Prince George’s County Springs Forward to a New 21st Century Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Rewrite Timeline
Prince George’s County Zoning Rewrite Timeline

It’s spring time and the Prince George’s County Planning Department needs your help in doing some spring cleaning by dusting off the 50-year-old zoning ordinance. A lot has changed since the 1960s. Our communities have grown, our lifestyle choices have changed, and technology has become increasingly a part of everyday life. The County’s current Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations need an update that will not only bring our communities into the twenty-first century, but plan for the County’s future generations. We need your help to rewrite the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations so that they are easier to understand, user-friendly, and support the type of quality development and economic growth the County deserves.

THIS PAST YEAR, the Department’s consultant team, led by Clarion Associates, introduced their first recommendations for creating a successful 21st Century Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. Module 1, released in October 2015, is the County’s first step in creating new zoning standards. Among other recommendations, Module 1 proposes key changes such as zone name changes to better reflect their purposes, zone consolidations and new zones, uses, and a greatly streamlined and clarified set of use tables.

THIS SPRING, County residents will be introduced to our second step with the release of Module 2—development standards and subdivision transportation adequacy—for review and comment. This module will address important parts of our built environment, such as landscaping, open space, parking, signage, and lighting standards; adequacy of our streets, and other forms of transportation aside from the automobile; and strengthened collaboration with other agencies to ensure high-quality, pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly street designs in our urban and transit-oriented communities.

Rewriting the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations is an important part of keeping our County and communities viable. These laws determine how land in Prince George’s County can be developed or preserved. The zoning and subdivision codes establish fundamental aspects for our neighborhoods like walkability, building heights, streetscapes, bike trails, and even the location of police stations and schools. This multi-year project is intended to modernize the County’s zoning code into a more user-friendly document that is aligned with the County’s vision for smart growth, economic development, and improved quality of life for Prince George’s County residents featured in the Plan Prince George’s 2035 General Plan.

So stay informed and look for more information about upcoming community meetings on the web at or in our e-newsletter. We invite you to share your feedback with us on our working documents, including the upcoming Module 2, by using our online community discussion tool, OpenComment, at It’s not too late to get involved! Visit our website or contact the project team today at 301-780-8173 for more information.