Determining whether your property is a DPS or an MNCPPC zone.
Ultimately determining if your property is a DPS or MNCPPC Zone will most likely be made by calling 311(or clicking here) and requesting this information from a zoning specialist. The following is meant to provide some background information about the way these different zones operate and how they came to be.
When Zoning was first implemented in the county, in the early 20th century, most of the development was in the down-county areas closest to the Washington District. These older neighborhoods maintain these original zoning categories and are called “DPS Zones”. They are regulated explicitly by the Zoning Ordinance and interpretations of the ordinance by DPS (and the Board of Appeals) that have evolved over time.
As development grew Northward and spread out there came to be a need to provide more specific guidance to growth and flexibility in the uses that could be applied to the growing community. The zones that grew out of that phase in the County’s’ past became subject to a separate set of requirements that included review by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) also sometimes referred to as Park and Planning or the Planning Board. They are called MNCPPC Zones.
As you will be able to see in the table that follows from the Zoning Ordinance, depending on the zoning of the property, the proposed form of the buildings, use of the property and method of development (standard or optional), different “approval procedures” are applied. The names of these approval procedures include:
Each of these approval procedures has detailed explanations and specific processes and requirements set out in Chapter 59-D-3. In addition enforcement procedures that are used in the case of violation of these explanations are discussed further along in Chapter 59-D-3. This enforcement is implemented by the Site Plan Enforcement Section of DPS through the Memorandum of Understanding with MNCPPC.
To read Chapter 59-D of the countyCode navigate to AM Legal Publishingand follow the hints below.
Helpful hints for navigating AM Legal website:
Article 59-D. Zoning Districts-Approval Procedures
(From the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 59 of the County Code)
(a) In certain zones, the developer must submit plans for approval, and development must be consistent with the approved plans. Article 59-C indicates under each zone which, if any, of these plans are required. These plans are of 4 kinds, as follows:
(1) Development plan. This is a plan submitted as a part of an application for the reclassification of land into the zone, and the approval of the application includes the approval of the plan. (See division 59-D-1.)
(2) Project plan for optional method of development. This type of plan applies in the 6 “CBD” zones, the RMX zones and the MXTC zone* and the TOMX zones. It is similar to a development plan, except that it is not a requirement for the approval of a rezoning application but a precondition for the use of the optional method of development. (See Division 59-D-2.)
*Editor’s note—The MXTC zone was included in this section as the result of an apparent drafting error in Ordinance No. 15-45.
(3) Site plan. In all of the zones requiring either of the above types of plans and also in certain other zones, a site plan, showing more detail, is also required as a precondition for the issuance of building permits. (See division 59-D-3.)
(4) Diagrammatic plan. This type of plan applies only in the MXN zone, and must be submitted as part of an application for the reclassification of land into the zone, and the approval of the application includes the approval of the plan. (See division 59-D-4.)
(b) Schematic development plan. In certain zones, a schematic development plan may be submitted as a part of the application for reclassification of the land, as provided in section 59-H-2.5, "Contents of Optional Method of Application-Local Map Amendments." Procedures for certification, filing and amendment of schematic development plans approved by the district council are specified in division 59-D-1, below.
The following table is provided for the convenience of the public, citing the appropriate sections of article 59-C and indicating the types of plans required in each zone. In the event of any conflict between this table and the provisions of article 59-C, the latter must govern.
Plan Approvals Required by Zone
M- Required only if optional regulations for MPDUs are used.
H- Required only if over 3 stories or 42 feet in height.
N- Required only if development exceeds FAR 0.25.
O- Required only for optional method of development.
E- Required only in accordance with certain provisions of the C-2 zone.
1 Projects that require subdivision plan approval are required to satisfy § 59-C-14.23(b)(2).