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Zoning for Parking, Lighting and Signs

The Anne Arundel County Zoning Code regulates signs (Article 18, Sub Title 3) in an effort to promote traffic safety and reduce visual clutter.  The erection of any permanent sign requires a Sign Permit obtained through the Permit Center and must adhere to the regulations of the Zoning Code with regard to the type, location, number and size of signs.  Sign regulations vary by land use category (e.g. residential, commercial) and development type (e.g. freestanding vs. business complex).  Anne Arundel County also prohibits signs such as portable, sandwich and signs on the roof of a structure.  

Mixed-Use, Town Center Districts and Planned Unit Development may opt for a site specific signage program that supersedes the standard sign regulations (Section 18-3-313).  For example Westfield Annapolis Mall, the Piney Orchard Community, and National Business Park North each have their own comprehensive signage program specifically tailored to their development.


  • A temporary sign such as a real estate sign does not require a permit and is subject to the regulations of Section 18-3-306.
  • Bill boards are not permitted in Anne Arundel County.
  • A home occupation may have one sign not to exceed two square feet in area or five feet in height.
  • The Department of Public works and the Office of Planning and Zoning have a program that provides for permanent off-site directional signs in the County right-of-way for certain uses such as clubs, hotels, religious facilities that are located more than 1,000 feet form an arterial or higher classification road.  See Section 18-3-305 of the Zoning Code.  An application and processing fee (new sign $150.00, replacement $25.00) are required.  For further information please contact the Zoning Division at 410-222-7437.
  • Electronic message board signs for properties listed on the County’s Inventory of Historic Resources are subject to the regulations of Section 17-6-501 and 17-6-504 and are reviewed by the Cultural Resources Planner.  For more information, please contact Cultural Resources at 410-222-7440.

Off-Site Directional Signs

Applications for Off-Site Directional Signs are to be submitted to the Office of Planning and Zoning. Applications must be submitted in person during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m., Monday through Friday.

The application must be fully completed, including a vicinity map showing the location of the proposed signs, location of the business site being at least 1,000 feet from an arterial road or higher road classification, and include a check payable to Anne Arundel County for $150.00 per sign. 

Upon review and approval of the off-site directional sign application, the applicant will be notified and will proceed to have the sign prepared by a private sign contractor in accordance with Anne Arundel County specifications and delivered to the A.A. County Department of Public Works. SIGNS THAT ARE NOT PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNTY SPECIFICATIONS WILL NOT BE INSTALLED. SIGNS ARE NOT TO BE INSTALLED BY ANY PERSON OTHER THAN AN AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OF THE ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS. 

Contact the Zoning Division at (410) 222-7437 for additional questions.