other development. Other development activities shall be permitted only if located outside the footprint of, and not structurally attached to, structures, and only if an analysis demonstrates no harmful diversion of floodwaters or wave runup and wave reflection onto adjacent elevated structures. Other development includes but is not limited to:
[1] 
Bulkheads, seawalls, retaining walls, revetments, and similar erosion control structures;
[2] 
Solid fences, privacy walls, and fences prone to trapping debris, unless designed and constructed to fail under base flood conditions; and
[3] 
Mounded septic systems.
F. 
Variances.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals shall have the power to consider and authorize or deny variances from the strict application of the requirements of these regulations. A variance shall be approved only if it is determined to not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to special conditions of the lot or parcel, a literal enforcement of the provisions of these regulations, an unnecessary hardship would result.
(b) 
Upon consideration of the purposes of these regulations, the individual circumstances, and the considerations and limitations of this subsection, the Board of Appeals may attach such conditions to variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of these regulations.
(c) 
The Board of Appeals shall notify, in writing, any applicant to whom a variance is granted to construct or substantially improve a building or structure with its lowest floor below the elevation required by these regulations that the variance is to the floodplain management requirements of these regulations only, and that the cost of federal flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk, with rates up to $25 per $100 of insurance coverage.
(d) 
A record of all variance actions, including justification for issuance shall be maintained pursuant to Subsection B(2)(k) of these regulations.
(2) 
Application for a variance.
(a) 
The owner of property, or the owner's authorized agent, for which a variance is sought shall submit an application for a variance to the Floodplain Administrator.
(b) 
At a minimum, the application shall contain the following information: name, address, and telephone number of the applicant and property owner; legal description of the property; parcel map; description of the existing use; description of the proposed use; site map showing the location of flood hazard areas, designated floodway boundaries, flood zones, base flood elevations, and flood protection setbacks; description of the variance sought; and reason for the variance request. Variance applications shall specifically address each of the considerations in Subsection F(3).
(c) 
If the application is for a variance to allow the lowest floor (A Zones) or bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member (V Zones and Coastal A Zones) of a building or structure below the applicable minimum elevation required by these regulations, the application shall include a statement signed by the owner that, if granted, the conditions of the variance shall be recorded on the deed of the property.
(3) 
Considerations for variances. The Floodplain Administrator shall request comments on variance applications from MDE (NFIP State Coordinator) and shall provide such comments to the Board of Appeals. In considering variance applications, the Board of Appeals shall consider and make findings of fact on all evaluations, all relevant factors, requirements specified in other subsections of these regulations, and the following factors:
(a) 
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others.
(b) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage.
(c) 
The susceptibility of the proposed development and its contents (if applicable) to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner.
(d) 
The importance of the services to the community provided by the proposed development.
(e) 
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to, or are subject to less, flooding or erosion damage.
(f) 
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable, or if the facility is a functionally dependent use.
(g) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development.
(h) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and hazard mitigation plan for that area.
(i) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for passenger vehicles and emergency vehicles.
(j) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site.
(k) 
The costs of providing government services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.
(l) 
The comments provided by MDE (NFIP State Coordinator).
(4) 
Limitations for granting variances. The Board of Appeals shall make an affirmative decision on a variance request only upon:
(a) 
A showing of good and sufficient cause. Good and sufficient cause deals solely with the physical characteristics of the property and cannot be based on the character of the improvement, the personal characteristics of the owner/inhabitants, or local provision that regulate standards other than health and public safety.
(b) 
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship due to the physical characteristics of the property. Increased cost or inconvenience of meeting the requirements of these regulations does not constitute an exceptional hardship to the applicant.
(c) 
A determination that the granting of a variance for development within any designated floodway, or flood hazard area with base flood elevations but no designated floodway, will not result in increased flood heights beyond that which is allowed in these regulations.
(d) 
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in additional threats to public safety; extraordinary public expense, nuisances, fraud or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws.
(e) 
A determination that the building, structure or other development is protected by methods to minimize flood damages.
(f) 
A determination that the variance is the minimum necessary to afford relief, considering the flood hazard.
G. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
Compliance required.
(a) 
No building, structure or development shall hereafter be located, erected, constructed, reconstructed, improved, repaired, extended, converted, enlarged or altered without full compliance with these regulations and all other applicable regulations.
(b) 
Failure to obtain a permit shall be a violation of these regulations and shall be subject to penalties in accordance with Subsection G(3).
(c) 
Permits issued on the basis of plans and applications approved by the Floodplain Administrator authorize only the specific activities set forth in such approved plans and applications or amendments thereto. Use, arrangement, or construction of such specific activities that are contrary to that authorization shall be deemed a violation of these regulations.
(2) 
Notice of violation and stop-work order. If the Floodplain Administrator determines that there has been a violation of any provision of these regulations, the Floodplain Administrator shall give notice of such violation to the owner, the owner's authorized agent, and the person responsible for such violation, and may issue a stop-work order. The notice of violation or stop-work order shall be in writing and shall:
(a) 
Include a list of violations, referring to the subsection or subsections of these regulations that have been violated;
(b) 
Order remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of these regulations;
(c) 
Specify a reasonable period of time to correct the violation;
(d) 
Advise the recipients of the right to appeal; and
(e) 
Be served in person; or
(f) 
Be posted in a conspicuous place in or on the property and sent by registered or certified mail to the last-known mailing address, residence, or place of business of the recipients.
(3) 
Violations and penalties. Violations of these regulations or failure to comply with the requirements of these regulations or any conditions attached to a permit or variance shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person responsible for a violation shall comply with the notice of violation or stop-work order. Any person who violates this chapter or who fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. Nothing herein contained shall prevent Dorchester County from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
H. 
Subsequent amendments and effective date.
(1) 
Subsequent amendments. All ordinances or parts of ordinances that are inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency. This subsection shall be amended as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Title 44, Code of Federal Regulations. All subsequent amendments to this subsection are subject to the approval of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment.
(2) 
Effective date: adopted this sixth day of January 2015, and to be effective on the 16th day of March 2015.
[1]
Editor's Note: This bill also provided that building permits for structures located in special flood hazard areas and issued prior to its effective date be subject to the ordinance in effect at the time of permit approval if construction is completed and the permit closed out within one year of permit approval or within two years if an extension is granted, and that, if the permit is for a dwelling, a certificate of occupancy has been issued.

§ 155-38 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 155-38, CA Critical Area Protection District, as amended, was repealed 5-2-2017 by Bill No. 2017-3. See now Ch. 68, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area.

§ 155-39 Economic and Employment District (EE).

A. 
Criteria. An EE District may be established if all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) 
The EE District is in an AC, RR, SR or RCA District.
(2) 
The minimum area for an EE District is 10 acres.
(3) 
The district has direct access to a limited access or collector road.
(4) 
An EE District at the proposed location will be compatible with the existing and proposed uses and development of adjacent and vicinal properties.
(5) 
Lot, yard and height requirements.
(a) 
Development in an EE District shall meet the minimum lot, yard and height requirements of the I-2 District.
(b) 
The preliminary site plan and petition shall clearly note any modifications to the minimum requirements of the I-2 District that are designed to ensure that the proposed use and development will meet the compatibility criteria for establishing an EE District.
(6) 
Any proposed use or development of land in an RCA District will meet the requirements of the Critical Area Protection District.
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses are permitted in the EE District pursuant to any specific requirements for those uses in the permitted use table and in the supplementary use regulations:
(1) 
All uses permitted in the I-1 and I-2 Districts.
(2) 
Conference and retreat centers.
(3) 
Resort developments, including a compatible mix of uses such as a country club, hotel, entertainment and residential development.
(4) 
Large recreational facilities, including racetracks and courses for racing automobiles, dogs, horses, motorcycles, etc.
(5) 
Any use which is determined by the County Commissioners to be of the same general character as any of the above uses or is of significant economic or employment benefit, as determined by the County Commissioners.
C. 
Procedure for creating an EE District.
(1) 
Any individual with a committed financial, contractual or proprietary interest in property meeting the criteria above (§ 155-39A) may petition the County Commissioners to designate the property as an EE District.
(2) 
The application requirements and procedure shall follow the requirements for map amendments in § 155-5B with the following exceptions and additions:
(a) 
A finding of mistake in the existing zoning or a substantial change in the character of the neighborhood is not required to apply a floating zone to a property.
(b) 
As part of the application the petitioner shall submit a preliminary site plan meeting the requirements for preliminary site plans set forth in Article VIII of this chapter.
(c) 
As part of the application the petitioner shall demonstrate how the proposal meets all of the purposes and criteria for establishing an EE District in § 155-39A and B.
(d) 
As part of its recommendation to the County Commissioners the Planning Commission shall address whether the application meets all of purposes and criteria for establishing an EE District.
(3) 
The County Commissioners may grant a petition for an EE District based upon affirmative findings that all of the purposes and criteria of the EE District in § 155-39A and B will be met.
(4) 
If the petition is granted the County Commissioners may modify or attach conditions to the preliminary site plan stating the reason for their actions. These modifications or conditions shall be included in the decision and order creating the EE District.
D. 
Full site plan approval.
(1) 
No permit shall be issued for any use in the EE District until the Planning Commission approves a full site plan.
(2) 
The full site plan shall generally conform to the preliminary site plan approved by the County Commissioners for the district, or a new preliminary site plan must be approved by the County Commissioners.
E. 
Expiration of approval. Creation of an EE District is subject to the reversion clause in § 155-5B(4).

§ 155-40 Solid Waste Overlay District (SW).

A. 
Criteria. A SW District may be established if all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) 
The SW District is in an AC, I-1 or I-2 District.
(2) 
The minimum area for a SW District is 100 acres.
(3) 
The district has direct access to a limited access or collector road.
(4) 
An SW District at the proposed location will be compatible with the existing and proposed uses and development of adjacent and vicinal properties.
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses may be permitted in the SW District pursuant to any specific requirements for those uses in the Table of Permitted Uses and in the supplementary use regulations:
(1) 
Rubble landfills and land clearing debris landfills, commercial.
(2) 
Sewage sludge storage facilities, outdoor.
C. 
Procedure for creating an SW District.
(1) 
Any individual with a committed financial, contractual or proprietary interest in property meeting the criteria above in § 155-40A may petition the County Commissioners to designate the property as an SW District.
(2) 
The application requirements and procedure shall follow the requirements for map amendments in § 155-5B with the following exceptions and additions:
(a) 
A finding of mistake in the existing zoning or a substantial change in the character of the neighborhood is not required to apply a floating zone to a property.
(b) 
As part of the application the petitioner shall submit a preliminary site plan meeting the requirements for preliminary site plans set forth in Article VIII of this chapter.
(c) 
The application shall include a plan of operation explaining such matters as hours of operation; number of truck trips; and associated operations such as washing, sorting, etc.
(d) 
As part of the application the petitioner shall demonstrate how the proposal meets all of the purposes and criteria for establishing an SW District in § 155-40A and B.
(e) 
As part of its recommendation to the County Commissioners the Planning Commission shall address whether the application meets all of purposes and criteria for establishing an SW District.
(3) 
The County Commissioners may grant a petition for an SW District based upon affirmative findings that all of the purposes and criteria of the SW District in § 155-40A and B will be met.
(4) 
If the petition is granted the County Commissioners may modify or attach conditions to the preliminary site plan stating the reason for their actions. These modifications or conditions shall be included in the decision and order creating the SW District.
D. 
Full site plan approval.
(1) 
No permit shall be issued for any use in the SW District until the Planning Commission approves a full site plan.
(2) 
The full site plan shall conform to the preliminary site plan approved by the County Commissioners for the district, or a new preliminary site plan must be approved by the County Commissioners.
E. 
Expiration of approval. Creation of an SW District is subject to the reversion clause in § 155-5B(4).