Baltimore County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[BCZR 1955]
(See Section 270, Schedule of Special Exceptions.)
NOTE: Certain types of uses are required to secure a permit to allow them to be placed in one or more zones in which their uncontrolled occurrence might cause unsatisfactory results of one kind or another. A few uses, such as dumps and junkyards, are inherently so objectionable as to make extra regulations and controls advisable even in the M.H. Zone, to which they are restricted. Others, like a cemetery, do not fit into any of the zone categories, that is, residential, business and industrial, and therefore must be located with discrimination in relation to their surroundings. All the items listed are proper uses of land, but have certain aspects which call for special consideration of each proposal. Because under certain conditions they could be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the public, the uses listed as special exceptions are permitted only if granted by the Zoning Commissioner, and subject to an appeal to the County Board of Appeals.
In granting any special exception, the Zoning Commissioner and the County Board of Appeals, upon appeal, shall be governed by the following principles and conditions.

§ 502.1 Conditions determining granting of special exception.

Before any special exception may be granted, it must appear that the use for which the special exception is requested will not:
A. 
Be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the locality involved;
B. 
Tend to create congestion in roads, streets or alleys therein;
C. 
Create a potential hazard from fire, panic or other danger;
D. 
Tend to overcrowd land and cause undue concentration of population;
E. 
Interfere with adequate provisions for schools, parks, water, sewerage, transportation or other public requirements, conveniences or improvements;
F. 
Interfere with adequate light and air;
[Bill No. 45-1982]
G. 
Be inconsistent with the purposes of the property's zoning classification nor in any other way inconsistent with the spirit and intent of these Zoning Regulations;
[Bill No. 45-1982]
H. 
Be inconsistent with the impermeable surface and vegetative retention provisions of these Zoning Regulations; nor
[Bill No. 45-1982]
I. 
Be detrimental to the environmental and natural resources of the site and vicinity including forests, streams, wetlands, aquifers and floodplains in an R.C.2, R.C.4, R.C.5 or R.C.7 Zone.
[Bill No. 74-2000]

§ 502.2 Protection of surrounding properties; agreement governing special exception.

In granting any special exception, the Zoning Commissioner or the Board of Appeals, upon appeal, shall impose such conditions, restrictions or regulations as may be deemed necessary or advisable for the protection of surrounding and neighboring properties. The owners, lessees or tenants of the property for which a special exception is granted, if required by the Zoning Commissioner, or Board of Appeals, upon appeal, shall enter into an agreement in writing with said Zoning Commissioner and/or the County Commissioners of Baltimore County,[1] stipulating the conditions, restrictions or regulations governing such special exception, the same to be recorded among the land records of Baltimore County. The cost of such agreement and the cost of recording thereof shall be borne by the party requesting such special exception. When so recorded, said agreement shall govern the exercise of the special exception as granted, as to such property, by any person, firm or corporation, regardless of subsequent sale, lease, assignment or other transfer.
[1]
Editor's Note: Under Section 1107 of the Baltimore County Charter, the County Council and County Executive have succeeded "to all powers heretofore vested in the county commissioners by the constitution and laws of this state."

§ 502.3 Time limit for utilization of special exception; extensions.

[Bill Nos. 42-1962; 85-1967; 68-1968; 172-1993]
A special exception which has not been utilized within a period of two years from the date of the final order granting same, or such longer period not exceeding five years, as may have been specified therein, shall thereafter be void. The Zoning Commissioner or, on appeal, the County Board of Appeals, in connection with the grant of any special exception, shall fix within the aforegoing limits the period of time for its utilization. Any party to the proceedings may, by so specifying, appeal from either the order of the Zoning Commissioner or of the County Board of Appeals as the case may be, solely as to the reasonableness of the period of time allowed or, alternatively, may have such question determined in conjunction with any appeal from the grant or refusal of the application for a special exception. After a final order granting a special exception, the Zoning Commissioner, at any time prior to expiration of the period of time authorized for its utilization, may grant one or more extensions of such period, provided that a maximum time for utilization of the special exception is not thereby extended for a period of more than five years from the date of the final order granting same.
A special exception which requires any construction for its utilization shall be deemed to have been used within its authorized time if such construction shall have commenced during the authorized period, or any extension thereof, provided said construction is thereafter pursued to completion with reasonable diligence.
Notwithstanding the above provisions, in any case where a special exception in effect on or after January 1, 1957, cannot be utilized within the maximum allowable time because of inadequacy or unavailability of public sewer or water facilities, the Zoning Commissioner shall extend such time for utilization to a date 18 months after such facilities become adequate and available, as evidenced by the ability to obtain a public works agreement permitting exercise of the special exception. A copy of the extension order shall be sent by the Zoning Commissioner to the Director of Public Works, who shall give certified or registered mail notice when such public works agreement is obtainable, to the party, and for the property, named in the extension order at the address shown in said order, except that the party named in the extension order, by certified or registered mail notice to the Director of Public Works and the Zoning Commissioner, may change the name of the party to receive such notice from the Public Works Director, or the address to which said notice is to be sent, or both. The date on which the notice is sent by the Director of Public Works to the last party of record within, at the last address furnished, shall be the commencement date for the running of the eighteen-month extension period in which there must be utilization of the special exception.

§ 502.4 Special exception for certain elevator apartment buildings and office buildings.

[Bill No. 100-1970]
The building size, shape and location, the accessory uses and the number of dwelling units authorized under any special exception for an elevator apartment building or office building granted pursuant to the Zoning Regulations in effect before [effective date of bill] shall not be affected by the enactment of Bill No. [number], [year of passage].[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Thus in Bill No. 100-1970, which is presumably the bill referred to. Regarding the effective date of the provisions of Bill No. 100-1970, the bill states (Section 20) that "any amendments herein . . . shall be effective only upon the adoption by the County Council of any new Zoning Maps on or before March 31, 1971." The subsequent Zoning Maps were passed by the County Council on March 24, 1971. However, the bill also states (Section 21) that "this act shall take effect 45 days after its enactment." The bill was enacted on August 5, 1970, and the 45th day thereafter was September 19, 1970.

§ 502.5 Limitations on certain community care centers, boardinghouses and rooming houses.

[Bill No. 142-1979[1]]
In addition to consideration of the requirements imposed generally on the issuance of special exceptions by Section 502.1 of these regulations, the following special requirements, regulations and limitations shall apply to and be effective with regard to special exceptions which may be issued under these regulations, viz:
A. 
Duration limited; extensions.
[Bill Nos. 124-1993; 22-2009]
1. 
Any special exception or renewal thereof granted for a community care center under the authority of these regulations shall be for the limited duration of five years and shall thereafter be of no further force and effect, unless, no later than three months prior to the expiration of such special exception, the center files a written request with the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections for a continuation of the special exception use.
[Bill No. 122-2010]
2. 
The Department shall inspect the community care center premises to ensure that the continued operation of the center will comply with the terms of the original order and any extension thereof.
3. 
After inspection, the Department may approve the extension of the special exception use with any new or amended conditions and publish notice of the extension, or direct that the center file a petition for special hearing with the Zoning Commissioner.
B. 
Any special exception or renewal thereof which was granted for a boardinghouse or rooming house prior to the effective date of Bill No. 124-1993 and pursuant to the law in effect at that time shall, after the effective date of Bill No. 124-1993, be of no further force and effect, unless permitted pursuant to the procedure delineated in Section 408B of these regulations.
[Bill Nos. 44-1982; 124-1993[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former Subsection C, Applications for renewal.
[1]
Editor's Note: Bill Nos. 142-1979 and 167-1980 both added a new Section 502.5 to these Zoning Regulations. Each involved different material and they are included in the order in which they became effective.

§ 502.5A Special exception for certain offices and office buildings.

[Bill Nos. 167-1980;[1] 124-1993]
Bill No. 167-1980 does not affect the validity of any order granting a special exception for an office or office building pursuant to Section 1B02.1. Any such special exception may be used in accordance with both the applicable provisions of these regulations and the zoning classification of the property in effect at the time of the grant of such special exception, provided that construction is started prior to the expiration date of such special exception, and provided the zoning classification at the time construction is started is either D.R.16, R-O, O-1 or O-2.
[1]
Editor's Note: Bill Nos. 142-1979 and 167-1980 both added a new Section 502.5 to these Zoning Regulations. Each involved different material and they are included in the order in which they became effective.

§ 502.6 Uses within residential transition areas.

[Bill No. 124-1981]
In addition to the other requirements of this section, the Zoning Commissioner and the Board of Appeals, upon appeal, when considering a special exception for a use in a residential transition area, shall conform with the requirements of Section 1B01.1.B.1, where applicable.

§ 502.7 Wireless telecommunications towers.

[Bill Nos. 117-1984; 64-1986; 30-1998;[1] 121-2001]
A. 
A special exception may not be granted for any wireless telecommunications tower over 200 feet in height which is within 1 1/2 miles of an existing district on the Baltimore County Final Historic Landmarks list or any of the following historical districts on the National Register of Historic Places, namely, Oella, My Lady's Manor, Western Run, Worthington Valley, Greenspring Valley, Corbett and Long Green Valley, unless the Zoning Commissioner or the Board of Appeals, upon appeal, finds that the proposed use will not be detrimental to or materially detract from the documented values of any such district due to the height of the proposed tower and its placement and visibility relative to such district.
B. 
Towers within scenic viewshed.
1. 
A Special exception may not be granted for a wireless telecommunications tower located in an RC-2, RC-3, RC-4, RC-5, RC-6 or RC-7 Zone within a scenic viewshed unless the Zoning Commissioner finds that the proposed tower will not interfere with or be detrimental to the scenic viewshed elements.
2. 
The Zoning Commissioner shall determine interference or detriment based upon substantial evidence, comparing the scenic viewshed elements to the proposed tower location, in order to determine whether the proposed tower blocks any scenic viewshed elements or is not visually in harmony with any scenic viewshed elements when the elements and the tower can be seen simultaneously.
3. 
The Zoning Commissioner may also consider whether public funds have been spent acquiring easements or entering into other agreements to minimize development or protect aesthetics in areas immediately adjacent to the proposed tower and whether other public or private agreements exist to minimize development or protect aesthetics in areas immediately adjacent to the proposed tower.
a. 
Except as provided in this paragraph, the presence of the easements and agreements may be probative of the possible interference of the proposed tower with scenic viewshed elements.
b. 
The absence of the easements and agreements may not be probative of the possible interference of the proposed tower with scenic viewshed elements.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 5 of Bill No. 30-1998 provided that "...this Act shall be construed only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any person who has had a hearing on a proposed tower before the Zoning Commissioner before the effective date of this Act" (March 30, 1998), and Section 6 of Bill No. 30-1998 provided that ". . . the provisions of this Act shall be interpreted consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996."

§ 502.8 Special exception for certain Class B office buildings.

[Bill No. 151-1988]
Bill No. 151-1988 does not affect the validity of any order granting a special exception for a Class B office building pursuant to Section 203.3.B[1] prior to the effective date of the bill. Any such special exception may be used in accordance with the applicable provisions of these regulations in effect at the time of the grant of such special exception and in accordance with the terms thereof, provided that construction is started prior to the expiration date of the special exception as required by Section 502.3.
[1]
Editor's Note: Based on the renumbering of Section 203 by Bill No. 186-1994, see now Section 204.3.B.

§ 502.9 Validity of special exceptions previously granted.

[Bill Nos. 149-1992; 179-1995]
A. 
Neither Bill No. 149-1992 nor Bill No. 179-1995 affects the validity of any order granting a special exception for a marina or boatyard which occurred prior to the effective date of the bill. Any such special exception may be used in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations in effect at the time of the grant of such special exception and in accordance with the terms thereof, provided that construction is started prior to the expiration date of the special exception as required by Section 502.3.
B. 
Notwithstanding any provisions of these regulations to the contrary, and in addition to the provisions contained in Subsection A above, the uses, conditions and requirements as set forth in Bill No. 149-1992 may be utilized at the discretion of the owner of the property on which the marina or boatyard is located, and no hearing shall thereby be required to amend the prior special exception where the proposed change is permitted as a matter of right by Bill No. 149-1992. If such use should conflict with the terms or conditions of the prior special exception, the permitted use shall apply. If a use is permitted by special exception by Bill No. 149-1992, the Zoning Commissioner or Board of Appeals may, on its own motion, amend the previously granted special exception only in the least restrictive manner possible.
[Bill Nos. 149-1992; 179-1995]
C. 
Nothing contained herein shall limit the authority of the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections to require a site plan, either new or revised, to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements or the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations.
[Bill Nos. 149-1992; 122-2010]

§ 502.10 Amendment of prior special exceptions for trailer parks.

[Bill Nos. 33-2000; 122-2010]
Notwithstanding any provisions of these regulations to the contrary, the conditions set forth in Section 414.5 apply to trailer parks existing on the effective date of this paragraph, and a hearing is not required to amend any provisions of a prior special exception order that conflict with Section 414.5. The Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections retains the authority to require a site plan, either new or revised, to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements of the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations.