[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
County Commissioners — See Ch. 27.
Facilities Department — See Ch. 97.
Roads and bridges — See Ch. 104.
Self-liquidating projects — See Ch. 119.
Trailers and trailer parks — See Ch. 130.
Building construction — See Ch. 224.
Mobile homes and mobile home courts — See Ch. 257.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 274.
Subdivision regulations — See Ch. 278.
Water and sewers — See Ch. 291.
Zoning regulations — See Ch. 297.
[Adopted 10-16-2018 by Bill No. 2018-08]
Editor's Note: Former Article I, Sewage Disposal Systems (1959 Code, secs. 254 through 258; 1965 Code, secs. 312 through 316; 1969 Code, secs. 370 through 373. P.L.L., 1941, ch. 149, secs. 242A through E; 1973, ch. 173; 1974, ch. 107, sec. 373) was repealed by the Acts of 1991, ch. 248.
The Board of County Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland, recognize the importance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Charles County residents.
In pursuit of this goal, the Board of County Commissioners acknowledge that approximately 1/2 of the County residents, an estimated 26,000 to 30,000 homes, operate on a private septic system.
The Board of County Commissioners of Charles County concludes that it is in the public interest to assist citizens in ensuring that necessary cleaning of their septic system is performed. Regular and proper cleaning of private septic systems is beneficial to the environment and welfare of County residents.
A septic tank riser will make cleaning of the septic system less costly to County residents and the septic tank riser will assist in reminding residents to have the system cleaned.
The intent of this article is to supplement and not supplant existing Maryland state law and regulations that apply to on-site sewage disposal systems.
Definitions. In this article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
- HEALTH OFFICER
- The Charles County Health Officer or the Health Officer's designee.
- ON-SITE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM
- A sewage treatment unit, collection system, disposal area, and related appurtenances related to on-site sewage disposal.
- Water-carried human, domestic and other wastes and includes all human and animal excreta.
Developers or builders of new construction are required to install a visible septic tank riser on each compartment of the septic tank for a single-family dwelling that utilizes an on-site sewage disposal system.
The Health Officer shall ensure compliance with this provision prior to approving an onsite disposal system for the dwelling during the Health Department's final inspection.
Homeowners who do not have a septic tank riser and who voluntarily choose to have a septic tank riser installed on their property may request partial reimbursement for purchase and installation of a septic tank riser.
Reimbursement will be allowed up to $100 per single-family dwelling.
Reimbursement will only be allowed while sufficent funding is available and homeowners must present adequate proof of septic tank riser installation being completed, with documentation of costs to the homeowner, within six months of the septic tank riser installation.
The reimbursement program will be administered by the Department of Planning and Growth Management pursuant to such procedures it deems necessary to carry out the mandates of this section.
If any part of this article is held to be invalid, the invalidity shall not affect the other remaining parts.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348F. P.L.L., 1976, ch. 151, sec. 348F]
The County Commissioners are authorized to construct and improve drainage systems. The County Commissioners also may levy benefit assessments to pay for the drainage system, but the length of time for payments shall not exceed 30 years. Before the powers granted by this section can be exercised, the following requirements shall be satisfied:
[Amended 6-7-2016 by Bill No. 2016-04]
A petition of a majority of the property owners, on an acreage basis, shall request the construction or improvement of drainage systems.
The Director of the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services shall make a recommendation to the County Commissioners on the length of the assessment based on the length and characteristics of any debt service required to finance the construction or improvement.
Public hearings shall be held concerning the petition after 10 days' notice in a newspaper regularly published in Charles County.
The petition shall be approved by the County Commissioners.
An ordinance shall be passed by the County Commissioners in accordance with the provisions of Article 25, § 3, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended, setting forth all necessary rules and conditions for the requested construction.
Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the County Commissioners from sharing all or a portion of the costs of construction of drainage systems hereunder.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348G. P.L.L., 1976, ch. 151, sec. 348G]
The ordinance passed pursuant to this article shall set forth the improvements being constructed, the property owners affected and all material terms of the annual benefit assessments levied to pay the cost of the improvements or any reasonable portion thereof as determined by the County Commissioners. The ordinance also shall provide for the method of determining the annual benefit assessments to be levied against the included properties.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348H. P.L.L., 1976, ch. 151, sec. 348H]
Benefit assessments considered first lien. Annual benefit assessments shall be a first lien upon the property against which they are assessed until paid, subject only to prior state and County taxes, and if any property is sold for state and County taxes and there remains a surplus, then the County Commissioners may, upon petition to the Circuit Court, be allowed the payment of their lien.
Existing liens and benefit charges recorded among County land records. For the purpose of giving notice to the general public as to the existing liens and charges against any property for benefit assessments, the County Commissioners shall keep a public record of all names of property owners and the locations of the property and the amount of the benefit charges among the land records of Charles County under the supervision of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the recordation with the Clerk of the benefit assessment shall be legal notice of the liens.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348I, P.L.L., 1976, ch. 151, sec. 348I]
The County Commissioners shall, on or before July 1 of each year, certify its benefit assessments hereunder to the Treasurer of Charles County for collection from the property owners affected, and the Treasurer shall add the benefit assessments to the state and County property tax bills for collection, subject to discount and interest allowances or charges as now provided by law for Charles County taxes on real property, and upon failure of payment of the benefit assessments, they may be deducted from any surplus in the hands of the Treasurer after sale for nonpayment of state and County property taxes under proper order of the Circuit Court. In the alternative, the lien created in favor of the annual benefit assessments may be enforced by bill in equity or by action at law. No deed or conveyance of real property shall be transferred by the Assessor's office until proof of payment of all benefit assessments has been exhibited to the Transfer Clerk.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348J. P.L.L., 1976, ch. 151, sec. 348J]
Any interested person feeling aggrieved by the levying of any benefit assessment under this article shall have the right to appeal to the Circuit Court for Charles County within 30 days after the final adoption of the ordinance by the County Commissioners, and the Court, sitting without a jury, is authorized to hear and determine whether the County Commissioners acted pursuant to the authority granted herein and whether the benefit assessments levied pursuant to the provisions of this article are imposed according to law.
[Adopted 1969 Code, sec. 348K. P.L.L., 1972, ch. 650, sec. 348K; 1976, ch. 151, sec. 1]
The authority extended to the County Commissioners by this article shall be in addition to, but not in substitution of, the powers heretofore vested in them for the improvement of roads in Charles County.
[Adopted P.L.L., 1989, ch. 36]
In addition to their other powers, the County Commissioners may provide for the construction and maintenance of drainage facilities along all or any part of the streets, lanes, alleys and public ways of the County and enter into agreements with any person, partnership or corporation for their construction and maintenance.
The costs of the construction and maintenance of drainage facilities provided under the authority of this section shall be paid by a special assessment levied upon the property within the area to be served by the construction and maintenance of drainage facilities.
A drainage facilities district may be created by the County Commissioners after the Director of the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provides a recommendation to the County Commissioners on the length of the assessment, which shall be based on the length and characteristics of any debt service required to finance the construction or maintenance, and a public hearing at which time the residents and taxpayers within the proposed drainage facilities district shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
[Amended 6-7-2016 by Bill No. 2016-04]
Notice of the hearing shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the proposed drainage facilities district is to be located.
Following the hearing, the County Commissioners may establish the drainage facilities district and levy on all property that is subject to ordinary County taxes and located within the district a special assessment over a period not to exceed 30 years to recover the costs of the construction and maintenance of the drainage facilities.
[Amended 6-7-2016 by Bill No. 2016-04]
All such special assessments shall be levied in the same manner upon the same assessments for the same period or periods and as of the same date or dates of finality as are prescribed by law.