Subdivision Regulations

Please read the Rules and Regulations for Land Subdivision before filling out the Subdivision Application.

Rules and Regulations for Land Subdivision - Adopted December 22, 2016

Please contact Matthew DeSantis by phone (410-396-5622) or by email (Matthew.DeSantis@baltimorecity.gov) with any questions or concerns.


View Subdivision Applications Currently Under Review


Key Text Provisions

Procedures

Minor Subdivision Types

  1. Resubdivision – The reestablishment of a previously existing lot line(s) for adjoining lots that have been consolidated, without any adjustment in lot lines.
  2. Lot Line Adjustment – The sale or exchange of land between adjoining lots, or for dedication to a public right-of-way, where such sale or exchange does not create an additional buildable lot or lots.
  3. Lot Split – The subdivision of a parent lot into no more than three total lots to enable to transfer of ownership of some or all of the lots.

Major Subdivision Types

  1. Escalated Minor Subdivisions – Any minor subdivision for which written objection or concern has been received by Department of Planning staff within the 20 day required notice period (See Section 2.3 Minor Subdivisions). Or, any Minor Subdivision for which a waiver from any of the requirements of the Subdivision Regulations is requested.
  2. Lot Split – Any subdivision of a parent lot(s) into four or more total lots to enable the transfer of ownership of some or all of the lots.
  3. A Lot Split that requires the widening or extension of an existing public roadway, involves new right-of-way dedication, or requires extension of public utilities (i.e. beyond simple connection to existing utilities). 
  4. Simple Vertical Subdivision – The subdivision of an existing property not less than a half-acre (21,780 sqft) in size into legal surface, sub-surface, and/or air space parcels to enable the transfer of ownership of portions of the lot that are vertically separated by simple planes across the entire extent of the lot. The vertical subdivision is intended to allow each vertical component of the lot to be located within a separate legal parcel, and not to subdivide individual tenant spaces and/or residential units.
  5. Complex Vertical Subdivision – The subdivision of an existing property not less than one acre in size into legal surface, sub-surface, and/or air space parcels to enable the transfer of ownership of portions of the lot that are separated by anything other than simple planes across the entire breadth of the lot. The vertical subdivision is intended to allow the lot to be split into new lots that are defined by complex multi-dimensional volumes.
  6. Waiver Requests – Any subdivision which requires the Planning Commission’s approval of a waiver of any of the requirements of the Subdivision Regulations.
  7. All other subdivision proposals.

Design Review

Design Review Criteria for New Construction + Exterior Renovations/Additions

Most architectural building elevations will be subject to review and approval by a staff architect prior to the subdivision application being scheduled for a public hearing. Elevations will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Is the general architectural style of the project compatible with that of surrounding properties? If substantially different, does the design create an interesting blend of the historic and contemporary?
  2. How does the project relate in scale to surrounding properties? If substantially different, how is this justified?
  3. Are construction materials compatible with those of surrounding properties? If substantially different, how is this justified? Has an effort been made to use the highest quality materials possible for those elevations visible from the nearest public or private street?
  4. Is the front entrance or major points of entry clearly defined?
  5. Has external mechanical equipment been concealed to the greatest extent possible?
  6. Has signage been clearly depicted, and does it conform to applicable codes? Is placement and scale appropriate?
  7. Is exterior building lighting in scale with the project, and has it been designed to minimize adverse impact on surrounding properties?

Design Standards/Sustainability

Sustainable Site Design

While not all projects will trigger specific environmental regulatory controls, developers are asked to incorporate the following sustainable design principles into their development proposals to the greatest extent possible:

  1. Minimize ecological disturbance by preserving natural vegetation and habitat areas.
  2. Maximize planted areas both indoors and out.
  3. Maximize land use efficiency by clustering development, mixing uses where allowable by zoning, protecting open space, and reducing parking demand as much as possible.
  4. Encourage pedestrian and bike access, with linkages to the broader network, and provide bike parking in a secure location.
  5. Minimize impervious ground cover while maintaining density by stacking floor plans or tucking parking under buildings.
  6. Consider solar access in building placement.
  7. Harvest natural site resources such as daylight, wind, and geothermal heat.
  8. Select low-impact construction materials (locally sourced, sustainably produced, non-toxic, or recycled materials).
  9. Reduce electricity consumption by installing Energy Star rated appliances and maximizing the efficiency of building design and location.
  10. Encourage tenant waste recycling by providing convenient recycling stations and pick-up areas.
  11. Maintain natural water flows by minimizing erosion and encouraging stormwater infiltration.
  12. Harvest on-site water flows by reclaiming gray water, roof runoff, or groundwater for use in landscaping or gray water plumbing systems.