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People who want to request changes to Baltimore County zoning maps can pre-file online at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/czmp.

A new web-based platform, part of the county's Comprehensive Zoning Map Process or CZMP, offers more convenient access to information and reduces the amount of time needed to file a rezoning request, county officials say.

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The open filing period for changes to county zoning maps runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15. The application includes instructions for finalizing a zoning change request. The county Department of Planning will provide help for those without Internet access.

The CZMP process happens every four years, allowing property owners, businesses and community organizations to petition the County Council to request zoning change on specific properties. As applications are filed, they will be posted and mapped for the public to view, as part of an official "log of issues" that the Planning Department ultimately will compile.

The year-long Comprehensive Zoning Map Process determines the development potential of properties countywide.The council will vote in September 2016 on what properties to rezone. Two public hearings will be scheduled as part of the CZMP.

In Towson, the CZMP process is seen as important, because, "People want to make sure the development in downtown Towson doesn't spill over into established neighborhoods," Counciman David Marks said in June.

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