Bill No.
39-16
Concerning: Housing
and
Building
Maintenance
Standards
Registration of Vacant Property
Revised: 5/2/2017
Draft No.-1.L
Introduced:
September 20,2016
Enacted:
May 2,2017
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: -'N:....;o=n=e_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _ Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
I
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Councilmember Hucker
Co-Sponsors: Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro, Vice President Berliner, Councilmembers
EIrich, Riemer, and Rice, and Council President Floreen
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
require [[owners of certain unmaintained vacant buildings to register those vacant
buildings "With]] the Director ofthe Department ofHousing and Community Affairs
to identify unmain,tained vacant dwellings;
require owners of certain unmaintained vacant buildings to pay certain fees;
require inspections for certain unmaintained vacant buildings; and
generally amend County law on housing and building maintenance standards.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 26, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards
[[Article
I,
General
Article
II,
Registration ofVacant Property
Sections 26-19,
26~20,
26-21,26-22,26-23, and 26-24)]
Article
III.
Unmaintain~
Vacant Property
~tions
26-20.26-21. 26-22. 26-23. 26-24. 26-25.
and
26-26
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Oou.bJe underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Addedto existing law
by
original
bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original
bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the
bill by
amendment.
Existinf! law unaffected bv bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No. 39-16
1
Sec.
1.
Chapter
26
is amended
by
adding [[Articles I and II (Sections
26-19,26-20,26-21,26-22,26-23,
and
26-24)]]
Article
ill
(Sections
26-20. 26-21,
26-22. 26-23. 26-24, 26-25.
and
26-26)
as follows:
2
3
4
Article I. General.
5
6
*
[[26-19]] 26-20:
Definitions.
*
*
Article.!!l: [[Re2istration o!l] Unmaintained Vacant Property.
7
8
9
10
In this Article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
Department
means the Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
Director
means the Director of the Department or the Director's designee.
[[Dwelling unit
has the same meaning as in Section 26-2.]]
FitfOr occupancy
means ready for immediate occupancy [[by
E!
tenant without
more than minor cosmetic changes]] as a residence.
11
12
13
14
15
Occupied
means the use of one's dwelling as a residence [[in improved real
property]] on
E!
regular basis.
16
17
Public nuisance
has the same meaning as in Section 26-2.
Vacant [[building]] dwelling
means residential real property improved
Qy
E!
dwelling which is not occupied. A vacant dwelling includes a unit in a
condominium. A [[Quilding]J dwelling is only
E!
vacant
[[building))
dwelling
if the Director determines that there is no resident for which an intent to return
and occupy the [[Quilding]] dwelling can
be
shown. To determine whether
~
Qwelling is vacant, the Director must consider:
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
ill
ill
ill
ill
ill
past due utility notices and/or disconnected utilities;
accumulated mail;
no window covering;
no furniture observable;
open accessibility;
-2­
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BILL
No.
39-16
28
29
30
(Q)
deferred maintenance; and
the dwelling is boarded up.
ill
Unmaintained vacant
[[building))
dwelling
means
f!
vacant [[building))
~elling
31
32
not maintained as required
Qy
Chapter 26, Article
.1
[[Visual blight
has the same meaning as in Section 26-2.)]
33
34
35
36
37
38
[[26-20]] 26-21. Applicability.
This Article does not
~
to any real property that is
ill
owned by:
ill
ill
ill
(Q)
the government of the United States or its instrumentalities;
the State ofMaryland or its instrumentalities; or
f!
foreign government or its instrumentalities;
39
under
active
construction
or
undergoing
1
active
rehabilitation,
40
renovation,
[[Qill
repair. or demolition [[and there is]) or under
f!
building permit to make the building fit for occupancy or to be
demolished [[that was issued, renewed or extended within 12 months of
1
41
42
43
44
45
the registration date
]]~
(£)
for
f!
period not to exceed 24 months, the subject of
f!
probate
proceeding or the title is the subject of litigation, including
f!
foreclosure
proceeding; or
46
47
48
@
[[26-21.
maintained as required
Qy
Chapter 26, Article
.1
Registration
of
unmaintained
vacant
buildings;
inspection;
49
notification]] 26-22. Designation of unmaintained vacant dwellings; inspection:
50
51
52
53
54
ill
(Q)
[[Building maintenance required
The owner of
f!
vacant building must
maintain the building as required
Qy
Chapter 26, Article
L
Unmaintained vacant buildings registry.
The Department must maintain
f!
list ofunmaintained vacant buildings.
(£)
Registration required
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BILL
No. 39-16
55
56
57
58
59
60
ill
Within 90 days after
~
building becomes an unmaintained vacant
building, the owner must register the building and
ImY
the
registration fee required in Section 26-23. An owner must renew
~
registration annually from the date of initial registration unless
there is
~
change in ownership.
ill]]
The Director must identify [[nonregistered]] unmaintained vacant
[[Quilding]] dwellings throughout the County. The Director must
notify the owner in writing that the owner's [[building]] dwelling
has been designated as an unmaintained vacant [[building]]
dwelling
and
of the owner's right to
[[appeal]
1
seek
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
reconsideration of this designation and appeal the decision under
Section 26-25.
[[@]] (hl
Inspections required.
68
69
ill
Inspections
required
The
Director
must
inspect
every
unmaintained vacant [[Quilding]] dwelling at least annually to
ensure that:
70
71
72
CA)
the [[building]] dwelling complies with all applicable laws,
including Chapter 26, Article
1;,
and
73
74
75
76
(ill
vacancy ofthe [[buildingl1 dwelling is not;
ill
(ii)
detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare;
~
hazard to police officers or frrefighters entering the
[[building]] dwelling in an emergency; or
(iii)
~
77
78
79
80
public nuisance.
[[~]]
ill
Additional inspections authorized.
The Director may inspect
an unmaintained vacant [[building)] dwelling more often than
annually to ensure compliance with this Article.
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BILL
No.
39-16
81
[[~
County notification.
The Director of the Department of Finance must
notify all property owners ofthe requirements ofthis Article at the same
time as the Director notifies property owners of any real property taxes
due.]]
82
83
84
85
[[26-22)] 26-23. Exemptions.
86
87
88
W
The Director may grant an exemption from the [[registration]]
requirement in Section [[26-21]] 26-22 for any real property that is:
ill
in compliance with [[26-21]] 26-22(a) and the property owner
has been actively seeking in good faith to rent [[oft] or sell the
property if:
89
90
91
CA)
the time period for sale or rent does not exceed
1
year from
the initial listing, offer, or advertisement of sale or rent ofg
residential building; and
92
93
94
.em
ill
the building has g valid certificate of occupancy;
95
for g period not to exceed 12 months, the subject of g pending
application for g necessary approval for development before the
Planning Board, Board of Appeals, or Office of Zoning and
Administrative Hearings; or
96
97
98
99
100
101
ill
(Q}
for g period not to exceed 24 months, the subject of [[an
inheritance]] a probate proceeding.
The cumulative time period that g vacant [[building]] dwelling may be
exempted from this Article must not exceed
J
years.
102
103
104
105
106
107
(£1
An
application for an exemption [[from the registration requirement]]
must be made on g form the Director prescribes.
@
A person that believes the Director has incorrectly denied the person's
application for an exemption may appeal that decision [[according to]]
under Section [[26-24]] 26-25.
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BILL
No.
39-16
108
[[26-23]] 26-24. Fees; lien.
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
[[ful]]
(a)
Fees.
The County Executive must set one or more fees
by
regulation
under Method
G1
The fee must increase for larger numbers of
inspections performed that the Director determines are necessary to
ensure compliance with this Section.
[[fu}
A vacant building owned
by
the County or its instrumentalities must
comply with the registration requirement of Section 26-21, but is not
subject to any fees required in paragraph
hl]]
au
Lien.
Any unpaid fee under this Article constitutes a lien on the property
and may be collected in the same manner as taxes are collected.
[[26-24]] 26-25. Right to appeal.
119
120
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122
123
124
125
126
127
128
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130
131
132
133
ful
Within 10 days after the [[designation of an owner's building as
~]]
Director sends written notice that an owner's property has been
designated as an unmaintained vacant [[building]] dwelling.. the owner
may petition the Director for reconsideration
by
filing the form
prescribed
by
the Director. Within 30 days after receiving the petition,
the Director must issue
~
notice of final determination.
fu}
Any person aggrieved
by
[£m:!]]
a designation or notice of [mal action of
the Director under this Article may, within [[lQ days after receiving]] 15
days after the Director sends written notice of the action, appeal that
action to the Circuit Court under the Maryland Rules of Procedure for
judicial review of
~
final administrative agency decision. An appeal
does not stay the Director's action. A party aggrieved by the decision of
the Circuit Court may appeal that decision to the Court of Special
Appeals.
26-26. Annual report.
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BILL No. 39-16
134
135
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137
138
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141
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143
By March 1 each year. the
~tor
must sllbmit to the County
Executiv~
County Council a report on the Department's activities related to
vacant dwellings. The report must include:
:w:unain~
W
Qi)
the zip code of each property inspected during the prior calendar year;
for each property inspected, a summary of violations by number found
and number corrected;
~
the number of citations issued to each property owner during the prior
calendar year: and
!£U
~amount
of
f~ollected
from each property owner during the prior
calendar year.
-7­
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BILL
No.
39-16
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
- 8­