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Zoning impacts how you use your property

Building a home gives property owners the chance to make every decision from start to finish and design exactly the home they want. New property owners looking to build a home have an image in mind when they set out to design and develop a structure.

That image can't include just anything, though. The city and county in which you own property can dictate what you build and how you build it depending on the zoning requirements.

Property values continue to rise in Maryland, marking a strong housing market. If you're looking to buy and build, it's worth knowing what to expect from taking on such a project.

Basics of local zoning regulations

Zoning determines what you build on your property and how can you use it. Common types of zoning used in Maryland include:

  • Industrial
  • Rural Residential
  • Agricultural
  • Residential
  • Commercial/Residential
  • Employment
  • Overlay

Zoning codes can also dictate the size of your property's lawn space, the size of a structure and the style of a structure. For instance, most zones dictate structures must align with the street which is why you don't see homes sitting diagonal or perpendicular to the street. Home styles may seem like a modern design convention, but they're also determined by zoning requirements.

A typical single-family, detached residential zone in Montgomery county dictates a 30-foot setback from the street for any building structure. There must also be a 25-foot gap between a structure and the back of the lot.

Cities and counties also use zoning as a means of prioritizing land use within a specified area. Montgomery county's agricultural reserve is one example of the county's prioritization of certain land use over others.

Following zoning requirements

One of the last things a property owner wants is a fight over adhering to zoning requirements. Take the initiative before a build or remodel to know what the city and/or county dictates in your residential or mixed-use zone.

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Peeples Law
47 East All Saints Street
Frederick, MD 21701

Phone: 301-494-1300
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