Town of Mount Airy, MD
Carroll County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Town of Mount Airy 9-13-1993 as Ord. No. 1993-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 112.
[Amended 11-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
Any sign left or placed upon any street, alley, park, sidewalk or other public place under the ownership or control of the Town may be immediately removed by the Zoning Administrator or any person authorized by him or her. The Zoning Administrator shall make reasonable efforts to ascertain and provide prompt notice to the person responsible for the sign that the sign has been removed and is in possession of the Town and shall advise the person responsible for the sign of his/her right to request a conference. If the person responsible for the sign cannot be determined with reasonable effort, the Town shall promptly post such notice setting forth the text or other description of the sign, and the date and location from which the sign was removed, on the Town website. The sign once removed shall be held by the Town for 30 days for retrieval by the person responsible for the sign or destruction pursuant to § 92-8 below. A person whose sign has been removed pursuant to this chapter may request a conference in writing and otherwise seek judicial relief pursuant to § 92-3 to challenge the Town's determination that the sign was unauthorized and/or removed from property owned by the Town or to which the Town holds a right-of-way.
[Amended 11-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
A. 
If a sign is posted, erected or left on any property not owned by the Town but in violation of the zoning regulations of the Town, then the Zoning Administrator shall give notice to the owner of the property or the person who appears to be in possession of the property that the sign is in violation of the Town zoning regulations. If no such person can be found, the notice may be posted on the sign. The notice shall direct the owner or person in possession of the property to remove the sign or the sign will be removed by the Town within the time specified in the notice. Such notice shall be given at least 48 hours before the sign is proposed to be removed and shall notify the owner of the property or the person who appears to be in possession of the property that it will be removed unless that person requests a conference. If no request for a conference is made, the sign may be removed at or after the time set out in the notice. Any request for a conference must be in writing, at which time the person requesting the same may show cause why the sign should not be removed. The notice shall be delivered to the owner or possessor of the property posted on the property at least 48 hours before the time set out in the notice. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:
NOTICE OF INTENT TO REMOVE SIGN
To:
Please take notice that the sign described as follows: (here insert a brief description of the sign)
Located at: (here insert location) is in violation of a municipal ordinance and will be removed on or after the ____ day of _______ 19___, at ________ O'Clock __ .m. unless you request a conference on the matter before that time. You may request a conference by notifying the Zoning Administrator in writing of your request. At such a conference, you must show cause why the sign should not be removed or it will in fact be removed.
B. 
If no request for a conference is made, the sign may be removed at or after the time stated in the notice.
[Amended 11-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
If a conference is requested, it shall be scheduled by the Zoning Administrator and an effort made to resolve the matter. If the matter cannot be resolved by agreement and the Zoning Administrator rules that the sign must be removed, or shall not be reposted in the location from which it was removed pursuant to § 92-1, it will not be removed or discarded for five calendar days, or the balance of 30 days as set forth in § 92-8 whichever shall be longer, in order to give any person aggrieved an opportunity to seek judicial relief. A removed sign shall not be reposted on its original location, on Town property or in a Town right-of-way pending judicial review if timely sought, nor shall a sign be removed from property not owned by the Town pending judicial review if timely sought.
Regardless of the provisions of this chapter relating to an opportunity for a conference before a sign is removed, any sign creating a hazard because its size or location blocks the view of traffic or because its placement or size endangers pedestrians or because it creates an immediate physical danger for any other reason may be removed forthwith without prior notice by the Zoning Administrator or any person authorized by him.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON RESPONSIBLE
Includes any of the following:
A. 
With respect to a political or campaign sign, the name of the candidate thereon.
B. 
With respect to a political sign concerning a ballot question or referendum, the name of the person or organization (if any) appearing thereon as the sponsor of said sign.
C. 
With respect to any sign advertising or calling attention to the furnishing of goods or services, the owner of the premises where such goods or services are referred to, sold or provided or the person or persons who appear to be in possession and charge of such business.
D. 
If none of the above are applicable, then with respect to signs on property other than public property, the owner of the property where such sign is placed, erected or left or the person who is in possession of such property.
It shall be sufficient for the purposes of this chapter with respect to the notice required as to a particular sign that such notice be given to any one of the persons responsible as defined above without the necessity of giving notice to all of said persons.
Nothing herein shall be construed to limit, affect or repeal any provisions of the zoning regulations or other regulations of the Town relating to signs or to affect or limit the right of any person to erect or display a sign for which a valid permit has been issued in accordance with such regulations.
[Amended 11-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
Any signs removed by the Town pursuant to this chapter shall be stored for a period of 30 days. During that time, the Town shall return the sign to anyone appearing who satisfies the Town as to an ownership interest therein upon payment to the Town of the sum of $25, and anyone so receiving such sign shall thereafter indemnify, protect and save harmless the Town from the claims of ownership or right of possession to said sign asserted by anyone else. If the owner of, or the person responsible for, the sign does not retrieve a sign removed by the Town pursuant to this chapter and pay the sum of $25 to the Town within 30 days, the Town may discard the sign.
Anyone placing or erecting a sign without the permission of the Town upon any street, alley, park, sidewalk or other public place owned or under the control of the Town shall be guilty of a municipal infraction, the fine assessed in accordance with any citation issued therefor to be in the amount of $100. Anyone erecting or placing a sign on property other than that owned or controlled by the Town in violation of the zoning regulations of the Town shall be subject to the fines and penalties prescribed in said regulations.