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(1) A use-and-occupancy permit is required before any building, structure, or land can be used or can be converted, wholly or in part, from one use to another.
(2) Exemptions from use-and-occupancy permit requirement:
(A) land or buildings used exclusively for agricultural purposes;
(B) a use for which a valid occupancy permit was issued and not revoked before June 1, 1958; and
(C) a Transitory Use.
(b) Application Requirements. Each application for a use-and-occupancy permit must be accompanied by 2 copies of a plan drawn to scale showing:
(1) the lot on which a use is proposed, lot dimensions, lot and block numbers and subdivision name, if any;
(2) the location, extent, and layout for the proposed use and any other pertinent information; and
(3) north point, date and scale of plan.
(c) New buildings. It is unlawful for any person to use or occupy a building hereafter erected in whole or in part until the certificate of use and occupancy is issued by the Director in satisfaction of this Chapter.
(d) Buildings hereafter altered. It is unlawful for any person to use or occupy a building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered to change from one use group to another, in whole or in part until a certificate of use and occupancy is issued by the director certifying that the work was completed in satisfaction of the approved permit. Any use or occupancy that was continued during the work of alteration, must be discontinued within 30 days after the completion of the alteration unless the required certificate is secured from the Director.
(e) Existing buildings. Upon written request from the owner of an existing building, the Director must issue a certificate of use and occupancy if there are no violations of law or orders of the Director pending. In addition, the Director must establish that the alleged use of the building has heretofore existed. Nothing in this Chapter requires the removal, alteration, or abandonment of the use and occupancy of a lawfully existing building, unless such use is deemed to endanger public safety and welfare.
(f) Changes in use and occupancy. After a change of use is made in a building, a person is prohibited from reestablishing a prior use that is not lawful for a new building of the same type of construction unless the owner complies with all the applicable provisions of this Chapter.
(g) Temporary occupancy. Upon the request of the holder of a permit, the Director may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a building or structure or part thereof before the entire work covered by the permit shall have been completed if that such portion or portions may be occupied safely before full completion of the building without endangering life or public welfare.
(h) Necessary Findings.
(1) The Department must find the building complies with Chapter 59.
(2) Any building, structure, or land on a site with any previous development approval must satisfy the requirements, representations, plans, and conditions contained in the decision or resolution of the deciding body.
(3) The Department must inspect construction or alteration for completion under the applicable decision or resolution.
(i) Contents of certificate. When a building or structure is entitled to a certificate of use and occupancy, the Director must issue a certificate 10 days after written applications. The certificate certifies compliance with this Chapter and the purpose for which the building or structure may be used. The certificate of use and occupancy must specify the use group, the fire grading, the allowable live load on all floors, the occupancy load in the building and all parts of the building and any special stipulations and conditions of the building permit. (1975 L.M.C., ch. 1, §3; 2016 L.M.C., ch. 35 , § 1.)
Editor's note-In National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union v. Hawk, 47 Md. App. 180, 422 A.2d 55 (1980), the court rules there broad review of all factors exist when making a determination as to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. In Ross v. Montgomery County, 252 Md. 497, 250 A.2d 635 (1969), it was held that the issuance of a building permit does not confer a vested right which cannot be eliminated by subsequent legislative action.