Alternative Compliance (AC)

In cases where circumstances such as topography or other site conditions, space limitation, change of use, or safety considerations prevent strict compliance with the Landscape Manual, Alternative Compliance (AC) is the procedure to allow other design options that are equally effective as normal compliance with the requirements. An AC request must be accompanied by another development proposal application (companion case), such as a permit, Detailed Site Plan, Special Exception, etc.

20170718 Maryland

Alternative Compliance Committee: Alternative Compliance requests are reviewed by the Alternative Compliance Committee, which makes recommendations to the Planning Director. 

Decision-Making Body: When the companion case does require a Planning Board or other public hearing review, Alternative Compliance requests are decided by the Planning Board or proper hearing authority with a recommendation from the Planning Director.

When the companion case does not require a public hearing, Alternative Compliance requests are decided by the Planning Director.

In conjunction with a plan for which there is a public hearingNo Additional Fee
All others$250

Public Notice Requirement: None

Estimated Review Time: Dependent upon the companion case; a request for Alternative Compliance shall be submitted with the companion case.

In the case that the Planning Director (or designee) finds no feasible proposal for Alternative Compliance that is equally effective as normal compliance, then the applicant may seek relief by applying for a Departure from Design Standards in accordance with the provisions of Section 27-239.01 of the Zoning Ordinance.


Obtain an application number using the online pre-application form, fill out this application form and email the PDF along with required submission materials to

Important and Required Documents

Application Forms and Filing Instructions

Fee Information

Landscape Manual 

Relevant Development Review Bulletins