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Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates
Watch the Recording of County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. delivering the Proposed FY25 Budget Message

The Zoning Review office:

  • Processes all zoning petitions; variance, special exception and special hearings
  • Schedule hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Review residential, commercial and industrial building permits
  • Review and approval residential final development plans (FDP)
  • Review and approve all Zoning Use Permits
  • Ensure development complies with Baltimore County Zoning Regulations (BCZR)
  • New residential dwelling permits require an engineer-scaled and sealed site plan. The plan can be sealed a professional engineer, surveyor or landscape architect.

My Neighborhood Interactive Map

Use My Neighborhood to find zoning classifications, view prior zoning cases and access other land use data. Zoning Review does not confirm zoning classification via phone or email.

Variance, Special Exception and Special Hearing


The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) grants variances from height and area regulations where strict compliance with the BCZR would result in practical difficulty or unreasonable hardship. A variance can be done administratively (i.e. not via a public hearing) if:

  1. It is a residential property (DR or RC zoned)
  2. Owner occupied and listed ‘yes’ as principal residence on the SDAT Report
  3. Property ownership is not in LLC or Inc.

This residential checklist provides details and examples of a completed variance packet, including this petition form.

If you cannot meet all three requirements or you have an open case with Code Enforcement or Building Inspections, you will need to complete the public hearing petition form.

A neighbor within 1,000 feet of the requested variance may request a public hearing. A formal demand for hearing must be submitted, in person to Zoning before the closing date on the posted sign.

Special Exception

A special exception seeks permission to do something that the BCZR permits under certain special circumstances. An approved special exception must be utilized within two years from the date of the final order. View the commercial checklist for a special exception and the public hearing petition form.

Special Hearing

The BCZR allows any interested person to petition the ALJ for a public/special hearing. Hearing typically consist of an interpretation of the BCZR and aims to ensure proper enforcement of all zoning regulations.

Zoning Review fees vary depending on the process.

Zoning Policy Manual 2023 Edition

The Baltimore County Zoning Policy Manual 2023 Edition was approved by the Baltimore County Council on December 4, 2023 through Resolution 36-23. The Zoning Policy Manual provides detailed explanation of the Zoning regulations by searching for specific uses and zones.

Zoning Use Permit

A person desiring to use land for any purpose other than that for which the land is being used must obtain a Use Permit. If such use is permissible, Zoning Review, under authorization of the Director of PAI, may issue a Use Permit.

Below are descriptions on the types of Use Permits Zoning issues and information on how to apply. The fee for all Use Permits is $100, and some expire annually and biennial. The process for applying varies, so carefully review all information for each specific Use Permit.

Explore Zoning Review


Contact Us

Zoning Review Office

County Office Building
111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Room 124
Towson, Maryland 21204


Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.






Jeff Perlow