Town of Sykesville, MD
Carroll 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.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Sykesville as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 98.
[Adopted 10-27-2003 by Ord. No. 237]
As used in this chapter, the following chapters shall have the meanings indicated:
OCCUPANT
Any person in possession or occupancy of any property including tenants under any form of lease.
OWNER
A person with any ownership interest in property other than a remainder interest. "Owner" includes the owner of a condominium unit with respect to common elements and includes any type of homeowners' association with respect to space under its control.
PERSON
Any adult individual, or any corporation, partnership, joint venture or other entity.
A. 
The presence of weeds, grass or plants in the Town of Sykesville in excess of 12 inches in height is hereby found and declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the citizens of the Town.
B. 
Weeds, grass and plants declared to be a nuisance pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall exclude:
(1) 
Trees;
(2) 
Adequately maintained landscape arrangements of flowers, wild flowers, ornamental grasses, shrubs and bushes;
(3) 
Unimproved natural areas including wetlands, forests, forest buffers, open space, conservation areas, greenway reservations, watersheds and meadows, as established by easements or plats; and
(4) 
Agriculture plants.
No person who is the owner or occupant of any property within the corporate limits shall permit any weeds, grass or plants to grow to or remain on such property in excess of 12 inches in height.
Every such owner and occupant, shall cause such weeds, grass and plants to be trimmed or cut at least twice a year, once on or before June 1 and once on or before August 15, and at such other time as may be necessary in order to comply at all times with the provisions of § 60-3.
A. 
When any condition exists on any such property which violates § 60-3, it shall be lawful for the Town Manager, or such other person as may be designated by the Mayor and Council, to give written notice to comply with said section within seven days of the date of such notice. Such notice may be delivered personally to the owner and/or the occupant or sent by registered or certified mail, and if mailed to any owner the owner's address as shown on the tax rolls shall be deemed to be correct. Any postal receipt for the mailing of such notice shall create a prima facie presumption that the notice was received in due course.
[Amended 6-11-2007 by Ord. No. 268]
B. 
If such notice be given and neither the owner nor the occupant complies, the Town may immediately thereafter cause such weeds, grass and plants to be cut, trimmed or otherwise removed and all resulting yard waste shall be removed from the property.
C. 
If the Town proceeds to act under Subsections A and B of this section, the general administrative expense of inspection, issuing notice and performing work under Subsection B will incur a charge of $50 per property, which is hereby declared and established to be the minimum cost of such work. Said sum, together with all additional costs actually incurred in excess thereof including all costs of collection thereof as certified by the Town Manager (or such other staff member who may be designated by the Town Manager), shall constitute a lien against the property and may be collected in the same manner as the Town taxes are collected. In addition, the Town Attorney is authorized to institute civil suit against the owner and/or occupant for the recovery of such costs.
[Amended 6-11-2007 by Ord. No. 268]
Where property is not occupied solely by the owner, the obligations under this chapter are imposed jointly and severally against the owner and occupant. Failure of either to comply with this chapter shall not relieve the other of compliance regardless of any agreement between them to the contrary. If there is more than one owner or more than one occupant, each owner and each occupant is jointly and severally subject to the terms of this chapter.
[Amended 9-27-2004 by Ord. No. 247]
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a municipal infraction. Each day the violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense. The penalties for such municipal infraction shall be as follows:
A. 
First offense: A warning by a written citation shall be issued to any person found violating this chapter for the first time.
B. 
Second offense: A second violation shall constitute a Class B municipal infraction as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.
C. 
Third offense: A third violation shall constitute a Class C municipal infraction as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.
D. 
Fourth and subsequent offenses: A fourth and all subsequent violations shall constitute a Class D municipal infraction as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.
[Adopted 2-22-2016 by Ord. No. 294[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 61, but was redesignated to maintain the organization of the Code.
As used in this article, the following terms have the following definitions:
OCCUPANT, OWNER, and PERSON
The meanings set forth in § 60-1 of the Town Code.
OWNER'S MAINTENANCE AREA
All that property, regardless of ownership, which is located between the roadside property and the curb or street, including any sidewalks, irrespective of property lines or right-of-way boundaries.
PUBLIC WAY
The meaning set forth in § C-70 of the Town Charter.
ROADSIDE PROPERTY
All property not owned by the Town which abuts a public way, road, sidewalk, or right-of-way.
TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE
The meaning set forth in § 11-167 of the Transportation Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
VEGETATION
Any tree, bush, hedge, grass, plant, weed, flower, vine, or other flora.
A. 
Notwithstanding the provisions and exclusions set forth in § 60-2, the owner(s) and occupant(s) of roadside property shall cause all vegetation located on the roadside property or owner's maintenance area to be trimmed, cropped, cut, or otherwise maintained in such manner and with such frequency as necessary to prevent such vegetation from:
(1) 
Obstructing, delaying or otherwise hindering the free passage of any pedestrian or vehicular traffic along or through any street or other public way, including, but not limited to, sidewalks;
(2) 
Obstructing the view of persons traveling on the Town's streets and other public ways, including, but not limited to, sidewalks; or
(3) 
In any way screening or interfering with traffic control devices, lamps or lampposts.
B. 
All vegetation which overhangs a public way and is less than 13.5 feet above a street or other public way which carries vehicular traffic or less than 10 feet above a sidewalk or other public way which does not carry vehicular traffic shall be in violation of Subsection A of this section.
C. 
Each occupant or owner shall have a duty to maintain that portion of the roadside property which he or she occupies or over which he or she has exclusive control, including any owner's maintenance area which borders such portion of the roadside property.
D. 
To the extent that the roadside property is not exclusively occupied or controlled by a single person, the obligation of all owners and occupants sharing occupancy or control to comply with the requirements of this article shall be joint and several.
No vegetation shall be planted on any land in or over which the Town has an easement or right-of-way, nor shall any vegetation be planted on any land owned by the Town, without the prior written approval of the Town Manager (or such staff member who may be designated by the Town Manager) or such other person as may be designated by the Mayor and Council, which approval may be withheld or granted subject to such conditions deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of the Town Manager or other designee as aforesaid.
A. 
The owner(s) and occupant(s) of any property located within the Town shall maintain all trees located on such property so that such trees do not pose a public hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease, or otherwise constitute a potential threat to persons, property, and/or other trees within the Town.
B. 
Any tree found to be in violation of § 60-9 of the Town Code shall be presumed to pose a public hazard to life and property in violation of the preceding Subsection A.
A. 
When any condition exists in violation of § 60-9, § 60-10, or § 60-11, it shall be lawful for the Town Manager, or such other person as may be designated by the Mayor and Council, to give written notice to the owner(s) and occupant(s) of the roadside property, who are responsible for maintaining the violating vegetation and/or trees, to perform such trimming and maintenance that is necessary to comply with § 60-9, § 60-10, or § 60-11 within such time as determined by, and in the sole discretion of, the Town Manager or other designee as aforesaid, which time shall not be less than five calendar days of the date of such notice unless there is a public hazard or threat that must be, in the sole discretion of the Town Manager or other designee as aforesaid, addressed immediately.
(1) 
The notice shall be sent to the owner(s) by registered or certified mail to the address of the roadside property or, if different, to the roadside property owner's address as shown on the tax rolls.
(2) 
A postal receipt for the mailing of such notice shall establish a presumption that the notice was delivered to the addressee in the ordinary course.
(3) 
If the roadside property owner's address shown on the tax rolls is different from the address of the roadside property, then the notice also shall be addressed to "occupant" and sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the roadside property.
B. 
If such notice is given and the violation is not cured within the time established by the Town Manager or other designee, the Town may immediately thereafter perform, or cause to be performed, such trimming and maintenance that is necessary to comply with § 60-9, § 60-10, or § 60-11, and all resulting waste shall be removed, all at the sole cost and expense of the roadside property owner(s) and occupant(s), who shall be jointly and severally liable therefor.
C. 
In the event the Town takes action to cure a violation in accordance with Subsection B, an administrative expense of $100 shall be assessed against the owner(s), and such administrative expense is hereby declared and established to be the minimum cost of the Town's work. Said administrative expense, together with all actual costs and expenses in excess thereof incurred by the Town in remediating the violation, and all costs of collection thereof, including reasonable attorneys' fees, as certified by the Town Manager (or such staff member who may be designated by the Town Manager), shall constitute a lien against the roadside property and may be collected in the same manner as the Town taxes.
D. 
The Town is authorized to institute civil suit against the owner(s) and occupant(s), either or both of them, to recover the costs and expenses incurred by the Town as set forth in Subsection C.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a municipal infraction. Each day the violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense. The penalties for such municipal infraction shall be as follows:
A. 
First offense: A warning by written citation shall be issued to any person found in violation of this chapter for the first time.
B. 
Second offense: A second violation shall constitute a Class B municipal infraction as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.
C. 
Third offense: A third violation shall constitute a Class C municipal infraction as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.
D. 
Fourth offense: A fourth and all subsequent violations shall constitute Class D municipal infractions as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, Municipal Infractions.