Taneytown issues code violation to Donald Frazier after learning of apparent renting violation

Taneytown issues code violation to Donald Frazier after learning of apparent renting violation
The city of Taneytown has issued a City Code violation to Councilman Donald Frazier after criminal charges revealed that he illegally rented at least one room and apartment in the basement of his Bentley Street home. (Alex Mann / Carroll County Times)

The city of Taneytown has issued a code violation to Councilman Donald Frazier after criminal charges revealed that he rents part of his home in a zoning district where renting is not permitted.

Frazier’s single-family home on Bentley Street is located in the city’s R-10,000 Zoning District, according to the Notice of Violation letter signed by Planning Director Jim Wieprecht, the acting city manager.


“It has come to my attention through recent complaints and details related to a criminal summons for Councilman Frazier that you (sic) are leasing multiple rooms/apartments within your single-family dwelling,” according to the letter, which was obtained by the Times through a Public Information Act request.

Renting out rooms or apartments is not permitted in the R-10,000 Zoning District where Frazier’s property is located, the letter details.

The website lists a $400 room with one bed and one bath for rent at a residence on Bentley Street.

“Room in our home, nice neighborhood near parks and shopping, microwave and refrigerator available for your use,” the description reads.

Frazier could not immediately be reached for comment. A message seeking comment was left for Frazier at approximately 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

David Ellin, a former candidate for House of Delegates, is representing Frazier in the criminal summons case. Reached by the Times for comment Thursday, Ellin said he had not seen the Notice of Violation Letter and, as such, could not comment.

Apartments are not allowed even by special exception in the zoning district of Frazier’s home, according to City Code.

Records indicated that Frazier’s home is complete with a finished basement, but did not detail renovations made to the basement to create an apartment, the letter explains. “The City Code precludes these types of renovations, specifically dedicated sanitary and cooking facilities.”

Frazier has been ordered, per the notice, to remove the “sanitary and cooking facilities” by Dec. 7, at which point the city will arrange an inspection.

He also must cease renting the space by Nov. 22, according to the notice. Starting Nov. 23, Frazier will be fined $100 each day that the illegal use continues, the notice details.

If the councilman fails to pay the fines outlined in the code violation notice, the city will place a lien against his property.

A tenant of Frazier’s home basement filed criminal charges Oct. 19, alleging that the councilman burst into the apartment unannounced and assaulted her. The ensuing police report detailed that Frazier rented out at least one room and one apartment in his Taneytown home.

Frazier, 59, faces charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree burglary, according to online court records.

The councilman has been disciplined three times by his peers on the Taneytown City Council for violating the city’s code of conduct.


He was first censured in 2015 for his conduct, lack of decorum and harassing city employees; again in 2017 for posting a photos of a privileged letter from the city attorney to a political Facebook page; and most recently in September after he balked on a commitment to attend a Maryland Municipal League conference for which the city fronted him more than $1,000.