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Carroll County… It’s Time to Rezone

Carroll County is in the process of updating its zoning code…

If you are a Carroll County resident living outside of a municipality, this may affect you.

Our current zoning code was written in 1965, and it is starting to show its age. In 1965:
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was President.
  • A gallon of gas cost 25 cents.
  • The average house cost less than $20,000.
Times have changed, and it is time for an update.

We are excited to work with all of you throughout this process. We want to hear from you! Please stay tuned for future announcements.


The Zoning Process will take place in two distinct parts:
  1. Zoning Text
  2. Zoning Map


The Zoning Code (current text) is developed to help ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community. It does this by regulating the densities, intensities, and uses of all property in the county.

Proposed Text

The tentative order of the district updates are:
  • Commercial/Industrial/Employment Campus Districts-Under Current Review
  • Residential
  • Agriculture/Conservation

Zoning Code Dash Board

Comprehensive Rezoning Text Dashboard
Updated 1-23-18
Up Coming Drafting Public Distribution (Public Outreach Topics) Planning Commission Action Board of County Commissioners Action
Employment Campus
Commercial (Commercial Low, Commercial Medium, Commercial High)
Industrial (Industrial Light, Industrial Heavy)
Gray means forthcoming
Yellow means in-process
Green means moving forward
Red means on-hold


Simply stated, the map puts the text on the ground. The zoning map being developed reflects existing and—where applicable—future land use recommendations from recently adopted plans. The map update will take place after the new Zoning Code is adopted.

Current Land Use Map (Interactive)

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For more information contact the Carroll County Planning Department at 410-386-5145 or email us at


Comprehensive Rezoning is intended to bring our county’s vision for the zoning code into the future. Public participation is essential to the success of the County’s effort. The County will be hosting outreach meetings throughout the process by Commissioner District. Starting with the review of the Commercial, Industrial and Employment Campus zoning text.

Inclement Weather Policy: If Carroll County Public Schools are closed the meetings will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If Carroll County Public Schools close early the day of the meeting they are cancelled.

District 2 February 1, 2018 North Carroll Senior Center
District 1 February 6, 2018 Taneytown Senior Center
District 5 February 8, 2018 South Carroll Senior Center
District 3 February 15, 2018 Westminster, County Office Building - Reagan Room
District 4 February 22, 2018 Mount Airy Senior Center
Doors will be open to the public from 6-8p.m.

Details About the Rezoning Process:

+ What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan, or a master plan, is a document that integrates a community’s goals and objectives to achieve an overall vision for the future.

A main component of a comprehensive plan is its future land use designations. These designations drive where and how future development will occur.

+ What is Comprehensive Rezoning?

Comprehensive rezoning is the process whereby a jurisdiction changes the zoning map to be consistent with the Master Plan. This also involves reviewing and updating the zoning code. This ensures that the zoning map & code align with the community’s vision for the future as expressed in the adopted comprehensive plan.

+ What is the Process for a Text Amendment?

The Text Amendment process begins with the Concept Team. This group is comprised of representatives from numerous county agencies including:
  • Department of Planning
  • Dept. of Land and Resource Management
  • Department of the County Attorney
  • Bureau of Development Review
  • Zoning Administration
  • Department of Economic Development

After soliciting stakeholder input, this Concept Team develops a Draft Code which reflects the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Draft Code then makes its way through the Public Review process where it must be reviewed by both the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). Only upon the Board’s Adoption and map changes does the new zoning code take effect

The process is summarized in the flow chart below:

+ What is the Process for a Zoning Map Change?

Zoning Map Changes follow a similar process involving the same players: the Concept Team, Planning Commission, and BCC.

The process is summarized in the flow chart below:

The below image is an example of an approved Zoning Map:

+ Current Comprehensive Plans

During comprehensive rezoning, the Concept Team, Planning Commission, and Board of County Commissioners will analyze any zoning changes for compatibility with the county’s comprehensive plans. The following comprehensive plans are applicable to our county:

Please note that this list does not include municipalities’ individual comprehensive plans. These plans will remain under the purview of these local jurisdictions and their respective zoning ordinances.

Comprehensive Rezoning: Frequently Asked Questions and Common Misconceptions

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