Planning & Zoning

Code Excerpts


Town of Emmitsburg Code Excerpts

Below are several excerpts from the Emmitsburg Municipal Code that are the most commonly cited by staff or requested for clarification by the residents.  Should you have any questions regarding the interpretation of these sections, please contact the Town office at 301-600-6300.

Chapter 12.16 - SNOW REMOVAL  
12.16.010: Removal of snow and/or ice from sidewalks.

Chapter 15.04 - BUILDING AND LAND USE PERMITS
15.04.010: Permits for building, altering or improving. 
15.04.020: Permits for use of land and buildings.

Chapter 17.32 - R-1, R-2, R-3, R-S RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS  
17.32.110: Accessory uses and structures.

Chapter 17.36 - VILLAGE ZONE
17.36.030: Accessory uses and structures (Village Zone)

Chapter 17.40 - EXCEPTIONS AND MODIFICATIONS
17.40.060: Allowable projections of fences into yards.

Chapter 8.04 - ABANDONED PROPERTY
8.04.010: Definitions. 
8.04.020: Notice/Removal. • 8.04.030 - Violation—Penalty.

Chapter 8.12 - GARBAGE AND WEEDS
8.12.020: Burning garbage, refuse, etc., in the town.
8.12.030: Filth, rubbish, etc., on premises. 
8.12.040: Removal of grass and weeds.

Chapter 9.20 - YARD SALES 
9.20.050: Advertising signs.

Chapter 10.12 - STOPPING, STANDING AND PARKING
10.12.070: Obstructing thoroughfares.




Chapter 15.04 - BUILDING AND LAND USE PERMITS

15.04.010: Permits for building, altering or improving. No structure of any kind shall be built, enlarged, altered, replaced, removed, constructed, placed and/or located in the town without a building permit. Said building permit to be approved by the town manager and obtained through Frederick County department of permits and inspections. All building permits shall adhere to the state building code as administered by the County of Frederick. All applications must be signed by the owner of the premises or his authorized representative or agent and shall have his/her address and/or lot number written under his/her signature.

15.04.20: Permits for use of land and buildings. The use or uses to which land and/or buildings in the town is or are put as of May 1, 1961 shall not be changed without a permit. Said permit must be approved by the town manager. Said permit must be signed by the town manager. Blank forms for applications for permits shall be furnished at the town office for all persons applying for the same. All applications must be signed by the owners of the premises or his/her authorized representative or agent and shall have his/her address and/or lot number written under his/her signature.



Chapter 17.32 - R-1, R-2, R-3, R-S RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS

17.32.110: Accessory uses and structures. In residential districts, accessory uses are detached one story accessory uses (such as a private garage, a private swimming pool and a garden or tool shed).  Accessory structures less than one hundred and fifty square feet in size shall remain three (3) feet from the side lot lines and six feet from the rear lot lines, or in the case of a swimming pool, a distance equal to the maximum depth of the pool.  Detached means not connected to the principle structure. A private detached garage, car canopy or structure one hundred and fifty square feet or larger shall remain six feet off the side and rear lot lines.  in the case of a private detached garage, car canopy or structure one hundred and fifty square feet or larger, where the lot width existing as of September 1, 2001, is thirty (30) feet or less, the side setback requirement shall be a distance of at least six feet from one side lot line, and six feet from the rear property line. Additionally, accessory structures must also meet the requirements listed below: No more than 30% of the rear yard of a lot, as defined in §17.04.020, is allowed to be covered with accessory structures. Only one accessory structure on a lot may be built under the zero lot line set back as allowed for lots less than thirty (30) feet in width. All lots with accessory structures must demonstrate a clear and direct six (6) foot path from the rear of the lot to the principle structure on the lot.



Chapter 17.36 - VILLAGE ZONE

17.36.030:  Accessory uses and structures (Village Zone) Accessory uses and structures permitted in the VZ zone are: detached one story accessory uses (such as a private garage, a private swimming pool and a garden or tool shed).  Accessory structures less than one hundred and fifty square feet in size shall remain three (3) feet from the side lot lines and six feet from the rear lot lines, or in the case of a swimming pool, a distance equal to the maximum depth of the pool.  Detached means not connected to the principle structure.  No satellite dished may be installed on roof lines. A private detached garage, car canopy or structure one hundred and fifty square feet or larger shall remain six feet off the side and rear lot lines.  in the case of a private detached garage, car canopy or structure one hundred and fifty square feet or larger, where the lot width existing as of may 1, 2012, is thirty (30) feet or less, the side setback requirement shall be a distance of at least six feet from one side lot line, and six feet from the rear property line. Additionally, accessory structures must also meet the requirements listed below: No more than 30% of the rear yard of a lot, as defined in §17.04.020, is allowed to be covered with accessory structures. Only one accessory structure on a lot may be built under the zero lot line setbacks as allowed for lots less than thirty (30) feet in width. All lots with accessory structures must demonstrate a clear and direct six (6) foot path from the rear of the lot to the principle structure on the lot.



Chapter 17.40 - EXCEPTIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

17.40.060: 
Allowable projections of fences into yards Fences may be constructed in or project into yards, providing, that: (a) no fence or planting more than three (3) feet high shall be located within thirty (30) feet of a street intersection; (b) no fence more than four feet high may be located closer to the front of the lot than the principal building; (c) no privacy fence of a townhouse or duplex dwelling more than ten (10) feet tall by eight (8) feet wide overall; and (d) no fence more than six (6) feet high shall be allowed on any other part of the lot.



Chapter 8.04 - ABANDONED PROPERTY

8.04.010: Definitions Vehicles will be deemed abandoned if any of the following conditions apply: 
1) It is unregistered or unlicensed;
Displays tags assigned to another vehicle;
2) Is unused for any period of time so as to cause it to be a breeding ground for rodents, insects or any other vermin;
3) The vehicle is rusted, wrecked, dismantled or in a deteriorated condition so as not to be lawfully permitted on public roads;
4) The vehicle is declared a nuisance and danger to health, safety and welfare. "Abandoned movable property" means any household appliances or any parts of such appliances or of other machinery or any scrap metal; construction items which are not being used in any current construction, which remain in one place on any private property for a period in excess of five days.

8.04.020: Notice/Removal. When an abandoned motor vehicle or abandoned movable property is found within the town, the owner of the property shall be notified that he or she is required to remove such property within seven days of receiving such notice.

8.04.030: Violation—Penalty. In the event that an owner of real property does not remove an abandoned motor vehicle or abandoned movable property within seven days from the date of receiving the notice set forth in Section 8.04.020, the owner of the property will be in violation of this chapter. A violation of this chapter shall be a municipal infraction, the penalty for which shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00). Each day such violation shall occur shall be another violation of this chapter. B.  In the event the owner of the vehicle or property shall fail or refuse to comply with such notice, it shall be lawful for the town to remove the same and charge the cost to the owner of the vehicle and/or the property owner.



Chapter 8.12 - GARBAGE AND WEEDS
8.12.020: 
Burning garbage, refuse, etc., in the town. No dead animals or parts thereof, garbage, refuse, rubbish, filth, or decaying matter of any kind or any other matter liable to produce nauseating or offensive smoke or vapors of any kind shall be burned within the town limits without a permit from the town of Emmitsburg. Applicant would need Frederick County burn permit before applying to the town for a permit. There is no fee for the town permit.

8.12.030: Filth, rubbish, etc., on premises. A. No person owning or occupying any lot, house, building, enclosure, or property shall allow or permit to exist in or upon such premises any accumulations of trash, garbage, filth, rubbish, appliances, machine or mechanical parts, tires, animal or vegetable matter, solid or liquid, or of any stagnant or contaminated water or of any other substance which is or may be liable to become putrid, offensive, poisonous, annoying or unhealthy. Maintaining or causing to maintain upon any yard, unenclosed porch, deck, or other exterior part of any structure, furniture, other than furniture designed for exterior use, which is commonly intended for use inside a dwelling, including but not limited to upholstered sofas, chairs, beds, divans and the like, shall constitute a nuisance. D. A violation of this section shall be a municipal infraction punishable by a fine of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) and shall be enforceable pursuant to the applicable provisions of Title 1 of the Code. In addition thereto, the town may pursue any other remedy available to it, at law or in equity, including injunctive relief, to enforce this section or to correct violations of this section

8.12.040: Removal of grass and weeds. All grass and weeds growing in the town shall be controlled to the herein defined standards. Maximum height outside of stream corridors. In undeveloped areas the maximum height allowed will be eighteen (18) inches. In all improved areas, which include all zoning districts, the maximum height allowed will be eight inches. In the event that the owner, occupant or person in possession of any premises shall fail to trim or cut down and remove any grass or weeds which are taller than herein defined within five days from the receipt of a notice to do so, the owner of said property shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In the event that any person shall fail or refuse to comply with such notice, it shall be lawful for the town to impose a fine to said property owner of up to seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per day.



Chapter 9.20 - YARD SALES
9.20.050:
Advertising signs. Any signs posted to advertise a yard sale shall not obstruct, impede, and/or impair the sight distance, or otherwise create any potential traffic impediment or danger in any public street, sidewalk or right-of-way. No sign may be posted more than two days before such yard sale, and all signs must be removed by eight p.m. on the last day of the yard sale. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner, tenant, occupant, or whoever is conducting the yard sale to ensure that all such signage is removed. No sign may be posted or attached to town property to include, for example, but not be limited to, street sign, poles, posts, buildings or other structures.



Chapter 12.16 - SNOW REMOVAL
12.16.010: 
Removal of snow and/or ice from sidewalks. A.  Whenever there shall be snowfall or freezing rain in the town, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of every parcel of real property, bounding upon a sidewalk, to remove or have removed, within twenty-four (24) hours from the end of the storm, the snow and/or ice from the sidewalk and to restore the sidewalk to a condition safe for pedestrians who may walk thereon. B.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a municipal infraction and shall be fined twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Each day the violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.



Chapter 10.12 - STOPPING, STANDING AND PARKING
10.12.070: 
Obstructing thoroughfares. A. It is unlawful to obstruct any part of any street, highway, crosswalk, sidewalk, or driveway within the town. B. It is unlawful for any person owning property in the town of Emmitsburg to permit any tree, shrub or plant growing on their property to hang over or branch in such a way as to obstruct or obscure street lights, traffic signs, traffic signals or pedestrian or vehicular access on public rights of way, or obstruct the view of any street intersection.  All such trees, shrubs or plants shall be kept trimmed by the property owner.