AN ORDINANCE concerning
Aviation Airports and Aviation Policy Areas
For the purpose of defining and adopting
land use regulations for Aviation Policy Areas, providing for designation of
Aviation Policy Areas adjacent to public use, general aviation airports,
establishing procedures for amendment of the Aviation Policy Area regulations
for individual properties, and making related amendments to the Zoning
BY repealing and reenacting
27-107.01(a), 27-229(b), and 27-333,
Zoning Ordinance of Prince George's County, Maryland,
Prince George's County Code
Edition, 2001 Supplement).
27-548.32, 27-548.33, 27-548.34, 27-548.35, 27-548.36,
27-548.38, 27-548.39, 27-548.40, 27-548.41,
27-548.43, 27-548.44, 27-548.45, 27-548.46,
27-548.48, and 27-548.49,
Zoning Ordinance of Prince George's County, Maryland,
Prince George's County Code
Edition, 2001 Supplement).
SECTION 1. BE IT
ENACTED by the County Council of Prince George's County, Maryland, sitting as
the District Council for that part of the Maryland-Washington Regional District
in Prince George's County, Maryland, that the following findings are made:
District Council has enacted no zoning, planning, or other land use regulations
which account for special public safety and convenience issues created by land
development on properties near public use, general aviation airports.
B. There are
five public use, general aviation airports with flight patterns over Prince
George's County. These airports are
Freeway Airport in Mitchellville, Washington Executive Airpark in Clinton,
Potomac Airfield in Friendly, College Park Airport, and Suburban Airport in
Anne Arundel County.
C. The District Council finds and declares
that land development near these airports may substantially affect and be
affected by airport and aircraft operations.
Since 1998 the District Council and the Maryland-National Capital Park
and Planning Commission have conducted studies and surveys, and have received
information and advice from other state and local jurisdictions, on land use
compatibility with airports. The
studies and surveys, the information from other jurisdictions, and the report
prepared for the Commission by William V. Cheek and Associates of Prescott, Arizona,
indicate that land development near the named airports presents substantial
problems of public safety and convenience.
They also indicate that these problems cannot be adequately addressed by
agencies and officials in State and Federal government with responsibility for
regulating airport and aircraft licensing and operation.
District Council finds and declares that the new zoning regulations adopted in
this Ordinance for the Aviation Policy Areas in and around the named airports
are necessary for the public safety and convenience. The Council recognizes that it has limited power under its
planning and zoning jurisdiction to impose new land use regulations on the
operators at Freeway Airport, Potomac Airfield, Washington Executive Airpark, and
Suburban Airport. These airports are
able to continue and even intensify their present operations, regardless of new
County zoning regulations.
E. The District Council finds and declares that since it cannot
effectively impose new zoning and planning restrictions on the named airports,
the Council must enact reasonable regulations for surrounding land areas, to
minimize public safety hazards and impositions on public convenience. The new zoning regulations in this Ordinance
will benefit present and future residents of areas near airports, workers and
businesses, and pilots and airport operators.
SECTION 2. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the County Council of Prince George's
County, Maryland, sitting as the District Council for that part of the
Maryland-Washington Regional District in Prince George's County, Maryland, that
Sections 27-107.01(a), 27-229(b), and 27-333 of the Zoning Ordinance of Prince
George's County, Maryland, being also Subtitle 27 of the Prince George's County
Code, be and the same are hereby repealed and reenacted with the following
SUBTITLE 27. ZONING.
DIVISION 1. DEFINITIONS.
(a) Terms in the Zoning Ordinance are defined as
* * * * * *
Airpark, Airport: A place where
aircraft may take off or land, discharge or receive cargo or passengers, be
repaired or serviced, take on fuel, or be stored, including "Accessory Uses"
which are commonly associated with these facilities. These terms refer to any public use, general aviation airport
licensed by the Maryland Aviation Administration, but not to airports with
military or air carrier traffic.
(11) Airstrip: A place where aircraft may only take off or
land, and discharge or receive cargo or passengers.
* * * *
* * *
(21) Attic: The part of a "Building" which is
immediately below, and wholly or partly within, the roof framing. (See Figure 1.)
Policy Area (APA): A defined
land area adjacent to an airport, where regulations in Part 10B modify zoning
standards and requirements.
* * * *
* * *
5. APPEALS AND VARIANCES.
2. Board of Zoning Appeals.
Board of Zoning Appeals shall not have the power or duty to:
* * * *
* * *
a variance to Section 27-424(a) regarding fencing around outdoor swimming pools;
a variance from any requirement in the Aviation Policy Areas, or any
requirement which applies only to airports.
4. SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS.
3. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC
27-333. Airport, airpark, [or] airfield, airstrip,
heliport, helistop, private.
private airport, airpark, airfield, airstrip, heliport, helistop, or similarly
designed area for the landing and taking off of aircraft may be permitted,
subject to the following:
land area proposed for the use shall be sufficient to meet the Federal Aviation
Administration's requirements for the class of facility proposed;
are no existing or proposed flight obstructions which are located outside the
proposed facility and which fall within the approach zone to any of the
proposed runways or landing strips;
air rights or easements have been acquired from the owners of adjacent
properties in which approach zones fall, satisfactory evidence of them shall be
submitted with the application;
shall be located at least one hundred (100) feet from any boundary line of the
subject property; [and]
airstrip or helistop shall contain no terminal, storage, or repair/service
airport applicant shall demonstrate that the airport will not create conflicts
on adjacent properties, pursuant to the Aviation Policy Area regulations in
(b) In addition to the requirements of Section
27-296(c), the site plan shall show the location and height of all structures,
trees, and overhead wires located within airport approach surfaces
[zones and less than five hundred (500) feet from the property] , as defined
in Federal Aviation Regulations Part 77.
The site plan shall also show [such things as] the proposed topography,
grading, drainage, and water and sewerage facilities.
BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the County Council of Prince George's County,
Maryland, sitting as the District Council for that part of the
Maryland-Washington Regional District in Prince George's County, Maryland, that
Sections 27-548.32, 27-548.33, 27-548.34, 27-548.35, 27-548.36, 27-548.37,
27-548.38, 27-548.39, 27-548.40, 27-548.41, 27-548.42, 27-548.43, 27-548.44, 27-548.45,
27-548.46, 27-548.47, 27-548.48, and 27-548.49 of the Zoning Ordinance of
Prince George's County, Maryland, being also Subtitle 27 of the Prince George's
County Code, be and the same are hereby added:
1. AVIATION POLICY AREAS.
(a) Aviation Policy Areas (APAs) are intended to
establish a standard of safety and compatibility for the occupants of land in
the immediate vicinity of airports with traffic patterns over land in Prince
George’s County. These standards
benefit existing airport-area residents, future residents, nearby businesses,
pilots, and airport operators.
(b) The Aviation Policy Area regulations identify
permitted, prohibited, and site plan approval uses for each of six defined APAs
adjacent to each airport. They also set
development standards and guidelines that supplement or supercede other Zoning
Ordinance regulations, as long as the airport is active and licensed for public
use by the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA).
(a) The purposes of the Aviation Policy Areas are
to provide special regulations for the development of land which may be
affected by operations at airports in order to:
5,000 feet from each point along the
centerline of the airport runway. The
APA-5 areas are excluded from the area
(b) The following Aviation Policy Area dimensions apply to small
APA-3S, the Small Airport
Inner Turning Area, is located on each side of APA-2 within the area defined by
the extension of the APA-5 Sideline Safety Area boundary (500 feet on either
side of the runway centerline) to a distance of 2,700 feet beyond the end of
the runway. Each APA-3S area comprises approximately 17 acres.
(c) The following Aviation Policy Area dimensions apply to medium
APA-3M, the Medium Airport
Inner Turning Area, is a pie-shaped section exclusive of APA-1 and APA-2. A 90 degree angle forms its boundary closest
to each runway end. It extends outward
at 45 degrees on each side of the extended runway centerline for 2,500
feet. Each APA-3M comprises
approximately 90 acres, for a total of approximately 180 acres at each
airport. The dimensions and total
acreage for APA-3 at Freeway Airport are different due to permanent restrictions
on the airport traffic pattern caused by the PEPCO 500 kv electric transmission
lines west of the airport.
(d) Figures 72 through 76 at the end of this Subtitle illustrate
the Aviation Policy Areas for each airport.
Subdivision 3. Regulations.
The standards and guidelines in this Subdivision apply to
all property within the Aviation Policy Areas at public use, general aviation
airports licensed by the Maryland Aviation Administration. All uses and structures in designated APAs
shall comply with the standards below.
Whenever APA regulations conflict with regulations in the underlying
zone, the APA regulations shall apply.
Sec. 27-548.37. Procedures.
(a) Prior to issuance of a building permit in APA-1, APA-2, APA-3S,
APA-3M, or APA-5, all new development and all existing development with a
proposed increase in floor area greater than 1,000 square feet shall be
reviewed for compliance with APA regulations under Detailed Site Plan
procedures in Part 3, Division 9.
with APA regulations may be determined by the Planning Board or the District
Council concurrently with any other procedure required by Subtitle 24 or this
Subtitle (e.g., Zoning Map Amendment, Special Exception, Detailed Site Plan). In those cases where compliance has been
determined by findings of the Planning Board or District Council in a
resolution or ordinance of approval, further review by a Detailed Site Plan
procedure shall not be required prior to issuance of a building permit, unless
otherwise required by the approving authority.
Sec. 27-548.38. Regulated uses in Aviation Policy Areas.
(a) For an individual property, APA regulations are the same as in
the property's underlying zone, except as stated in this Subdivision.
(1) In APA-1: No new residential structures are permitted.
(2) In APA-2 and APA-5: No new residential structures are permitted,
except that one may be located on each lot recorded before September 1,
2002. Where a plat recorded prior to March 1, 2001,
includes a condition requiring disclosure of a nearby airport, permits may be
issued without Detailed Site Plan review.
Yards for structures located outside APA-2 and APA-5 are permitted.
(3) In APA-3S and APA-3M: 0.2 dwelling units per acre are
permitted. If clustered in accordance
with APA mitigation subdivision techniques, 0.5 dwelling units per acre are
permitted. One unit may be located on
each lot recorded before September 1, 2002.
Where a plat recorded prior to March 1, 2001, includes a condition
requiring disclosure of a nearby airport, permits may be issued without
Detailed Site Plan review.
(4) In APA-4 and APA-6, development densities
and intensities are the same as in the underlying zone.
(c) Building Orientation and Massing
(1) In APA-1 (where allowed), APA-2 (where
allowed), APA-3S, APA-3M, and APA-5, all structures except those used for
airport operations shall be located as far from the runway centerline as
possible, after compliance with applicable yard and setback requirements.
(2) In APA-2, APA-3S, APA-3M, and APA-5,
development on a lot shall not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.25.
(3) Land in any APA may be used as part of a
lot or to satisfy open space requirements for cluster, lot size averaging, or
APA mitigation subdivision development, for any property located in more than
(4) In APA-1, APA-2, APA-3S, APA-3M, or
APA-5, land area subject to residential development restrictions should be a
preferred sending area, under applicable transfer of development rights
(d) Use Restrictions
(1) In APA-1, APA-2, APA-3S, APA-3M, and
APA-5, assisted living and day care facilities, hospitals, nursing and care
homes, and public and private schools are prohibited.
(2) Storage above ground of flammable
materials or other hazardous substances is prohibited in APA-1 and APA-2.
(3) In all APAs, uses of land should, to the
greatest extent possible, not:
(A) Cause electrical interference with
navigational signals or radio communications at the airport or with radio or
electronic communications between the airport and aircraft;
(B) Emit fly ash, dust, vapor, gases, or
particulate matter that may conflict with operation of the airport;
(C) Foster a substantial increase in bird
(D) Make it difficult for pilots to
distinguish between airport lights and other lights, or impair pilot or ground
operator visibility in the vicinity of an airport; or
(E) Otherwise endanger the landing, taking
off, or maneuvering of aircraft.
(1) Land uses and structures in existence on
September 1, 2002, are not required to be modified to meet APA regulations, and
no such use or structure shall be deemed nonconforming. But after that date, no use or structure may
be changed to increase substantially its nonconformance with the
regulations. All such changes of use or
structure after that date shall meet all APA regulations, as approved or as
amended under procedures in Division 2.
(f) Existing restrictions on aircraft operations at individual
airports, and the ability to impose and enforce new restrictions on the
operation of aircraft, may be taken into account by the Planning Board and
District Council during review of development applications in any areas subject
to APA regulations.
Sec. 27-548.39. Aviation
Policy Area site plan requirements.
(a) For property in APA-1, APA-2, APA-3S,
APA-3M, or APA-5, an application for approval of a permit, site plan,
preliminary plat, Special Exception, or Zoning Map Amendment shall include the
clearly delineated site plan showing the location of the project in relation to
the Runway Protection Zone (APA-1), the Inner Safety Area (APA-2), the Inner
Turning Area (APA-3S and APA-3M), and the Sideline Safety Area (APA-5); and
location and height of all proposed buildings, structures, and natural
vegetation as measured from the closest runway end, when located within the
Runway Protection Zone (APA-1), Inner Safety Area (APA-2), Inner Turning Area
(APA-3S or APA-3M), or Sideline Safety Area (APA-5).
APA-4, APA-5, or APA-6, every application shall demonstrate compliance with
height restrictions in this Subdivision.
Sec. 27-548.40. Aviation
Policy Area mitigation residential subdivision.
property affected by APA building or density restrictions shall be allowed to
subdivide or resubdivide so that potential lots affected by APA building
restrictions are relocated to other parts of the property or to other property
in an APA. An APA mitigation subdivision need not lie
adjacent to or within the same APA as the affected property.
(1) Yield: The maximum allowed number of residential
lots shall be determined by submission of a conceptual subdivision plan that
could be approved under existing zoning if the property were not located in an
APA. In this determination, the
availability of public sewer or septic sites, floodplains, steep slopes, road
grades and requirements, woodland conservation, stormwater management, park
dedication, and all other regulations that affect development density shall be
considered. The conceptual plan may be
submitted as a pre-preliminary plan or as part of a preliminary plat of
(2) Design: To the greatest extent possible, the APA
mitigation subdivision shall be designed to accommodate the maximum development
yield determined in the conceptual subdivision plan, for compliance with
appropriate APA restrictions and consistency with the character of the district
in which the property is located, as established by the Master Plan or the
purposes of the existing zoning category.
The preliminary subdivision plat and the site plan shall establish the
development regulations for each site, including without limitation lot
dimensions, lot coverage, and yard and setback requirements. Only single-family detached dwellings are
permitted in an airport mitigation subdivision in single-family residential
(3) Exceptions: Residentially zoned property owned by the
airport in APA-1 or APA-5 shall be considered as an essential part of the
airport operation and shall not qualify for any transfer of residential density
by an APA mitigation subdivision, lot size averaging subdivision, or cluster
subdivision, whichever may apply.
(4) Resubdivisions: If resubdivided solely to meet APA purposes or requirements,
preliminary and final plats approved by September 1, 2002, are exempt, at the
time of resubdivision, from adequate public facilities requirements.
(b) In the
M-X-C Zone, a revision to a Preliminary Development Plan, Comprehensive Sketch
Plan, or Final Development Plan requested solely to meet APA purposes or
requirements may be approved by the Planning Board, subject to appeal to the
District Council. Any appeal of such an
approval is limited to the issue of compliance with APA purposes or
Sec. 27-548.41. Open area
objective of open area guidelines around airports is to provide strategically
located areas under flight paths, to permit a successful emergency landing
without hitting an occupied structure and to allow aircraft occupants to
survive the landing without serious injury.
Open area in Aviation Policy Areas generally refers to stormwater
management ponds, field crops, golf courses, pasture lands, streets or parking
lots, recreational facilities such as ball parks, or yards, if the area is
relatively level and free of objects such as overhead lines and large trees and
poles. Because a pilot's discretion in
selecting an emergency landing site is reduced when the aircraft is at low altitude,
open areas should be one or more contiguous acres.
(b) In each
Aviation Policy Area, the following minimum open area percentages should be
(1) APA-1, Runway Protection Zone: Maintain all undeveloped land
in accordance with FAA standards.
(2) APA-2, Inner Safety Area: 50 percent open
(3) APA-3S, APA-3M, Inner Turning Area: 20 percent open area.
(4) APA-4, Outer Safety Area: 30 percent open area.
27-548.42. Height requirements.
as necessary and incidental to airport operations, no building, structure, or
natural feature shall be constructed, altered, maintained, or allowed to grow
so as to project or otherwise penetrate the airspace surfaces defined by
Federal Aviation Regulations Part 77 or the Code of Maryland, COMAR 11.03.05,
Obstructions to Air Navigation.
APA-4 and APA-6, no building permit may be approved for a structure higher than
50 feet unless the applicant demonstrates compliance with FAR Part 77.
Sec. 27-548.43. Notification
of airport environment.
(a) In all
APAs after September 1, 2002, the General Aviation Airport Environment
Disclosure Notice, in a form approved by the Planning Board, shall be included
as an addendum to the contract for sale of any residential property.
zoning, subdivision, and site plan application that requires approval by the
Planning Board, Zoning Hearing Examiner, or District Council for a property
located partially or completely within an Aviation Policy Area shall be subject
to the following conditions:
with a homeowners' association: Prior
to final plat approval, the Declaration of Covenants for the property, in
conjunction with the formation of a homeowners’ association, shall include
language notifying all future contract purchasers of homes in the community of
the existence of a general aviation airport within approximately one mile of
the community. The Declaration of
Covenants shall include the General Aviation Airport Environment Disclosure
Notice. At the time of purchase
contract with home buyers, the contract purchaser shall sign an acknowledgment
of receipt of the Declaration. The
liber and folio of the recorded Declaration of Covenants shall be noted on the
without a homeowners' association: A
disclosure clause shall be placed on final plats and deeds for all properties
that notifies prospective purchasers that the property has been identified as
within approximately one mile of a general aviation airport. The disclosure clause shall include the
cautionary language from the General Aviation Airport Environment Disclosure
application to the Department of Environmental Resources for a building or use
and occupancy permit for a property located partially or completely within an
APA shall, if submitted by or on behalf of a prospective or contract purchaser
and not subject to approval under (b)(1) or (b)(2) above, be accompanied by a
copy of the General Aviation Airport Environment Disclosure Notice signed by
2. AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS.
This Division sets out procedures for
amendment of Aviation Policy Area (APA) regulations in Division 1, Subdivision
3, as they apply to individual properties.
27-548.45. General procedures for
A proposed amendment to Aviation Policy
Area regulations for one property is requested by the property owner, reviewed
by the Technical Staff, reviewed in public hearing before the Planning Board,
and acted on by the District Council, with or without referral to the Zoning Hearing Examiner.
27-548.46. Application procedures.
property owner requesting an amendment of Aviation Policy Area regulations for
the owner's property shall file a Detailed Site Plan application with the
(b) The application shall also include:
(1) Proposed restrictions on building height
and location on the subject property;
(2) A statement how current APA regulations
affect the subject property and how the proposed amendment meets the purposes
of the APA; and
(3) A statement why the proposed amendment is
necessary, because of practical difficulties on the property, the
characteristics of the particular airport or its flight patterns, the
substantial difference between uses or densities allowed on the property with
and without the amendment, or otherwise.
27-548.47. Planning Board procedures.
The Planning Board shall hold a public
hearing on the application and file a recommendation with the District
Council. The Board shall follow the
procedures in Part 3, Division 9, and apply the standards in this Division.
27-548.48. District Council procedures.
District Council may act on an application to amend Aviation Policy Area
regulations for an individual property by approving it, in whole or in part,
with or without conditions; by approving regulations or a site plan different
from that proposed in the application; by denying it; or by referring it to the
Zoning Hearing Examiner for review of specific issues.
(b) If an application concerns
property which is the subject of other requests before the Planning Board,
Zoning Hearing Examiner, or District Council, it may not be heard by the
Council while other applications are pending before the Examiner or the
Board. In all cases, except as
otherwise provided below, the Examiner shall hear the application under this
Division if the property is the subject of an Examiner hearing for any other
(c) The Examiner shall follow
the procedures in this Section when reviewing an application referred by the
District Council under this Division.
The Examiner shall give priority in scheduling to all such cases.
(1) The Council’s referral order shall state the issues the
Examiner must review. The Technical
Staff Report may be amended, if necessary, before the Examiner's hearing
begins, to address those issues and update the report in the file.
(2) The property shall be posted and notice shall otherwise be
given in accordance with the procedures for conventional Zoning Map Amendments
in Part 3, Division 2, Subdivision 1.
The Examiner shall follow the same hearing procedures as those in map
(3) In the decision the Examiner shall address and make
recommended findings on the issues in the referral order and the approval
standards given below. After the
Examiner’s decision is filed with the Clerk of the Council, the case shall be
placed on the District Council’s agenda and decided under the same procedures
as apply in map amendment cases.
(4) Any person who was not a party of record when the record
closed prior to the referral order may become a party of record after the
referral, until the close of the record by the Examiner. After the filing of the Examiner’s decision,
any party of record may file exceptions and request oral argument, under the
same procedures as apply in map amendment cases.
(d) The Council may not
approve an application unless it finds:
owner's proposed use meets the purposes of the APA regulations, as stated in
Part 10B, Division 1;
proposed use will not create more hazards to public safety than would uses
permitted by existing regulations;
amendment is necessary because special conditions or circumstances on the
subject property or the adjacent airport create practical difficulties for the
owner in complying with current regulations or make some regulations
Detailed Site Plan filed with the application may be approved under the design
standards and requirements in Part 3, Division 9.
owner and Council shall follow the procedures (but not the standards) for
conditional Zoning Map Amendment approval in Part 3, Division 2, Subdivision 1,
whenever an application is approved with conditions.
27-548.49. Site plan revisions.
Aviation Policy Area regulations are amended for an individual property, the
approved site plan may be revised under the Detailed Site Plan procedures in
Part 3, Division 9.
Planning Board may not approve a revision of a site plan unless the revised
plan meets all APA regulations, as amended for the property. Further amendment of the regulations may be
approved only after full review under the procedures in this Division.
SECTION 4. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that the provisions of this Ordinance are
hereby declared to be severable. If any
section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word
of this Ordinance is declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of
competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect
the remaining words, phrases, clauses, sentences, subparagraphs, paragraphs,
subsections, or sections of this Ordinance, since the same would have been
adopted without the incorporation in this Ordinance of any such invalid or
unconstitutional word, phrase, clause, sentence, subparagraph, subsection, or
SECTION 5. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that within thirty (30) days of District
Council adoption of this Ordinance, the Planning Director shall give notice of
the adoption by first-class mail to each owner of property in an Aviation
Policy Area. Neither the Planning
Director’s failure to give nor an owner’s lack of receipt of any notice
required by this Section shall affect the validity or applicability of this
Ordinance or any Aviation Policy Area regulation.
SECTION 6. BE IT
FURTHER ENACTED that this Ordinance shall take effect on September 1, 2002.