Chapter 426, Section 4 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (Land Use Article) provides for the establishment, enforcement and amendment of zoning regulations and boundaries. Article XXX of the Carroll County Code of Public Local Laws and Ordinances further provides for the comprehensive and piecemeal zoning map amendment processes. The following procedures have been established in accordance with these laws.

Zoning Map Amendment (Piecemeal Rezoning) Process

A zoning map amendment (piecemeal rezoning) process typically is requested by an individual property owner or contract purchaser of property. It is a request to change the zoning on a property based on one of two findings that would support a zoning change:

  • a substantial change in the character of the neighborhood; or
  • a mistake in the existing zoning classification.

“The “change or mistake” rule puts a difficult burden of proof on the applicant for piecemeal rezoning. In certain cases, however, there may be cause to look at rezoning based on the merits of an individual case. Maryland case law outlines the findings that are required for this type of rezoning, called “piecemeal rezoning,” to take place. In non-charter counties and municipalities, the legislative body shall find that the rezoning is consistent with the comprehensive plan and that the current zoning was applied in error, or that a change in the neighborhood has occurred in the time since the current zoning was applied.” Quote taken from Maryland Department of Planning (MDP).

Petition for Zoning Map Amendment and Guide for the Preparation of Rezoning Petitions and Procedure for Rezoning

For more information on the piecemeal rezoning process or active rezoning requests, please contact the Bureau of Comprehensive Planning at or by calling 410-386-5145.

Comprehensive Rezoning Process

A comprehensive rezoning may be suggested for consideration by an individual, but can only be pursued on the recommendation of staff or the Board of County Commissioners (see Section 223-200 Comprehensive rezoning, Carroll County Code of Public Local Laws and Ordinances).  There are currently no Comprehensive Rezonings in process.