Special Exception

A special exception is neither an exception nor special. It is a use that is specifically listed as allowed within a zoning district. The use will have specific conditions that must be met in order to be allowed. The applicant for a special exception must demonstrate to the Administrative Hearing Officer, at a public hearing, how those conditions will be met.

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

The Letter of Explanation must outline the specifics of the proposed Special Exception request. This letter must contain the justification for the request. The general criteria (Article 18-16-304) and the specific special exception criteria (from Article 18, Title 11) for the proposed use must also be addressed in this letter. It is important to note that the applicant must address and prove that there is sufficient public need for the proposed special exception use. If the application is for an existing use that is in operation, include this information in the letter of explanation.

In accordance with the contents of an administrative site plan in Article 18-16-201(e).

All administrative site plans must be drawn at an engineering scale no smaller than 1”=40’ showing the entire property in question. Applicants are required to specify the setbacks, dimensions, height, and number of stories of any structure shown on the administrative site plan.

To confirm the ownership of the subject property. A copy can be obtained from mdlandrec.net. 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 opzmaproom@aacounty.org.
  • 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.
Application:For a solid waste facility $3,500
For any use other than the above $1,200
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 fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the hearing. The Research & GIS Section of the Office of Planning and Zoning will provide all applicable signs.