Town of Westernport, MD
Allegany County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Westernport 10-5-2015 as §§ 175-25 to 175-32 of the 2015 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building and electrical standards — See Ch. 25.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 85.
Housing standards — See Ch. 91.
Junk abatement — See Ch. 106.
Littering — See Ch. 119.
Nuisance and abandoned property — See Ch. 147.
Unsafe structures — See Ch. 205.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
A structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building, and which is attached thereto or located on the same premises.
BUILDING
A structure adapted to permanent or continuous occupancy or use for public, institutional, business, industrial or storage purposes.
DETERIORATION
The condition of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
A. 
Any device or condition likely to cause fire and which is so situated to endanger either persons or property.
B. 
The creation, maintenance or continuance of any physical condition by reason of which there exists a use, accumulation or storage of combustible or explosive material sufficient in amount or so located or in such a manner as to put in jeopardy, in event of ignition, either persons or property.
C. 
The obstruction to or of fire escapes, ladders which may be used as escape, stairways, aisles, exits, doors, windows, passageways or halls, likely, in the event of fire, to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or the safety and ready egress of occupants.
GARBAGE
All kitchen refuse of residences, hotels, restaurants or other places where food is prepared for human consumption, and all offal from fish, meat and vegetable markets, and all vegetable or organic substances unfit for food that are subject to immediate decay.
INFESTATION
The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a premises, or a part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, has legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or who has charge, care or control as owner or agent of the owner, or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate, or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained.
PLUMBING
All of the following supplies, facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes-washing machines, catch basins, vents and any other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines, and water pipes and lines utilized in conjunction with air-conditioning equipment.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
REST ROOM
An enclosed space containing one or more toilets and one or more lavatories or fixtures serving similar purposes.
RUBBISH
All combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage, and the term shall include but not be limited to the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible material, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery, abandoned automobiles and dust.
STRUCTURE
Any combination of any materials, whether fixed or portable, forming a construction, including buildings.
VENTILATION
Supply and removal of air to and from any space by natural or mechanical means.
VENTILATION, MECHANICAL
Ventilation by power-driven devices.
VENTILATION, NATURAL
Ventilation by opening to outer air through windows, skylights, doors or stacks, with or without wind-driven devices.
WEATHERING
Deterioration, decay or damage caused by exposure to the elements.
Every building and the premises on which it is situated shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter, and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the building or premises, for the construction or repair of the building or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter. This chapter establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of the building, equipment or facilities contained therein, except as otherwise provided in the Code or Charter of the Town.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than that set forth in any other ordinance or law, then the standards as set forth in this chapter shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other ordinance or law, then the higher standard contained in such other ordinance or law shall prevail.
No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense to any violation of any other ordinance of the Town applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision in this chapter relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision, nor any official of the Town from enforcing any such other provision.
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Building Official.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in § 168-7 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
B. 
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in § 168-8 and all the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and the occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
C. 
Unless expressly provided to the contrary in this chapter, the respective obligations and responsibilities of the owner and operator on one hand, and the occupant on the other, shall not be altered or affected by any agreement or contract by and between any of such persons or between them and other parties.
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every owner and operator of any building covered by the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises, and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of these shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. The items prohibited by this subsection shall include but not be limited to brush, weeds, broken glass, stump roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash, refuse, debris, dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth, loose and overhanging objects and ground surface hazards.
B. 
Foundation walls shall be kept structurally sound, free from defects and damage and capable of bearing imposed loads safely.
C. 
Chimneys and all flue and vent attachments thereto shall be maintained structurally sound, free from defects and so maintained as to capably perform at all times the functions for which they were designed. Chimneys, flues, gas vents or other draft-producing equipment shall provide sufficient draft to develop the rated output of the connected equipment and shall be structurally safe, durable, smoke-tight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
D. 
Exterior porches, landings, balconies, stairs and fire escapes shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed and maintained to minimize the hazard of falling, and the banisters or railings shall be kept structurally sound, in good repair and free from defects.
E. 
The exterior of the premises and the condition of accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and all buildings thereon shall reflect a level of maintenance in keeping with standards of the neighborhood.
F. 
Premises shall be kept landscaped and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed.
G. 
All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view permitted by reason of other ordinances or laws shall be maintained in good repair. Any signs which have excessively weathered or faded or those upon which the paint has excessively peeled or cracked shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith or put into a good state of repair.
H. 
All display windows or storefronts constructed of plate glass shall be kept clean and free of cracks, and no storage shall be permitted therein unless shielded from public view.
I. 
All storefronts shall be kept in good repair, painted where required, and shall not constitute a safety hazard or nuisance. If repairs to a storefront become necessary, such repairs shall be made with the same or similar materials used in the construction of the storefront in such a manner as to permanently repair the damaged area. Any cornice visible above a storefront shall be kept painted, where required, and in good repair.
J. 
Except for "For Rent" and "For Sale" signs, any temporary sign or other paper advertising material glued or otherwise attached to a window or otherwise exposed to public view shall be removed at the expiration of the event or sale for which it is erected, or within 60 days after erection, whichever shall first occur.
K. 
Any awning or marquee and its accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be maintained in good repair and shall not constitute a nuisance or a safety hazard. If such awnings or marquees are not properly maintained in accordance with this subsection, they shall, together with their supporting members, be removed forthwith. If the awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, the cloth or plastic, where exposed to public view, shall be maintained in good condition and shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or other holes. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize any encroachment on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
L. 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure shall be kept in good repair and kept painted where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. All surfaces shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling paint or other condition reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance.
M. 
Rest rooms shall be surfaced with waterproof floors and shall be kept dry, clean and sanitary at all times. Sufficient rest rooms shall be installed and maintained for each sex commensurate with the use of the premises. Every rest room shall be provided with a permanently installed artificial lighting fixture and a wall switch therefor which is free from danger of short circuiting.
N. 
All premises shall be properly connected to and provided with electric power. All such connections and electrical equipment shall be installed and maintained in conformity with the provisions of the National Electrical Code and applicable ordinances.
O. 
Maximum fuse sizes consistent with safety shall be posted conspicuously, and no fuse shall be installed in a fuse box in excess of the stated maximum, except that owners and operators shall not be responsible for violation in fuse installations without their knowledge where the correct maximum is stated and the fuse box is located within any part of the premises which is in the exclusive possession of occupants other than the owner, in which case such occupant shall be responsible for such violations.
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every occupant of any building covered by the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition on the premises which constitutes a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the occupant shall report the condition to the Building Official immediately.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
C. 
Storage bins, rooms and areas shall not be used for the accumulation of garbage or refuse.
D. 
Every occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
E. 
No occupant shall install electrical fuses in a fuse box in excess of the posted limit.
A. 
Title. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Westernport Property Maintenance Code Habitual Offender Ordinance."
B. 
Declaration of policy. It is hereby declared and ordained by the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Westernport to be the public policy of the Town to preserve, protect, and improve property maintenance standards and the aesthetic nature of the community and to prevent and prohibit conditions existing which shall be detrimental to the property of others or which cause or tend to cause substantial diminution in the value of properties in the Town.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HABITUAL OFFENDER
Any person who shall be convicted of or who shall have judgment entered against him or her for three separate and distinct violations of the Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Westernport within a twenty-four-month period shall be considered a habitual offender. Said person's status as a habitual offender shall extend for a period of one year from the date of the last conviction or judgment for a violation of the Property Maintenance Code.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association or other legal entity of any kind or nature. "Person" shall include the owner(s), tenant(s), lessee(s), occupant(s) and/or person(s) in charge of or using the property.
D. 
Violations and penalties.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person considered to be a habitual offender under this section to own, use or occupy any structure regulated by the Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Westernport in conflict with or in violation of the provisions of said Property Maintenance Code.
(2) 
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days in the county detention center, or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
(3) 
In addition to the penalties provided herein, the court may:
(a) 
Order a period of probation;
(b) 
Order that any violation be abated by the defendant, or by the Town at the cost of the defendant; and/or
(c) 
Order periodic inspections of the property by the Town at the cost of the defendant.