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Heritage Office Complex
2664 Riva Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
General Information: (410) 222-7450

 

Planning and Zoning - Zoning Division  
 
 

 

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Zoning Classifications Guide

A Zoning Code is a collection of regulations established to promote compatible patterns of land use within the County. All lands in the County are regulated by the Zoning Code. Zoning districts have been created based on the desired predominant use of land (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, and maritime). Each District has its own set of uses that are permitted as-of-right (P), conditionally (C), by special exception (SE) or auxiliary to a business complex (A). These uses are listed in chart form for each major land use category (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial and maritime). The chart format allows the user to easily compare allowed uses between zones. A set of bulk regulations (e.g. setbacks, lot coverage, density and building height) is provided for each District. Additional development regulations may also be in effect through special overlay zones.
Zoning Districts
Anne Arundel County has eight residential zoning districts, four commercial zoning districts, three industrial districts, five maritime districts that regulate water-dependent uses, and four mixed use districts.  There are also three other specialized zoning districts known as Open Space, Town Center and Small Business and the Odenton Growth Management Area.  There are seven districts in the Odenton Growth Management Area District, four overlay districts, and three special districts.

The Generalized Zoning Map gives a quick view of how the County has been zoned. For the zoning of individual properties you may check the Anne Arundel County Zoning Viewer or call the Zoning Division at (410) 222-7437 with the property address or 12-digit tax account number.

 

Overlay Zones

The most well known overlay is the Critical Area Overlay that regulates development on lands located within 1000 feet of the Chesapeake Bay and tributary streams. Other overlays include a Bog Protection Overlay, Commercial Revitalization Area Overlay, Parole Town Center Overlay, and an Open Space Conservation Overlay.

Summary of Zoning Districts

The following is a brief description of each zoning district in the residential, commercial and industrial land use categories and their general characteristics. This summary is for illustrative purposes only. The Zoning Code should be consulted to determine the full set of regulations applicable to development in each District.

Residential Districts (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-4-106)

RA - Rural Agricultural

This district is generally intended to preserve agricultural lands and provide for very low-density rural single-family detached residential development at a subdivision density of approximately 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres (see Code for exact formula). Minimum lot size is 40,000 square feet. Maximum lot coverage by structures is 25%. Maximum height is 45 feet.

RLD - Residential Low Density

This District is generally intended for low-density rural single-family detached residential development at a subdivision density of 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres.  Minimum lot size is 40,000 square feet. Maximum lot coverage by structures is 25%. Maximum height is 45 feet.

R1 - Residential

This District is generally intended for low-density suburban single-family detached residential development at a subdivision density of 1 dwelling unit per 40,000 square feet.  Minimum lot size is 40,000 square feet. Maximum lot coverage by structures is 25%. Maximum height is 45 feet.

R2 - Residential

This District is generally intended for low-density suburban single-family detached residential development at a subdivision density of either 1 dwelling unit per 20,000 square feet (no public sewer) or 2.5 dwellings per acre (with public sewer). A minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet if not served by public sewer, 15,000 square feet is required if served by public sewer.  Maximum lot coverage by structures is 30%. Maximum height is 35 feet.

R5 - Residential

This District is generally intended for low-medium density single-family detached residential development at an urban density of 5 dwelling units per acre. Minimum lot size is 7,000 square feet. Maximum lot coverage by structures is 40%. Maximum height is 35 feet.

R10 - Residential

This District is generally intended for semi-detached, duplex, and townhouses at a medium density of 10 dwelling units per acre. No minimum lot size. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 45%. Maximum height is 35 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 50 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

R15 - Residential 

This District is generally intended for semi-detached, duplex, and townhouses at a higher density of 15 dwelling units per acre. No minimum lot size. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 45%.  Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 55 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

R22 - Residential

This District is generally intended for multi-family residential development (e.g. apartments) at a higher density of 22 dwelling units per acre. No minimum lot size. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 45%. Maximum height is 45 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula.  

Commercial Districts (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-5-102)

C1 - Local Commercial Districts

This District is generally intended for neighborhood convenience commercial uses/development where individual uses do not exceed 25,000 square feet in area (or for Offices, a maximum of 50,000 sq. ft.). Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 75%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 1.0. Maximum height is 45 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 72 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula.  

C2 - Commercial Office Districts

This District is generally intended for office buildings. 50% of the floor area may be for a limited number of auxiliary commercial uses that typically support the office use. Restaurants are permitted as a stand-alone use. Minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet.  Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 1.0 to 2.0 based on mix of uses. Maximum height is 60 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

C3 - General Commercial Districts

This District is generally intended for larger arterial strip commercial development and shopping centers that offer a wide range of commercial uses that serve a broad market area. These commercial uses typically have larger space and land requirements and are located along major roadways. Minimum lot size is 10,000 square feet.  Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 2.0. Maximum height is 45 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 72 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

C4 - Highway Commercial District

This District is generally intended for larger scale auto-oriented retail and service businesses along or near major traffic routes that serve local and regional residents as well as the traveling public. In addition to most commercial uses found in the C3 zone, automobile, truck, recreational vehicle and boat sales, rental and major repair facilities may be located in this District. Minimum lot size is 10,000 square feet.  Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 85%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 1.0. Maximum height is 60 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 72 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

Industrial Districts (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-6-103)

W1 - Industrial Park District

This District is generally for those “clean” industrial uses with minimal nuisance characteristics in a landscaped park-like setting. Typical uses may include offices, research and development laboratories, light manufacturing including assembly. Support uses such as office supply stores, restaurants, and hotels/motels are also allowed. Minimum lot size is 40,000 square feet.  Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 75%. Maximum height is 90 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

W2 - Light Industrial District

This District is generally for those more traditional industrial uses exhibiting some nuisance characteristics. Offices and light manufacturing (secondary processing) are permitted as well as building materials storage and sales, self storage, and contractors and construction yards. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum height is 60 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 87 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

W3 - Heavy Industrial District

This District is generally for those industrial uses where the potential nuisance factor is the greatest.  These industrial uses typically have large land requirements and require the outdoor storage of materials.  In addition to most of the industrial uses permitted in the W1 and W2 Districts, uses involving the primary processing of materials such as metal refining, plastics, pulp and paper, animal rendering, clay sand or gravel processing are permitted as of right, conditionally or through special exception. Other uses include power generating plants, storage of ore, coal, atmospheric gas, and grain and petroleum products. Minimum lot size is 6,000 square feet.  Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum height is 60 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase to 87 feet provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

Maritime Districts (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-7-107) 

MA1 - Community Marina District

This District is generally for only the residents and guests of a recorded residential riparian subdivision and is owned by a homeowner's association. Community structures and clubhouses, marina offices and maintenance and repair of watercraft are allowed. Minimum site area is 1 acre.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking is 70%. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

MA2 - Light Commercial Marina District

This District is generally for limited commercial services such as commercial piers, sales and rental of watercraft, restaurants, taverns, sales of fuel, groceries, fishing and watercraft accessories and supplies.  Minimum site area is 1 acre.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking is 70%. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

MA3 - Yacht Club District

This District is generally for members and is a non-profit marina owned and operated by the membership.  Minimum site area is 1 acre.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking is 70%. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula. 

MB - General Commercial Marina District

This District offers the range of marina related commercial services in the MA2 District plus additional commercial uses such as marine construction operations, sail making and repair, and hotels/motels.  Minimum site area is 1 acre.  Maximum coverage by structures, parking and dry storage is 80%. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely provided setbacks are increased as per formula.

MC - Heavy Commercial Marina District

This District offers the range of commercial uses in the MA2 and MB Districts plus additional services associated with a full service marina or industrial operation. Such additional uses include marine salvage and towing operations. Minimum site area is 1 acre.  Maximum Coverage by structures, parking and dry storage is 80%. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks and can increase indefinitely if setbacks are increased as per formula.

Mixed Use Districts (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-8-301)
This District is designed to promote the mixing of residential, commercial and industrial uses in varying proportions depending on which of the four Mixed Use Districts (MXD-R, MXD-C, MXD-E and MXD-T) the property has been zoned.  The mixing of uses is optional and where the mixing of uses has been pursued, a more intense development is allowed.  Generally the minimum site area is 10 acres (see Code).  Where uses are mixed, bulk regulations vary; the maximum residential density from seven units per acre to 22 units per acre, floor area ratio from 0.5 to 2.0 and building height from 60 to 150 feet depending on the mixed use.
Other Districts

OS - Open Space District (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-9-202)

The Open Space District is designed to protect and preserve those open land areas of the County used for recreation (e.g. parks) and natural areas such as bogs, wetlands, stream/creek ravines and floodplains.  Farming and recreational type uses are permitted. Existing residential dwellings are also allowed however new residential dwellings are not.

TC- Town Center District (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-9-302)

The Town Center District is designed to encourage mixed-use development with an increased intensity of use. Any commercial use that is permitted in a C3 District is permitted in a TC District as well as multifamily uses allowed in R15 and R22 Districts. No minimum lot size.  Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 2.0.  Maximum height is 45 feet based on minimum setbacks and can be increased to 60 feet provided setbacks are increased per formula.

SB - Small Business District (Permitted Uses Code Reference - 18-9-402)

The Small Business District is designed to allow conversion of residential structures located on arterial roads in areas of transition to small commercial business uses that will serve existing communities. The residential character is to remain as the uses transition residential to commercial. A minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet if not served by public sewer, 15,000 square feet if served by public sewer.  Maximum coverage by structures is 30%, however, can increase to 40% for structures with direct access to a principal arterial road or higher.  Maximum height is 40 feet. Maximum floor area for a principal structure is 3,000 square feet, however, can increase to 10,000 square feet for structures with direct access to a principal arterial road or higher. 
Odenton Growth Management Area
Lands in the Odenton Growth Management Area are governed by the Odenton Town Center Master Plan.  This neighborhood plan provides for seven area-specific zoning categories with detailed land use controls and guidelines unique to Odenton which have been designed to reflect an intended development character.  For further information contact Long Range Planning at (410) 222-7432 or consult the Odenton Town Master Plan.
 

 


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