By Request Commercial/Industrial/Employment Campus

Residential Text

Residential Questions

Multifamily/Planned Unit Developments

  1. Are Planned Unit Developments being revised during the residential text review.   Specifically, what is the intent of excluding townhouses from the multifamily definition, especially when multifamily requires PUD in R-10,000 and R-7,500 Districts anyway? Why the distinction is needed. As noted in the Concept Team notes posted online, it was decided at the August 12th, 2020 meeting that there would be no recommended changes to PUD provisions. Townhouses are being separated from multifamily in the definitions because they are a different type of dwelling and are currently defined separately, which is confusing. The distinction is needed for clarity.

Bulk Requirements

  1. Are their density maximums in any of the residential zoning districts? The density maximums are set by the Purpose of the district and the lot area minimums, both currently and proposed. The lot areas for single family dwellings are 40,000 sf, 20,000 sf, 10,000sf and 7,500 sf for the R-40, 000; R-20,000; R-10,000; and R-7,500, respectively.

  2. Why is the required side setback is 12’ in R-20,000, but 20’ in R-10,000 – this seems like it should be reversed? The Concept Team is still reviewing setbacks and is making recommendations regarding this type of issue.
  1. In the R-20,000 district, the stated density for retirement homes/age restricted housing shall not exceed 3.5 dwelling units/acre; however, this is different than each of the other districts, which limits density to 1 resident per 3,000 sf). The stated density for retirement homes in the R-20,000 district is being changed from 1 resident/3,000 sf to 3.5 units per acre to be in line with the land use definition of Residential Medium in the adopted Freedom Plan. It remains 1 resident/3,000 sf in the higher density districts, as this is still considered appropriate in the high density residential districts.

Land Use Table

  1. Why allow Agricultural use in the R-10,000 and R-7,500 districts when their stated purpose is for single-family and multifamily in Designated Growth Areas (DGA)? It is the policy of the County to allow Agriculture in ALL zoning districts. See 158.035. The 2014 County Master Plan and 2018 Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan retained this vision. The County also requires Right to Farm Notices with real estate disclosures:   150.59  RIGHT TO FARM NOTICE AND REAL ESTATE TRANSFER DISCLOSURE.
  1. We are concerned about allowing hemp production and storage within the R-20,000, R-10,000, and R-7,500 due to smaller lot sizes and an inevitable nuisance to adjacent properties. It is the policy of the County to allow Agriculture in ALL zoning districts. See 158.035. The 2014 County Master Plan and 2018 Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan retained this vision.  The County also requires Right to Farm Notices with real estate disclosures:   § 150.59  RIGHT TO FARM NOTICE AND REAL ESTATE TRANSFER DISCLOSURE. 
  1. Should B&B and Rooming/tourist homes be compatible in small-lot residential districts? Should there be a limit to the number of these commercial establishments in a residential area? Rooming and Tourist homes were taken out in a later draft (see carrollrezoning.org). Bed and breakfast is defined in the code as “Any owner-occupied, residential dwelling in which rooms are rented to paying guests on an overnight basis.” With the exception of the C-1 District, this use is not permitted in the commercial and industrial districts. B&B is a conditional use, allowing the impact on the neighborhood to be assessed and neighbors to be heard. The zoning code never puts a limit on the number of a certain type of use in an area.
  1. What is the nature of “further discussion” for funeral establishments in R districts? Further discussion indicates research into the existing funeral homes that would become nonconforming with this change.
  1. Is there an “X” missing for Hospitals in R-20,000? The Carroll County Hospital is in the R-20,000 District. Changing this would make one of the County’s largest employers a nonconforming use.
  1. Suggest considering golf course as either Conditional in R Districts or, required to be part of a PUD. Golf Course is already proposed to be conditional in the residential districts in the latest draft posted on the website.
  1. Are indoor and outdoor recreational facilities in Residential Districts compatible? Elements of traffic, noise, site lighting, attracting users from well outside the neighborhood, and other likely impacts to adjacent properties). The opposition to recreational facilities in the residential districts is noted and will be discussed with the Planning Commission and BCC. Recreational uses, which include parks, ballfields, etc. are generally considered to be supportive and compatible with residential neighborhoods. These uses are currently conditional uses in all residential districts and changing this would create numerous nonconforming uses. 

8.Is there more work to be done on Bulk Requirements? Bulk requirements are still under review. The Concept Team recognizes that there are many inconsistencies in the current requirements, and this requires further discussion.

Accessory Uses

  1. The allowance of “Cottage Industry” (manufacturing and assembly) uses in the R districts (even with the restrictions provided in paragraphs a-f) appear to set up inevitable neighbor conflicts? These uses are currently permitted accessory uses in the residential districts following a public hearing. The residential districts, whose primary purpose is to provide locations for homes, also allows limited accessory commercial uses that are supportive and compatible with the residential neighborhoods. Cottage Industry is currently permitted with the listed restrictions. It was felt that the requirement for a public hearing allows all parties to be heard, and the restrictions regarding no sales on the property, no outdoor storage, no change to the external appearance of the property, provides sufficient protection.

  2. There appears to be numerous ways of circumventing the density requirements of the R Districts due to the number and lenient conditions afforded to accessory dwellings, especially in R-20,000, R-10,000 and R-7,500 Districts (paragraphs 2a-h) in the Accessory Use section. The density requirements cannot be circumvented. A detached accessory dwelling cannot be constructed on a lot unless it has another lot right (i.e eligible to be subdivided). For attached accessory dwellings, the property owner must occupy one of the dwellings and it may be no more than 800 sf in size. As has been noted by the FDCA, page 3 of the adopted Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan states: “According to the Pew Research Center there is an increasing trend toward Generational Housing wherein multiple generations live under one roof. Freedom should remain a place that will accommodate larger homesites that can accommodate additions of in-law suites or similar improvements that enable multiple generations of families to live together…” Retaining these provisions furthers this important recommendation of the Plan.

Residential Rezoning

"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 These Code Changes "

The Code change text 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


"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.


"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.

"I own property in Carroll County. How will I be affected by this effort? "

The way in which you will be impacted depends on the location of your property, its zoning, and its future land designation on the recently adopted County Master Plan or Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan (currently under consideration). If you are located within a municipality, you are NOT impacted at all by this effort. If you are outside of a municipality in a commercial or industrial zoning district or have a future land use designation of commercial, industrial or employment campus on one of the above-mentioned Plans, the proposed changes to the zoning text at this time MAY impact your property. If you are in a residential, agricultural, or conservation zoning category, the proposal under consideration at this time does NOT impact you. Changes to the regulations in these zoning categories will be proposed over the next year which MAY impact you. The Zoning Map for the County will not be amended until the new zoning regulations are adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. These changes will be based on the future land use recommendations in the Master and Comprehensive Plans. Impacted property owners will be informed by mail of the proposed change in zoning at that time.

"Why is it necessary to change the zoning regulations? "

The zoning regulations were written over fifty years ago, with few comprehensive changes made to keep up with changes in development and market trends. As a result, it is difficult for citizens to interpret the outdated land uses, identify all of the applicable regulations, and understand the obsolete language. In addition, it is necessary to change the regulations for the commercial zoning districts because the new Master and Comprehensive Plans created three zoning districts where there are currently only two. The recommendations of the Plans cannot be realized without the creation of the three districts commercial districts.

"Will I be getting postcards in the mail throughout the process? "

The postcard that all property owners received in January, 2018 was intended to kick off the entire effort and ensure that all citizens are aware of this project from the beginning, and ill not be repeated. However, you are encouraged to sign up for regular email updates at carrollrezoning.org. The progress of the zoning text changes, and at a later date, the zoning map amendments, will be communicated via these emails, the County’s Facebook page and Twitter, press releases to the local news organizations, and information provided to the County’s senior and community centers and libraries.