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Maryland Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
0 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Do incorporated Community Associations in the state of Maryland fall under the Maryland Cooperative Housing Corp Act?

If the board of directors of the Community Association Inc is holding a regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the board, is the meeting required to be open and is te board required to provide reasonable notice to members?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Can a neighbor claim possession of a community beach access pathway to the Chesapeake Bay?

Neighbor 1 has claimed possession of a community beach access pathway to the Chesapeake Bay .A 1923 deed conveyed right of access to the community. This right of access was confirmed in a 1935 court case ruling and also stated in a 1955 deed for the property in question. All subsequent deeds... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 24, 2022

You do not disclose whether you are 1, 2, 3 or perhaps an undisclosed 4. An academic response would require any lawyer to review the past title chain, the case law you reference, and perhaps inspect the conditions on the ground. You also mention at least one live lawsuit arising from the facts.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: hello! is it illegal to…< i currently had just experienced my neighbor complaining of me parking in front of her home.>

it’s illegal to park on the sidewalk where is facing her home ? i’m not blocking her driveway at all

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Jul 11, 2022

If you are parked legally on a public and private road without deeded, designated, or assigned spaces, then you are permitted to park there. However, you may decide not to park there to keep the peace with your neighbor.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: My neighbor is claiming that my fence and HVAC air handlers are on her property. Fence was installed over 20 years ago

The county does not have an actual plat map or site plan for the property. The fence was in place when we purchased the home and assumed to be proper property line.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 4, 2022

(1) Hire a licensed land surveyor and get a definitive determination of your property boundarie. If that shows the fence and hvac are on your land, provide your neighbor with a copy and make it clear the matter is settled as far as you are concerned.

(2) If the survey shows the fence and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: What type of zoning is required in md to host a bingo event
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 25, 2022

Zoning codes are local, meaning they are specific to each political subdivision (county, incorporated city or towm). They are not state wide. Running a bingo event is not necessarily a zoning matter (it may be if you are going to run it as a business or recurring regular event). Bingo generally... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: can an adverse possessor evict the a land owner

can an adverse possessor evict the a land owner....

MD. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 5-103 (2020) (File an action for recovery of possession of land).

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 27, 2022

To raise a successful defense of adverse possession, the defendant must show that he POSSESSED the land ADVERSELY, OPENLY, and CONTINUOUSLY in a manner HOSTILE to the record landowner's interests for the prescribed period. If you don't possess, the defense will be difficult to maintain.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: MD. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 5-103 (2020) Statue of Limitations 20- -20 Owner/Owners..

MD. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 5-103 (2020) Statue of Limitations 20- -20 Owner/Owners Ejectment Ejectment Rights And And Adverse possession Maryland. They Can Ejectment Before Or Or After The Statue of Limitations 20- -20 Years. If It Is Before The 20 Year Time Period Can The... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 24, 2022

The question is barely in English, and the description of the defense of adverse possession isn’t vaguely close to the law. If you have occupied a property openly adversely continuously and hostilely for more than the time in the statute of limitations, you may assert —preferably competently,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Does a given property have the rights to remove a boundary fence at one end of his property to gain access to the r/w?

If a section of a common right of way is designated for the use and benefit of one property (B), can property (A) gain access to the common right of way from the far side of his property where it is designated for the use of property (B), just because it adjoins his property along the boundary? A... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Nov 11, 2021

If I understand your question, A owns the land over which an easement exists for the benefit of B. A has removed a fence marking the easement. If that is the fact pattern, then A has rights to access her own land. A is obligated not to interfere with B's reasonable use of the easement. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Still waiting: Does the State of Maryland require [by law] that an HOA be formed to enforce covenants?

I posted this question last week and received one very eloquent response as to the wisdom of forming an HOA so as to enforce covenants BUT, at the end of the day, I did not receive a straight up "yes" or "no" answer to my question which again is: "does the state of Maryland... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Oct 12, 2021

Yes. The phrase "in place" means properly organized, and in good standing with the State of Maryland. There are instances where an HOA described in recorded declarations has been allowed to lapse, or is no longer functioning. There are reported appellate court decisions describing what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland do existing covenants (came attached to the land plat) require the formation of an HOA?

Our community (13 houses on 75 acres) was established ca 1985 and the developer established and controlled the covenants, this until January 1, 2010. After that, these covenants revert to the lot holders (13 homeowners). As the document reads, these are currently enforceable by each lot owner BUT... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 11, 2021

If the covenants cover aesthetic issues like the type and color of roofs, whether windows are allowed on car garage doors, the type, location and set-back requirements (or prohibition) of sheds, sunrooms, fencing (including limits on type of fencing materials), location and type of shrubs, parking... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Can I park my commercial vehicle on the side of my house in pg County
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 29, 2021

If it is the type of commercial vehicle prohibited under the Code, then no, the prohibition reaches to all property within the residential zoned area. It does not matter that the vehicle is on privately owned property.

MD Transportaion Code, Section 21-1010 - Parking commercial vehicles...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Maryland Montgomery County, real estate question on sewer easement.

A neighbor’s sewer line run across our property. They had a clog and asked for permission to dig / fix via our front yard since that’s where the plumber says the clog is at. Being neighborly, we gave permission (plumbers dug a hole way larger than we expected) . And Now they want to install a... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 25, 2021

The investigation starts with a title search and survey to know with more certainty than "we are not aware" whether there are easements recorded. There are then some very limited rights that sometimes resolve by necessity, but the caselaw on that is very fact specific. You need to review... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law, Agricultural Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Is there a way to own a rooster if my county’s municipal code states that owning a rooster is prohibited?

I live in Frederick county Maryland and our municipal code states that only female chickens are permitted; no roosters. There is a rooster at my local animal shelter that I have grown quite found of. I was wondering if there are any ways to get around this rule prohibiting them. Could registering... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 9, 2021

Kinda like asking if there’s a way around speed limits because, well, you are fond of driving fast and speed is emotionally calming to you. If there’s no exception in the law that prohibits roosters, which I have not looked up, then there’s no way around it. Areas are zoned as farmland and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What shall I do when my neighbor removed the surveyors stake between our properties?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jul 31, 2021

You might check with both the surveyor, the land records office in the circuit court, or the police. Removal of a surveyor's stake is often a criminal act, though removal is often overlooked if it was out of ignorance, and the surveyor might return, re-place the stake, and send the bill to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: I am the builder of a new home in Prince Georges County Maryland. I am having a horrible time with an overzealous HOA

I am representing a purchaser of a custom to be built home. The lot is within a 50 year old community called Montpelier in Laurel MD 20707. All of the houses with the exception of this one lot was built in the 60's . The association is Montpelier Community Association. They have an... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 30, 2021

Your questions says you are "developer," but that you "represent the owner." Regardless, you have a political and legal problem. If you can't negotiate your way through a community organization staffed by non-professionals, you have the legal option of seeking a declaratory... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Lemon Law for Maryland on
Q: "The law does not stand anywhere." Is this a fact of legal theory, or just something with which to hit me on the head

Your statement: The Law does not stand anywhere. Et tu quo que.

Your view of the Law depends upon where you stand; and where you stand depends upon the Laws view of you.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 19, 2021

The law’s view of condo governance is that the condo documents control, except where they don’t. There is no statute on BBQ on the balcony unless it violates fire code, but the condo association MIGHT be able to regulate it… if they did it correctly… which they often don’t.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: I bought the house, and land; not included were two small barns; with underground electric fed from the house.

I bought the house from the ex-wife; the ex-husband apparently owned the two small barns on the small adjoining lot; with shared utilities from the house. I've been told by a realtor that the small lots cannot be separated from the main property in this way by the previous owner divorcees. I... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 19, 2021

The law doesn’t “stand” anywhere. Your presumably discount purchase and closing resolves who owns what. Get a lawyer to read and interpret your deed and then look to the title insurance to defend your deed. If you have neither a recorded deed nor title insurance, your payment of taxes is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Can Adverse Possession Be Granted By The Clam Of Right And And The Adverse Clam Statement.

Can Adverse Possession Be Granted By The Clam Of Right And And The Adverse Clam Statement. ( Non Non Eminent Non Non Preeminent ) ( Non Eminent Non Preeminent )

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 2, 2021

Your word salad needs a light vinaigrette, because it’s got no relationship to law. Adverse possession has five elements. You haven’t named any of them. There are no clams involved unless you are serving clam chowder or a po’ boy, and I’m guessing it’ll be the latter.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: Can my neighbor keep her gate open if it is blocking my driveway. What are my options for relief?

My neighbors fence is partially blocking access to our driveway. We've closed it since it is accessible from our own property, but she continues to open it. What are our options, and what maryland provisions cover this?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 27, 2021

I suppose it's a form of trespass. Have you tried talking to your neighbor? If that fails, provide her with written notice not to open her gate across your driveway, which blocks your access in and out of your property. If she does it again, I suppose you can file trespass charges (I doubt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: to take possesion of my parents land as the sole heir i am out of state can i do an out of state bond? the land is in

alabama and i live in md she did not have a will.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 23, 2021

You need an Alabama estate lawyer. The requirements for a non-resident executor of an estate usually involves appointment of a person in Alabama to act as resident agent for the executor for service of legal papers. Because the estate involves real estate, and you cannot easily travel to Alabama... Read more »

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