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Board of Appeals Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions focuses on concerns citizens coming before the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County often have before filing an appeal, or being a party to an appeal, before the Board of Appeals.

The Board of Appeals for Baltimore County is a quasi-judicial body that hears appeals from the decisions of the Administrative Law Judges and County agencies.

Q. What laws govern the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County?

 A. The Board of Appeals is bound to follow the laws of the Baltimore County Code and Baltimore County Zoning Regulations, as well as the Maryland Rules. We also have our own Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Q. What kinds of cases does the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County handle?

 A. The Board of Appeals for Baltimore County handles most cases that originate at the agency level of Baltimore County Government. The following is a list of types of appeals the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County handles. Please note this list is not all inclusive and is subject to change.

  • Animal Hearing Board
  • Baltimore County Code Violation
  • Baltimore County Employee's Retirement System
  • Building Permits
  • Critical Area Regulation Variance
  • Development Plan
  • Fence Waiver
  • Forest Buffer Variance
  • Industrial Waste Ordinance Violations
  • Planned Unit Development (PUD)
  • Residential Handicap Parking Permit
  • Road Closing
  • Sewer and Water Benefit Charges
  • Taxi Driver License Application
  • Towing License Application
  • Zoning (i.e. Petitions for Special Hearing, Special Exception, Variance, etc.)
  • Map Correction
  • Reclassification

Q. How do I appeal to the Board of Appeals?

A. Generally a written Notice of Appeal must be filed with the originating agency along with the appeal fee. In some cases additional information is required at the time of appeal pursuant to the Baltimore County Code or Baltimore County Zoning Regulations. Please contact the originating agency for more information regarding the appeals process.

Q. How much does it cost to appeal a case to the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County?

A. Please view the Appeal Fees Schedule for information. Please note the appeals fee must be filed with a written Notice of Appeal with the originating agency.

Q. I’ve appealed my case, how long will it be before the Board of Appeals hears my case?

A. When you file the appeal with the originating agency, that agency will then prepare their file for transfer to the Board of Appeals. This process varies by agency but typically the files are transferred within 30 days of the appeal. Upon receipt of the file, the Administrator will review the file and schedule the first available hearing date. Our hearing schedule is posted online and is updated weekly.

Q. Do I need a lawyer?

A. In view of the cost to appeal and possible costly ramifications of the Board’s decision, one may choose to seek legal counsel to represent them before the Board in certain circumstances; however, an attorney is not required.

Q. How do I request a postponement?

A. Postponements and continuances will be granted at the discretion of the Board only upon request in writing by a party of record or an attorney of record (if represented by counsel), addressed to the Board and with a copy to every other attorney or party of record, entitled to receive notice, setting forth good and sufficient reasons for the requested postponement.

No postponement shall be granted within 15 days prior to the hearing date except in extraordinary circumstances. This and other pertinent information can be found in the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Q. What happens at a Board of Appeals hearing?

A. A panel of three Board members hears each case. The Chairman shall regulate the course of the hearing and shall rule upon procedural matters, applications, modifications, and objections made during the course of the hearing, subject to the concurrence of a majority of the panel.

All hearings before the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County are open to the public. Only one case is heard at each hearing unless otherwise specified.

Generally, the hearing will begin with the parties' opening statements. The Petitioner has the opportunity to present his or her case first, then the Protestants of record present their case. The County presents its case last. If the parties agree, the order of presentation may be changed in order to expedite matters.

Parties may have witnesses to support their case. These witnesses will present sworn testimony and can be questioned or cross-examined by the parties and Board members. If an attorney is representing a party in a case, it is very common for them to call paid expert witnesses to help meet the burden of proof in the case.

The parties have the opportunity to present closing arguments in the same order as opening statements. Sometimes, in more complicated cases, the Board will request written briefs to be filed in lieu of oral argument.

In zoning and development cases, the Board of Appeals is required to hold a public deliberation. Public deliberations are open work sessions which allow the public to witness the decision-making process. Attendance is not required and participation is not permitted.

Unless authorized by the Board, a person may not take photographs, motion pictures, audio or video recordings of any kind during the conduct of a hearing or public deliberation.

Q. My case has been heard before the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County, how long before I get the written decision?

A. The Board of Appeals will render a written opinion typically within 60 days of the date of the last hearing, or public deliberation, unless otherwise required by law or additional time becomes necessary.

Copies of Board of Appeals Decisions with case numbers within the last two years are available online in PDF format. Please contact our office for information regarding cases older than two years.

Q. Is there an appeal process beyond the Board of Appeals for Baltimore County?

A. Yes. The Board of Appeals for Baltimore County is the first step in the appeals process from the originating County agency. Upon completion of the case before the Board of Appeals, an aggrieved party may appeal within 30 days of the date of the decision of the Board to the Circuit Court for Baltimore County by filing a Petition for Judicial Review pursuant to the Maryland Rules. For further information regarding appealing cases to the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, please contact the Civil Department at 410-887-2614.

For further inquiry, please contact our office at 410-887-3180 or

Revised December 13, 2019         


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