The Purpose of Zoning
Zoning in the City of Hagerstown is intended to promote the public health, safety, and welfare of all citizens by regulating the use of land and structures on the land.
The city is divided into various zoning districts for the purpose of directing certain types of land use activities into specific areas of the city. There are a variety of residential, commercial, mixed-use, and industrial classifications, as well as special overlay districts for conversion of non-residential properties, planned developments, and historic districts. The following are the zoning districts in the city:
AT – Agricultural Transition.Allows residential, some limited Ag-related commercial, and whatever farming was occurring on the land when the property annexed into the city. At present we have one AT zoned property and it is a single-family home on Jefferson Blvd.
RMOD – Residential, Moderate Density.Single-family and two-family neighborhoods on the outer edges of the city (e.g., North End, South End, Greenwich Park, outer part of the West End, Carroll Heights).
RMED – Residential, Medium Density. More dense single-family, two-family and townhouse neighborhoods between the outer edges and downtown and also in newer developments at the outer edges of the city (e.g., inner West End, between downtown and North End, East End, S. Prospect Street, Londowntowne, Hager’s Crossing, Collegiate Acres, Cortland Manor, Cortland Villas).
RH – Residential, High Density.Higher density residential neighborhood which allows all types of housing but has typically been where new apartment complexes are built (e.g., Cortpark, Longmeadow Apartments, Bradford Manor, Summerland Manor, Noland Village, The Reserve at Collegiate Acres, Kenley Village, etc.).
RO – Residential Office.Fairly high density residential with some office mixed-in district. Usually an area with large old homes that have been converted to apartments or offices (e.g., N. Potomac Street north of Church Street, King Street, S. Potomac Street south of Baltimore Street).
CC-MU – City Center Mixed-Use. The downtown area. Allows mixing in a dense manner of residential, commercial, and light manufacturing uses in the same neighborhood.
N-MU – Neighborhood Mixed-Use.A new zoning district that has not been used for development yet. It allows a less intense version of the CC-MU.
CL – Commercial Local.Low intensity neighborhood commercial area (e.g., corner of Cleveland and Jefferson, south side of Washington Square, west side of Pennsylvania Avenue below cemetery, etc.).
CG – Commercial General.Allows all types of commercial uses, except big box retail (e.g, Dual Highway, Eastern Boulevard, Best Buy shopping center, South End shopping center, Railway Lane, etc.).
CR – Commercial Regional. Allows commercial uses typically found in regional shopping center, including big box retail – over 75,000 sf (e.g., the Center at Hagerstown, Longmeadow Shopping Center, Stone House Square, Wesel Boulevard commercial area, Martin’s shopping center on Dual Highway, etc.)
POM – Professional Office Mixed-Use.Mainly an office park area with limited retail, restaurants permitted (e.g., Light Business Park, MKS Business Park, Florida Avenue, Mill Street, E. Antietam east of Cannon, etc.)
I-MU – Industrial Mixed-Use.A new zoning district that has not been used for development yet. Allows blending of lower intensity industrial with some amount of commercial.
IR – Industrial Restricted.Allows offices and less intense manufacturing and warehousing. Usually located adjacent to residential (e.g., Lee and Sycamore Street area, N. Prospect Street, Prospect Avenue, MD 58 west of I-81, Industrial Park).
IG – Industrial General.Allows our most intense industrial operations (e.g., E. First Street, Mitchell Avenue, old railroad properties, Hagerstown Business Park, land behind South End shopping center, etc.).
PUD – Planned Unit Development. An overlay zone that is approved with a plan of development (through a public hearing process) that allows for mixing of residential densities and a limited amount of commercial uses. Hager’s Crossing is a PUD.
C – Conversion District. An overlay zone that is approved with a plan of development (through a public hearing process) for adaptive reuse of a multi-story, non-residential building in certain zoning districts. The old factories on Pope Avenue and in City Park are Conversion Districts.
LC – Local Conversion District. A new overlay zone that is approved with a plan of development (through a public hearing process) for small, non-conforming buildings in residential areas. This overlay zone was approved for the old Corsi’s Pizza and the old View Street diner.
HD – Historic District. An overlay zone over historic neighborhoods that requires review and approval of exterior building plans by the City’s Historic District Commission. The City has four local historic districts – downtown, S. Prospect Street, Potomac-Broadway, and Oak Hill.
L- Landmark. An overlay zone for a single historic property that requires review and approval of exterior building plans by the City’s Historic District Commission. The City has seven local landmarks – Alms House, stone house next to old Giant Eagle shopping center, and five privately-owned residential properties.
In the event that a property owner feels that there has been a change in the character of his neighborhood or that a mistake has been made in the original zoning of his parcel, the property owner may apply for a Rezoning of his parcel to a new land use classification to reflect the character of the neighborhood and/or parcel. This process involves public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Mayor and City Council. Approval of the overlay zones follows this process, although without the “change or mistake” basis for approval required for regular rezonings.
Everyone has the right to appeal the findings of the zoning administrator to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). In addition, if there is something unique about the property creating a hardship for the owner, a Variance to setback, etc. requirements can be sought from the BZA. Those uses which are identified as Special Exception uses in the various zoning districts, must be approved by the BZA through a “no worse on this property than any other similarly zoned property” test.
For further explanation of what a particular zoning designation means, please contact the Planning Office at (301) 739-8577, extension 138, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.