Any person may file a written or verbal complaint when he/she believes that a violation has occurred. When making a complaint, the complainant should be prepared to provide the following information:
a) the exact location of the violation,
b) the nature of the violation,
c) the property owner’s name (if known), and
d) the complainant’s name and phone number.
It is the Department’s policy to maintain the confidentiality of complainants. However, since a written report is made by our office upon receipt of a complaint, that report becomes a public record and is subject to Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA). Therefore, it is possible that your complaint could be released should a PIA request be filed.
The complainant does have the option of making an anonymous complaint. All anonymous complaints must be in writing and will be submitted to the County Manager for his review. Any complaint that he deems valid and actionable will be followed up by the Planning & Zoning Department.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Planning Department will perform an inspection of the property to determine if a violation has occurred. If a violation has occurred, we will notify the property owner and work to achieve an abatement of the violation. Depending upon the nature of the violation, the Department has the option to criminally charge a violator, assess a civil fine, or remove the violation and assess that cost against the property as a property tax lien.