Critical Area Reclassification

A critical area reclassification is the changing of the critical area land use classification of a parcel of land. An application for a critical area reclassification may be for a more or less restrictive classification and may cover more than one lot if portions of each lot are proposed to be designated in the same classification or one or more classifications.

Visit the Pre-file page to understand requirements and for more information.

The Letter of Explanation must outline the specifics of the proposed Critical Area Reclassification request. This letter must contain the justification for the request and must address the specific criteria for a Critical Area Reclassification as set forth in Article 18-16-302 of the Anne Arundel County Code.

All administrative site plans must be drawn at an engineering scale no smaller than 1"=40' showing the entire property in question. In addition to the requirements set forth in Article 18-16-201(e), the site plan shall also include a metes and bounds description and the bearings and distances related to the County coordinate system, and at least three grid ticks, Maryland State grid coordinate of the property proposed for Critical Area Reclassification. The site plan shall be prepared and certified by an engineer, architect, landscape architect, or land surveyor registered to practice in the State of Maryland.

To confirm the ownership of the subject property. A copy can be obtained from Provide a copy of the recorded subdivision plat or a signed and sealed survey of the property if the deed does not provide a metes and bounds description.

List of names and addresses of all property owners who own land:

  1. located within 300 ft of the affected property;
  2. that confronts or adjoins the affected property; and
  3. except property owned by government entities or public service companies, that confronts or adjoins land identified in (2) above.

Use the Property Details Viewer to generate a list of nearby property owners:

Click "OK" button

Envelope Icon

Click the envelope icon

In the Public Notification box start typing the address or tax ID number (12 digits) 

Click the box beside “Apply a search distance”

Verify or enter the search distance required

Change the Format to “PDF label 1 x 4 inches; 20 per page”

Click Download button (a PDF of the properties within the specified distance will be generated)

For property in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area (property 1,000 feet from all tidal waters)

For property in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area (property 1,000 feet from all tidal waters)

  • Topographic map
    • Topographic map to scale - To request a topo map contact the the 4th floor Map Room by calling 410-222-7463 or send a request including the address and/or tax account ID to
  • A paragraph or less addressing each point listed below:   
    • Describe the proposed use of the subject property and include if the project is residential, commercial, industrial, or maritime.
    • Describe the type of predominant trees and shrubs on the subject property. Include a statement addressing the square footage of the property that is vegetated with trees and shrubs, how much of the property will be disturbed by the proposed development, and how the disturbance will be mitigated.
    • Describe the methods to minimize impacts on water quality and habitat from proposed construction (i.e. stormwater management, sediment control, and silt fence).
    • Calculate the impervious surface before and after construction, including all structures, gravel areas, driveways, and concrete areas.
    • If applicable, describe any habitat protection areas on the subject property including expanded buffers, steep slopes of 15% or greater, rare and endangered species, anadromous fish propagation waters, colonial waterbird nesting sites, historic waterfowl staging and concentration areas, riparian forests, natural heritage areas, and plant and wildlife habitats of local significance.
Signs:$35 per sign
For sites with frontage on more than one road or on the water, additional signs are required for each road and water frontage. It is the responsibility of the applicant to post the required sign(s) on the subject property for a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing. The Research & GIS Division (4th Floor) of the Office of Planning and Zoning will provide all applicable signs.