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(A) As provided in Md. Code § 7.01 of Article 66B, a violation of this chapter is declared to be a misdemeanor.
(B) For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the owner, agent, architect, builder, contractor, tenant, lessee or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in any such violation or who maintains or uses any building or premises in which any such violation shall exist, shall be, on conviction thereof, guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to a fine or penalty not to exceed $100.
(1) Whenever any such person specified in division (B) above, shall have been notified in writing by the Zoning Administrator that he or she is violating this chapter, such person shall commence correction of all violations within 5 days of receipt of such notice and correct all violations within 30 days thereafter.
(2) If corrections are not commenced within 5 days and are not either completed within 30 days or being pursued in good faith to completion each and every day during which such illegal location, erection, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, change, maintenance, use or other violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense punishable by the like fine.
(1) In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained, or any building, structure, sign of and is used in violation of this chapter, the appropriate authorities of Garrett County, in addition to other remedies, may institute injunction, mandamus or other appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair conversion, maintenance or use to:
(a) Restrain, correct or abate such violation;
(b) Prevent the occupancy of such structure or land; and/or
(c) Prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
(2) The rights and remedies provided in this chapter are cumulative and are in addition to all other remedies provided by law.
(E) Civil violations. Pursuant to Md. Code § 7.01 of Article 66B, violations of this chapter may be considered to be civil zoning violations.
(1) The zoning official may deliver a citation to a person believed to be committing a civil zoning violation. A copy of the citation shall be retained by the zoning official and shall bear a certification attesting to the truth of the matters set forth. The citation shall contain:
(a) The name and address of the person charged;
(b) The nature of the violation;
(c) The place where and time that the violation occurred;
(d) The amount of the fine assessed;
(e) The manner, location and time in which the fine may be paid; and
(f) The person’s right to elect to stand trial for the violation.
(2) A preset fine, not to exceed $500, may be imposed for each violation. All fines, penalties or forfeitures collected by the District Court for zoning violations shall be remitted to Garrett County.
(3) A person who received a citation may elect to stand trial for the offense by filing with the zoning official a notice of intention to stand trial. The notice shall be given at least 5 days before the date of payment as set forth in the citation. On receipt of the notice of intention to stand trial, the Zoning Administrator shall forward to the District Court having venue, a copy of the citation and the notice of intention to stand trial. On receipt of the citation, the District Court shall schedule the case for the trial and notify the defendant of the trial date. All fines, penalties or forfeitures collected by the District Court for zoning violations shall be remitted to Garrett County.
(4) If a person who receives a citation for a violation fails to pay the fine by the date of payment set forth on the citation and fails to file a notice of intention to stand trial, a formal notice of the violation shall be sent to the owner’s last known address. If the citation is not satisfied within 15 days from the date of the notice, the person is liable for an additional fine not to exceed twice the original fine. If, after 35 days the citation is not satisfied, the zoning official may request adjudication of the case through the District Court. The District Court shall schedule the case for trial and summon the defendant to appear.
(5) Adjudication of a violation under this division is not a criminal conviction, nor does it impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by a criminal conviction.
(6) In a proceeding before the District Court, the violation shall be prosecuted in the same manner and to the same extent as set forth for municipal infractions herein. The Garrett County Commissioners may authorize the County Attorney to prosecute a civil zoning violation.
(7) If a person is found by the District Court to have committed a civil zoning violation, he or she shall be liable for the costs of the proceedings in the District Court.
(Ord. —, passed 5-13-1997; Am. Ord. —, passed 8-8-2000; Am. Ord. —, passed 4-30-2002)