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A non-conforming use is a use that is not allowed in a Zoning District, but existed at a time that such use was permitted. Examples of such uses include apartment in single family dwellings, two dwellings on one lot, or a commercial business operating in a district zoned residential. The use must have been legally established at one time but through zoning or code change the use has become not permitted.

Article 18 of the Anne Arundel County code requires property owners to register a non-conforming use with the Office of Planning and Zoning. This process enables the Office to determine a property’s lawful use and the extent of that use. 

If your property is not registered, you may be cited for a zoning violation and subsequently fined. Or you may be denied a building permit on the site, or have difficulty buying or selling the property. 

How to Apply

The non-conforming use application can be downloaded and completed (utilizing Adobe Reader or similar product) and then printed or printed and completed by hand. See the nonconforming use instructions for other documentation necessary.

Non-conforming 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 nonconforming use process.


Filing and Sign Fees Fees
Filing fee $250.00
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