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If you are proposing work that does not comply with the Zoning Code, you may apply for a zoning variance. A variance is an authorization to meet less than the full zoning requirement. Zoning variances are not granted automatically. A property owner must apply for a zoning variance with the Office of Planning and Zoning. After receiving the application, the Office of Administrative Hearings will schedule a public hearing, receive testimony and decide whether to grant or deny the request.

How to Apply

pre-file meeting with the Zoning Division (by appointment) is required for any of the following:

  • new Single Family Dwelling
  • disturbance of 5,000 square feet or more
  • located in an environmentally sensitive area,
  • located within the Critical Area or in a Bog Protection Area. 
The variance application can be downloaded and completed utilizing Adobe Reader (or similar product) and then printed or printed and completed by hand. See the variance instructions for other documentation necessary.
An application for a Variance must be hand delivered to the Zoning Division of the Office of Planning and Zoning for processing.
See related information for details about the Variance process.


Filing and Sign Fees Fees
Filing fee for a single-family residential detached dwelling or use $180.00
Filing fee for any other use $480.00
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