Zoning Information

Frequently Applicable Zoning Regulations

Zoning District Descriptions 1-19-5.200

Zoning Use Table 1-19-5.310

Accessory Structures 1-19-4.300 and 1-19-11.100

Projection of Architectural Features 1-19-6.150

Building Height 1-19-11.100
Worksheet for Determining the Height of a Building

Home Occupation 1-19-8.240 and 1-19-11.100 and 1-19-6.320(5)

Parking 1-19-6.200

Lot Size and Setback Requirements 1-19-6.100

Signs 1-19-6.300...

Public Notice/Hearing Placard Requirements

The premises must be posted in accordance with the following rules:

  • An affidavit certifying the posting of the required placard must also be filed on the day the property is posted.
  • Placard must be posted a minimum of 30 days prior to the public hearing date.
  • Placard must be posted in a conspicuous manner not over 6 feet above the ground level and affixed to a sturdy frame where it will be clearly visible and legible to the public.
  • Placard must be placed on the property within 10 feet of the property line that abuts the most traveled public road.
  • Placard shall be maintained at all times by the applicant until after the public hearing.  If a new placard is needed or required, please contact the Division of Planning at 301-600-1138.
  • Proper posting of the placard will be spot-checked by the Zoning Administrator and if not in compliance, it may result in the rescheduling of the hearing.

Placard Installation Guidelines

Agricultural Land Use and Development FAQs

Do I need a building permit for an agricultural building?
No. Barns, silos, and other agricultural buildings only need a zoning certificate. Agricultural processing buildings such as buildings for wine production need a building permit and a zoning certificate before construction. Buildings such as garages are not considered agricultural buildings therefore they require building permits.

Do agricultural buildings require plumbing or electrical permits? Are they subject to inspections?
Yes. Plumbing and electrical installation requires permits and inspections.

Do I need to subdivide my property to give a lot to my son or daughter?
Yes. You must comply with all of the county and state regulations, such as well and septic regulations before you can give land to a child. The 1st step is to hire a surveyor to prepare a subdivision plan and have the plan submitted to the Office of Permitting and Inspections for approval.

How do I sell a portion of land to my neighbor?
The 1st step is to have a surveyor draw up a plat map to add their property to yours. This is called an addition plat. The surveyor will then submit the plat to the Office of Permitting and Inspections for approval.

How many development rights (lots) am I entitled to?
Development rights are determined by zoning regulations, which state that any agriculturally zoned land that existed as of August 18, 1976 is entitled to 3 development rights plus the remainder lot. Depending on the size of the farm, additional rights may be given if the lots are clustered. Cluster rights are determined by the size of the farm. All properties must go through the subdivision regulations set by the Frederick County Office of Permitting and Inspections.

Are mobile homes permitted in the agricultural zone?
Yes, mobile homes are permitted as primary dwellings or to be used as a tenant house.

If I replace a dwelling do I need to pay the impact fee?
You can request a waiver of the impact fee if you are replacing 1 dwelling for an existing dwelling that is being taxed as a dwelling unit.

Is a permit required for a new well?
Yes. Please contact the Health Department for more information concerning wells.

Is a permit required for a new driveway?
Yes. Please contact the Construction Management Department for additional information on driveway permits.

Are there regulations on clearing trees?
Yes. Certain regulations may apply if you are clearing trees. Please contact the Office of Permitting and Inspections for more information.

Is there a limit to the number of farm animals I can have?
If you are zoned agricultural there is no limit to the number of farm animals you may have with the exception of hogs. Swine operations must comply with the Intensive Swine Feeding Operations Part I Chapter 19 Sections 8.500 to 8.500.16 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Am I allowed to sell agricultural products on my property?
Yes, as long as the agricultural product is grown on the property. Products such as vegetables, fruits and hay can all be sold on the farm.

What about producing and selling jellies, ice cream, wine, etc.?
Producing an agricultural product such as wine from grapes is considered agricultural processing and requires special permitting. Please contact the Community Development Division for more information.

What about corn mazes or petting farms?
Yes, these are allowed in agriculturally zoned properties without a permit as long as they meet the requirements of the agricultural enterprise section of the Zoning Ordinance.

Do I need a Soil Conservation Plan?
Conservation Plans are valuable in helping to protect water quality by correcting soil erosion problems, and by keeping your farm in order. Contacting the Frederick County Soil Conservation District office can start plans.

What about tenant houses, how many acres do I need to build 1? Are there building size limitations?
Per 1-19-8.205.3 this use is permitted as an accessory to the principal dwelling. The application also has to provide evidence that the person living in the Tenant House is making their day to day living from the farm.  

§ 1-19-8.205.3. FARM TENANT HOUSES.
Farm tenant houses are permitted as accessory structures on a farm as follows: 25 acres to 50 acres, 1 tenant house, thereafter 1 tenant house per 50 acres.
(Ord. 77-1-78, § 40-47(D), 1-24-1977; Ord. 08-26-502, 10-14-2008; Ord. 09-21-525, 6-4-2009; Ord. 14-23-678, 11-13-2014)

ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE. A subordinate use or structure, which is located on the same lot as the principal use or building except as outlined in § 1-19-8.250.1(F) and serves a purpose customarily incidental to the principal use or building. No accessory structures shall be permitted in designated floodplain areas.

TENANT FARMHOUSE. A single-family detached dwelling or a separate dwelling unit within the principal structure located on a farm.

Please contact Zoning with any with questions.