The Cultural Resources Division, which operates in the County’s Planning and Zoning Department, is tasked with protecting the County’s myriad historic sites, buildings, archaeological sites, and landscapes. County legislation protects archaeological sites, historic buildings, cemeteries and scenic and historic roads whenever development is proposed. The team includes County employees C. Jane Cox
(M.A.), the Chief of Cultural Resources, and Darian Beverungen
(M.A.), who manage the program and conduct site development.
Anne Arundel County is progressive in that it recognizes historic structures, roads and landscapes, and archaeological sites as resources that require protection, just like natural resources, such as farmland, wetlands, bogs, and shorelines. Preservation of our heritage safeguards the County’s historic and cultural resources, which in turn stabilizes and improves property values, fosters civic pride, protects and enhances the County’s resources for citizens and visitors, serve as a stimulus to economic development, and ultimately strengthens the economy of the County. Such sites - once destroyed - cannot be replaced.
Article 17 Regulations
Article 17, section 501-504
is the primary regulatory tool that authorizes the County’s cultural resources staff to review site development activities for potential adverse effects on archaeological sites, historic structures, cemeteries, and scenic and historic roads. The program also reviews demolition permits, telecommunication towers, and State community development block grants projects. Cultural Resources staff coordinates preservation projects throughout the County and with other County Agencies, assists and implements special projects and grants, participates in the Section 106 review process with the Maryland State Historic Preservation Office, as required by federal law, and maintains GIS data on the cultural resources within the County.
The Cultural Resources Division (CRD) utilizes professional consultants to support its regulatory mandates and programmatic goals. Consultants may provide County staff with reports on resource identification, survey, documentation, and evaluation, studies which ultimately support development and compliance review as required under Article 17 of the County Code. Cultural resources staff and consultants may conduct site visits and undertake pertinent research to ensure development decisions are based upon current information. This research includes identifying, evaluating and documenting previously unrecorded historic resources throughout the County.
The Cultural Resources Division also fields citizen inquiries, offers educational outreach opportunities, (including hands on archaeology programming at County Parks and internship/ volunteer opportunities,) and provides advice and guidance for local non-profit preservation groups working to preserve sites in the County. The Cultural Resources Division publishes a quarterly newsletter, Chronicles from the County,
with submissions on preservation, history, and archaeology news and research around the County. Click here
to read the most recent newsletter. Find Out More
about how to get involved and help preserve Anne Arundel County’s past.
The CRD staff provides technical guidance and support for non-profits throughout the County, many of which are working to protect and preserve historic resources. This support includes a partnership with the Lost Towns Project
, a non-profit that invites citizens to learn about the County's history and archaeology firsthand as “hands on” volunteers. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here!
Anne Arundel County's Cultural Resources Division, in partnership with Anne Arundel Public Libraries, the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc., and the Lost Towns Project, is also host to the Joan Cass Beck
special library collections. Research collections are located in both the Cultural Resources Division Office and in the County Archaeology Lab. This non-circulating collection contains over a thousand research resources on local historic preservation and archaeology. For more information on the library collection, click here.
General Development Plan
In order to protect and preserve the historic and archaeological heritage of the County, the CRD team continues working on these broad policies:The recently adopted General Development Plan (2009) details the County’s commitment to historic preservation as an important component of Community Preservation and Enhancement.
« Develop stronger incentives to encourage preservation and institute meaningful deterrents to prevent destruction of historic resources
« Strengthen land use policies and regulations to promote and enable cultural resources protection;
« Improve inter-agency coordination at the local and State level to enhance preservation efforts on public lands; and
« Enhance public education and community engagement to promote stewardship of historic resources County-wide.