Town of Leonardtown, MD
St. Marys County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Whereas, by acts of the General Assembly of Maryland as set forth in Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, it is provided that for the purpose of promoting health, safety, order, prosperity, the conservation of natural resources and the general welfare, the Commissioners of Leonardtown may, by ordinance, regulate the use of lands and of buildings and other structures; provide the location of those areas which may be used as places of residence or in which agriculture, forestry, trade, industry or other specific uses may be conducted, the height, bulk and size of buildings or other structures, the percentage of land area which may be occupied and the minimum size of yards, courts or other open spaces; provide for amendments and changes therein; require the Leonardtown Planning and Zoning Commission to perform certain duties with reference thereto; appoint and prescribe the powers and duties of the Leonardtown Zoning Board of Appeals; provide for the enforcement of this chapter and provide penalties for violations of this chapter.
This chapter is made in accordance with a Comprehensive Plan and in furtherance of a Master Plan of Leonardtown and shall apply to such parts of Leonardtown where Zoning District Detail Maps have been prepared and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Commissioners of Leonardtown.
Leonardtown wants to preserve its historic character. Therefore, all new buildings, except for detached, single-family residences and their accessory buildings, shall be of a traditional style. The determination whether proposed buildings meet this criteria shall be made by the Mayor and Council or their designated representatives on a case-by-case basis.
This chapter shall be known as the "Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Leonardtown, Maryland" and shall apply to the incorporated area of the Town. The extent of applicability of this chapter shall be automatically changed in accordance with the provisions thereof or provisions of state law which may alter the applicability of this chapter.
The purpose of zoning regulations is set forth in Article 66B of the Code of Public General Laws of Maryland, Maryland Planning and Zoning Enabling Act, of November 1971:
"Such regulations shall be made in accordance with the plan and designed to control congestion in the streets; to secure the public safety; to promote health and the general welfare; to provide adequate light and air; to promote the conservation of natural resources; to prevent environmental pollution; to avoid undue concentration of population; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, recreation, parks and other public requirements. Such regulations shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, to the character of the district and its suitability for particular uses and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the orderly development and the most appropriate use of land throughout the jurisdiction."
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words shall be hereby defined:
A second dwelling unit either within, or added to, a single-family detached dwelling, or in a separate accessory structure on the same lot as the principal dwelling, that functions as a complete, independent living facility with provisions for independent cooking, living, sleeping and bathroom facilities. Accessory apartments may also be referred to as “in-law apartments” or “granny flats.”
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
A secondary land use or building customarily incidental to and located on the same lot occupied by the primary use or building. Such accessory building shall not be used for housekeeping purposes. Accessory buildings include, but are not limited to, sheds, unenclosed decks, detached garages, and gazebos.
[Amended 5-20-2008 by Ord. No. 136]
Establishments engaged in providing nonresidential social assistance services to improve the quality of life for adults, the elderly, or persons diagnosed with mental or physical disabilities. These establishments provide for the welfare of individuals in such areas as day care on some periodic basis, or provide a setting for social activities, group support, or companionship. Such facilities may or may not provide meals.
A narrow public thoroughfare which provides only a secondary means of access to abutting properties and is not intended for general traffic circulation, generally less than 30 feet wide.
A building arranged for or containing apartments and individual guest rooms, with or without housekeeping facilities, and which furnishes services ordinarily provided by hotels, such as maid, bellboy, desk and laundry service, and may include a dining room with an internal entrance and primarily for use by tenants of the building, but shall not include public banquet halls, ballrooms or meeting rooms.
A public or private facility that is operated as a repository or a collection of works of individual art pieces not mass-produced, consisting of one or more of the following: paintings, drawings, etchings or sculptures: may include the sale of the individual art pieces or the sale of related objects and services.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
A place where any of the commercial activities or a combination of commercial activities listed below occurs:
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
Art gallery.
Custom or craft manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly.
Professional studio engaged in personal instruction for dance, martial arts, photography, music and similar activities.
That portion of a building between the floor and ceiling which is wholly or partly below grade and having more than 1/2 of its height below grade.
The Board of Zoning Appeals of the Town of Leonardtown.
A building other than a hotel or apartment hotel where, for compensation and by prearrangement for definite periods, meals or lodging and meals are provided for three or more persons, but not exceeding 20 persons.
A structure entirely open, except for roof and supporting columns, which connects a residence and accessory building on the same lot.
The width of that part of a lot to be used for a building and not included within the open spaces herein required.
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls for the housing or enclosure of persons or property of any kind.
A building surrounded by open space on the same lot.
Any building which is not an accessory building.
The line at which construction of a building facade is to occur on a lot, running parallel to the front property line without setback, and thus ensuring a uniform (or more or less even) building facade line on the street.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
Any place, home or institution which receives nine or more children under the age of 14 years, and not of common parentage, for care apart from their natural parents, legal guardians or custodians, when received for regular periods of time for compensation, provided that this definition shall not include public or private schools organized, operated or approved under Maryland laws, custody of children fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction, children related by blood or marriage within the third degree to the custodial person, or to churches or other religious or public institutions caring for children within the institutional building while their parents or legal guardians are attending service, activities or meetings.
An office building or a group of offices for one or more physicians, surgeons or dentists engaged in treating the sick or injured, not including rooms for overnight patients.
Buildings and facilities owned or operated by a corporation, association, person or persons for a social, educational, or recreational purpose, but not primarily for profit which inures to any individual and not primarily to render a service which is customarily carried on as a business.
When used in conjunction with a use shall mean the use is open to the general public and a fee is charged by the owner, lessee, or licensee for a service or a product.
Plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, etc.
The Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Leonardtown.
Any structure constructed for the primary purpose of supporting installed antennas, dishes or other devices used for uplink, downlink, relay, broadcast or receipt of radio, television or other communication signals.
Any tower supporting commercial uses or any noncommercial tower at least 100 feet above ground level.
Any tower, of any height, designated by the Leonardtown Commissioners,[1] as a host site for county-owned and -operated emergency communications equipment, which may also include collocated commercial uses, and which may be a permitted use in any zoning district.
Such tower does not serve any commercial or public safety uses and does not exceed 100 feet in height above ground level, and which may be a permitted use in any zoning district.
Provision of exemplary site design, architectural design and high-quality materials that are compatible with, and do not negatively alter the character of, the existing neighborhood.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
A building where regular nursing care is provided for more than one person not a member of the family which resides on the premises.
An unoccupied open space, other than a yard, on the same lot with a building, which is bounded on two or more sides by the walls of such building.
The percentage of the lot covered by buildings and structures.
Any section of the Town of Leonardtown within which the zoning regulations are uniform, as established by this chapter.
Any place where more than two adult dogs are kept for a boarding or other fee or any place where more than five adult dogs are kept for any purpose.
Any building or portion thereof designed or used for residential purposes, but not trailers or mobile homes.
A building designed for use or occupied exclusively by one family only, but not to include a mobile home or habitable travel trailer.
A building designed for or occupied exclusively by two families living independently of each other.
A building designed for or occupied exclusively by three or more families living independently of each other, including apartment buildings.
A room or group of rooms occupied or intended to be occupied as separate living quarters by a single family or other group of persons living together as a household or by a person living alone.
Persons that are age 55 years and over.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
A private nonprofit organization which is not organized or operated for the purpose of carrying on a trade or business, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of said organization or individual.
One or more persons occupying a dwelling unit and using common cooking facilities, provided that, unless all members are related by blood or marriage, or legal adoption, no such family shall contain more than four nonrelated persons. Family members related by blood or marriage shall be a father, mother, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandson and granddaughter.
[Amended 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
A private residence where eight or fewer children receive care and supervision, provided primarily by the permanent resident of said home, for periods of less than 24 hours per day. Such homes are permitted in any zoning district where residential uses are allowed.
For commercial business and industrial buildings or buildings containing mixed uses, the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a building measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the center lines of walls separating two buildings, but not including:
Attic space providing headroom of less than seven feet.
Basement space not used for retailing.
Uncovered steps or fire escapes.
Accessory water towers or cooling towers.
Accessory off-street parking spaces.
Accessory off-street loading berths.
For residential buildings, the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a dwelling, exclusive of garages, basements and open porches, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls.
All of the property on one side of a street between two intersecting streets (crossing or terminating), measured along the line of the street or, if the street is dead-ended, then all of the property abutting on one side between an intersecting street and the dead-end of the street.
The distance for which the front boundary line of the lot and the street line are coincident.
A multifamily dwelling with a maximum of three stories in height and with sufficient open space and parking surrounding.
For buildings having:
A wall or walls adjoining one street only, the elevation of the sidewalk at the center of the wall adjoining the street.
A wall or walls adjoining more than one street, the average elevation of the sidewalk at the centers of all walls adjoining the streets.
No walls adjoining the street, the average level of the finished surface of the ground adjacent to the exterior walls of the building.
Any wall parallel to or within 10º of being parallel to and not more than 15 feet from a street line is to be considered as adjoining the street. Sidewalk grades shall be established by the Town Engineer.
Living quarters within a detached accessory building located on the same premises with the main building for use by temporary guests of the occupants of the premises, such quarters having no kitchen facilities or separate utility meters and not rented or otherwise used as a separate dwelling.
The maximum height of a building permitted. Building height is determined from the vertical distance as measured from the lowest ground elevation on the building to the highest point on the building, excluding chimneys and antenna.
[Amended 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
An accessory use as a personal service or profession or use customarily conducted within a dwelling carried on by a member of the immediate family residing in the dwelling, which does not change the residential character of the neighborhood, provided that the use of the dwelling for the home occupation shall be clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purpose by the occupants, and provided that the use occupies not more than 200 square feet of the floor area of such dwelling unit. Generation of substantial volumes of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or parking demand or other exterior indication of the home occupation is prohibited.
A building or group of buildings having room facilities for one or more abiding patients, used for providing services for the inpatient medical or surgical care of sick or injured humans, and which may include related facilities such as laboratories, outpatient department, training facilities, central service facilities and staff offices; provided, however, that such related facility must be incidental and subordinate to the main use and must be an integral part of the hospital operation.
A building in which lodging or boarding and lodging are provided for more than 20 persons, primarily transient, and offered to the public for compensation and in which ingress and egress to and from all rooms is made through an inside lobby or office supervised by a person in charge at all hours. As such, it is open to the public in contradistinction to a boardinghouse, a lodging house or an apartment house, which are herein separately defined. A hotel may include restaurants, taverns or club rooms, public banquet hall, ballrooms and meeting rooms.
A building or group of buildings containing dwellings where the occupancy of the dwellings is restricted to persons 55 years of age or older or where the primary occupant is 55 years of age or older. Covenants may be instituted by the builder, project manager, or resident associations, as applicable, to limit minimum age or marital status. This does not include a development that contains convalescent or nursing facilities.
[Amended 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
The development of vacant, abandoned, passed over or underutilized land within built-up areas of existing communities, where infrastructure is already in place.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
A lot, land or structure or part thereof used primarily for the collecting, storage and sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or discarded material or for the collecting, dismantling, storage and salvaging of machinery or vehicles not in running condition and for the sale of parts thereof.
Building type with office or retail space configured on the first floor, and residential space above.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
A space within the main building or on the same lot providing for the standing, loading or unloading of trucks having a minimum dimension of 12 by 45 feet and a vertical clearance of at least 14 feet. For a funeral home, such space may be reduced to 10 feet by 25 feet and vertical clearance to eight feet.
A parcel of land which may include one or more platted lots, occupied or intended for occupancy by a use permitted in this chapter, including one main building, together with its accessory buildings, the yard areas and parking spaces required by this chapter, and having its principal frontage upon a street or upon an officially approved place.
The total horizontal area within the lot lines of the lot.
A lot located at the intersection of two or more streets. A lot abutting on a curved street or streets shall be considered a corner lot if straight lines drawn from the foremost points of the side lot lines to the foremost point of the lot meet at an interior angle of less than 135º.
The main horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
A lot, other than a corner lot, with only one street frontage.
The boundary line of a lot.
A lot in which the frontage is at right angles to the general pattern in the area involved. A reversed frontage lot may also be a corner lot or an interior lot.
A lot, other than a corner lot, with frontage on two streets.
The distance between the side lot lines, measured at the required front yard line.
A contributing use, when combined with other uses, that satisfies the day-to-day needs and functions of a walkable neighborhood or community. A mixed-use building may be a live-work unit or separate-use structure situated in a predominantly residential area.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
An area where one or more mobile homes or trailers can be and are intended to be parked, designed or intended to be used as temporary or permanent living facilities for one or more families.
A vehicle used or so constructed as to permit being used as a conveyance upon the public street and highways and constructed in such a manner as will permit occupancy thereof for human habitation, dwelling or sleeping places for one or more persons, provided further that this definition shall refer to and include all portable contrivances used or intended to be used generally for living and sleeping quarters and which are capable of being moved by their own power, towed or transported by another vehicle.
Same as "hotel," except designed to accommodate any number of guests and that the building or buildings are designed primarily to serve tourists traveling by automobile and that ingress and egress to rooms need not be through a lobby or office. Included in this category are motor courts, tourist courts, auto courts, motor hotels and inns.
Any building or land lawfully occupied by a use at the time of passage of this chapter or amendment thereto which does not conform with the use regulations of the district in which it is located.
A private home for the care of children or the aged or infirm, or a place of rest for those suffering bodily disorders. Such home does not contain equipment for surgical care for the treatment of disease or injury.
A building or structure or portion thereof wherein services are performed involving predominantly administrative, professional, or clerical operations. An office may be used for professional people such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc., or general business offices such as insurance companies, trade associations, investment concerns, real estate companies, but not including any kind of retail or wholesale store or warehouse, except as otherwise provided herein.
An all-weather surfaced area not in a street or alley and having an area of not less than 180 square feet, exclusive of driveways, permanently reserved for the temporary storage of one automobile and connected with a street or alley by an all-weather surface driveway which affords satisfactory ingress and egress for automobiles.
An open, unoccupied space other than a street or alley permanently established or dedicated as the principal means of access to property abutting thereof.
A lot, together with all buildings and structures thereon.
Every private school or educational or training institution, however designated, which offers a program of college, professional, preparatory, high school, junior high school, elementary, kindergarten or nursery school instruction or any combination thereof or any other program of trade, technical or artistic instruction and every day camp, day nursery, child-care home and child boarding home which provides supervision of children or infants, but such term does not include:
Any private educational institution which is under the jurisdiction of the County Board of Education; or
Any establishment having a single teacher, tutor or instructor or supervisor and having a maximum attendance of not more than four persons at any one time.
A specific type of arts, recreation and entertainment service use; a place where works of art are created, displayed and/or sold, and/or where instruction of the arts, to students, occurs in the fields of painting, drawing, sculpture, etching, craft work, fine arts, photography, music, or similar fields, but not including health treatment.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
Construction in previously developed areas which may include the demolition of existing structures and building new structures, or the substantial renovation of existing structures, often changing form and function. Projects tend to be somewhat larger and more complex than infill projects.
The reuse of previously used, nonagricultural land.
A building, together with its accessory buildings and uses, where persons regularly assemble for religious worship, and which building, together with its accessory buildings and uses, is maintained and controlled by a recognized religious body organized to sustain public worship. Religious institutions include but are not limited to churches, parish halls, temples, convents, mosques and monasteries.
A structure designed and constructed to resist the lateral pressure of soil when there is a desired change in ground elevation that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 149]
For definitions of signs, see Article XVI of this chapter.
Uses or shops that service the needs of the community, including personal service facilities and office uses, but not including retail sales. Such uses may include, but are not limited to the following consumer, professional or commercial service establishments: Barber or beauty shop, professional offices, dancing or music school, medical or dental office, photographic studio, and dressmaker/tailor shop. Such uses shall not adversely impact any adjacent residential uses within the PIRD District.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
A grant of a specific use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction. It shall be based on Board of Zoning Appeals findings that certain conditions exist in this chapter to grant special exceptions and that the proposed use conforms to the Master Plan and is compatible with the existing neighborhood.
That portion of a building, other than a basement, included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it; or if there be no floor above it, then the space between such floor and the ceiling next above it.
A space under a sloping roof at the top of the building, the floor of which is not more than two feet below the plate, shall be counted as a half story when not more than 60% of said floor area is used for rooms, baths or toilets. A half story containing an independent apartment or living quarters shall be counted as a full story.
A public thoroughfare which affords the principal means of access to property abutting thereon.
A dividing line between a lot, tract or parcel of land and a contiguous street.
Any change in the supporting members of a building, including but not limited to bearing walls or partitions, columns, beams or girders or any substantial change in the roof or in the exterior walls.
Anything other than a fence or retaining wall constructed or erected which requires location on the ground or is attached to something having a location on the ground, including but not limited to advertising signs, billboards, posterboards and mobile homes.
Demolition and subsequent replacement of a structure.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
The Town Commissioners of Leonardtown.
A single-family dwelling forming one of a series of three or more attached single-family dwellings separated from one another by party walls without doors, windows or other provisions for human passage or visibility through such walls from basement to roof and having roofs which may extend from one such dwelling unit to another.
A vehicular portable structure designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel, camping and recreational purposes. Such units shall not include mobile homes nor exceed 31 feet in length or 7 1/2 feet in width.
To utilize less than fully, or below the potential level of use. Underutilized sites or structures may include vacant land, sites occupied by deteriorated or dilapidated structures, or sites which are occupied by structures or uses that, if improved, would enhance the Town tax base, or better serve the needs and improve the character or quality of the neighborhood in which they are located.
[Added 2-12-2006 by Ord. No. 123]
A modification only of density, bulk, height or area requirements in the Zoning Ordinance where such modification will not be against the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property itself, a literal enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance would result in undue hardship. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall decide upon a variance.
An open space, other than a court, on a lot unoccupied and obstructed from the ground upward, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
A yard extending across the front of a lot between the side lot lines and being the minimum horizontal distance between the street line and the main building or any projection thereof other than the projections of uncovered steps, uncovered balconies, terraces or uncovered porches.
A yard extending across the rear of the lot between the side lot lines and measured between the rear lot line and the rear of the main building or any projection other than steps, unenclosed porches or entranceways.
A yard between the main building and the side line of the lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard and being the minimum horizontal distance between the side lot line and side of the main buildings or any projections thereof.
Editor's Note: Pursuant to the 1989 Charter, the Commissioners of Leonardtown are now the Mayor and Council of the Town of Leonardtown.
Permitted uses are listed or referenced in a separate article for each district, with the basic height, area and bulk regulations included. Parking regulations and off-street loading regulations applicable to each district are contained in charts or tables following the basic district regulations.
These charts or tables and all notations and requirements shown thereon or which accompany them shall be a part of the district regulations of this chapter and have the same force and effect as if all the notations and requirements were fully set forth or described herein.
Modifying regulations are contained in the articles for each district or in subsequent articles of this chapter. References in each district direct the reader to these additional regulations.
In order to regulate and restrict the location of trades, industries and the location of buildings erected or altered for specific uses, to regulate and limit the height or bulk of buildings hereafter erected or structurally altered, to regulate and limit population density and the intensity of the use of lot areas and to regulate and determine the areas of yards, courts and other open spaces within and surrounding such buildings, the Town shall hereby be divided into nine districts:
Single-Family Residential District
Multiple-Family Residential District
Mixed Use Planned Unit Development District
Commercial Business District
Commercial Office District
Highway Commercial District
Marine Commercial District
Commercial Shopping Center District
Institutional/Office District
Recreation and Parks District
Such land and the district classification thereof shall be as shown on the map designated as the "Zoning District Map of the Town of Leonardtown, Maryland," dated and signed by the Mayor and attested by the Town Clerk, upon adoption. This Zoning District Map and all notations, dimensions, references and symbols shown thereon pertaining to such districts shall be as much a part of this chapter as if fully described herein. The Zoning Map shall be filed as part of this chapter by the Town Clerk. Said map shall be available for public inspection in the office of the Town Clerk, and any later alterations of this map adopted by amendment as provided in this chapter shall be similarly dated, filed, promptly noted on the map and made available for public reference.
Editor's Note: The Comprehensive Zoning Map of the Town was updated, revised and adopted 4-22-2010 by Ord. No. 146.
A district name or letter or letter-number combination shown on the District Map shall indicate that the regulations pertaining to the district so designated extend throughout the whole area in the municipality and environs bounded by those district boundary lines, except as otherwise provided by this section.
Where uncertainty exists with respect to the boundaries of the various districts as shown on the accompanying map, the following rules shall apply:
In cases where a boundary line is given a position within a street or alley, navigable or non-navigable stream, it shall be deemed to be in the center of the street, alley or stream, and if the actual location of such street, alley or stream varies slightly from the location as shown on the Zoning District Map, then the actual location shall control.
In cases where a boundary line is shown as being located a specific distance from a street line or other physical feature, this distance shall control.
Where the district boundaries are not otherwise indicated and where the property has been or may hereafter be divided into blocks and lots, the district boundaries shall be construed to be the lot lines, and where the districts designated on the map accompanying and made a part of this chapter are bounded approximately by lot lines, said lot lines shall be construed to be the boundaries of such districts unless said boundaries are otherwise indicated on the map or by ordinance.
In unsubdivided property, unless otherwise indicated, the district boundary line on the map accompanying and made a part of this chapter shall be determined by the use of the scale contained on such map.
No land may be used except for a purpose permitted in the district in which it is located. Any use not permitted outright or as a conditional use or by special exception shall be prohibited.
No building shall be erected, enlarged or structurally altered to the extent of increasing the floor area by 50% or more, except in conformity with the off-street parking and loading regulations of the district in which the building is located.
The minimum yards, parking space and open space, including lot area per dwelling unit, required by this chapter for each and every building existing at the time of the passage of this chapter or for any building hereafter erected shall not be encroached upon or considered as required yard or open space for any other building. No lot area shall be reduced below the requirements of this chapter.
Every building hereafter erected or structurally altered shall be located on a lot as defined and, except as provided, in no case shall there be more than one main building on one lot.
No accessory buildings shall be constructed upon a lot until the construction of the main building has been actually commenced. No accessory building shall be used unless the main building on the lot is also being used. No cellar or basement shall be used as a dwelling prior to substantial completion of the dwelling of which it is a part.
New or reconstructed roads shall incorporate bicycle lanes and sidewalks.