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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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The Zoning Code

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). Each District has its own set of uses that are permitted as-of-right (P), conditionally (C) or by special exception (SE). These uses are listed in chart form for each major Land use category (i.e. residential, commercial, and 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, 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 and three industrial districts. The County also has five maritime districts that regulate water-dependent uses. There are also three other specialized zoning districts known as Open Space, Town Center and Small Business.

 

Check out the Generalized Zoning Map for a quick view at how the County has been zoned. For the zoning of individual properties please 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. There is also a Bog Protection Overlay, Commercial Revitalization Area Overlay and Parole Town Center Overlay.

 

Summary of Zoning Districts

The following is a brief description of each zone district in the residential, commercial and industrial land use categories and their outstanding 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.

 
1. Residential Districts (Permit 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 for single-family detached dwelling 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 and a minimum lot area of 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 and a minimum lot area of 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 sewer) or 2.5 dwellings per acre (with sewer). A minimum lot area of 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 single-family detached residential development at an urban density of 5 dwelling units per acre. A minimum lot area of 7,000 square feet is required. 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 density of 10 dwelling units per acre. No minimum lot size. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 45%. Maximum height is 40 feet.

 

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 45 feet.

 

R22 - Residential

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

 
2.  Commercial Districts (Permit 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 to 60 feet dependent on set back provided.  

 

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. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 1.0, if residential also provided 2.0. Maximum height is 60 feet abutting residential, no height limit if increased setbacks are provided 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. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 2.0. Maximum height is 60 feet if setbacks are provided 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. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 85%. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 1.0. Maximum height is 60 feet. 

 
3.  Industrial Districts (Permit 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, hotels/motels are also allowed. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 75%. No height limit if setbacks provided 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, Contractors and Construction Yards. Maximum lot coverage by structures and parking is 80%. Maximum height is 75 feet if setbacks 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 WI 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, grain and petroleum products. Maximum lot coverage by structures is 80%. Maximum height is 75 feet if setbacks increased as per formula. 

 
4. Maritime Districts  (Permit 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. Maximum Coverage by structures and parking 70% of gross area. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks. No height limit if setbacks 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.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking is 70% of gross area. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks. No height limit if setbacks 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.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking 70% of gross area. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks. No height limit if setbacks 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, hotels/motels.  Maximum Coverage by structures and parking 80% of gross area. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks. No height limit if setbacks 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. Maximum Coverage by structures and parking 80% of gross area. Maximum height is 40 feet based on minimum setbacks. No height limit if setbacks increased as per formula

 
5. Mixed Use Districts  (Permit 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.   
  
6. Other Districts   
 
 

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

The Open Space District is designed to protect and preserve those open land areas of 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 (Permit 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 Zone is permitted in a TC District as well as multifamily uses allowed in a R15 and R22 District. Maximum height is 60 feet depending on setback provided.   Maximum Floor Area Ratio is 2.0 but may be increased as per Code formula.  

  

SB - Small Business District (Permit 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 (maximum floor area for principal structure is 3,000 square feet) that will serve existing communities. The residential character is to remain as the uses transition residential to commercial. Maximum coverage by structures is 30% of gross area.  Maximum height is 40 feet.  

 

7. 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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