Town of Milton, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Milton 10-6-2003 (Ch. 5 of the prior Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Floodplain management — See Ch. 125.
Housing standards — See Ch. 136.
Noise — See Ch. 148, § 148-6.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 158.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 183.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 188.
Zoning — See Ch. 220.
[Amended 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-001]
The Town of Milton contracts out for building code inspections.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTER
To change or make different.
ASSEMBLE
To fit or join together the parts.
BUILDING
Any structure built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, chattel or property of any kind.
BUILDING OFFICIAL
The Building Inspector for the Town.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Town official in charge of enforcement of the Town of Milton ordinances. The Code Enforcement Officer is the person appointed for this purpose by the Town Council or their designee.
CONSTRUCTION
To build, erect assemble or place a building or structure.
CORPORATION COUNSEL
The Town Solicitor.
DEMOLISH
To tear down completely; raze; to do away with completely.
ERECT
To construct by assembling.
MUNICIPALITY
The Town of Milton.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
New construction is the improvement of a vacant parcel with a primary permitted structure, or if, in the opinion of the Code Officer, there is over 50% of alterations done on the existing primary structure or addition to the existing floor space of the primary structure equal to or greater than 25% or the change of use of the property from a low- to no-volume pedestrian use to a higher volume pedestrian use (i.e., office to a coin-operated laundry mat, a single business in a structure to multiple businesses in the same structure).
REPAIR
To restore to sound condition.
STRUCTURE
That which is built, erected or constructed.
Every residential dwelling constructed after the adoption of this chapter located within the corporate limits of the Town of Milton shall have a minimum floor area of 1,100 square feet.
[Amended 7-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-005; 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-008]
Except for any of the following having a fair market value totaling less than $300 for any work, cost, and materials for completion of the project as a whole, a building permit shall be required within the Town of Milton under the following conditions:
A. 
Construction of a new building or structure or portion thereof, including but not limited to foundations, driveway paving, sidewalks, fences, piers, docks, sheds, gazebos, decks, swimming pools, and permanent standby electrical generation systems.
B. 
The alteration of an existing building or structure, excluding interior and exterior painting, laying of carpet and linoleum, and landscaping, softscapes and pergolas.
C. 
When an existing building or structure or portion thereof is to be demolished or removed.
D. 
When it is proposed to move a structure from one site to another site or when the streets of the Town of Milton are to be used.
A. 
Building permits shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance.
B. 
A building permit may be extended for a period of one year, provided the property owner can show good cause for the extension.
C. 
All construction, whether authorized by a building permit or exempt from a building permit, shall comply with the Town of Milton ordinances, Sussex County ordinances (where applicable), state fire codes (where applicable), building codes adopted by Sussex County and flood insurance codes.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-008]
D. 
Applications for a demolition permit shall be accompanied by a predemolition inspection report performed by an entity licensed by the State of Delaware to perform such an inspection, as required by the State of Delaware.
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004]
E. 
Demolition permits shall be valid for a period of 45 days from the date of issuance.
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004]
F. 
A demolition permit may be extended one time for a period of 45 days, provided the property owner can show good cause for the extension.
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004]
G. 
All demolition authorized by a valid demolition permit shall comply with the Town of Milton ordinances, Sussex County ordinances (where applicable), and State of Delaware Code (where applicable).
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004]
Before the Town of Milton may issue the permit required, said owner or owners of the property or their duly authorized representative shall before commencing work submit an application, in writing, to the Town Council, which shall contain the following information:
A. 
The name and address of the owner or owners of the property upon which the proposed work is to be done.
B. 
An accurate description of the location and size of the premises upon which the building or structure is located, or upon which said building or structure is to be erected.
C. 
A detailed description of work to be completed.
D. 
The estimated cost of the building, structure or construction.
E. 
The nature of the use for which the building is to be used.
A. 
Fees for all permits issued pursuant to § 85-4 shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Milton and shall be published in the currently effective Town of Milton Fee Schedule. In all cases, regardless of whether a building permit fee is imposed or not, a permit is still required.
[Amended 9-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-04]
B. 
Any permit issued pursuant to § 85-4, unless substantial work has commenced, shall become null and void 90 days after the date of issuing.
C. 
If, in the opinion of the Town Council or their representative, the valuation of any building or structure for which a building permit is required appears to be underestimated on the application, the permit shall be denied, unless the applicant can show detailed estimated cost to meet the approval of the Town Council or their representative. Permit valuation shall include the total cost, including such matters as plumbing, electrical, mechanical equipment, other systems and labor.
[Amended 8-1-2005]
A. 
Construction shall be permitted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. No construction shall take place on Sundays or federal holidays. Nothing contained herein shall prevent any homeowner from working within his own boundaries, provided that such work is done by himself and is used exclusively by him or his family and guest. Such privilege does not convey the right to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, nor is it to be construed as exempting any such property owner from obtaining a permit and paying the required fees thereof.
B. 
In instances where a structure is damaged by fire, flood or other force of nature so as to present an imminent danger, the Town Manager may grant an emergency repair.
A. 
Permission to use the public streets in the immediate neighborhood where such building or structure is to be under erection, alteration, removal or demolition may be granted by the Chief of Police within such limits as may be necessary for the proper prosecution of the work incident to such erection. This permission shall not apply to personal vehicles or pickup trucks, but major construction equipment, such as but not limited to cranes, front-end loaders and dumpsters.
B. 
The permission under this section shall state what portion of the street shall be used and shall require the person or persons, firm or corporation securing such permission to keep clear, at all times, all gutters and fire hydrants adjacent to the work; and to maintain and keep caution lights on all such obstructions for the period of one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise. Such permission shall also require that all sidewalks shall be kept open to travel except where such travel may be dangerous, at which time the area affected by such risk shall be roped off, such ropes to be removed as soon as the risk to the public use shall be removed.
C. 
Any damage to streets, curbs, sidewalks or other public improvements resulting from any activities conducted under a building permit issued or while clearing or filling a lot prior to the beginning of construction shall be repaired by or under the direction of the Town, all costs for such damage to be borne by the permit holder.
The use of a temporary construction building/trailer for the construction operations of the site or subdivision is permitted to be placed on the property or subdivision being developed as long as a valid building permit from the Town of Milton is on file and valid. The location/placement of such temporary building/trailer will be arranged with Town Hall prior to placement. At no time will the building/trailer be used for a sales office for the site or subdivision. The temporary building/trailer will be removed once construction is complete or if the building permit expires, is canceled or revoked. For subdivisions the temporary building/trailer will be removed once the infrastructure has been completed and before the dedication of the infrastructure to the Town.
[Amended 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004; 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
The issuing of permits and the enforcement of all the requirements of this chapter, including the inspection and testing of all materials entering into any structure in the Town of Milton, is hereby vested in the Town Manager or designee.
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
A. 
The Mayor and Town Council or their designee may revoke a permit or approval issued under the provisions of this chapter in case there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application or plans on which the permit or application or plans on which the permit or approval was based.
B. 
Upon notice from the Mayor and Town Council or their designee, work on any building or structure that is being done contrary to the provisions of this chapter or in a dangerous or unsafe manner shall be immediately stopped. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be given to the owner of the property or to his/her agent or to the person doing the work and shall state the condition under which work may be resumed. Where an emergency exists, written notice shall not be required to be given by the Mayor and Town Council or their designee prior to the stopping the work.
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
Whenever the Building Official shall reject or refuse to approve the mode or manner of construction proposed to be followed or materials to be used in the erection or alteration of a building or structure or when it is claimed that the building code does not apply or that the true intent and meaning of the building code has been wrongly interpreted, the owner of such building or structure or their duly authorized agent may appeal from the decision of the Building Official to the Board of Appeals established by this chapter and according to the Town's rules and regulations.
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
A. 
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to such penalties and pay such fines as set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty.
B. 
The Town reserves the right to deny the issuance of future permits to any person who violates the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall assign a street number or letter to every lot in the Town.
B. 
The owner of every property, immediately after having the number or letter of his property duly assigned by the Town, shall procure and place such number or letter of not less than three inches in height and shall place such number or letter in a conspicuous place near the main entrance of the property in order that such number shall be visible from the street on which the property fronts or faces.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall keep a chart or file showing the proper street number or street letter of every lot in the Town.
In the case of a number or letter being allotted to a vacant lot, the procuring and posting of a number or letter shall be optional with the owner.
If the owner or occupant of any building shall not place the proper number or letter upon the property after the number has been duly assigned, the Town Clerk shall post or cause to be posted such number or letter and shall charge the costs thereof to the owner or occupant of the property. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer on any building constructed subsequent to the adoption of this chapter until such number or letter required by this chapter has been placed upon the property.
A. 
If any person, firm or corporation owning any building, shed, or structure within the Town limits of the Town of Milton shall permit such building, shed, or structure, either because of faulty construction or because of deterioration, or for any other reason, to be in such condition that it is a menace to the safety of persons or property, such condition is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
B. 
If such a nuisance is in existence, the Town Manager or designee shall, by written notice addressed to the said owner at his or her, or its, or their last known post office address, call upon such owner thereof to abate said nuisance. If said owner shall fail within a period of 30 days after receipt of such notice to abate such nuisance, the owner shall be considered in violation of this chapter.
[Amended 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004; 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
C. 
If the court before which the case is tried shall determine that such building, shed, or structure, either because of faulty construction or because of deterioration, or for any other reason, is in such condition that it is a menace to the safety of persons or property, and that such menace has continued to exist for a period of 30 days after written notice by the Town Manager or designee to abate the nuisance as above set forth, such owner shall be punished as set forth in § 85-14. Each day after the said period of 30 days following the above-described notice during which the nuisance is continued shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.
[Amended 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-001; 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004; 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
If the property owner believes, in his or her opinion, that the Town's Code Enforcement Officer has made an error or when the true intent and meaning of this chapter has been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, they may appeal the decision to the Mayor and Council. Notice of appeal shall be in writing and filed within 30 days after the Town Code Enforcement Officer renders the decision.
There is established in the Town a Board of Appeals which shall consist of three members, the Mayor of the Town and two elected members of the Town Council. The Town Solicitor is not a member and does not vote, but advises the Board.
Any two members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. In reversing or modifying the action of the Building Inspector or the application of the building code, an affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the Board shall be required. No member of the Board of Appeals shall act in a case in which he has a personal interest.
[Amended 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-001; 9-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-04; 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-002]
Within five days following receipt of the notice of appeal, the Code Enforcement Officer shall transmit to the Town Manager or designee all the papers constituting the record upon which the decision was taken. No later than 30 days following receipt of the notice of appeal by the Town Manager or designee, the Mayor of the Town shall set a time, date and place for the hearing of the appeal by the Board of Appeals. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the members of the general public. The Board shall keep minutes and records of its proceedings, showing the evidence received at the hearing, the vote of each member upon each question considered, and indicating the absence of a member or failure of a member to vote if such was the fact. An application fee as specified in the currently effective Town of Milton Fee Schedule shall be paid to the Town at the time of filing the notice of appeal. The Board shall consider no appeal until the required fee is paid.
The Board shall adopt rules of procedure in order to carry out the intent of this chapter. The Mayor shall serve as Chairman of the Board of Appeals and shall appoint a Vice Chairman. The Chairman or, in his absence or disqualification, the Vice Chairman shall administer the oaths and may compel the attendance of witnesses by the issuance of a subpoena. Meetings of the Board shall be at the call of the Chairman or, in his absence or disqualification, by the Vice Chairman.
Every decision of the Board of Appeals shall be final, subject, however, to such remedy as any aggrieved party might have at law or in equity. It shall be in writing and shall indicate the vote upon the decision. Every decision shall be promptly filed in the Town Hall office and shall be open to public inspection. A certified copy shall be sent by mail or otherwise to the appellant, and a copy shall be kept publicly posted in Town Hall for a period of two weeks after filing.
[Amended 10-1-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-0005; 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-004]
A. 
The Town of Milton hereby adopts by reference as the Town of Milton codes the 2012 edition of the International Residential Code, 2012 edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, 2012 edition of the International Building Code, and 2012 edition of the International Existing Building Code, as issued by the International Code Council, and all future amendments, changes and modifications of said codes. These codes will remain in effect until the Town of Milton adopts new codes.
B. 
The following are exempt from Subsection A of this section:
(1) 
Automatic fire sprinkler systems, IRC § R313. Automatic fire sprinkler systems shall be exempted from one- and two-story single-family detached and semidetached dwellings, as defined in § 220-6.