The rezoning of property is guided by Maryland Case Law and is not a decision taken lightly. The staff and then the Planning Commission spend a great deal of time considering each case. In the State of Maryland, one must prove either a change in the character of the neighborhood since the last comprehensive rezoning or a mistake in the current zoning for a rezoning to occur. Even then, the Mayor and City Council are not compelled to rezone the property if in their opinion the rezoning would be contrary to the Comprehensive Plan or endanger the public safety. However, overlay districts are not required to meet this change or mistake rule. The most recent comprehensive rezoning became effective in July 2020.

If a rezoning of property is desired, the applicant should request a preliminary consultation with the Planning Commission. This gives the applicant the opportunity to informally brief the Commission about the proposal and receive comments and suggestions before the actual submittal.

The rezoning process generally takes five to seven months. The timetable for a rezoning is as follows:

1. Original submittal to Planning Office for agency review.

2. Public Review Meeting with Planning Commission.

3. Planning Commission makes recommendation to the Mayor and Council

4. Public Hearing with the Mayor and Council.

5. Mayor and Council discuss case at a subsequent workshop meeting.

6. Mayor and Council introduce ordinance to approve or disprove the rezoning

7. Thirty days later the Mayor and Council vote on the ordinance.

8. Thirty days after the vote the ordinance is effective.

For further information about how to proceed with a rezoning, please contact the Planning Office at (301)790-4163, extension 138 or email at