Critical Area Maps

Designations and Maps

The Critical Area includes the first 1,000-foot of land measured from the mean high tide line along the shoreline or bulkhead.   Generally, the first 100 feet landward of mean high tide is designated as the Buffer, which may be expanded based on existing site conditions to include sensitive natural resources, and which has more stringent land use and habitat protection requirements than the Critical Area in general.

The Critical Area is also separated into additional sub-areas. The sub-areas are: 1) Resource Conservation Areas (RCA), and 2) Intensely Developed Areas (IDA).  The IDA is further divided into sub areas: 1) Waterfront Revitalization Area (WRA), and 2) Waterfront Industrial Area (WIA).  These various area designations may have varying land use restrictions, development requirements, and lot coverage requirements associated with development within these areas and within the buffers of these areas.

An additional environmentally sensitive area within the Critical Area is the Designated Habitat Protection Areas. There are twelve Designated Habitat Protection Areas (DHPAs) in the City of Baltimore. These areas function as additional overlay districts which overlap portions of the IDA and RCA.

Critical Area maps can be accessed using the following links: