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(a) Generally. This Chapter includes the rules and regulations adopted under Section 8-13 which have the force of law. It is known as the building code of Montgomery County. It controls all matters concerning the construction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location. This Chapter also concerns the creation or alteration of certain ownership units, the occupancy and maintenance of all buildings and structures, on-site access facilities to such buildings and structures and their service equipment. This Chapter applies to existing or proposed buildings and structures in the County.
(b) Intent. The intent of this Chapter is to assure public safety, health and welfare as it is affected by building construction, structural strength, egress facilities, sanitary equipment, light, utilities and ventilation, occupancies, and fire safety. In general, the intent of this chapter is to secure safety to life and property from all hazards associated with the design, erection, repair, removal, demolition or use and occupancy of buildings, structures or premises.
(c) Applicability generally.
(1) This Chapter applies to the construction, raising, lowering, moving, demolition or occupancy of all buildings and structures and their appurtenant construction, including vaults, area and street projections, on-site access facilities, accessory structures, and additions. It applies to public and private buildings, except where such buildings are otherwise specifically excluded by statute. It also applies to the creation or alteration of any ownership unit, and the closure of any private road.
(2) A building permit may only be issued for a building located on:
(A) a lot or parcel shown on a plat recorded in the County Land Records or on a parcel exempt from recording requirements under Section 50-3.3; and
(B) an area outside of any building restriction line and outside the area restricted under Section 50-4.3.K.
(d) Exemptions. All buildings or structures must be constructed, extended, repaired, removed or altered under a permit that satisfies this Chapter, except for:
(1) ordinary repairs as defined in Section 8-3;
(2) a building or structure used exclusively for agricultural purposes on land used exclusively for agriculture; however, a permit under this Chapter is required for:
(A) a building or structure used for a purpose that is not exclusively agricultural, including conditional uses, even though located on otherwise agricultural land;
(B) an equestrian facility, building, or structure intended for use by participants or spectators at an equestrian event;
(3) the following public utility equipment:
(A) any structure and its attached cross arms carrying overhead electric power and energy transmission and distribution lines that carry 69,000 volts or less;
(B) equipment installed and maintained by a public utility under regulation by the State Public Service Commission; or
(C) poles or structures used for street lights, fire alarm boxes, traffic signals, or similar municipal equipment installed by the State or a local municipality.
(e) Matters not provided for. Any requirement essential for structural, fire or sanitary safety of an existing or proposed building or structure or essential for the safety of the building’s occupants and which is not specifically covered by this Chapter, must be determined by the director under Section 8-13.
(f) Zoning restrictions and referrals.
(1) When the provisions specified in this Chapter for structural, fire, and sanitary safety are more restrictive than those in Chapter 59, this Chapter controls the erection or alteration of buildings in respect to location, use, permissible area and height; but the more rigid requirements of either the building code or the zoning ordinance applies whenever they are in conflict.
(2) The Director must submit the application to the Planning Director for review for any building permit that requests:
(A) construction of a new principal structure; and
(B) construction that increases the gross floor area of an existing commercial structure.
(3) The Planning Director must confirm in writing that the submitted application satisfied Chapter 59 and that the property has all necessary approvals and satisfied all necessary conditions required by the Planning Department and Planning Board and identify for each permit the amount of any school facility payment, transportation mobility area review payment or other development payment other than impact taxes that is required to be paid as a condition of building permit.
(4) A building permit application for a child lot in the Agricultural Reserve Zone may only be approved if the child for whom the lot is created is the owner of the lot in the County Land Records. A building permit for a detached house on a child lot must be issued only to:
(A) a child of the property owner;
(B) the spouse of a child of the property owner;
(C) a contractor for a child of the property owner; or
Editor’s note—See County Attorney Opinion dated 7/29/98 explaining that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, Housing Opportunities Commission, and the fire corporations must comply with County permit requirements and mandatory referral. See County Attorney Opinion dated 5/20/91 indicating that the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is exempt from listed local permits, including Chapters 8, 19, 22, 50, and 59, but must comply with State law regarding sediment control and fire safety.