What is zoning?
-The basic purpose and function of zoning is to divide a jurisdiction into residential, commercial, and industrial districts (or zones), that are for the most part separate from one another, with the use of property within each district being reasonably uniform.
Why is zoning important?
-Zoning is designed to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community, to protect and conserve the value of buildings, and encourage the most appropriate use of the land. Some uses are incompatible beside one another, and zoning is used to control where those uses reside. In addition, zoning controls size and height of buildings, how close structures can be built to other structures and non-occupied structures, such as fences, signs and outbuildings. Zoning is also used to enforce adequate parking standards.
Where does zoning apply within Garrett County?
- Garrett County is the only county in Maryland without countywide zoning. Zoning only exists within the municipal boundaries of 6 towns and within the boundaries of the Deep Creek Watershed. Outside of these areas no zoning permit will be required; however, a building permit may. To see if you are in a zoned area, please visit maps.garrettcounty.org/ and click on the zoning layer from the dropdown menu of layers. For more information about each of these zoning areas please follow the links below.
I'm in zoning, when do I need a zoning permit?
- Zoning permits are needed when
- You are building a new structure. The structure can be a home, a business, a garage or shed or similar outbuilding. In most cases a building permit will be required as well.
- You are changing the use of the property. For example, you are changing a residential structure to a commercial one, or a non-occupied structure to an occupied one, or a residential unit to a Transient Vacation Rental Unit (TVRU). In addition, when changing from one commercial use to a different commercial use, you may also need to obtain a zoning permit.
- You are constructing an addition on to an existing unit. A building permit may also be required.
- You are erecting a sign - temporary or permanent, a billboard, deck, porch, retaining wall and steps and/or ramps. A building permit may also be required.
- You are reducing parking at your commercial establishment.