The Covenants Committee assists Cape residents with the filing of zoning complaints with the Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits. Neither the Covenants Committee nor the CSCIA enforce the county zoning ordinance, nor do they interpret what is or is not a zoning complaint. Rather, they assist Cape residents in filing complaints and they track complaints to ensure the county addresses them in a prompt and thorough manner.

What is a zoning violation?

  • Vehicles parked on the property that are untagged or have expired tags
  • Commercial trucks/trailers over ¾ ton parked in or on residential streets
  • Junk and debris scattered or piled on the property in a disorderly fashion, for example, glass, paper, wood
  • Salvage furniture, household items and construction materials. For example, tanks, drums, and pipes strewn about the property
  • Businesses operating in or on residential properties, for example, vehicle restoration and repair
  • Using a single family dwelling as a multi-family dwelling
  • Illegal signage, for example banners and streamers, sandwich boards, portable signs and blinking and wind-activated signs.

How do I to file a zoning complaint?

  1. Visit or call the CSCIA office at (410) 757-1223,
  2. Send an e-mail to covenants@cscia.org

If you visit the office, the office manager will ask you to fill out a form describing the complaint. If you call, the manager will fill out the form. The office manager will fax the form to the county Department of Inspections and Permits for its action.

The online form will submit the zoning violation to the county and notify the Covenants Chair that the form was submitted. On the form, you can ask for updates if you’re interested.

After a complaint is filed, a zoning inspector will visit the property, and if a zoning violation is found, a letter will be sent to the resident. If the owner does not respond to the violation letter, a second site inspection will be conducted and a citation will be issued. If the owner still does not respond a final site visit is made and the case will be referred to the Office of Law. Fines can reach up to $500.

Can I file a complaint anonymously?

Yes. Placing your name on the complaint form is optional. Zoning complaint forms become a part of the public record, and property owners can determine the name and address of the individuals who initiated the complaint by visiting the county offices. Therefore, you may file a complaint anonymously.

What is not a zoning violation?

Poorly maintained and visually unattractive yards are not in violation of the county zoning ordinance. For example, yards with children’s play toys scattered on the lawn or poorly stored lawn furniture. Click here to see a copy of the community covenants.

Will the county cut tall grass on private lots?

Yes. Grass taller than 12″ is not a zoning violation, but the Bureau of Highways will cut tall grass on private lots. If you have a neighbor that will not cut their grass call the Bureau of Highways between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at (410) 222-7940 once the grass is over 12″ high.

How do I resolve a zoning violation filed against me?

Fortunately, there are resources for property owners to use if they receive a zoning violation letter. Most zoning violations in the Cape involve junk or vehicles on the property. In both cases, there are county services or organizations that can help you resolve the problem.

Violation

Resource

Junk, salvage furniture or household items strewn about the property Bulk Item Pick-up: (410) 222-6108. Call Bulk Item Pick-up and they will schedule a pick-up of your bulk items for disposal. The service is free-of-charge and a pick-up is usually scheduled within two weeks of calling. Just place the items at the curb for the pick-up and a garbage truck and crew will pick them up and bring them to the county dump.· Consider donating useable goods to a charitable organization. Here’s a link to a Department of Public Works website that lists charitable organizations in Anne Arundel county that accept donations of usable goods-tax deductions are available. http://www.aacounty.org/DPW/WasteManagement/reduceReuse.cfm
Abandoned or untagged vehicles on the property There are many organizations in Anne Arundel county that will tow donated vehicles from your property and provide the appropriate tax donation receipts that you can use to claim a charitable tax deduction. Simply search on the web using the key words “vehicle donations” and “Anne Arundel County.”

Still have more questions?

Please email the Covenants Committee at covenants@cscia.org.