City of College Park, MD
Prince George's County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of College Park  10-24-1967 by Ord. No. 67-O-6. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Administrative organization — See Ch. 4.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 107.
Fees and penalties — See Ch. 110.
Housing regulations — See Ch. 125.
Occupancy permits — See Ch. 144.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 154.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 172.
Zoning — See Ch. 190.
In order that the health, welfare, safety and morals of the citizens and residents of the City of College Park may be protected from the ill effects of substandard construction and all of the ramifications arising therefrom and in order that the value of property within the corporate limits of the City of College Park may be protected from said ill effects and ramifications, all buildings, structures and/or improvements and additions thereto hereafter constructed within the corporate limits of the City of College Park for any reason whatsoever shall be constructed in accordance with the provisions of the Building Code which shall be as follows.
[Amended  9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 1-13-2004 by Ord. No. 03-O-11]
The Building Code as adopted by Prince George's County, Maryland, and amended from time to time, shall be the official Building Code of the City of College Park.
[Amended  6-10-1980 by Ord. No. 80-O-7; 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22;  12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24;  8-12-1997 by Ord. No. 97-O-14]
A. 
For every permit for construction, alteration, enlargement, removal or demolition within the City of College Park issued by the Department of Environmental Resources of Prince George's County (hereinafter, "DER"), including but not limited to permits designated by DER as building permits and sprinkler system permits, a permit shall also be required from the Public Services Department of the City of College Park, Maryland. A City permit is required for the erection of a sign. The City permit application will include a detailed site plan drawn to a scale not less than one inch equals 20 feet. The fee for said permit will be as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties.
[Amended  1-13-2004 by Ord. No. 03-O-11]
B. 
A violation of this § 87-3 shall result in the issuance of a municipal infraction, which shall be delivered to the person or entity in accordance with the provisions of § C8-3 of the City Charter and Article 23A, § 3(B)(2), of the Annotated Code of Maryland, advising the violator of the imposition of a fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, payable to the city. In the event that a person or entity fails to obtain the requisite City building permit prior to commencing construction and a municipal infraction is issued, each business day a person or entity fails to comply with the provisions of this § 87-3 shall constitute a separate offense.
[Added  1-12-1999 by Ord. No. 98-O-12]
C. 
Any required City or county permit shall be posted on the property in such a manner as to be visible from the front property line.
[Added  1-13-2004 by Ord. No. 03-O-11]
[Added  2-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-O-1; amended  9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
Every new building constructed in the City of College Park shall require as a condition of the issuance of a building permit that the builder post with the City of College Park a bond to insure payment for the installation of curb, sidewalk, gutter, storm drain and streets and any other expenses pertinent thereto for such portion of the permit area as may be required by the Public Works Director. The amount of such bond shall be calculated on a linear-foot basis, as determined by the Public Works Director from time to time, based upon his/her estimate of actual construction costs for such items. This bond may be released upon the builder furnishing a notarized waiver from the purchase of the new building indicating that the purchaser is aware that the curb, sidewalk, gutter, storm drain and/or street may not be currently up to City standards and that he/she may be assessed the cost of the new curb, sidewalk, gutter, storm drains and/or street. The requirement for the posting of a bond may also be waived in the event that the site already has curb, sidewalk, street, storm drain and gutter or if the project falls under the provision of Prince George's County Code Sec. 23-116, and amendments thereto or may be waived in the case of minor construction as, for example, a small shed. The form of the bond shall be approved by the Public Works Director. In the sole discretion of the Public Works Director, an irrevocable letter of credit from a Maryland financial institution, coextensive with the duration of the project and approved as to form and content by the City Attorney, may be acceptable in lieu of a bond.
[Amended 10-25-1983 by Ord. No. 83-O-10]
For the purpose of this chapter, a "parking space" is defined as a space 9 1/2 feet wide and 19 feet long. Each required parking space shall have free unblocked access to ingress and egress lanes leading to a public right-of-way. Any part of a parking space encroaching on a public right-of-way or an accessway shall not be counted. All buildings and structures which shall be constructed or enlarged, improved or modified so as to increase their capacity for occupants or visitors shall provide, specifically for the use of the occupants or visitors, off-street parking facilities no fewer in number than specified in the minimum standards set forth hereinbelow. A "compact car parking space" is defined as a space eight feet wide and 16 1/2 feet long.
A. 
Multiple-family structures:
(1) 
For each efficiency and one-bedroom dwelling unit: one parking space.
(2) 
For each two-or-more-bedroom dwelling unit: two parking spaces.
B. 
Office buildings, professional buildings or similar uses: one parking space for each 150 square feet of floor area used for office purposes.
C. 
Fraternities, sororities, rooming and/or boardinghouses or similar uses: 2 1/2 parking spaces for each three occupants.
D. 
Motels, auto courts, motor lodges or similar uses: 1 1/2 parking spaces for each guest room or unit.
E. 
Loading and unloading zones appurtenant to commercial and industrial structures: such space shall be at least 15 feet in width for every 50 feet of building width and, if within a building, 15 feet in height and 25 feet in depth. Access to an alley or to a street shall be provided.
F. 
Automobile service stations, automobile repair and service stations or similar uses: sufficient space on or adjacent to the premises shall be provided for the parking or storing of all vehicles left for service or awaiting customer pickup. The parking of such vehicles on the street, sidewalk area or in an area between the building line and the street line is hereby prohibited.
A. 
All street cuts, driveways, curbs, gutters, storm-drain facilities and driveway openings into or on any street, road, alley or highway within the corporate limits of the City of College Park shall conform to such rules and regulations and shall meet such requirements as are now in force or which shall be set forth by the city.
B. 
All street or sidewalk cuts of any nature on public rights-of-way shall be closed promptly. Temporary closures shall be limited to a two-week period and be subject to the approval of the city. All such cuts left open overnight shall be adequately illuminated and barricaded to ensure the safety of the public. At the completion of each project, the project site shall be promptly cleared of all debris, rubbish, piles of earth, etc., resulting from the project; all holes shall be filled or mounds leveled to match the grade of the adjoining grounds; sod shall be replaced in grassy areas, and the site shall otherwise be left in good condition.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
All structures newly constructed or improvements to existing structures shall meet all requirements, rules and regulations as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance for the Maryland - National Capital Park and Planning Commission in Prince George's County, Maryland, as amended.
A. 
Every excavation below the curb or adjoining ground levels for the purpose of furnishing light and ventilation for habitable rooms shall be, if two or less feet deep, not less than six feet wide; if between two and three feet deep, not less than seven feet wide. In no case shall the depth of the excavation exceed three feet nor the length exceed 35 feet.
B. 
The bottom of every court shall be properly graded and drained to an approved disposal system complying with the Plumbing Code of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Prince George's County, Maryland. The walls of each such court shall be constructed of brick or cement. The floor of each court shall be brick, cement or not less than six inches of loose pebbles.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
C. 
Any court more than six inches in depth shall be surrounded by a fence or railing not less than 24 inches in height or covered by grate or grille with openings not more than one inch in width and capable of supporting not less than 300 pounds of weight anywhere on its surface.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
No basement shall be constructed or altered to provide habitable rooms unless it conforms to all the requirements listed below.
A. 
Walls and floors which are below the ground level shall be waterproof and dampproof; and, whenever ordered by the Public Services Department, Code Enforcement Division, the walls and ceilings shall be finished with wallboard, plaster, paneling or other suitable material; and all floors shall be finished with wood, tile, carpeting or other suitable material.
B. 
Every basement constructed or altered so as to provide habitable rooms shall have adequate window area and ventilation.
C. 
If the ground adjoining a basement is excavated to or below the curb level or to or below the adjoining natural ground level, the excavated space shall not be less in width than the minimum width specified above for outer courts of the building in which the basement is situated. No basement shall be converted into a dwelling unit in violation of the Zoning Ordinance of Prince George's County.
A. 
All razing or demolition of buildings or other structures must comply with the following rules:
(1) 
All structures must be razed to ground level.
(2) 
All lots or parcels of ground must be cleared of all debris, rubble or other materials resulting from the demolition within 10 days.
(3) 
No debris, rubble or other materials resulting from a demolition shall be burned within the City of College Park. All materials which are buried must be covered with at least 12 inches of earth.
(4) 
All foundations, wells, ponds of water or other holes must be filled and covered with at least 12 inches of earth.
(5) 
All resulting vacant parcels of land shall be graded to conform to the adjoining grade levels.
(6) 
All resulting parcels of land shall be treated to prevent the blowing of dust. Oil or temporary treatment with chemicals shall not be an acceptable method of treatment.
(7) 
A permit for razing shall not be issued until a release is obtained from the utilities serving the structure stating that their respective service connections and appurtenant equipment have been removed or sealed and plugged in a safe manner and from the Prince George's County Board of Health stating that it is safe to raze the structure from the standpoint of friable insulative materials.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(8) 
All demolition, clearing and grading and dust treatment shall be finished within 60 days of the issuance of a permit.
B. 
If the work is not accomplished in conformance with all of the above-mentioned rules, the City may enter on the property and finish the work, the charge therefor to be placed against the property and to be collectible in the same manner as taxes.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
A. 
All equipment, tools and material left at a project site overnight shall be left secured in a nonhazardous condition in order to protect the safety of the workers and the general public.
B. 
All excavations and construction shall comply with American Standard Safety Code for Building Construction, American Standards Association, as adopted by the Maryland Safety Department of Labor and Industry and the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.
C. 
In the event that a condition exists at a construction site that constitutes an immediate and dire danger to persons or property and there is insufficient time to get a Prince George's County Building Inspector to issue a stop-work order, the city's Public Services Department or Public Works Department is authorized to issue a stop-work order directing the cessation of work until the danger can be abated.
D. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, when the Director of the Department of Public Services or his designee determines that a person or entity has failed to obtain a building permit as required by § 87-3 of the City Code, or that a building permit was incorrectly or improperly issued, the Director shall notify, in writing, the on-site personnel and the person or entity required to obtain a permit of the violation and require that the person or entity stop all work on the site except that activity which is necessary to stabilize any disturbed area. A person or entity which fails to abide by a stop-work order issued by the Director of the Department of Public Services or his designee shall be issued a municipal infraction, which shall be delivered to the person or entity in accordance with § C8-3 of the City Charter and Article 23A, § 3(b)(2) of the Annotated Code of Maryland, advising the person or entity of the fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, payable to the City. Each calendar day a person or entity fails to abide by a stop-work order shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to any other civil penalty provided for such violation in the City Code, the City of College Park may seek an injunction against any person or entity who violates this subsection.
[Added 8-4-1998 by Ord. No. 98-O-6;amended 1-12-1999 by Ord. No. 98-O-12; 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 99-O-7; 3-27-2007 by Ord. No. 07-O-04]
A. 
All areas which are not covered by vegetation and are subject to the blowing of dust shall be treated so as to prevent the blowing of dust. Oil or temporary treatment with chemicals shall not be an acceptable treatment.
B. 
All trees, shrubs, grass or plants located within public property which may have been caused to be removed damaged or destroyed as a result of construction shall be replaced at the expense of the person, firm or corporation causing such damage.
C. 
Replacement of trees will not be required, subject to approval by the City Manager, when it would interfere with the normal course of business or use of such construction.
[Amended 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24]
All loading areas, automobile service stations, drive-in establishments and other parking areas of a commercial or industrial nature shall be paved with bituminous concrete or equivalent surfacing. When lighted for nighttime use, lights shall not be permitted to reflect or cause glare into any residential zone. All unpaved areas of parking or loading areas abutting on residential property shall be sodded or otherwise properly landscaped.
A. 
Within all new residential subdivisions of six or more buildings lots, all new multifamily structures or groups of structures containing four or more dwelling units, all new commercial or office buildings or groups of commercial or office buildings containing four or more units, all new shopping centers or similar commercial developments, all new primary and secondary electrical distribution lines, wires and cables serving such building developments shall be placed underground. Associated pad-mounted transformers and pad-mounted fuses and switches may be surface-mounted within such areas after a permit therefor has been obtained from the city. Pole-mounted transformers will be permitted to serve new buildings in an established area after a permit therefor has been obtained from the city.
B. 
Within the building developments mentioned in Subsection A, all telephone and other communication wires and cables shall be placed underground.
C. 
The builder or developer shall provide the public utility involved with such easements as may be necessary to accommodate such underground installations.
D. 
Streetlighting required by city, county or Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission regulations or directives shall be the responsibility of and shall be installed at the expense of the developer or builder and shall be of such type or style as approved by the city.
No pipes, ducts, conductors, fans or blowers discharging gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odor or other gaseous or particular wastes shall be constructed so as to discharge directly upon the property of another; however, such discharge may be permitted into the public right-of-way with the approval of the city.
A. 
All portions of a premises, including unimproved lots, shall be so graded that there is no pooling of water or damage to adjoining properties. All such drainage facilities shall be approved by the city.
B. 
All wastewater of any kind, including condensate from cooling systems, shall be discharged into the proper sewer system. The condensate from window-type air conditioners is excepted unless they overhang public rights-of-way.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24; 2-6-1996 by Ord. No. 96-O-2]
Persons, firms or corporations shall be required to give a performance/maintenance bond or cash deposit to insure the faithful performance of any and all work done on public property. For projects costing $100 or less, a cash deposit, as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, shall be required. Said deposit shall be held by the City until the project has been inspected and approved by the city, at which time, upon inspection, the cash deposit shall be released. The amount of bond or cash deposit for projects costing more than $100 shall be as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, and shall be in force or, in the case of a cash deposit, shall be held by the City until the project has been inspected and finally approved by the city, at which time, upon application, 50% of the bond or cash deposit shall be released. At the expiration of six months from the date of completion of the project, upon inspection and approval by the City and upon application, the remaining bond or deposit shall be released. If any project does not meet the specifications as required by the city, the bond or cash deposit shall be declared forfeited, and the City shall correct or complete the project according to City specifications. In the sole discretion of the Public Works Director, an irrevocable letter of credit from a Maryland financial institution coextensive with the duration of the project and approved as to form and content by the City Attorney may be acceptable in lieu of a bond. The Mayor and Council may, by an extra-majority vote (defined as one more than a majority of those members present and voting), waive or amend the bonding requirement for projects done on behalf of the city.
[Added 3-13-1973 by Ord. No. 73-O-2; amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 3-27-2007 by Ord. No. 07-O-04]
Whenever the Public Services Director shall deny the granting of a building permit, or shall revoke a building permit as incorrectly or improperly issued, a written notice shall be sent to the applicant or permit holder, setting forth the reason for denial or revocation.
[Added 3-13-1973 by Ord. No. 73-O-2; amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 11-27-2001 by Ord. No. 01-O-7; 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-O-14; 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 10-O-06; 11-28-2017 by Ord. No. 17-O-01]
A. 
Any person affected by any notice or order which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter by the Advisory Planning Commission, hereinafter referred to as "the Commission," provided that such person shall, within 10 days after service upon him/her or on the premises of a notice or order, file in the office of the Public Services Director a written notice of an appeal requesting a hearing, setting forth a brief statement of the reasons therefor. Upon receipt of such notice of appeal, the Public Services Director shall forthwith notify the Commission, and the Commission shall promptly set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the person appealing and the Public Services Director notice thereof. The Commission shall decide such appeals as promptly as is practicable.
B. 
After such hearing, the Commission may affirm, amend or modify the order appealed from. In hearing appeals, the Commission may also grant the applicant a waiver from strict compliance with a code provision upon an express finding that strict compliance is unreasonable or contrary to the spirit or intent of the code and that strict compliance would impose an undue hardship upon the appellant, provided that the waiver does not compromise the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the community. The criteria to be used in determining whether to grant such a waiver in variances regarding fences are set out in § 87-23J. The Commission may retain such technical experts as it may require upon consultation with the City Manager. The Commission's decision shall be by way of a written order or, in the case of fence variances, a written recommendation. The decisions of the Commission shall constitute an order, and any person who shall fail, refuse or neglect to comply with any such order shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this chapter. The decision of the Commission shall in all cases be final, except as otherwise provided herein.
C. 
Not less than 15 calendar days after receipt of the recommendation of the Commission regarding a variance, a majority of the Mayor and Council may adopt the recommendation by consent, unless exceptions thereto have been filed. Failure of the Mayor and Council to act on a recommendation of the Commission within 60 days of the receipt thereof shall result in the denial of the variance request.
D. 
Any person of record and/or any council member may file with the Mayor and Council, within 15 calendar days after notice of the Commission's recommendation regarding a fence variance, exceptions thereto and a request for oral argument before the Mayor and Council on the basis that the recommendation fails to comply with the criteria established in § 87-23. The following procedure shall apply in the event of the filing of an exception and request for oral argument:
(1) 
The City Clerk shall notify the Commission of any exceptions and request for oral argument. As soon as possible, and in any event at least seven days prior to any oral argument on the appeal, the Commission shall transmit to the Mayor and Council a copy of the record created by the Commission including, but not limited to, all written evidence and materials submitted for consideration by the Commission and a transcript of the public hearing on the variance application.
(2) 
The Mayor and Council shall schedule oral argument on the appeal. The City Clerk shall give at least seven calendar days' notice of the hearing to all persons of record and the Commission. Oral argument shall be limited to the facts and information within the record made at the hearing before the Commission.
(3) 
After the close of the Council's hearing, a majority of the Mayor and Council shall accept, deny or modify the recommendation of the Commission or return the variance application to the Commission to take further testimony or reconsider its recommendation. The Council shall give its decision, in writing, stating the reasons for its action. Copies of the decision shall be sent to all persons of record.
E. 
In all other cases, any appellant or party directly aggrieved by the decision of the Commission may, provided that he/she does so within 30 days after the rendering of such written decision, appeal to a court of record of competent jurisdiction for further review, and the findings of fact of the Commission shall be conclusive, and such review shall be limited solely to questions of law.
F. 
The decision of the Commission in any case or appeal shall be stayed pending decision by the court.
G. 
The Commission is hereby established as the body to act upon appeals from the Public Services Director's denial of a building permit as set forth above. The City's Planning, Community and Economic Development Department shall assist the Commission with regard to fence variances as set out in § l5-20C as appropriate.
[Amended  8-14-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-13; 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24; 1-12-1999 by Ord. No. 98-O-12]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, other than § 87-3 or § 87-11, or any provision of any rule adopted by the Mayor and Council pursuant to the authority granted by this chapter shall be issued a notice containing the requirement that the violation must be fully corrected within 10 days from the date of the notice and that, in the event that he/she fails to do so within the ten-day period, a citation shall be delivered to him/her in accordance with the provisions of § C8-3 of the City Charter and Article 23A, § 3(b)(2), of the Annotated Code of Maryland, advising him/her of the imposition of a fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, payable to the city.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code existing on the effective date of this chapter, the provision which establishes the higher standards for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail. In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other ordinance or code existing on the effective date of this chapter which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people, the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to prevail, and such other ordinances or codes are hereby declared to be repealed to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this chapter.
[Added  8-9-1977 by Ord. No. 77-O-6;  amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
Every construction, alteration, enlargement, removal, excavation or demolition of any substantial nature within the City of College Park to be performed by or for any federal, interstate, state, regional, county, bicounty or municipal body, institution or agency shall require a permit from the Mayor and City Council of the City of College Park as a prerequisite to any such construction, alteration, enlargement, removal, excavation or demolition. No permit fee shall be required of any such governmental body, institution or agency. The provisions of § 87-20 are expressly made applicable to this section. Enforcement of the provisions of this section may be had by way of injunction.
[Added 10-19-2005 by Ord. No. 05-O-12; amended 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-O-14; 5-6-2008 by Ord. No. 08-O-03; 11-28-2017 by Ord. No. 17-O-01]
A. 
Scope: This section shall apply to all fences, as defined herein, constructed, reconstructed or replaced on residential properties in residential zones on or after October 19, 2005, except those allowed by approved conceptual site plans, detailed site plans and special exceptions.
B. 
Definitions.
(1) 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FENCE
Any structure, barrier, wall, retaining wall, or partition or combination thereof, regardless of composition, and any hedge or other natural growth greater than three feet in height that constitutes a barrier to access to the lot, having the effect of or constructed and maintained for purposes such as, but not limited to, enclosing a piece of land, dividing a piece of land into distinct portions, separating two contiguous estates, exclusion, protection, privacy, security, retainment or aesthetics.
FRONT YARD
Front yard area shall be that area extending across the width of a lot between the front street line and the nearest part of the main building (or its enclosed or covered projection). In a through or corner lot, all yards abutting streets are front yards.
GARDEN FENCE
A fence of up to four feet in height enclosing an area used for non-commercial growing of plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits or flowers.
HEIGHT
The height of a fence measured, from one point, from the top of the fence to the grade on the side of the fence where the grade is the lowest.
LOT
A designated area of land to be used, developed, or built upon as a unit in accordance with the Prince George's County Zoning Ordinance, and having the minimum contiguous area required for a lot in the applicable zone, and frontage on a public street or private road, right-of-way, or easement.
LOT, CORNER
A lot which has two intersecting sides abutting on a public street.
LOT, THROUGH
A through lot is an interior lot fronting on two or more streets or a corner lot fronting on three or more streets.
LOT LINE, FRONT
The front lot line is the line running along the front of the lot and separating it from the street. The front lot line may also be referenced as the front street line.
LOT LINE, REAR
A rear lot line is the lot line generally opposite or parallel to the front lot line.
LOT LINE, SIDE
A side lot line is any lot line other than a front or a rear lot line. A side lot line separating the lot from a street is a side street line.
MATERIALS INCORPORATING OPENNESS
To satisfy a requirement that materials must incorporate openness, the spaces between the slats, planks, boards, balusters or pickets must equal or exceed the width of the slats, planks, boards, balusters or pickets used.
REAR YARD
Rear yard area shall be that area extending across the width of the lot between the rear lot line and the nearest part of the principal building (or its enclosed or covered projection).
RETAINING WALL
A wall built to retain or support the existing lateral pressure of earth or water or other superimposed load.
SIDE YARD
Side yard shall be that area between the side lot line or side street line and the nearest part of the main building (or its enclosed or covered projection), extending from the front yard to the rear yard, or in the absence of either of these yards, to the front street line and the rear lot line. In a through lot, any yard that does not abut a street is a side yard.
STREET
A street, avenue, right-of-way, road, highway, throughfare, lane and alley.
YARD
Open space located on the same lot with a building, structure (not including ground-level paved surfaces unless specifically noted), or use, between the building, structure or use (such as outdoor storage) and the nearest lot line or street line.
(2) 
Drawings illustrating the front yard, side yard, rear yard, through lot, corner lot, visual obstruction setback and various types of fences are adopted and incorporated in this code by reference.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The drawings are on file in the City offices.
C. 
Front yard fences. Except as hereinafter provided, fences more than three feet in height shall not be constructed or reconstructed in a front yard. Fences up to three feet in height, and up to four feet in height at the rear of an interior through lot, constructed of materials such as wrought iron, split rail, or picket, incorporating openness, may be permitted.
D. 
Retaining walls. Retaining walls may be constructed where necessary in the front, side or rear yard, but shall not extend more than one foot above finished grade. Dimensions, placement and materials for retaining walls constructed after October 19, 2005, in locations otherwise requiring a fence variance shall be determined by the Advisory Planning Commission. Landscaping up to a height of three feet, or a railing or fence as required for health and safety reasons by Prince George's County, may be placed as approved on retaining walls.
E. 
Existing fences. This section does not prohibit, or require a variance for, the reconstruction or replacement, with same dimensions and placement, of any fence or wall legally existing before October 19, 2005, or for which a variance has been granted; provided that no such reconstructed or replaced fence or wall shall exceed three feet in height in the front yard. Unless a variance is obtained, replacement front yard fences must be reconstructed of similar materials, or materials such as wrought iron, split rail, or picket, incorporating openness. Chain link may not be used for reconstruction in the front yard unless it was the existing material or a variance is obtained.
F. 
Right-of-way and setbacks. In no event shall a fence be constructed to encroach into the public right-of-way or violate the visual obstruction setbacks required by Prince George's County Code § 27-421, as amended, for corner lots.
G. 
Prohibited materials. In no event shall a fence be constructed of barbed wire, electrically charged material, or other hazardous material.
H. 
Fence construction. Fences shall be built with the finished side facing outwards and structural support (vertical posts and horizontal rails) shall face the interior of the subject lot.
I. 
Permit required. A City permit is required for the construction, replacement or reconstruction on residential property of all fences as defined in this section. A permit is not required for:
(1) 
An arbor or trellis that is less than eight feet in length that is not being used as part of a fence.
(2) 
Underground or invisible animal restraint barriers.
(3) 
Decorative rocks and boulders.
(4) 
Garden fences not exceeding four feet in height and not in a front yard.
(5) 
Garden fences constructed in a front yard provided that the area enclosed by the fence does not exceed 25% of the front yard, with a minimum area allowed of up to four feet by six feet. Poles, trellises, cold frames and other garden appurtenances located within the garden enclosure are permitted. Fencing materials are limited to open wire mesh such as poultry netting, chicken wire or rabbit guard. A garden fence must be removed once the garden is no longer in cultivation.
J. 
Variances.
(1) 
The Advisory Planning Commission shall apply the following criteria to any application for a variance from the provisions of this section:
(a) 
A specific parcel of land has exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or shape, exceptional topographic conditions, or other extraordinary situations or conditions that would support the request for a variance;
(b) 
Denial of the variance would result in a peculiar and unusual practical difficulty to, or an exceptional or undue hardship upon, the owner;
(c) 
Granting the variance will not impair the intent, purpose or integrity of the Fence Ordinance;
(d) 
The variance is consistent with the design guidelines adopted for the Historic District, if applicable;
(e) 
The front yard fence for which a variance is requested incorporates openness as much as is practicable; provided, however, that it shall not be constructed of chain link unless this material is consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.
(2) 
Adjoining property owners shall be given written notice of any appeal by regular mail at least seven days prior to the hearing.
[Added 3-27-2007 by Ord. No. 07-O-04]
A. 
Authorization. A building permit incorrectly or improperly issued may be validated by the City Council in accordance with this section.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
An application for the validation shall be filed with the Department of Public Services within 30 days after notice revoking the building permit.
(2) 
The application form shall be provided by the Department of Public Services and shall contain the information that the Director deems is necessary to meet the provisions of this section.
(3) 
Together with the application, the applicant shall submit a statement listing the names and the business and residential addresses of all individuals having at least a five-percent financial interest in the subject property. The required information must be provided for the owner of record and also any contract purchaser.
C. 
Transmittal. The application and accompanying material shall be forwarded by the Department of Public Services to the Advisory Planning Commission.
D. 
Advisory Planning Commission hearing procedures. The Advisory Planning Commission shall conduct a public hearing on the matter in accordance with this chapter and its adopted rules and regulations.
E. 
Notice of public hearing. The Advisory Planning Commission shall designate a date for the public hearing and shall notify the applicant and adjoining property owners of the hearing.
F. 
Recommendation by Advisory Planning Commission. The Advisory Planning Commission, after receipt and consideration of the evidence, shall serve upon all persons of record a written recommendation containing specific findings of fact, conclusions of law and a recommended disposition of the case. Said written recommendation shall be transmitted to the Mayor and Council.
G. 
City Council hearing (oral argument) procedures. A majority of the City Council shall accept, deny or modify the recommendation of the Advisory Planning Commission after oral argument. Notice of the oral argument shall be given to all persons of record. Oral argument shall be limited to the facts and information within the record made at the hearing before the Commission.
H. 
Criteria for approval.
(1) 
The application for validation may be approved if:
(a) 
No fraud or misrepresentation had been practiced in obtaining the permit;
(b) 
At the time of the permit's issuance, no appeal or controversy regarding its issuance was pending before any body;
(c) 
The applicant has acted in good faith, expending funds or incurring obligations in reliance on the permit; and
(d) 
The validation will not be against the public interest.
[Added 5-27-2014 by Ord. No. 14-O-03]
A. 
Application: the requirements of this section are in addition to the other provisions of this chapter. A utility that has been granted the right by law or written agreement to locate within City rights-of-way is exempt from this section, as are utility connections to adjacent properties for existing water, electric, telephone or natural gas service. If not exempted, the requirements and provisions of this section apply to all utility companies and utility facilities, whether privately or publicly owned.
B. 
Authorization required. Except for emergencies, no work shall be performed on any covered facility located under the public right-of-way without a permit issued in accordance with this chapter and a right-of-way use agreement signed by the owner of the installation. Any such work that is performed that is not in compliance with this section shall be removed by the owner of the installation immediately upon demand by the City, and the owner shall restore the public right-of-way to its condition prior to the performance of the unauthorized work. All such restoration work shall be at the sole cost and expense of the owner of the installation, which shall also be responsible for reimbursing the City for any and all costs and expenses that it may incur arising out of or relating to such unauthorized work. A permit and agreement shall be required for each entity to cover the following work performed on its existing or new facilities located within public rights-of-way or easements under the jurisdiction of the City:
(1) 
Routine maintenance of existing utility facilities.
(2) 
Repairs to existing utility facility infrastructure.
(3) 
Underground utility facility construction within City rights-of-way.
The owner of the utility facility which is being maintained or repaired shall be responsible for obtaining the maintenance utility permit.
C. 
Administrative fee: in addition to a permit fee as required under Chapter 110 of the City Code, the owner of the proposed installation shall pay an administrative fee to the City as follows:
(1) 
Cost of construction is less than $25,000: $1,000.
(2) 
Cost of construction is more than $25,000: $2,000.
In lieu of an administrative fee, the permit applicant may provide, if acceptable to the City, and/or the City may require, installation of dark fiber and conduit for permanent ownership and use by the City. In this case, the City shall have full and exclusive right to own, use and maintain the fiber and conduit.
D. 
Indemnification. The permittee shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the City, its agents, servants, employees and contractors, from and against any and all losses, claims, suits or demands for damages to property or persons arising out of the permittee's use of the rights-of-way, unless such loss, claim, suit or demand for damages is caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of the City, its agents, servants, employees, agents or contractors.