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Town of Fenwick Island, DE
Sussex County
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[Adopted 7-30-1977 by Ord. No. 2]
[Amended 8-28-1982]
A. 
A building permit shall be required within the Town under the following conditions:
(1) 
When a new building or structure, including but not limited to paving, pools, bulkheads, docks, piers, wharves, boat ramps, steps, boathouses, gazebos, piling and navigational aids is to be constructed. However, excluded from this article are signs as more specifically covered in Chapter 135, Signs.
[Amended 8-30-19854-24-1987; 3-26-2004]
(2) 
When an existing building or structure is to be demolished or removed.
(3) 
When it is proposed to add, replace or or alter in size (horizontally or vertically) or use any portion, in whole or part, of a building, structure or paving. No permit shall be issued solely for pile, concrete or masonry foundations.
[Amended 8-30-19859-29-1995; 5-23-2008]
(4) 
When it is proposed to move an existing building or structure within the Town of Fenwick Island to another site within the Town, if approved by the Town Council.
[Amended 8-26-19789-29-1995]
(5) 
When it is proposed to add, repair, remove or move utility lines (electrical, gas, communications).
[Added 8-22-2008]
B. 
The Building Official and the Public Works Official shall review plans for proposed utility work for complete compliance with all Town ordinances, roadway specifications and traffic safety and control.
[Added 8-22-2008[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This enactment also provided for the redesignation of former Subsections B through D as Subsections C through E.
C. 
A building permit is required for all work being done in a special flood hazard area effective with the adoption of Chapter 88 (Flood Damage Protection) on 1-23-2015. A building permit shall also be required for the maintenance of a structure or for repairs to a structure which does not exceed $1,000; however, no building permit fee shall apply. No building permit fee shall also apply to utility systems which are repaired or replaced one-on-one with the same systems, but a building permit fee shall apply to a utility system that is new or upgraded to a better system.
[Amended 8-26-19788-28-1992; 9-28-1995; 1-27-2017]
D. 
A building permit shall be required when a building or structure that has been approved by special vote of the Town Council as a "temporary" facility with a presence limited to one year, unless renewed for one year by vote of Town Council.
[Added 12-12-1992; amended 9-29-1995]
E. 
No permit shall be issued for any new building or substantial improvement to an existing building which does not conform with the provisions of Chapter 160, Zoning, and Chapter 88, Flood Damage Prevention, as well as all building codes applicable to Fenwick Island.[2]
[Added 9-29-1995; amended 3-1-2005]
[2]
Editor's Note: See the International Building Code, 2003.
[Amended 9-29-19954-27-2007]
When a building permit or a preliminary clearance for Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is required hereunder, the owner of the property involved or his authorized agent shall submit to the Town Manager or directly to the Building Official an application, which shall include the following:
A. 
The name and residence and business addresses of the owner and the agent, if any.
B. 
An accurate description of the work proposed to be done, including but not limited to plans for buildings or structures, showing dimensions, elevations, setbacks, etc., and the property on which the work is to be done.
C. 
The proposed use of the building or structure.
D. 
The estimated cost of the work based upon a signed contract.
[Amended 7-22-2011]
E. 
Proof of ownership.
A. 
The Building Official shall review the plans for complete compliance with all Town ordinances or other applicable requirements. He/she may discuss the plans with the owner or agent for clarification of any part of the plans and point out necessary changes for compliance or possible reasons for disapproval. The Building Official may seek outside advice in the permit review or inspection process if needed.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
B. 
Any additions, alterations or renovations of existing structures which do not change the horizontal dimensions, roof peak height or flood zone elevation requirements of the existing structure may be approved and a building permit issued by the Building Official.
[Amended 12-16-1989; 9-29-1995; 10-31-2003; 5-3-2019]
C. 
Issuance of building permits.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
(1) 
In the Residential Zone, the Building Official will be responsible for issuance and renewal of all building permits and enforcing applicable provisions of the Code.
(2) 
In the Commercial Zone, the Building Official will submit his/her recommendations to the Building Committee for approval of a building permit for new commercial construction projects only.
(a) 
Any building permit application and plans for new construction of a single-family dwelling in the Commercial Zone is exempt from Building Committee approval.
D. 
If disapproved, the owner may appear before the Town Board of Adjustments for a variance or appeal (procedures in Chapter 160, Zoning, § 160-10).
E. 
The Building Official shall see that the building conforms in all respects to the provisions of Chapter 160, Zoning, and/or other applicable ordinances.
[Amended 1-31-1992;  11-21-1997]
(1) 
Mercantile licenses. After a building permit has been issued, the Building Official shall see that the general contractor and all subcontractors and artisans involved in the work have the proper mercantile licenses.
(2) 
Stop-work orders. Stop-work orders are issued by the Building Official of the Town of Fenwick Island as follows:
(a) 
On any work that is contrary to the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 160, Zoning, other applicable ordinances and/or a building permit, or on any work being performed in an unsafe or dangerous manner. All such work shall be stopped immediately upon issuance of a written or oral stop-work order.
(b) 
Where no emergency exists, notice shall be in writing, presented to the owner or his agent or to the person performing the work.
(c) 
Where an emergency exists, no written statement shall be required to be given by the Building Official. A conforming written notice shall follow as soon as practicable.
(d) 
A stop-work order will remain in effect until the required remedies have been met to the Building Official's satisfaction or until an appeal to Town Council results in a dismissal of the stop-work order.
(e) 
The Building Official may issue a stop-work order to anyone found working without a proper building permit or mercantile license.
(f) 
If necessary, the Building Official may enlist the assistance of the Town Police Department in enforcing any stop-work order.
F. 
Prior to occupancy and issuance of a certificate of compliance, it is the duty of the Building Official to inspect all buildings for which building permits have been issued, when the building has been completed, to certify that all provisions of this article and Chapter 88, Flood Damage Prevention, have been complied with. The Building Official shall issue a certificate of compliance upon satisfactory completion of this inspection.
[Amended 9-29-1995]
G. 
Any permit shall require a "Certificate of Compliance" with all ordinances and regulations of the Town from the Building Official before additional permits are approved.
[Added 5-23-2008]
[Amended 7-22-2011]
The Town shall have the power to cancel and revoke any such permit for any material departure from the approved application, plans and specifications, and also for any false statement or misrepresentation as to any material fact relating to the erection, construction, alteration, removal, demolition, use or occupancy of such building or structure, or addition thereto.
[Amended 7-26-1991]
A. 
Permission to use the public streets in the immediate neighborhood where such building or structure is so 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, construction, alteration, removal or demolition. 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 well-drilling rigs.
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 times 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.
[Amended 7-26-1996 by Ord. No. 77]
[Amended 7-26-19808-29-19812-27-19983-26-199912-19-20035-23-2008]
A. 
Any permit issued hereunder shall be valid for a period of 15 months from the date such permit is granted; provided, however, that construction has commenced within 30 days from the date of issuance and has continued unabated except for delays caused by acts of God (catastrophic acts beyond the control of the permit holder). Any such delays shall be documented and submitted to the Town Manager and Building Official for consideration of extension of the permit.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
B. 
Renewal of permits.
(1) 
Any permit originally issued for 15 months as stated in § 61-7A (above) may be renewed upon the payment of a renewal fee in the amount of 100% of the original permit fee for an additional period not to exceed six months upon the approval of the Building Official.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
(2) 
The Town Manager and Building Official shall monitor the progress of the work during this six-month renewal period to determine if the permit holder has proceeded with good faith and due diligence.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
(3) 
Any extension of the permit beyond this six-month renewal period provided in Subsection B(1) above must be approved or denied by a resolution of Town Council, who may consider recommendations from the Town Manager and Building Official, including the results of the monitoring established in Subsection B(2) above. No additional extension or renewal will be granted by the Town Council unless all exterior work on a structure is complete, including, but not limited to, installation/construction of roof shingles, all walls, windows, siding, doors, decks and stairs.
[Amended 5-3-2019]
(4) 
If an extension or renewal is granted by Town Council:
(a) 
The permit holder shall supply and adhere to a schedule of completion presented to Town Council.
(b) 
The permit fee shall remain 100% of the original permit fee for a time period determined by Town Council.
(5) 
Violations of above conditions will result in a penalty of $100 per day in addition to any other fine or penalty provided herein.
C. 
Delays; time extensions. Any delays caused by an act of God in the renewal period/periods shall be documented and presented to Town Council for consideration of any time extensions.
D. 
Effect of failure to comply with time limits for construction completion. Upon failure of a construction project completion by the time limits established in this chapter, the following penalties will apply to the permit holder and/or property owner:
(1) 
In the case of all permits and/or renewable or extended permits, a penalty of $100 per day after the latest expiration date on the permit.
(2) 
In the case of incomplete projects where no application for renewal transpires, a penalty of $100 per day starting on the day after the latest expiration date on the permit. Town Council may further institute appropriate legal proceedings to abate and require the removal of the incomplete project. In this event, the Town Council shall be entitled to collect from the offending party or parties the Town's reasonable attorneys fees, legal costs and necessary expenses.
E. 
Appeals of the interpretation of this chapter will be made to the Town Council. The decision of the Town Council shall be final.
[Amended 9-26-19867-26-1996 by Ord. No. 77]
No permit required by this article shall be issued until the payment of a fee, which fees are to be as set by resolution of the Town Council and are available in the Town offices.
No permit required by this article shall be issued if the owner of the property shall owe any unpaid taxes to the Town.
[Added 2-25-1994; amended 7-22-2011]
The following data, all or in part, as appropriate, shall be required before the issuance of a building permit:
A. 
A plot survey by a registered engineer or registered land surveyor.
B. 
A survey showing the elevation of the lot and crown of the road or a curb over mean sea level.
C. 
A plot plan showing the size of the building and/or all improvements and lot line setbacks therefrom.
D. 
An elevation drawing showing the height of the building from the crown of the road or curb and the elevation of the first floor level.
E. 
A floor plan print.
F. 
A signed statement of intent (State Highway Department and State Water and Air Resource Commission).
G. 
A county building permit.
H. 
The requirements of Chapter 88, Flood Damage Prevention, must be met.
I. 
A signed waiver concerning flood insurance.
J. 
Where modification of an existing building will increase the building's dimensions in any direction, before and after outline drawings of the affected portions of the building.
K. 
Construction on the east side of Bunting Avenue must have a permit from the Shoreline and Waterway Management Section of the DNREC.
A. 
Before applying for building permits, the applicant must take appropriate measures to prevent water contamination due to flooding. The applicant must receive the appropriate certificates from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
B. 
All roads and streets in any development or subdivision in the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware, shall be prepared in accordance with Delaware Standard Specifications for Roads and Bridge Construction, Section 301, Select Borrow Base Course (minimum of eight inches) and Section 404, Bituminous Surface Treatment, before a building permit will be issued for any construction in the development or subdivision.
[Amended 4-29-1988]
C. 
All entrance pipes shall be at least six inches in diameter and at least 12 feet in length for single driveways only and at least 20 feet in length for double driveways. All pipes shall be reinforced concrete or galvanized corrugated metal, or Schedule 80 PVC piping.
[Amended 12-8-19847-31-1987]
D. 
The Town of Fenwick Island shall maintain grading, ditching and surfacing along public roads, as is necessary and practical in order to maintain proper drainage. In order to maintain effective surface water drainage systems, no structures (except mailbox posts), including fencing, walls or hard paving (e.g., concrete, asphalt, brick), may be installed by a property owner or his contractor in the Town's right-of-way between the edge of a paved street and the owner's property line except as provided for in § 61-10D(1)(a) of this chapter.
[Amended 7-31-1987; 1-26-1990; 11-21-1997; 10-25-2012]
(1) 
The Town will install a gray-colored, crushed stone accessway, up to 20 feet wide, and any necessary underground piping in the Town's right-of-way area between the street edge and the edge of a private property. Use of any other types of stone in this accessway must be approved by the Department of Public Works and paid for by the property owner.
(a) 
To provide persons with disabilities access to the street through the right-of-way, upon receipt of an appropriate request from a property owner, the Town will construct a poured concrete walkway not more than five feet wide and which shall extend in length from the edge of the street to property line. Use of any other type of solid surface material in this accessway will require a separation joint at the property line and must be approved by the Department of Public Works. The installation of materials other than poured concrete and any repair or replacement of same shall be paid for by the property owner. Such installation shall be installed so as not to restrict drainage in the right-of-way and must be inspected by the Department of Public Works prior to and upon completion.
(2) 
Accessways for private driveway areas wider than 20 feet will be installed by the Public Works Department, including any required underground piping, and paid for by the property owner, provided that such wider accessways are deemed by the Public Works Department not to interfere with the effective operation of the surface water drainage system. A "private driveway area" is defined as having a structural base of stone, shell, concrete, pavers or macadam.
(3) 
A structure not conforming to this article at the time of its enactment will be allowed to continue until such time that the Public Works Department determines that the structure needs to be removed or altered for the purpose of repairs or modifications to the road, drainage system (e.g., replacement of underground piping) or public utilities. At such time, the nonconforming structure may be removed or altered by the Public Works Department, and, if necessary, the area restored in conformance with this article at the Town's expense.
[Added 8-26-1978]
No buildings or structures from outside the Town limits of the Town of Fenwick Island other than new construction shall hereafter be moved upon or erected on any land in the Town of Fenwick Island. Existing buildings or structures within the Town of Fenwick Island may be moved to other sites within the Town only if approved by the Town Council. The rules of procedure for this action are as follows:
A. 
An application for approval to move a building or structure to a new site shall be submitted to the Town Council, accompanied by a fee payable to the Town as set by resolution of Town Council, which fee is available in the Town offices.
[Amended 7-26-19808-29-19817-26-1996 by Ord. No. 77]
B. 
An application for a building permit for the building or structure as planned on the proposed new site shall be submitted in accordance with all applicable ordinances, and the fee for the permit if the move is approved shall be in addition to the fee in Subsection A above.
C. 
A public hearing by the Town Council shall be held at the call of the President of the Council not less than 30 days after notification by registered or certified mail of all affected property owners in the area surrounding the proposed site to which the building or structure is to be moved. For the purposes of this article, affected property owners shall be considered, as a minimum, the owners of the 12 closest lots surrounding the proposed site, including lots across streets, avenues and lagoons. At least 15 days' notice of the time and place for the hearing shall be published in an official newspaper or newspaper of general circulation in the Town.
D. 
At the public hearing, the affected property owners, all interested parties and citizens shall be heard, and responses mailed in shall be read.
E. 
The Town Council shall make its determination for approval or disapproval within a reasonable time.
[Amended 4-24-19874-29-1988; 5-23-2008; 7-22-2011[1]]
A violation of the provisions of this article, or the failure to comply with any of its requirements, shall constitute a misdemeanor, and said violation shall be a continuing one, in the event that it occurs on more than one day. Upon conviction of any single charge, which may encompass and include each day of violation up to and including the date of conviction, a violator shall be subject to a fine of $100 for each day the violation occurs. The owner or tenant of any building, structure, premises or any part thereof, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent for one of the aforenamed persons or any other person who knowingly commits, furthers, participates in, assists in, or maintains such violation may be separately convicted and be subject to the same penalties provided herein. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or otherwise prohibit the prosecution of the same violation occurring on a date subsequent to the conviction. In addition, the Town may institute appropriate proceedings to restrain or enjoin further construction in violation of this article and/or proceedings to abate any violation, and to require the removal of the violation. In this event, the Town shall be entitled to collect from the offending party or parties the Town's reasonable legal fees and court costs, as a part of any judgment or award in a civil action brought to restrain or enjoin a violation. The civil remedies are in addition to, and not in place of, the criminal penalty provided herein.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This enactment also renumbered this section, which was formerly § 61-2, and provided for the renumbering of former §§ 61-3 through 61-12 as §§ 61-2 through 61-11, respectively.