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Maryland Zoning Ordinance Resources

Baltimore County Zoning Classifications

Listed below are short descriptions of the zones in Baltimore County. The list can be used as a quick reference of the zones and the types of development allowed in each zone. A Citizen's Guide to Planning and Zoning includes an illustrated description of each of the county's zones.

Zoning Terms and


Resource Conservation

RC 2


RC 3

Deferral of Planning and Development

RC 4

Watershed Protection

RC 5

Rural Residential

RC 6

Rural Conservation and Residential

RC 7

Resource Preservation

RC 8

Environmental Enhancement

RC 20, 50

Resource Conservation Critical Area


Resource Conservation Commercial - provides commercial development at a scale appropriate to rural areas.

Density Residential

DR 1, 2, 3.5, 5.5, 10.5 & 16

Density Residential - permit low, medium and high density urban residential development. Numeral in each classification indicated maximum number of units per acre. No standard unit lot size is required except for small tracts.


Residential, Apartment, Elevator - permits mid-rise elevator apartment buildings within designated town and community centers. Forty density units per acre.


Residential, Apartment, Elevator - permits high-rise elevator apartment buildings within designated town centers only. Eighty density units per acre.

Residential Transition Areas

Residential areas where dwelling types and lot size requirements must be compatible with existing residences or subdivision lots.



Residential Office - (Class A) permits house conversions to office buildings as of right.


Residential Office - permits house conversions to office buildings as of right; small conventional office buildings permitted by special exception.


Office/Residential - permits development or limited enlargement of a single medium-size office building or residential development potential to DR 5.5.


Office/Residential - permits development of office buildings with supportive accessory commercial uses or residential development potential to DR 10.5.


Office Park Zone - a zone to be used exculsively for office development.


Office and Technology - permits employment-intensive office development in combination with certain high technology and residential development.


Service Employment - permits and encourages the development of offices, related business service uses and small, low impact, light industrial uses; stresses compatibility with residential uses.



Community Business - provides for daily shopping and service needs of nearby residents through small businesses which do not generate large amounts of traffic; stresses compatibility with residential uses.


Business Local Restricted - permits a large range of retail and service uses; performance standards are required to protect adjacent residential communities.


Business Local - small scale commercial.


Business Major - large scale commercial.


Business Roadside - the most permissive commercial classification.


Business Maritime Marina - permits water-dependent facilities and associated uses at a scale keeping with the surrounding residential community.


Business Maritime Boatyard - permits water-dependent facilities and includes more intense uses than those permitted in BMM zones.


Business Maritime Yacht Club - permits water-dependent yatch club facilities and associated uses.



Manufacturing Restricted - the most restrictive industrial classification.


Manufacturing Light Restricted - permits industrial plants and offices with convenient access to expressways to serve as industrial employment centers.


Manufacturing Light - permits light industrial uses such as assembly plants, processing, etc.


Manufacturing Heavy - the most permissive industrial classification.

Districts - to futher the purpose of zones; they provide greater refinement in land use regulations.

AS - Automotive Service
CR - Commercial, Rural
CCC - Commercial, Community Core
CT - Commercial, Town Center Core
IM - Industrial, Major
H, H1 - Honeygo Area
M43 - Middle River Employment Center

Baltimore County Zoning Designations and Regulations

Baltimore County's official zoning map depicts the zoning designation of land in the County. Currently, there are 37 different zoning classifications. There are general types of zones such as rural, density residential, office, business, industrial and mixed use.

The Baltimore County Zoning Regulations provides detailed specifications for each of the zones, including the uses that are permitted (e.g., residential, manufacturing, retail), the maximum intensity of the use allowed (e.g., the number of dwellings per acre), and building height limits and building setbacks from roads and other property lines. The regulations may also detail other requirements, such as the number of parking spaces or amount of landscaping required.

Districts may be superimposed onto a zone to provide additional detailed regulation. Currently, there are seven zoning districts. Five districts are merely descriptive. Only two districts, AS and IM grant additional uses.