The Zoning Ordinance for the City of Rockville is adopted under Chapter 25 of the City Code. The Chief of Zoning is authorized to issue Zoning Interpretations to clarify unclear provisions of the zoning ordinance.
What is zoning?
Zoning serves to create and maintain the character of the city by regulating the allowable uses and development standards for each piece of land in the city, including:
- the types of land uses that can be located in different areas of the city
- the allowable density of development
- the size and height of the buildings
- parking and landscape requirements
- the layout of buildings and the site
The Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map are intended to protect the community’s health, safety and welfare while achieving high-quality development.
A PDF of the Zoning Map is available in addition to the interactive map below.
What kinds of developments are allowed in Rockville?
There are several types of zones in Rockville. Common zones include mixed-use, residential and industrial, while special zones include planned developments, historic districts, neighborhood conservation districts and parks.
Seven mixed-use zones allow for a range of commercial, office and residential uses.
- Mixed-Use Transit District (MXTD)
Highest intensity, includes areas such as Town Center and the Twinbrook Metro.
- Mixed-Use Corridor District (MXCD)
Moderate intensity, includes major highway corridors such as Rockville Pike.
- Mixed-Use Employment (MXE)
Moderate intensity, includes major office/employment areas such as Research Boulevard and Piccard Drive.
- Mixed-Use Business (MXB)
Medium intensity, includes employment and business services areas.
- Mixed-Use Neighborhood Commercial (MXNC)
Medium intensity, primarily intended for neighborhood-serving retail commercial and mixed-use areas.
- Mixed-Use Commercial (MXC)
Low intensity, primarily intended for local neighborhood-serving retail commercial uses.
- Mixed-Use Transition (MXT)
Low intensity, primarily intended for low-intensity office and mixed uses between high-density areas and residential neighborhoods.
Single-Unit Detached Residential Zones
There are seven single-unit detached residential zones. The number in the name of the zone refers to the minimum lot size allowed, multiplied by 100.
- Residential Single Unit Semi-detached Dwelling (R-40)
Allows for single-unit detached and duplex development with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet (6,000 square foot minimum for a single unit dwelling).
- Residential Single Unit Detached Dwelling (R-60)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet.
- Residential Single Unit Detached Dwelling (R-75)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet.
- Restricted Residential Single Unit Detached Dwelling (R-90)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 9,000 square feet.
- Residential Low Density (R-150)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet.
- Residential Suburban (R-200)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet.
- Residential Estate (R-400)
Allows for single-unit detached development with a minimum lot size of 40,000 square feet.
Moderate Density Residential Zones
Three moderate density residential zones allow for single-unit, detached and multi-unit, attached dwellings. The number in the name of the zone refers to the allowable dwelling units per acre.
- Residential Moderate Density (RMD-10)
Allows for single-unit detached, duplex and townhouse development.
- Residential Moderate Density (RMD-15)
Allows for single-unit detached, duplex, townhouses, attached dwellings and apartments. The maximum building height is 40 feet.
- Residential Moderate Density (RMD-25)
Allows for single-unit detached, duplex, townhouses, attached dwellings and apartments. The maximum building height is 75 feet.
Two industrial zones allow for light or heavy industrial and business uses.
- Light Industrial (I-L)
Generally replaces the former I-1, I-2 and I-4 zones. Allows for moderate intensity light industrial and business services uses.
- Heavy Industrial (I-H)
Allows for heavy industrial uses; is not applied by the new zoning map. Intended to accommodate potential annexations of heavy industrial land from Montgomery County.
Planned Development Zones
Planned development zones include large-scale development projects approved under special provisions of the previous zoning ordinance. An example of a planned development zone is the King Farm development on Route 355, south of Shady Grove Road. Development in these zones is administered under the resolutions approving the original projects.
Historic District Zones
Historic district zones are designed to protect historic property in the city as determined by the Historic District Commission. Modification or development of property in historic district zones requires additional levels of approval, such as approval by the Historic District Commission. An example of a historic district zone is the Old West End neighborhood along West Montgomery Avenue. The Mayor and Council must approve the final application of a historic district zone.
Neighborhood Conservation District Zones
Neighborhood conservation district zones are designed to protect the unique character of a neighborhood and must be created during a neighborhood plan process or local initiative supported by at least 85 percent of the property owners. The Lincoln Park Neighborhood Conservation District is an example of this zone as part of the East Rockville neighborhood east of the Metro line.
Park zones apply to city-owned park property and limit development to specific recreational uses, cemeteries, caretaker’s dwellings and similar uses.
Can zoning change?
Yes, the zoning for specific properties and neighborhoods can change to meet the needs of the community. Zoning can be changed through formal text and map amendment applications. Zoning may also be changed as part of the master plan process.
How can I get involved?
Get involved by attending public meetings held by the city. Meeting schedules, agendas and information packets for the Mayor and Council, Planning Commission, Historic District Commission and Board of Appeals are available in the Agenda Center.