Skip Navigation

6310 Hillside Court
Suite 160
Columbia, MD 21046

P. 410-290-0707

 

 

Baltimore, MD 

P. 410-962-1199

Non-Conforming Use-Expansion versus intensification

Maryland's Court of Appeals clarifies the difference between expansion and intensification of non-conforming use of real property 


On May 9, 2006, Maryland's Court Appeals in Trip Assoc. Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore issued an opinion clarifying the rights of real property owners with valid non-conforming uses.  For the first time, the Court addressed whether using a valid nonconforming use more frequently than it had been used at the time it became nonconforming (passage of zoning law) was prohibited expansion or intensification. 

The Court of Appeals  held that a non-conforming use of a property for adult entertainment may not be limited in temporal (time) scope.  The Court noted Maryland's "well-established policy against the expansion of nonconforming uses", but drew a distinction between expansion and intensification.  Frequency of use, was not rationalized by the Court as prohibited expansion of the use, but was merely an intensification.  Decision at page 6.  Maryland law supports intensification of the use "so long as the nature and character of that use is unchanged and is substantially the same".  Decision at page 16.

The Court also affirmed the lower court decision that the owner of a valid non-conforming use did not need to obtain a license for the use.

BTLG Attorneys At Law

Talk to a lawyer

Bold labels are required.

News from BTLG:

Expansion of Definition of Race to Include Hairstyles
Effective October 1, 2020, the definition of race under Maryland discrimination laws has been expanded to also include hair styles
Maryland Economic Stabilization Act (“Mini Warn Law”)
Effective October 1, 2020, Maryland employers who employee 50 or more individuals are required to comply with updated mandatory provisions of the Maryland Economic Stabilization Act (“Mini Warn Law”)
Insurance Coverages for Businesses: Will your insurance cover you for a coronavirus-related loss?
Some insurance policies may allow for claims on coronavirus related losses
Maryland closes restaurants, gyms and theaters
Maryland Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order with further direct impact to Maryland business
More BTLG News