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 as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building code — See Charter, § C7-8.
Building construction — See Ch. 87.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 107.
Fees and penalties — See Ch. 110.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 119.
Housing regulations — See Ch. 125.
Litter — See Ch. 132.
Nuisances — See Ch. 141.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 154.
[Adopted 10-28-1969 by Ord. No. 69-O-9; amended in its entirety 10-23-1984 by Ord. No. 84-O-11]
A. 
Title. This article shall be known as the "Nonresidential Property Maintenance Code of the City of College Park," and may be referred to in this article in the short form as "this code."
B. 
Findings and declaration of policy. It is hereby found and declared that there exist in the City of College Park structures used for nonresidential use which are, or may become in the future, substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance and, further, that such conditions, including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of the exterior of the premises, infestation, lack of essential heating and plumbing, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities, the existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air and insanitary conditions, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the City of College Park. It is further found and declared that, by reason of lack of maintenance and because of progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums and that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same and that, by reason of timely regulations and restrictions, as herein contained, the growth of slums and blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
C. 
Purposes. The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of nonresidential premises; to establish minimum standards governing utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions essential to make the aforesaid facilities fit for occupancy and use; to fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners and operators and distinct and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; to provide for the right of access across adjoining premises to permit repairs; and to provide for the repair, demolition or vacation of premises unfit for use. This code is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
A. 
The following terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this chapter, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
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.
BASEMENT
Any portion of a building located wholly or partially underground having any portion or all of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
BUILDING
A combination of materials to form a construction adapted to permanent or continuous occupancy or use for public, institutional, residence, business or storage purposes.
BUILDING CODE
The Building Code of Prince George's County and the City of College Park.[1]
CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM
A heating system in a fire-resistant enclosed space or spaces, separate and apart from the area to be heated, which system is permanently affixed and installed in accordance with the Building Code of Prince George's County.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR INSPECTOR
All officials, officers or employees of the City of College Park entrusted with the enforcement of this code.
DETERIORATION
The condition or appearance 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.
EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
Any premises or any part thereof or any building or any part thereof which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof from a sidewalk, street, alleyway or licensed open-air parking lot or from any adjoining or neighboring premises.
EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rodents and vermin by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible material that may service as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping or by other approved means of pest elimination.
[2]
FLOOR AREA, SUPERFICIAL
The net floor area within the enclosing walls of the room, excluding built-in equipment such as wardrobes, cabinets, closets, kitchen units or fixtures which are not readily removable and excluding the floor area where the floor-to-ceiling height is less than seven feet.
GARBAGE
Animal or vegetable waste that is subject to organic decomposition and resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food. (See also "refuse" and "rubbish.")
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
INFESTATION
The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
LITTER
All rubbish, waste material, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals or other discarded materials or property of every kind and description.
[Added 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
MIXED OCCUPANCY
Any building containing one or more dwelling units or rooming units and also having a portion thereof devoted to nondwelling uses.
(1) 
Any public nuisance known at common law or in equity jurisprudence or as provided by the statutes of the State of Maryland, Prince George's County or the ordinances of the City of College Park.
(2) 
Any nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building, on the premises of a building or upon an unoccupied lot. This includes but is not limited to abandoned walls, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned iceboxes, refrigerators, motor vehicles, any structurally unsound fences or structures, and lumber, trash, litter, debris or vegetation, such as poison ivy, oak or sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(3) 
Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
(4) 
Overcrowding of a room with occupants in violation of Chapter 115, Fire Safety Code.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(5) 
Insufficient ventilation or illumination in violation of this chapter.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(6) 
Inadequate or insanitary sewerage or plumbing facilities in violation of this code.
(7) 
Insanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of this code.
(8) 
Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
(9) 
Fire hazards.
(10) 
Walks, roadways, parking lots and similar areas open to the public which present hazardous conditions by reason of poor maintenance.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a premises or part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, including but not limited to executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person or occupant who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any structure shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
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.
PUBLIC SERVICES DIRECTOR
The Public Services Director of the City of College Park or such other person as the City Manager may specifically designate such other officials as the Public Services Director may designate to act in his/her behalf.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22; 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24]
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes, except body wastes, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles and solid market and industrial wastes.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
REGISTERED MAIL
Registered mail or certified mail.
ROOM
Space in an enclosed building or space set apart by a partition or partitions.
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
SANITARY SEWER
Any sanitary sewer owned, operated and maintained by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and available for public use for the disposal of sewage.
SEWAGE
Waste from a flush toilet, bathtub, sink, lavatory, dishwashing or laundry machine or the water-carried wastes from any other fixture, equipment or machine.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. If the finished ceiling level directly above a basement is more than six feet above grade, such basement shall be considered a "story."
STRUCTURE
A combination of any materials, whether fixed or portable, forming a construction, including buildings.
SUPERFICIAL FLOOR AREA
See "floor area, superficial."
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, louvers or stacks, with or without wind-driven devices.
WASHROOM
Enclosed space containing one or more bathtubs, showers, or both, and which shall also include toilets, lavatories or fixtures serving similar purposes.
WATER-CLOSET COMPARTMENT
Enclosed space containing one or more toilets, which may also contain one or more lavatories, urinals and other plumbing fixtures.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 87, Building Construction.
[2]
Editor’s Note: The definitions of “fire hazard” and “Fire Marshal,” which immediately followed, were repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03.
B. 
Meaning of certain words. Whenever the words "accessory structure," "building," "premises," "room" or "structure" are used in this code, they shall be construed, unless expressly stated to the contrary, to include the plurals of these words and as if they were followed by the words "or any part thereof." The word "shall" shall be applied retroactively as well as prospectively.
A. 
All nonresidential buildings and the premises on which they are situated in the City used or intended to be used for commercial, business or industrial occupancy or other nonresidential uses shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such buildings shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the buildings or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this code. This code 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 buildings, equipment or facilities contained therein, except as provided in § 157-8. Where there is mixed occupancy, nonresidential use therein shall be regulated by and subject to the provisions of this code.
B. 
Inspection of nonresidential buildings and premises.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(1) 
The Public Services Director is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of nonresidential buildings and premises located within the City of College Park, Maryland, in order that he/she may perform his/her duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of the dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Public Services Director or his/her agent is hereby authorized, upon presentation of proper credentials, to enter, examine and survey, at all reasonable times, all nonresidential buildings and premises. The owner, operator or occupant of every nonresidential building or the person in charge thereof shall give the Public Services Director or his/her agent free access to such nonresidential building and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant or operator of a nonresidential building shall give the owner thereof or his/her agent or employee access to any part of such nonresidential building or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(2) 
If, upon presentation of proper credentials, the Public Services Director or the Director's agent is denied entrance, said officer shall give to the person denying entrance official notice of a subsequent inspection not longer than 10 days from the date of the notice and at a designated hour. If, within 10 days, upon the second request to inspect the same premises, the Public Services Director or his/her agent is again denied entrance, said Public Services Director shall petition the appropriate legal body and shall acquire a warrant permitting legal entrance into said premises.
[Amended 1-13-1998 by Ord. No. 97-O-22[1] ]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 157-3B(2), which set forth the times during which the Director is authorized to inspect buildings and premises.
C. 
Any and all buildings constructed prior to the passage of this article shall be in compliance with the provisions of said article, except in such case as the Advisory Planning Commission may deem it necessary to waive certain provisions and/or requirements. Each said exception shall be decided singly, on its own merits, by the Advisory Planning Commission, as provided in § 157-4A(2), B, C and E of this article. All construction subsequent to the passage of said article shall likewise comply with the several provisions of said article and shall be allowed the same appeal procedure as hereinafter provided in § 157-4A(2), B, C and E.[2]
[Amended 9-24-2002 by Ord. No. 02-O-3]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection D, Occupancy permit, as amended, which immediately followed, was repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03.
A. 
Notice; fine.
[Amended 3-24-1987 by Ord. No. 87-O-1; 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(1) 
Whenever the Public Services Director determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this article or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he/she shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor, as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
(a) 
Be put in writing.
(b) 
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
(c) 
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
(d) 
Be served upon the owner or his/her agent or the occupant or the operator, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant or operator if a copy thereof is served upon him/her personally or if a copy thereof is sent by certified mail to his/her last known address or if a copy is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice or if he/she served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state.
(e) 
Contain the following items:
[1] 
An outline of remedial action to be taken to effect compliance with the provisions of this article and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
[2] 
The requirement that the violation must be fully corrected within 30 days from the date of the notice and that, in the event that he/she fails to do so within the thirty-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 noncompliance charge as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, payable to the City. In the event that he/she elects not to stand trial for the violation and the violation is not fully corrected within the following thirty-day period, a second citation shall be delivered to him/her with the imposition of an additional noncompliance charge as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties. For each successive thirty-day period in which he/she elects not to stand trial for the violation and the violation is not fully corrected, an additional citation shall be delivered to him/her advising him/her of the imposition of an additional noncompliance charge as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties.
[Amended 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24]
(2) 
Public nuisance-type violations adversely affecting the public because of odor, safety or health may require expedited corrective action within four hours of notification to the offending or responsible party. Failure to take such corrective action shall result in the imposition of a fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, and the issuance of a citation in accordance with the requirements of § 6-102 et. seq. of the Local Government Article, of the Annotated Code of Maryland. If the violator fails to pay the fine by the date of payment set forth on the citation and fails to file a notice of his/her intention to stand trial for the offense, the person shall be liable for the assessed fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties. If the City, because of the urgency of having the violation corrected, uses City labor or material to correct the violation, the material and labor charges shall be assessed and shall be collectible as a tax lien against the subject property. In addition to the foregoing, the Public Services Department is authorized to seek injunctive relief when the situation so warrants.
[Amended 12-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-24; 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
B. 
The College Park Advisory Planning Commission, as established in Chapter 125, § 125-4, of the Code of the City of College Park, shall also be the adjudicatory body for hearing appeals from the provisions of this article.
[Amended 9-24-2002 by Ord. No. 02-O-3]
C. 
Any person affected by any notice or order which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this article may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter by the Board, provided that such person shall, within 10 days after service of a notice or order, file in the office of the Public Services Director a signed, written notice of appeal, requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the reasons therefor. Upon receipt of such notice of appeal, the Public Services Director shall forthwith notify the Board, and the Board shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the person appealing and the Public Services Director notice thereof. The Board shall determine such appeals as promptly as practicable.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
D. 
After such hearing, the Board may affirm, amend, modify or withdraw the notice or order appealed from. The decision of the Board 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 article.
E. 
The decision of the Board shall in all cases be final, except that any appellant or party directly aggrieved by a decision of the Board may, provided that he/she does so within 30 days after the rendering of such decision, appeal to a court of record of competent jurisdiction for a further review, and the findings of fact of such Board shall be conclusive and such review shall be limited solely to errors of laws and questions of constitutionality. The decision of the Board in any case on appeal shall be stayed pending a decision of the court.
F. 
Whenever the Public Services Director finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, he/she may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring such action to be taken as he/she deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, such order shall be effective immediately but, upon petition to the Public Services Director, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his/her findings as to whether the provisions of this article and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Public Services Director shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it. No notice may be required on § 157-6B(1)(a)[10] and [11] and B(2)(k) if deemed necessary.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Owners. Owners shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in this code 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.
(2) 
Occupant. Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in Subsection C 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.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(3) 
Contract not to alter responsibilities. Unless expressly provided to the contrary in this code, 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 the aforesaid or between them and other parties.
B. 
Duties and responsibilities of owner.
(1) 
Maintenance of exterior of premises.
(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 insanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed. It shall be the duty of the owner to keep the premises free of hazardous areas, which include but are not limited to the following:
[1] 
Refuse: brush, weeds, broken glass, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash, refuse and debris.
[2] 
Natural growth: dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
[3] 
Overhangings: loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice or snow which, by reason of location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
[4] 
Ground surface hazards or insanitary conditions: holes, excavations, breaks, projections, objections and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps replaced and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or insanitary conditions with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery.
[5] 
Recurring accumulations of stormwater. Adequate runoff drains shall be provided and maintained to eliminate any such recurrent or excessive accumulations of stormwater.
[6] 
Foundation walls. Foundation walls shall be kept structurally sound, free from defects and damage and capable of bearing imposed loads safely.
[7] 
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, shall be structurally safe, durable, smoketight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
[8] 
Exterior stairs, porches, landings and balconies and stairwells shall be provided with continuous walks or guards and handrails. Stair handrails shall be not less than 30 inches nor more than 33 inches above the nose of the stair treads. Stairways that do not exceed 88 inches in width shall have handrails on both sides projecting not more than 3 1/2 inches into the stair width, and when the stair width exceeds 88 inches, the stairway shall be provided with intermediate handrails dividing the stairway in approximately equal widths with a maximum lateral spacing of 66 inches. The handrails shall be returned to the enclosure walls or posts at the end of the stairs. Each porch landing or balcony and the top of each stairwell shall be protected by a continuous wall, guard or railing not less than 42 inches above the level of the landing or floor. Exterior porches, balconies, stair landings and stairwell guards or railings must have an intermediate rail parallel to and located equidistant from the platform or floor to the top rail or be provided with screens or balusters with openings not to exceed eight inches in width.
[9] 
Every basement door or window used or intended to be used for access or ventilation and every other opening to a basement which might provide an entry to rodents shall be supplied with a screen or other device which will effectively prevent their entrance.
[10] 
Public nuisances, snow removal: It shall be the duty of every owner, operator and occupant of a property to remove and clear away any accumulated snow or ice from the portion of the public sidewalk which abuts said property, and from paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other areas which are accessible and used by pedestrians and automobiles on the property, within 24 hours of cessation of snowfall.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
[11] 
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 the standards of the neighborhood or such higher standards as may be adopted as part of a plan of urban renewal by the City of College Park and such that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property owners nor an element leading to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of the neighborhood with the accompanying diminution of property values, including the following:
[a] 
Landscaping. Premises shall be kept landscaped and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept cut and trimmed and kept from being overgrown and unsightly. All grass used as ground cover, which for the purpose of this article shall include weeds, shall not be permitted to grow to a height of more than one foot. Following notification of noncompliance, penalties for violation of this subsection are listed under § 157-4A(2).
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
[b] 
Windows. All windows exposed to public view shall be kept clean and free of marks or foreign substances, except when necessary in the course of changing displays. Windows will be maintained without open cracks or holes. No storage of materials, stock or inventory shall be permitted in window-display areas or other areas ordinarily exposed to public view unless said areas are first screened from the public view. All screening of interiors shall be maintained in a clean and attractive manner and in a good state of repair.
[c] 
Storefronts. All storefronts shall be kept in good repair, painted, where required, and shall not constitute a safety hazard or nuisance. In the event that repairs to a storefront become necessary, such repairs shall be made with the same or similar material used in the construction of the storefront in such manner as to permanently repair the damaged area or areas. Any cornice visible above a storefront shall be kept painted, where required, and in good repair.
[d] 
Awnings and marquees. 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. All repairs of damaged areas shall be of a permanent nature with like or similar material used. In the event that such awnings or marquees are not properly maintained in accordance with the foregoing, they shall, together with their supporting members, be removed forthwith. In the event that said awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said 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 herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
[12] 
Grading or construction of impermeable surfaces, such as patios, driveways, walkways or terraces or other paving, or the installation of any downspout or drain, which will alter the flow of water or drainage so as to have an adverse effect on abutting or nearby properties or onto the public right-of-way is prohibited.
[Added 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(b) 
Structural soundness and general exterior maintenance.
[1] 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure (including fences, signs and storefronts) shall be kept painted or whitewashed 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, to the end that the property itself may be preserved, safety and fire hazards eliminated and adjoining properties and the neighborhood protected from blighting influences.
[2] 
Reconstruction of walls and sidings. All reconstruction of walls and sidings shall be of standard quality and appearance commensurate with the character of the properties in the same block and on both sides of the street on which the premises front, such that the materials used will not be of a kind that, by their appearance under prevailing appraisal practices and standards, will depreciate the value of neighboring and adjoining premises, as aforesaid.
(c) 
Basements. Basements and crawl spaces are to be free of moisture resulting from seepage, and cross ventilation shall be required where necessary to prevent accumulations of moisture and dampness.
(d) 
Freedom from infestation. All parts of the premises shall be maintained so as to prevent infestation.
(2) 
Interior maintenance.
(a) 
Floors, interior walls and ceilings. Floors, interior walls and ceilings of every structure shall be structurally sound and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. The floor area around storage bins and/or stock areas is to be kept clean and free from obstructions.
(b) 
Washroom and water-closet compartment floors shall be surfaced with water-resistant material and shall be kept in a dry, clean and sanitary condition at all times.
(c) 
Basement floors. Floors of basements shall be paved with stone or concrete or other suitable materials and shall be maintained at all times in a condition so as to be smooth, clean and free from cracks, breaks and other hazards.
(d) 
Supporting structural members. Supporting structural members are to be kept structurally sound, free of deterioration and capable of bearing imposed loads safely.
(e) 
Walls and ceilings generally. Walls and ceilings shall be considered to be in good repair when clean and free from cracks, breaks, loose plaster and similar conditions. Walls shall be provided with paint, paper, sealing material or other protective covering so that said walls and ceilings shall be kept clean, free of visible foreign matter, sanitary and well-maintained at all times.
(f) 
The owner or operator shall have the duty and responsibility of removing garbage, as otherwise provided in this code. Commercial establishments not under contract for refuse service from the City must have at least twice-a-week trash pickup service from a reputable commercial refuse service company. If deemed necessary, more frequent pickups may be made. See Chapter 141 for other requirements if commercial dumpster service is being utilized.
(g) 
Designated storage bins, rooms and areas shall be used for accumulating garbage or refuse. Flammable or combustible liquids or other materials may not be stored on the premises unless they are of a type that is compliant with Chapter 115 of this Code, and then only in such quantities and in such fireproof storage containers as may be prescribed by the regulations.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(h) 
Interior stairs shall be provided with continuous walks or guards and handrails. Stair handrails shall be not less than 30 inches nor more than 33 inches above the nose of the stair treads. All required stairways or those open to the public that do not exceed 88 inches in width shall have handrails on both sides projecting not more than 3 1/2 inches into the stair width. When the stair width exceeds 88 inches, the stairway shall be provided with intermediate handrails dividing the stairway in approximately equal widths with a maximum lateral spacing of 66 inches. The handrails shall be returned to the enclosure wall or posts at the end of the stairs. Each stair landing and the top of each stairwell shall be protected by a continuous wall, guard or railing not less than 42 inches above the level of the landing or floor. Stair landings and stairwell guards or railings must have an intermediate rail parallel to and located equidistant from the platform or floor to the top rail or be provided with screens or balusters with openings not to exceed eight inches in width.
(i) 
Every egress door, door hinge and latch is to be in good repair. When closed, the door must fit reasonably well within its frame to exclude rain and substantially to exclude wind from entering the structure. Bathrooms, private or public, must have doors with automatic door closers and latches with lock mechanisms and be in good repair.
(j) 
[2]All exit signs, lights and emergency lights are to be in good repair and operating efficiently.
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B(2)(j), which set forth the number of egresses required based on the capacity of the building, was repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03. Said ordinance also redesignated former Subsection B(2)(k) as Subsection B(2)(j).
(k) 
The owner and operator shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his/her control.
[Added 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(3) 
Utilities and facilities.
(a) 
Adequate supply of City water. Every facility using running water for domestic purposes within any building shall be connected to the public water supply system of the City. The water system shall be maintained in good and operable condition at all times so that sufficient and positive pressure shall be available at all installed hot- and cold-water faucets.
(b) 
Maintenance of plumbing facilities. Every facility required under Subsection B(3)(a), (c) and (d) hereof shall be maintained in a sanitary condition, free of defects and in operating condition at all times. Where said facility or plumbing fixtures shall be clogged, overflow or otherwise necessitate repairs, such repairs shall be performed forthwith.
(c) 
Connection to sanitary sewer. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to the sanitary sewer through lines which are free of leaks, corrosion or deterioration and provide unobstructed passage from the plumbing facilities within the dwelling to the sanitary sewer.
(d) 
Every nonresidential building of a permanent nature, except automobile storage garages and sheds, shall contain within that building one flush toilet and one washbasin for each eight employees regularly on the premises.
(e) 
Electricity and lighting.
[1] 
Electrical power through safely insulated conduits conforming to the Prince George's County Electrical Code[3] shall be supplied to the following:
[a] 
Nonresidential buildings regularly utilized for business, industrial, commercial or institutional work and activities.
[b] 
Garages designed for use by four or more motor vehicles.
[c] 
Every washroom and water-closet compartment, with permanently installed artificial lighting fixtures with a switch and wall plate so located and maintained that there is no danger of shortcircuiting from water, from other washroom facilities or from splashing of water.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 107, Electrical Standards.
[2] 
All garages and nonresidential buildings required to have electric service shall also be provided with artificial lighting installations and fixtures conforming to the following requirements:
[a] 
All such fixtures shall be operable from a switch located near the point of ingress to the space lighted.
[b] 
All portions of the premises which are regularly utilized for work and activities and all hallways, stairways, landings and other spaces normally used as a means of passage by the occupants shall be illuminated by at least five footcandles (five lumens), measured in the darkest portions thereof, and all other portions regularly traversed by occupants of the premises; and all basements, storage areas and other parts of the structure used occasionally and incidentally by the occupants shall be illuminated by at least three footcandles (three lumens), measured in the darkest portions thereof.
[3] 
Maintenance of electrical and lighting facilities.
[a] 
Loose or exposed wiring. Except as hereinafter stated, all wiring or cables shall be properly affixed or attached to the structure. Insulation shall be provided for all wiring and cables and kept in good repair. No loose cords or loose extension lines in excess of six feet in length shall be permitted, and no ceiling or wall fixture shall be used for supplying power to equipment other than that for which it is designed.
[b] 
Replacement of light bulbs. All required lighting fixtures shall be supplied at all times with functioning light bulbs of sufficient wattage to supply the lumen requirements of this code.
[4] 
Fuse requirements. Maximum fuse sizes consistent with safety shall be posted conspicuously on the inside cover of all fuse boxes, and no fuse shall be installed therein in excess of the stated maximum, except that owners 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.
[5] 
Overloading of circuits. Overloading of circuits is prohibited. Where it is found after notice and hearing that, by reason of the appliances and fixtures, there is continuing overloading of an electrical line creating a hazard, the owner shall be required to install a line of sufficient capacity to absorb the load to which the line is subjected or otherwise eliminate the conditions causing the overload. For purposes of this subsection, the Public Services Director may consider the peak seasonal load to which the line is subject.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
C. 
Duties and responsibilities of occupant.
(1) 
Cleanliness and sanitation. All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant or operator shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and the occupant shall refrain from performing any acts which would render other parts of the premises unclean or insanitary or which would prevent the owner or operator from performing any duty required hereunder or maintaining the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(2) 
[4](Reserved)
[4]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C(2), Malicious damage, was repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03.
(3) 
Installation and maintenance of heating equipment. Where any occupant undertakes to install heating equipment, the same shall conform to the requirements of the City's Building Code. The occupant shall thereafter be responsible for maintaining such equipment installed by him/her in good repair and operating condition during all times that the heating equipment shall remain under his/her control. The area around the heating equipment shall be kept clean and free of any material and be accessible for servicing. No flammable materials shall be stored in this area.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
(4) 
Maintenance of plumbing. Every occupant shall maintain all plumbing fixtures used by him/her in a clean and sanitary condition, and he/she shall not deposit any material in any fixture of the sewer system which would result in stoppage of or damage to the fixture or sewer system.
(5) 
Providing notice of defect to owner. Where the owner or operator would not otherwise know of a defect of any facility, utility or equipment required to be furnished hereunder and the same is defective or inoperable, each occupant affected thereby shall, upon learning of said defect, provide notice to the owner or other person in charge of the premises. Nothing herein shall be construed to provide a defense to any owner violating this code.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 157-5, Adoption of rules and regulations, was repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03. Said ordinance also renumbered former §§ 157-6 through 157-8 as §§ 157-5 through 157-7, respectively.
The designation of nonresidential buildings as unfit for human use and the procedure for the condemnation and placarding of such nonresidential buildings shall be carried out in compliance with the following requirements:
A. 
Any nonresidential building which shall be found to have any of the following defects shall be condemned as unfit for human use and shall be so designated and placarded by the Public Services Director:
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(1) 
One which is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, insanitary, unsafe or vermin infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
(2) 
One which lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitary facilities adequate to protect the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
(3) 
One which, because of its general condition or location, is insanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or safety of the occupants or the public.
B. 
Action upon condemnation.
[Amended 9-10-1991 by Ord. No. 91-O-22]
(1) 
Any nonresidential building condemned as unfit for human use and so designated and placarded by the Public Services Director shall be vacated within a reasonable time, as ordered by the Public Services Director. The Public Services Director shall remove such placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated.
(2) 
In the event that the Public Services Director shall find that the property owner has failed to correct the defects noted in the placarding of the nonresidential building within 90 days, the Public Services Director shall order the demolition of the nonresidential building or abatement of the nuisance, and the cost of said demolition or abatement shall be a lien on the property and collectible in the same manner as delinquent taxes. Unoccupied structures which shall be found to be a serious hazard to the public in the same manner as provided in Subsections A, B and C of this section shall be ordered demolished or abated by the Public Services Director, and appeals shall be heard as provided in § 157-4C. The cost of demolition or abatement shall be a lien on the property and collectible in the same manner as delinquent taxes.
C. 
No person shall deface or remove the placard from any nonresidential building which has been condemned as unfit for human use and placarded as such, except as provided in Subsection B.
D. 
Any person affected by any notice or order relating to the condemning and placarding of a nonresidential building as unfit for human use may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Advisory Planning Commision, under the procedure set forth in § 157-4 of this article.
[Amended 9-24-2002 by Ord. No. 02-O-3]
E. 
The Advisory Planning Commission, upon information from the Public Services Director that any nonresidential building within the corporate limits of the City has been ordered demolished or repaired under the provisions of § 157-6B, shall schedule a hearing on the matter within a reasonable time thereafter. The owner of the property shall be notified by registered mail of the scheduled hearing at least 15 days in advance of the scheduled meeting. Notice of the meeting, including a description of the involved property, shall be published in two consecutive issues of a newspaper of general circulation in the City. On the scheduled date of the hearing, the Advisory Planning Commission shall hear the owner of said property, or his/her duly designated agent or representative, if either shall appear, and may also hear any additional evidence or verified information which may have a bearing upon the case.
[Added 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03]
In any case where a provision of this article 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 article, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail. In any case where a provision of this article is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other ordinance or code existing on the effective date of this article which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people, the provisions of this article 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 article.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 157-9, Hearings, as amended, which immediately followed, was repealed 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-O-03.