Baltimore City zoning laws?

Someone just bought the house next door to mine and converted into apartments. Unfortunately, the renters are HORRIBLE and loud and very vulgar. They ride minibikes up and down the street and have made several crass comments to my 17 year old sister.

I'm not really sure if the house is even zoned to be apartments. I found out the zoning code ("R-4") and look it up in the city charter but I don't understand if it means apartments are ok or not.

It says:

"R-4 also allows for single-family semi-detached, and multi family housing (8.7 units per acre). Portions

of Lauraville and Beverly Hills are examples of R-4 areas."

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    From what you describe, R-4 does allow apartments (as multi family housing). The number of units they're allowed is based upon the size of the lot. If you look at google maps and click on the map (instead of satellite) view, you can see the property boundaries (at least for most cities). From that, you can get a rough estimate of their lot size. If google doesn't have property boundaries, you can go down to your county assessor's office and look at a plat map for your neighborhood and figure out the size of their lot.

    Once you know the size of their lot (in acres), multiply that number by 8.7 and round down. That would be the most number of units they're allowed to have. They would need at roughly a quarter acre to have a duplex and a third of an acre to have a triples.

    If they have too many units, you can file a complaint with the city's Code Compliance office. They'll come by and see how many units there are and compare that with the size of the lot. If there are too many units, they'll let the homeowner know that they need to change their property back to only have the correct number of units.

    If riding minibikes on the streets and/or sidewalks is illegal in Baltimore, then make a complaint with the police department and call the police when you see them doing it (their non-emergency number - don't tie up 911 with something like this).

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