Please read the message below that addresses new variance application procedures.

Due to COVID-19 and Bowie City Hall being currently closed to the public, we are currently accepting variance applications through US mail. Please mail your completed application, with check payable to the City of Bowie, to: City of Bowie, Planning Department, 15901 Excalibur Road, Bowie, MD 20716.

If you have any questions please call 301-809-3047 or email Joseph Meinert, Planning Director.

What is a Variance?

A variance is a mechanism to obtain relief from the strict application of requirements such as: 

  • Building height
  • Building setback, and
  • Yard requirements.

Variances are appropriate in situations where strict conformance would result in unusual practical difficulties or undue hardship for the owner of the property. For example, a lot might be so narrow as to make it impossible to observe the side yard setback requirements when building a home. 

The City Council authorized to grant variances upon a recommendation from the Bowie Advisory Planning Board. The County Planning Board and District Council are also authorized to grant variances associated with development applications on which they take the final action. 

New Planning Director Variance Administrative Request (PDVAR)

The Planning Director may issue a variance in uncontested cases and in cases where the variance requested is of a minimal nature, where in the judgment of the Planning Director the applicant otherwise satisfies the criteria for the grant of a variance.