Town of North Beach, MD
Calvert County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of North Beach 3-15-2001 by Ord. No. 01-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The Mayor and Town Council of the Town of North Beach, Maryland, derive authority for this chapter by virtue of its conformance with provisions of the State of Maryland Enabling Act for Historic Area Zoning (Article 66B, Section 8.01-8.17, Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended).
B. 
Town of North Beach, Maryland Ordinance No. 4-96 and Ordinance No. 12-00 are hereby repealed in their entirety and replaced with Ordinance No. 01-01.
The purpose of this chapter shall be to:
A. 
Preserve and enhance the rural historical and cultural heritage of the Town of North Beach by preserving sites, structures, districts or landmarks of local significance which reflect elements of cultural, social, economic, political, archeological or architectural heritage; to strengthen the local economy; to stabilize and improve property values of such sites, structures or districts; to foster civic beauty; and to promote the preservation and appreciation of such sites, structures and districts for the education and welfare of the residents of the Town of North Beach, Calvert County, through preservation, education and outreach activities.
B. 
Preserve sites, structures, districts and landmarks of cultural, historical, archaeological or architectural significance together with their appurtenances and environmental settings as a public purpose in the town.
C. 
Enable the Town of North Beach Government to identify and officially designate structures and sites of cultural and historical importance to the town in order to foster public recognition of such resources, and to make such structures and sites eligible for specific benefits conferred by this chapter and other town ordinances and policies which may be adopted.
For the purposes of the Historic Area Zoning Article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:
ALTERATION
Any exterior change that would affect the historic, archeological or architectural significance of a designated site or structure, any portion of which is visible or intended to be visible from a public way, including, but not limited to, construction, reconstruction, moving or demolition.
APPURTENANCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGS
All that space of grounds and structures thereon which surrounds a designated site or structure and to which it relates physically or visually. Appurtenances and environmental settings shall include, but not be limited to, walkways and driveways (whether paved or not), trees, landscaping, pastures, croplands, waterways, open space, setbacks, parks, public spaces and rocks.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate issued by the Historic Preservation Commission indicating its approval of plans for construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving or demolition of an individually designated landmark site or structure or of a site or structure within a designated preservation district.
DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
Any willful neglect in the maintenance and repair of an individually designated landmark, site or structure, or a site or structure within a designated preservation district, not including any appurtenances and environmental settings, that does not result from an owner's financial inability to maintain and repair such landmark, site or structure, and which results in any of the following conditions:
A. 
The deterioration of the foundations, exterior walls, roofs, chimneys, doors or windows, so as to create or permit a hazardous or unsafe condition to exist.
B. 
The deterioration of the foundations, exterior walls, roofs, chimneys, doors or windows, the lack of adequate waterproofing, or the deterioration of interior features which will or could result in permanent damage, injury or loss of or loss to foundations, exterior walls, roofs, chimneys, doors, or windows.
EXTERIOR FEATURES
The architectural style, design and general arrangement of the exterior of an historic structure, including the nature and texture of building material, and the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs or similar items found on or related to the exterior of an historic structure.
HISTORIC AREA WORK PERMIT
A permit issued by the Town of North Beach upon receiving a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission for all projects that the Town of North Beach conducts, assists, licenses or permits that affect properties within a designated district or individually designated sites or landmarks.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
An area, designated by the Town of North Beach Town Council as provided herein, containing significant features, woodlands, vegetation, structures, sites, monuments, landmarks, farmland and archeological sites. The area shall be accurately described by a metes and bounds description or a boundary survey and posted on the Town Zoning Map. The areas shall include such property as is essential for historical or environmental protection. Additional areas may be included or added if determined by the Council to be of benefit or to enhance the historic district site.
LANDMARK
Any designated site or structure either within or outside the boundaries of a preservation district that is of exceptional historic, archeological or architectural significance.
MINIMUM MAINTENANCE
A required protective maintenance of historic district structures and sites. Minimum maintenance shall be interpreted to be the minimum building codes currently enforced by the Town of North Beach.
A. 
That which does not alter the exterior features of an historic site or historic resource within an historic district. Exterior features include the architectural style, design and general arrangement of the exterior; the color, nature and texture of building material; and the type and style of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs and similar items found on or related to the exterior of an historic site or historic resource within an historic district. Basically, ordinary maintenance is that which will have no material value to the Historical District. This definition of "ordinary maintenance" applies, whenever appropriate, to the appurtenances and environmental setting of the property, as well as the building, structure or object itself.
B. 
Specific items to be considered as "ordinary maintenance":
(1) 
Repair or replacement of roofs, gutters, siding, external doors and windows, trim, lights, and other appurtenant fixtures with like materials of like design.
(2) 
Landscaping, except the removal of significant healthy trees.
(3) 
Paving repair using like materials of like design.
(4) 
Repainting of surfaces using the same or substantially the same color.
RECONSTRUCTION
The process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished structure, or part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time.
RESTORATION
The process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property as it appeared at a specific period of time by means of removal of later work and the replacement of work missing from that period.
SITE
The location of an event of historic significance or a structure, whether standing or ruined, which possesses historic, architectural, archeological or cultural significance.
STRUCTURE
A combination of material to form construction that is stable, including but not limited to buildings, stadiums, reviewing stands, platforms, staging, observation towers, radio towers, water tanks and towers, trestles, bridges, piers, paving, bulkheads, wharves, sheds, coal bins, shelters, fences and display signs visible or intended to be visible from a public way. The term "structure" shall be construed as if followed by the words, "or part thereof."
A. 
Creation. The Town of North Beach hereby creates a commission to be called the "North Beach Historic Preservation Commission."
B. 
Membership. The Historic Preservation Commission shall consist of seven [Note: could be more, but no fewer than five] members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Town Council. All of the members of the Commission shall be residents of the Town of North Beach with the exception that two members may be nonresidents. Each member shall possess a demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge, or professional or academic training in such fields as history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archeology, anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design or related disciplines. Nonresident appointees to the Commission must possess professional or academic qualifications as further defined in Subsection C of this section.
[Note: desired but not required by state law.]
C. 
Membership qualification criteria. The requirement for Commission membership under the category of demonstrated special interest may be satisfied either by formal training in one or more of the fields listed in Subsection B of this section or active membership in a preservation-related organization. The requirement for membership under the category of specific knowledge may be satisfied by formal post secondary education, employment or practical experience in one or more of the above-listed fields. The requirement for Commission membership under the category of professional or academic training may be satisfied by, at a minimum, two years experience as a professional or a Bachelor's degree in one or more of the above-listed fields.
D. 
Terms. Commission members shall be appointed for terms of three years, except that the terms of the initial appointments shall be staggered so that three members shall serve terms of three years, two members shall serve terms of two years, and two members shall serve terms of one year so that not more than three appointments shall expire in a given year. Commission members may be reappointed.
E. 
Officers. The Commission shall elect, from its membership, a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and a Secretary. The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary shall serve for one-year terms and shall be eligible for reelection.
F. 
Vacancies. Any vacancy in the membership of the Commission caused by the expiration of a term, resignation, death, incapacity to discharge duties, removal for cause, or any other reason, shall be filled for a new term, or for the remainder of the term for which there is a vacancy, as the case may be, in the same manner as provided herein for the appointment of the initial members of the Commission. Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled by the appointing authority within 60 days. In the case of expiration of term, a member may continue to serve until the member's successor is appointed. Unexcused absence at three consecutive meetings shall constitute resignation by the member and shall create a vacancy.
G. 
Removal for cause. A member may be removed from the Commission for cause, upon written charges, and after a public hearing, by the Mayor with the consent and approval of the Town Council.
H. 
Compensation. Commission members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, provided that said expenses are permitted by the budget and approved in advance by the Mayor.
I. 
Meetings. The Commission shall hold such regular meetings and hearings, in the North Beach Town Hall, as necessary to discharge its duties. Four members shall constitute a quorum to conduct the town's official business. A minimum of six regular meetings shall be held during the calendar year, with not more than one in each calendar month. At the beginning of a calendar year, the President of the Commission shall furnish the Town Clerk a schedule of meetings for the year. Meetings shall be held on a specified day of the month. It is the responsibility of the President of the Commission to keep the Town Clerk advised of the schedule and changes to the schedule of meetings of the Commission.
J. 
Meetings open to the public. All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public. Four members shall constitute a quorum to conduct the town's official business. Any interested person or his representative is entitled to appear and be heard by the Commission before it reaches a decision on any matter. The Commission shall keep an open record of its resolutions, proceedings and actions, which shall be kept available for public inspection during normal business hours. A copy of minutes, resolutions, proceedings and actions shall be furnished to the Town Clerk to be available for public inspection.
K. 
Staff. Consistent with the Mayor's policies and procedures, employees may be assigned to the Commission, and such services and facilities shall be made available as the Mayor deems necessary or appropriate for the proper performance of the Commission's duties.
The Historic Preservation Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To implement, participate in and direct studies, reports and surveys to identify historical, archeological or architecturally significant sites, structures and districts that exemplify the cultural, social, economic, political or architectural history of the town, state, or nation.
B. 
Consistent with the town's charter, ordinances, resolutions, local public laws, policies and procedures regarding the acceptance and use of gifts by public officials, to accept and use gifts for the exercise of its functions.
C. 
To prescribe appropriate rules and regulations for transaction of its business.
D. 
To adopt rehabilitation and new construction design guidelines and criteria for construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving and demolition of designated landmarks, sites, structures and districts which are consistent with all Town of North Beach town ordinances, codes, plans and/or other rules and regulations, and consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Guidelines may include design characteristics intended to meet the needs of particular types of sites, structures and districts and may identify categories of changes that, because they are minimal in nature, do not affect historic, archeological or architectural significance, do not require review by the Commission.
E. 
Consistent with the town's charter, ordinances, resolutions, local public law, policies and procedures governing the acquisition of easements, to accept or otherwise acquire historic preservation easements on designated landmarks, structures or sites and, when deemed appropriate by the Commission, sites or structures located in, or adjacent to, a designated district.
F. 
To undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate to the implementation of its powers and duties or the implementation of the purpose of this chapter.
A. 
Designation. Historic districts and landmarks shall be designated by the Mayor and Town Council in accordance with the procedures established by this chapter.
B. 
Petition for designation or removal of designation. Petition of designation of an historic district or landmark or removal of such designation may be initiated by the owner of the site or his agent, by the Town Council, by the Historic Preservation Commission or by any interested person.
C. 
Criteria for designation.
(1) 
In considering unclassified historic resources for designation as a North Beach historic district or a single resource as an historic landmark, the following criteria are to be considered:
(a) 
Historic and cultural significance. The historic resource:
[1] 
Has significant character, interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the town, county, state, or nation.
[2] 
Is the site of an historic event.
[3] 
Is identified with a person or a group of persons who influenced society.
[4] 
Exemplifies the cultural, economic, social, political or historic heritage of the town.
(b) 
Architectural and design significance. The historic resource:
[1] 
Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, style or method of construction.
[2] 
Represents the work of a master craftsman, architect or builder.
[3] 
Possesses high artistic values.
[4] 
Represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.
[5] 
Represents an established and familiar visual feature of the town, due to its singular physical characteristics or landscape.
(2) 
Should an historic resource meet any of the criteria noted above, it may be eligible to be classified as an historic district or as an historic landmark by legislative action of the Mayor and Town Council.
(3) 
Should an historic district or landmark no longer meet the above criteria and the specific criteria for which it was originally designated, the historic district or landmark designation may be removed by legislative action of the Mayor and Town Council after receipt of a recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission.
(4) 
Should an historic district or landmark have received town authorized or administered preservation grants, loans or special property tax incentives, the Mayor and Council may require that those funds received through grants, loans or tax incentives be reimbursed in full to the town prior to the site being removed from the historic district or landmark designation.
D. 
Procedures for petition for designation or removal.
(1) 
Petitions for historic district designation or removal of an historic district designation shall be filed with the Historic Preservation Commission or its designated representative. The petitions concerning historic district designation shall include a completed historic district application form and additional information as required by the Commission or its designated representative to enable the Commission to make a well-informed decision.
(2) 
For petitions initiated by other than the owner, the applicant must abide by the following criteria:
(a) 
Notify the owner of the property at least 30 days prior to the Historic Preservation Commission's scheduled meeting to discuss the application.
(b) 
Clearly identify the significance of the site with regard to the town.
(c) 
State the need for the site(s) to be designated an historic district or landmark.
(d) 
Demonstrate how the public interest will be served by having the site(s) designated an historic district or landmark.
(e) 
Demonstrate that the designation will not create an undue burden or hardship.
(f) 
Consider the property owner's comments and desires.
(g) 
A unanimous vote of the Mayor and Council will be required to designate the site as a town historic district.
(3) 
The Historic Preservation Commission may obtain comments from appropriate county, state and federal agencies and shall forward its recommendation to the Mayor and Town Council for action.
(4) 
The Maryland Historical Trust may be designated by the Commission to make an analysis of and recommendation concerning the preservation of structures of historic and architectural value within the area served by the Commission. Such report may include proposed boundaries of districts and the use recommended to be permitted in districts as well as identify and designate particular structures recommended to be preserved.
(5) 
The Mayor and Town Council, upon receipt of recommendations from the Historic Preservation Commission, shall:
(a) 
Schedule a public hearing with relation to the case publishing a notice of the time and place of such hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the town at least 15 days in advance.
(b) 
Hold a public hearing at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard.
(c) 
Prepare a finding of facts based upon the cultural, social, economic, historical and architectural significance of the proposed district, upon the comments of owners of property within the proposed district, and the criteria identified in § 62-6C of this chapter.
(6) 
Upon finding that a proposed site meets the criteria of § 62-6C of this chapter and that designation is in the general interest of the citizens of North Beach, the Mayor and Town Council may designate or remove the site to be posted on or removed from the Official Town of North Beach Zoning Map.
(7) 
It shall be the policy of the Town Government to carefully consider the impact of any proposed zoning, special exception use, permitted uses such as, but not limited to, public utility buildings and structures, including radio and television broadcasting stations and utility distribution lines, public buildings and structures, and public (state and county) roads and rights-of-way; or development upon officially designated historic districts, and, to the greatest degree practical, avoid or minimize any adverse effect.
A. 
Application for certificate of appropriateness. Before the construction, alteration, reconstruction, moving or demolition is undertaken of a designated landmark, site or structure, or site or structure within a designated district, if an exterior change is involved which would affect the historic, archeological or architectural significance of a designated landmark, site or structure, or structure within a designated district, any portion of which is visible or intended to be visible from a public way, the person, individual, firm or corporation proposing to make the construction or change shall file an application for a certificate of appropriateness with the Commission for permission to construct, alter, reconstruct, move or demolish the landmark, site or structure. Every application shall be referred to and considered by the Commission and accepted or rejected by the Commission. An application which is identical to a rejected application may not be resubmitted within a period of one year after the rejection. No certificate of appropriateness shall be granted until the Commission has acted thereon as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Application review.
(1) 
In reviewing applications, the Commission shall give consideration to the historic, archeological, or architectural significance of the landmark, site or structure and its relationship to the historic, archeological or architectural significance of the surrounding area; the relationship of the exterior architectural features of a landmark or structure to the remainder of the landmark or structure and to the surrounding area; the general compatibility of proposed exterior design, scale, proportion, arrangement, texture and materials to the landmark, site or structure, and to the surrounding area; and any other factors including aesthetic factors which the Commission deems to be pertinent.
(2) 
The Commission shall consider only exterior features of a landmark or structure and shall not consider any interior arrangements.
(3) 
The Commission shall not disapprove an application except with respect to the several factors specified in Subsection B(1) above.
(4) 
The Commission shall be strict in its judgment of plans for sites or structures determined by research to be of historic, archeological or architectural significance. The Commission shall be lenient in its judgment of plans for sites or structures of little historic, archeological or architectural significance, or of plans involving new construction, unless in the Commission's judgment such plans would seriously impair the historic, archeological or architectural significance of surrounding sites or structures. The Commission is not required to limit construction, reconstruction or alteration to the architectural style of any one period.
(5) 
Specific items requiring historic area work permits (whether or not a Town of North Beach building permit is required):
(a) 
Repair or replacement of roofs, gutters, siding, external doors and windows, trim, lights, and the appurtenant fixtures, with different materials of different design.
(b) 
Removal of a building, structure or object, or a visible portion thereof, including outbuilding.
(c) 
New construction or any enlargement, modification or alteration of the exterior of an existing building, structure or object which requires a Town of North Beach building permit.
(d) 
Removal, replacement or enclosure of porches.
(e) 
Basic alteration of materials, including installation of siding, shingles or masonry facing.
(f) 
Removal of significant healthy trees.
(g) 
Installation or removal of fencing or fence-walls.
(h) 
Permanent installation or removal of shutters.
(i) 
New paving or modification of paving materials in front of building line.
(j) 
Removal, modification or alteration of exterior architectural features.
(k) 
First-time painting, removal of paint or substantially changing the color of paint.
(l) 
Exterior sandblasting.
(m) 
Any other act which does not constitute ordinary maintenance but which modifies, alters or otherwise affects the exterior features of an historic site or historic resource within an historic district.
(6) 
Criteria for review of applications and permits for alteration to designated historic districts. In reviewing applications and permits filed under the provisions of § 62-7 of this chapter, the Commission shall give consideration to:
(a) 
The historic or architectural value and significance of the structure and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area.
(b) 
The relationship of the exterior architectural features of the structure to the remainder of the structure and to the surrounding area.
(c) 
The general compatibility of exterior design, arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used.
(d) 
Any other factors, including aesthetic and environmental factors, which the Commission deems pertinent.
C. 
Commission decision. The Commission shall file with the Mayor a certificate of appropriateness certifying its approval, modification or rejection of each application and plans submitted to it for review. Work shall not be commenced on any project until such a certificate of approval has been filed, and the Mayor shall not issue a building permit or historic area work permit for such change or construction unless it has received such a certificate of appropriateness. The failure of the Commission to act upon a completed application within 45 days from the date the completed application was filed shall be deemed to constitute automatic approval of the proposed changes unless an extension of this forty-five-day period is agreed upon mutually by the applicant and the Commission or the application has been withdrawn.
D. 
Routine maintenance. Nothing in this chapter shall be taken or construed to prevent maintenance that does not alter the exterior fabric or features of a designated landmark, site or structure, customary farming operations, or landscaping which will have no material effect on the historic, archeological or architectural significance of a designated landmark, site, structure or district.
A. 
In the event of demolition by neglect, the Commission may request the Mayor to notify, in writing, the property owner of record, any person having a right, title or interest therein, and the occupant or other person responsible for the maintenance of the property, of the deterioration. The notice shall specify the minimum items of repair or maintenance necessary to correct the deterioration or prevent further deterioration.
B. 
Prior to the issuance of a written notice, the Commission may request the Mayor to establish a record of demolition by neglect. Such a record may include dated materials such as photographs and written reports of the condition of the property so as to record or measure the deterioration.
C. 
The notice shall provide that corrective action shall commence within 30 days of the receipt of said notice and be completed within a reasonable time thereafter. The notice shall state that the owner of record of the property, or any person of record with any right, title or interest therein, may, within 10 days after the receipt of the notice, request a hearing on the necessity of the items and conditions contained in the notice. In the event that a public hearing is requested, it shall be held by the Commission upon 30 days written notice being mailed to all persons of record with any right, title or interest in the property and to all citizens and organizations which the Commission determines may have an interest in the proceedings.
D. 
If, after the public hearing, the Commission determines that the corrective actions remain necessary, the Commission may request the Mayor to take corrective action to comply with the final notice within 30 days of receipt of the final notice.
E. 
Upon failure, neglect or refusal of the property owner or other responsible person, duly notified, to take the corrective action specified in the final notice within the time required, the Commission may request that the Mayor institute any of the remedies and penalties provided by law for such violations.
The Commission may designate the Maryland Historical Trust to make an analysis of and report recommending the preservation of sites, structures or districts of historic, archeological, architectural or cultural significance within the Town of North Beach. The report may include proposed boundaries of sites, structures or districts, as well as recommendations for the identification and designation of particular sites, structures or districts to be preserved.
A. 
The rejection by the Historic Preservation Commission of an application for a building permit under provisions of this chapter may be appealed to the North Beach Board of Appeals by the applicant, within 30 days of the filing of the rejection by the Historic Preservation Commission to the Town of North Beach.
B. 
Any person or persons, jointly or separately aggrieved by a decision or action of the Historic Preservation Commission, or by an action of the Town of North Beach related thereto, who do not accept the decision of the North Beach Board of Appeals may appeal the same to the Calvert County Circuit Court. Such appeal shall be taken according to the Maryland Rules as set forth in Chapter 1100, Subtitle B.
Any willful violation of the provisions of this chapter (by willfully performing or allowing to be performed any work without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness, failing to comply with a final notice issued pursuant to this chapter, or disregarding a decision of the Commission will be in violation of this chapter. A violation of this chapter shall be deemed a Town of North Beach municipal infraction as provided by the General Ordinances of the Town of North Beach. Each and every day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.