Residential (R) Zoning


R1 is the lowest density urban residential zoning category. It normally allows 1.8 to 2 single family houses per acre. No Planned Residential Development or Housing for the Elderly is allowed. Special Exceptions (if approved) and Special Developments can expand the allowable housing type and density of what can be built. For example, Community Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are allowed, with a density of 25 dwellings per acre with four-story buildings (such as the EvaMar development). §267-55 in Harford County Zoning Code


An example of R1 Zoning.


R2 allows 3.5 to 4.5 dwellings per acre, but Housing for the Elderly bumps this up to 7 dwellings per acre. As in R1, CCRCs with 25 dwellings per acre are also allowed and Special Developments with an NRD bump up can have more types of housing. §267-55 in the Harford County Zoning Code


An example of R2 Zoning.


R3 generally allows between 5 and 7 houses per acre. Most types of housing are allowed, with limits on overall height. Housing for the Elderly increases to 13 dwellings per acre, and CCRC increases to 30 dwellings per acre. Special Developments, Planned Residential Developments may also increase the number of units allowed. §267-55 in the Harford County Zoning Code

An example of R3 Zoning.


R4 allows the most intense residential development, with 8 to 10 units permited per acre. More intense use such as high rise apartments are allowed with special development approvals. Housing for the Elderly and CCRCs are the same as B3. There are few R4 areas in the County. §267-55

An example of R4 zoning.

Residential Office (RO)

 “This district provides for the conversion of residential structures to other uses and construction of small retail, service and office buildings in predominantly residential areas on sites that, because of adjacent commercial activity, heavy commercial traffic or other similar factors, are no longer suitable for only those uses allowable in residential districts. The district regulations ensure that the buildings and uses are compatible with, provide a transition from and are in harmony with the present or prospective uses of nearby residential property.” § 267-56 in the Harford County Zoning Code 

Residential office zoning is in a few finite areas along Route 22, Red Pump Road and Rt 924.  Currenly about 30 individual properties are designated RO.

An example of RO Zoning.

Rural Residential (RR)

The Rural Residential Zoning designation is no longer applied to new or re-zoned properties in Harford County. However, many existing properties are still zoned RR. Rural Residential zoning, as well as VR and AG zoned properties, can all be recipients of the Transfer of Development Rights.

“This district is intended to acknowledge and protect existing concentrations of residential development, provide limited opportunities for low-density residential uses where not in conflict with agricultural activities, protect the open character of the land and restrict piecemeal development in areas where public services are not reasonably anticipated.” § 267-54 in the Harford County Zoning Code