The Committee for Ethnic Affairs advises the Montgomery County, MD County Executive and County Council on public policy that relates to ethnic affairs; promotes maximum involvement of all ethnic groups in the County in government, business and community affairs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Code Enforcement Laws Aimed at Protecting Quality of Life Take Effect April 24

New code enforcement laws designed to help protect and maintain the residential character of neighborhoods will go into effect on Sunday, April 24, 2011.  These new laws deal with home-based businesses, off-street parking and paving of front yards.  Two other laws to protect residential areas went into effect in July 2009 and April 2010.
The new laws were proposed by County Executive Isiah Leggett two years ago based on recommendations from a Code Enforcement Work Group that he appointed.  The work group reviewed a number of police, housing and zoning code issues that were causing adverse impacts and public safety issues in residential neighborhoods.
“Preserving the quality of life in our neighborhoods requires cooperation from all of us,” said Leggett.  “These new laws will result in a better quality of life for our residents and safer streets and neighborhoods.”
Zoning Text Amendment 09-03 makes changes to the County Zoning Ordinance that limits the impact of home occupations on residential neighborhoods, the paving of front yards and off-street parking for light commercial vehicles.
One of the measures proposed by Leggett, Bill 23-09, limits the storage of inoperable, unused and unregistered vehicles on residential properties to 30 days.  This measure was enacted by the Council in October 2009 and went into effect on April 15, 2010.
Bill 27-08, the County Executive’s initiative limiting heavy commercial and recreational vehicles in residential areas, was enacted by the County Council in January 2009 and went into effect on July 1, 2009.  This bill improves safety and addresses the proliferation over the past decade of these types of vehicles on neighborhood streets.  Parking large, commercial or recreational vehicles in residential neighborhoods limits the line of sight on roads, making it difficult to turn on narrow streets.  Additionally, large vehicles endanger pedestrians because oncoming traffic cannot see them.
Most of the provisions of Zoning Text Amendment 09-03 go into effect on April 24, 2011.  Surfaced areas paved before October 26, 2010 do not have to be removed if the paved area is not increased.  The occupants must comply with the law’s parking limitations effective October 24, 2011.
 A website to educate residents about these new zoning laws is available at

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