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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.

How to Apply

A pre-filing meeting with the Zoning Division is required prior to submittal. Call the Office at (410) 222-7437 for questions or to make arrangements for an analyst to accept a pre-file.

After pre-file comments are received the appropriate documents may be compiled for the special exception submission.

The special exception application can be downloaded and completed (utilizing Adobe Reader or similar product) and then printed or printed and completed by hand. See the special exception instructions for other documentation necessary.
Special exception application submissions, including fees, can be submitted by mail to:
Office of Planning and Zoning
Zoning Division
2664 Riva Road MS 6301
Annapolis, MD 21401

or dropped off in the OPZ Drop Box at the OPZ Customer Express Station, 2664 Riva Road as outlined below:

  • Securely wrap or place submittal information in a large envelope.
  • Checks for fees may be included with the submission.  NO CASH can be accepted. Secure or place in the envelope with the plans and other documentation. If placed in a separate envelope within the larger envelope, clearly label the payment envelope on the outside (Identify what it is for - type of application and property address or tax ID).
  • Mark submissions for the "Zoning Division". 
  • For a submittal with several packages, clearly mark each part with the type of application and property address or tax ID and labeled "Package 1 of ___, 2 of ___, " etc.
  • The Drop Box will only be accessible between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday when the County is open. The Drop Box will NOT be accessible outside of these hours.

    See related information for details about the special exception process.


Filing and Sign Fees Fees
Filing fee for most use $1,200.00
Filing fee for a solid waste facility $3,000.00
Sign fee $35.00 for each
Sign fee $35 for each sign that is required to be posted on the property. For sites with frontage on more than one road or on the water, additional signs are required for each road and water frontage.

Filing fee and sign fee may be combined in one check made payable to Anne Arundel County.


2664 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401