Q & A

Q&A
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Q&A

Q: WHY DO WE NEED A NEW ZONING CODE?

A: The current code has become not only outdated, but also overly complex, with hundreds of overlay districts, Urban Renewal Plans and Planned Unit Developments. Understanding and working within these complexities can be expensive, time-consuming and unpredictable. The new code will be easier to use and understand, more predictable and enforceable. Please see the background page for more information.



Q: I DON’T WANT TO READ THE WHOLE DOCUMENT, THERE ARE JUST A FEW TOPICS I AM INTERESTED IN.

A: We have developed one page summaries by topic such as
• Code Administration
• Educational And Hospital Zoning Districts
• Existing Industrial Zoning Changes
• Historic Preservation And Zoning
• Neighborhood Commercial
• New Industrial Zoning Districts
• Non-complying Uses
• Parking
• Planned Unit Developments
• Public Health
• Remapping 101
• Residential-detached And Semi-detached Houses
• Rowhouse & Multifamily Residential Districts
• Sustainability
• Transit-oriented Development
• Urban Renewal Plans
• Zoning History
• Zoning 101

If you don’t see what interests you, please send us an email.



Q: HOW WILL IT AFFECT MY RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD?

A:The new, updated code will help protect the existing architectural character of all neighborhoods, while providing tools for new and infill development. Changes to the zoning code do not impact existing homes that are legally established. It will only impact new development, additions and subdivisions.



Q: HOW WILL IT AFFECT MY EXISTING SMALL BUSINESS?

A: In the short term there will be little to no impact on existing, legally established businesses. The new code will ensure new development is in character with the commercial area.



Q: ARE THERE MAPS AVAILABLE TO SHOW HOW THE CODE IS APPLIED?

A: Yes, click here.



Q: WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR ADOPTION?

A: We have developed a Version 2 of a DRAFT new Code with maps and presented it for review and comments. The Department of Planning will revise the text based on comments received this fall and present revised text and maps to the City Council for introduction, hearings and approvals. This process will start in early 2012.



Q: WHAT HAPPENS TO EXISTING PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS?

A: Existing Planned Unit Developments are overlay plans adopted by the City Council on property. This new Code won’t in and of itself change those plans. The new Code does have revisions to the process for adoption and review on new Planned Unit Developments. To learn more, please read the One-Page Topic Summaries page.



Q: HOW LONG IS COMMENT PERIOD?

A: The first Draft will be available for comments until December 1, 2011 and possibly longer. If there is a great deal of interest, we can extend the comment period.



Q: WHAT HAPPENS TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD URBAN RENEWAL PLAN?

A: Many neighborhoods and business areas have existing Urban Renewal Overlay plans – this Code does not propose changing those now. To learn more, please read the One-Page Topic Summaries page.



Q: WHAT ABOUT THE NEW STORM WATER MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS?

A: This Draft Code refers to a landscape manual. This manual is available here as well. The landscape standards for zoning, storm water and critical area are coordinated.



Q: HOW DOES THIS CODE HELP BALTIMORE BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE?

A: Baltimore City adopted a Sustainability Master Plan in 2008 that is designed to develop and advocate for programs, policies, and actions by government, citizen, businesses, and institutions that improve the long-term environmental, social, and economic viability of Baltimore City. Visit Baltimore Sustainability for more information on Sustainability. Sustainability elements are incorporated throughout the new Zoning Code, including items such as, urban agriculture and bicycle parking. To learn more, please read the One-Page Topic Summaries page.

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