Queen Annes County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
As set forth in this article, buffer yards are required to:
A. 
Eliminate or minimize potential nuisances, such as dirt, litter, noise, glare of lights, signs, and unsightly buildings or parking areas; or
B. 
Provide spacing to reduce adverse impacts of noise, odor, or danger from fires or explosions.
A. 
In general. Buffer yards:
(1) 
Shall be located on the outer perimeter of a lot extending to the lot line; and
(2) 
May not be located on any portion of an existing or dedicated public or private street or right-of-way.
B. 
Procedure. To determine the type of buffer yard required on a lot or between two lots or between a lot and a street, the following procedure shall be used:
(1) 
Identify whether any portion or lot line of the site constitutes a zoning district boundary (If it does, determine the zoning on both sides of the property.);
(2) 
Determine whether the adjoining lot is vacant or developed;
(3) 
Classify any street adjacent to the proposed use as an arterial, collector, local, or other street; and
(4) 
Determine the buffer yard required on each boundary (or segment hereof) of the lot proposed for development by referring to § 18:1-76 of this Chapter 18:1.
A. 
Proposed use adjacent to vacant lot. When a proposed use adjoins a vacant lot for which a buffer yard is required by the presence of a zoning boundary, the proposed use shall provide 1/2 of the required buffer.
B. 
Second use to develop.
(1) 
The second use to develop shall, at the time it develops, provide all additional plant material and/or land necessary to provide the total required buffer yard.
(2) 
If the adjoining use had developed prior to April 9, 1987, without a buffer yard, the second use is responsible for installing the total required buffer yard.
C. 
Existing plant material. Existing plant material and/or land located on the first developed lot that meets the requirements of this Chapter 18:1 may be counted as contributing to the total required buffer yard.
D. 
Adjacent lots. All or a portion of a required buffer yard may be provided on an adjacent lot, provided that both property owners execute a recordable instrument to that effect, which shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Director.
A. 
General buffer yard and street buffer requirements. The letters in the tables below establish buffer yard requirements and standards along adjacent zoning districts and streets, unless otherwise set forth in Subsections B through E of this section. For example, a B buffer yard is described in the Table of Buffer Yard Standards as being 15 feet wide and containing two plant units, as described in § 18:1-70, per 150 linear feet.
[Amended 9-7-2004 by Ord. No. 04-25]
District Boundary Buffers
[Amended 1-24-2012 by Ord. No. 11-17]
Developing Property Zoning District
Adjacent Zoning District
AG, CS
E
SE, SR, NC
UR,VC, GVC, GNC, SHVC
SC
SI, UC, TC, SIBE
LIHS
AG, CS
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
E
A
--
B
C
D
E
E
SR, SE
--
A
--
A
D
E
E
UR, VC, GVC, GNC, SHVC
B
C
B
--
C
D
D
SC
D
D
D
C
--
A
A
SI, UC, SIBE, GGMC
D
E
E
D
A
--
--
LIHS
L
L
L
L
L
L
--
NC
B
B
--
B
A
A
A
Street Buffers
[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 04-47; 1-24-2012 by Ord. No. 11-17]
Developing Property Zoning District
Arterial Street
Collector Street
Local Residential Street
Other Street
AG
--
--
--
--
CS
S
A
--
--
E, SE, SR
D
C
S
S
UR
D
C
C
C
VC, GVC, GNC, SHVC
B
S
B
S
SC
B
S
B
S
SI, SIBE
D
C
E
S
UC, TC, GGMC
B
B
D
S
LIHS
L
L
L
L
NC
C
C
C
C
Table of Buffer Yard Standards
Buffer Yard
Number of Plant Units
(per 150 linear feet)
Buffer Yard Width
(feet)
A
1
15
B
2
15
C
3
20
D
4
20
E
5
20
S
2
10 from edge of street right-of-way
L
8
40
B. 
Exception; property line not exactly 150 feet. In cases where the property line requiring a buffer is less than 150 feet in length, a minimum of one plant unit is required. For property lines requiring a buffer that is more than 150 feet in length, but not an even multiple of 150 feet, the required amount of plant units shall be calculated and determined by the Planning Director.
C. 
Exception; commercial or industrial use. In cases where a commercial or industrial use is proposed adjacent to a residentially zoned property with an existing residential use, the Planning Commission may require earthen berms and/or opaque or semiopaque fencing in addition to the required plant units.
D. 
Cluster subdivisions. In cases where a cluster residential development is proposed in any zoning district outside of the growth areas, the developing property shall provide a vegetative buffer of native species along the perimeter property line a minimum of 30 feet in width consisting of a mixture of canopy trees, canopy treewhips, and mature plant material of significant density to provide immediate bufferind capacity in the vicinity of the proposed development to provide additional protection for the existing and continuing agricultural uses on adjacent properties. The buffer will occur regardless of the presence or absence of required district boundary. The buffers may be used in conjunction with meeting requirements of Chapter 18:2, Forest Conservation. The Planning Director or the Planning Commission, as appropriate (for the type of subdivision approval), may modify the requirements of this section if strict compliance would not be likely to protect adjacent agricultural lands from nuisance claims or complaints.
[Amended 10-9-2012 by Ord. No. 12-09]
E. 
Buffer design. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the design of a required buffer shall ensure that neighboring properties and public rights-of-way are adequately screened from adverse external effects of proposed adjacent uses.
A. 
In general. A buffer yard:
(1) 
May be used for passive recreation or stormwater management; and
(2) 
May contain pedestrian, bike, or equestrian trails, provided that:
(a) 
A required plant material is not eliminated;
(b) 
The total width of the buffer yard is maintained; and
(c) 
All other requirements of this Chapter 18:1 are met.
B. 
Prohibited uses. Except as provided in Subsection A above, no other use, including active recreation, may be allowed in buffer yards.