Zoning Districts

A zoning district is defined as an area within which certain uses of land and structures are permitted and certain others are prohibited, yards and other open spaces are required, and minimum lot areas and dimensions and other requirements are established.

In Caroline County, the following zoning districts are established:
R – Rural District
This primary zoning district is intended to protect and preserve areas of the county which are presently rural or agricultural in character and use. The purpose of this zoning district is to provide for a full range of agricultural activities; to provide for the location of agribusiness uses; and to allow limited low-density residential development in minor subdivisions, and rural major subdivisions not exceeding 50 lots in size in the county’s transferable development rights receiving area. This zoning district is also intended for purposes of protecting watersheds and water supplies; to provide for spacious development; to protect forest, wetland and scenic areas; to conserve fish and wildlife; to promote forestry, the growing of crops and grazing; and to prevent untimely scattering of more dense urban development. Furthermore, it is intended that in this zoning district there shall be no basis, under this chapter, for recourse against the effects of any normal farming operation as permitted in this zoning district, and conducted in accordance with good husbandry practices, including but not limited to noise, odor, vibration, fumes, dust or glare.

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R-1 – Single-Family Residential District
This zoning district is intended to provide the principal location for single-family residential development of medium density. R-1 Districts should be located in the vicinity of the incorporated towns, in and immediately contiguous to the unincorporated villages and in established residential areas.

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R-2 – Single-Family and Two-Family Residential District
This zoning district is intended to provide for single-family and two-family residential development of high density where public water and sewerage facilities are available.

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C-1 – Neighborhood Commercial District
This primary zoning district is intended to provide for a variety of commercial retail stores, businesses and personal services which serve primarily the needs of the adjacent neighborhood. Furthermore, the size of any permitted commercial, retail or personal service establishment in this zoning district shall be limited to a maximum gross floor area of 3,000 square feet, unless a variance is granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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C-2 – General Commercial District
This primary zoning district is intended to provide for a wide variety of commercial retail stores, businesses and personal services of any size serving a large geographic area. Furthermore, the size of any commercial wholesaling and warehousing establishment in this zoning district shall be limited to a maximum gross floor area of 20,000 square feet, unless a variance is granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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I-2 – Light Industrial District

This primary zoning district is intended to provide for a wide range of industrial uses that are compatible with adjacent uses to the extent that any adverse effects on health, safety or welfare are minimized and, to the extent reasonably practicable, are avoided. This primary zoning district is further intended to prohibit any new residential uses, and to prohibit any discontinued or abandoned residential uses previously existing within this primary zoning district. This primary zoning district is further intended to allow the establishment of an adult-oriented business consistent with the requirements of § 175-42 of this Zoning Code, and any other applicable laws or regulations. This zoning district is intended primarily for light manufacturing, fabricating, warehousing, wholesale distribution, and adult-oriented businesses in low buildings with off-street loading and parking and with access by major thoroughfares or railroads. Light industries include those that manufacture, process, store, package or distribute goods and materials and are, in general, dependent on raw materials refined elsewhere. Any other industrial use not of the character described above may be permitted if approved as a special use exception by the Board of Zoning Appeals. An adult-oriented business use in this primary zoning district shall not require a special use exception and is a permitted use if it can be implemented in compliance with the requirements of § 175-42 of this Code. Proposed industrial, commercial or adult-oriented business uses in this primary zoning district shall be permitted only in accordance with an approved site plan and approval from the Health Department of sufficient water supply and sanitary/sewer/septage services.

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MH – Mobile Home District

This zoning district is intended to provide for the development of planned mobile home parks and subdivisions which are designed to provide an appropriate, safe, sanitary and attractive living environment.

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Rural Village Districts

These primary zoning districts are intended to provide for low- or moderate-intensity residential and commercial uses. This district may contain a mixture of residential, commercial, and maritime/agricultural service uses within and near existing rural development centers. The commercial uses primarily serve residents and those in the vicinity. Development is directed to this district so that more-rural areas’ environment and natural resources are protected and preserved. These districts may have public water and/or sewer service and relatively small lots and higher densities.

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VC – Village Center District
This zoning district is intended to provide a mixed use of low to moderate intensity commercial and residential development. The commercial uses primarily serve the residents and those in the vicinity.

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VN – Village Neighborhood District

This zoning district is intended to provide for low- or moderate-density residential use. Residential development is directed to this district so that more-rural areas' environment and natural resources are protected and preserved. These districts may have public water and/or sewer service; however, services should not be the basis for new development inconsistent with the existing scale or character.

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For more information, please contact the department at 410-479-8100.

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