Chapter 1.04


1.04.010    Designation and citation of Code.

1.04.020    Rules of interpretation.

1.04.030    Definitions.

1.04.040    Reference to titles, chapters, articles, or sections—Title of sections—Conflicting provisions.

1.04.050    Effect of repeal of ordinances.

1.04.060    Effect on past acts and obligations.

1.04.070    Prohibited acts include causing and permitting.

1.04.080    References include amendments.

1.04.090    Acts by agents or designees.

1.04.100    Violations of the Charter, Code and regulations.

1.04.110    Warning notices.

1.04.120    Municipal infractions.

1.04.130    Misdemeanors.

1.04.140    Other remedies.

1.04.150    Severability.

1.04.010 Designation and citation of Code.

The laws contained in the following titles, chapters, and sections shall constitute and be designated as the “City of Takoma Park Code” and may be so cited. The Code may also be cited as the “Takoma Park Code” or as “City Code” or in the provisions which follow, as “this Code.” (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.020 Rules of interpretation.

The following rules of interpretation apply to the construction of this Code and all ordinances, resolutions, and regulations of the City unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

A.    Interpretation of Language. All words and phrases used in this Code and not specifically defined shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language, but technical words and phrases that may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in the law shall be construed and understood according to that peculiar and appropriate meaning.

B.    Grammatical Interpretation. The following grammatical rules apply to this Code unless it is apparent from the context that a different construction is intended:

1.    Gender. Each gender includes the masculine, feminine, and neutral genders.

2.    Singular and Plural. The singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular.

3.    Tense. Words used in the present tense includes the past and the future tense and vice versa.

C.    Computation of Time.

1.    Except when otherwise provided, the time within which an act is required to be done is computed by excluding the first day and including the last day, unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday or if the office where the person must file a paper or perform an act is not open during the regular hour of that office, in which case it also is excluded.

2.    If this Code requires or allows a person to act by a specific date, but the specific date is a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the office where the person must file a paper or perform an act is not open during the regular hours of that office, the person may perform the act on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the office is not open during regular business hours. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.030 Definitions.

A.    The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Code, shall be construed as defined in this section unless from the context a different meaning is intended or unless a different meaning is specifically defined and more particularly directed to the use of such words or phrases:

“Charter or City Charter” means the municipal charter of the City of Takoma Park, Maryland.

“City” means the City of Takoma Park, Maryland, and includes not only the area within the corporate boundaries of the City, but also property outside of this City over which the City has jurisdiction or control.

“City Manager” means the City Manager of the City of Takoma Park. References to “City Administrator” in this Code mean the City Manager.

“Clerk” or “City Clerk” means the City Clerk of the City of Takoma Park, Maryland.

“Council” or “City Council” means the Council of the City of Takoma Park. The Council, which consists of 6 Councilmembers elected by wards and one Mayor elected at-large, is the governing body of the City.

“County” means Montgomery County, Maryland.

“Designee,” following the use of a title of an official of the City, means the authorized agent, employee, or representative of such official.

“May” is permissive.

“Month” means a calendar month.

“Must” and “shall” are each mandatory.

“Oath” includes an affirmation or declaration in all cases which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words “swear” and “sworn” are equivalent to the words “affirm” and “affirmed.”

“Owner”, as applied to any property, means and includes any part owner, joint owner, owner of a partnership interest, life tenant, tenant in common, joint tenant, tenant by the entirety, or entity having legal title of the whole or a part of such property. The word “owner” also includes any person having charge, care or control of any property as agent of the owner, or as personal representative, executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner.

“Person” means and includes associations, businesses, clubs, companies, corporations, firms, joint ventures, limited liability companies, organizations, partnerships, trusts, and bodies politic and corporate as well as natural persons.

“Personal property” means and includes all tangible and intangible property other than real property.

“Preceding” and “following” mean next before and next after, respectively.

“Property” means and includes real and personal property.

“Real property” means and includes lands, tenements, and herediments.

“Reasonable time” or “reasonable notice,” in any ordinance or Code provision that requires any act to be done in a reasonable time or reasonable notice to be given, means such time as may be necessary for the prompt performance of such duty, or compliance with such notice.

“Sidewalk” means that portion of a street between the curb line, or the lateral lines of a street where there is no curb, and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians.

“State” means the State of Maryland.

“Street” means and includes all streets, highways, avenues, lanes, alleys, courts, places, squares, curbs, or any other public ways in the City which have been or may hereafter be dedicated and open to public use.

“Week” means 7 calendar days; but publication in a newspaper or other publication of any notice or other matter indicated to be for a stated number of weeks shall be construed to mean one insertion in each week, unless specifically stated to be for each day of the week or for more than one day in each week.

“Written” or “in writing” means and includes any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise, reproduced in a permanent visible form.

“Year” means a calendar year, unless otherwise stated. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.040 Reference to titles, chapters, articles, or sections—Title of sections—Conflicting provisions.

A.    All references to titles, chapters, articles, or sections are to the titles, chapters, articles, and sections of this Code, unless otherwise specified.

B.    Titles and captions are not part of this Code. Titles and captions only advise the reader of the content of each section.

C.    If the provisions of different chapters of this Code conflict with or contravene each other, the provisions of each chapter shall prevail as to all matters and questions growing out of the subject matter of that chapter.

D.    If different sections of the same chapter are clearly in conflict, the provision of the section which is last in numerical order shall prevail unless the construction is inconsistent with the meaning of that chapter. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.050 Effect of repeal of ordinances.

A.    The repeal of an ordinance shall not revive any ordinance in force before or at the time the ordinance repealed took effect.

B.    The repeal of an ordinance shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect, nor any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal for an offense committed under the ordinance repealed. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.060 Effect on past acts and obligations.

A.    Nothing in this Code or the ordinance adopting this Code shall affect any offense or act committed or done, or any penalty or forfeiture incurred, or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of this Code.

B.    The adoption of this Code shall not be interpreted as authorizing any use or the continuance of any use of a structure or premises in violation of any ordinance of the City in effect on the date of adoption of this Code, except as otherwise provided. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.070 Prohibited acts include causing and permitting.

Whenever in this Code any act or omission is made unlawful, it includes causing, allowing, permitting, aiding, abetting, or concealing the fact of such act or omission. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.080 References include amendments.

Any reference in this Code to any federal, state, or County law or to a City ordinance or provision of this Code means such law, ordinance or provision as now existing or hereafter amended. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.090 Acts by agents or designees.

Whenever a power is granted to or a duty is imposed upon a City officer or employee, the power may be exercised or the duty may be performed by an authorized agent or designee, unless this Code expressly provides otherwise. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.100 Violations of the Charter, Code and regulations.

The City may prosecute any violation of the Charter or Code or any ordinance or regulation of the City as a municipal infraction. Alternatively, the City may provide that violations of any provision of the Charter or Code or any ordinance or regulation is punishable as a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.110 Warning notices.

A warning notice is not required prior to the issuance of a citation for a municipal infraction unless the Charter, Code or regulation expressly requires a warning notice prior to issuing a citation for a specific offense. The City may, at the discretion of the City Manager, issue a warning notice before issuing a citation. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.120 Municipal infractions.

A.    Issuing Citations. The City Manager shall designate enforcement officers who shall have primary responsibility for issuing municipal infraction citations. An enforcement officer may issue a citation for a municipal infraction if the officer:

1.    Observes a violation of the Takoma Park Code; or

2.    Receives an affidavit citing the facts of the alleged infraction.

B.    Contents of Citations. The citation must contain:

1.    A certification by the enforcement officer that the information in the citation is true or that the citation is based on an affidavit.

2.    The name and address of the person charged.

3.    A description of the nature of the infraction.

4.    The location and time that the infraction occurred.

5.    The amount of the infraction fine assessed.

6.    The manner, location and time in which the fine may be paid to the City.

7.    Notice of the person’s right to elect to stand trial for the infraction.

8.    Notice of the effect of failing to pay the assessed fine or demand a trial within the prescribed time.

C.    Serving Citations. The citation shall be served on the person charged by:

1.    Personal delivery;

2.    Certified mail addressed to the last known address of the person to be served if the return receipt is returned indicating that the certified mail was received by the recipient;

3.    Leaving the citation at the person’s residence with a person of suitable age and discretion if the person to be served is an individual; or

4.    For real property-related violations, sent by regular first-class mail to the last known address of the person to be served and posted in a conspicuous location on the real property where the infraction occurred or is occurring and, if located in the City, posted at or delivered to the residence or place of business of the person to be notified.

D.    Methods of Service Not Exclusive. The methods of service provided in subsection (C) of this section above are in addition to and not exclusive of any other means of service that may be provided by state law or court rules for obtaining jurisdiction over a defendant.

E.    Paying a Fine. Within 20 days of service of the citation, a person charged in a citation may pay the fine to the City Finance Office.

F.    Election to Stand Trial. Instead of paying the fine, a person charged in a citation may notify the City in writing of the person’s intent to stand trial for the infraction. The written notice of election to stand trial must be given within 15 days after service of the citation.

G.    Effect of Failing to Pay the Fine or Demand a Trial. If a person charged in a citation fails to pay the fine within 20 days of service of the citation and fails to deliver to the City a written notice of the intent to stand trial within 15 days of service of the citation, the person is liable for the assessed fine. The City may double the fine to an amount not to exceed the maximum fine allowable by State law and request adjudication of the infraction through the District Court. The procedures for the trial of municipal infraction citations shall be as set forth in Article 23A, § 3, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended from time to time.

H.    Amount of Fine.

1.    The maximum fine for a municipal infraction is the amount shown in this subsection.

Class of Offense

Fine for Initial Offense

Fine for Repeat Offense

























2.    If the Code does not specify the class of the offense, it is a Class A offense.

3.    Unless provided otherwise, to be a repeat offense, an offense must be committed within one year after an initial offense. The payment of the fine for a municipal infraction is not an admission of guilt in any City licensing or administrative proceeding, but does establish the “initial offense” charged in the citation for the purpose of calculating the fine for a repeat offense under subsection (H)(1) above.

4.    Each day that a violation continues is a separate offense for which a citation may be issued. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.130 Misdemeanors.

A.    Responsibility for Enforcement. The Police Department is responsible for issuing criminal citations or making arrests for violations of the Code that are designated as misdemeanors. A police officer has the discretion to issue a citation or make an arrest.

B.    Amount of Penalty.

1.    The maximum penalty is as shown in this subsection.

Class of Offense





6 months



3 months



1 month



1 week

2.    If the Charter, Code or regulations do not specify the class of the misdemeanor offense, it is a Class A misdemeanor offense.

3.    The City may prosecute a misdemeanor offense as a civil offense, Class A. In exercising its discretion on this matter, the City must consider the severity of the particular offense.

C.    The service and trial of misdemeanor criminal citations is governed by State law and rule of court. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.140 Other remedies.

A.    In addition to or instead of any other remedy allowed by law, the City may enforce any City law, or seek to correct any violation of City law, by seeking appropriate injunctive, declaratory, or other relief from any court with jurisdiction.

B.    Any court with jurisdiction may temporarily or permanently enjoin any violation of City law, order any person to correct any violation of City law, or order any other appropriate remedy. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)

1.04.150 Severability.

A.    Severable Provisions. Except as provided under subsection (B) of this section, it is the intent of the Council that the provisions of this Code, and of all City ordinances, resolutions, and regulations, are severable. If any provision is declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid or inapplicable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Code, ordinance, resolution or regulation remains in effect.

B.    Nonseverable Provisions. The Council may expressly provide in this Code or by ordinance, resolution or regulation that certain provisions are not severable. (Ord. 2004-3 (part), 2004)