A Central Depository for Local Planning in Maryland

Planning in Progress

The heart of planning beats locally.  Maryland is a Home Rule State, which means it entrusts local jurisdictions with land use planning authority to guide growth and development through the Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. Developing local technical assistance rather than regulation, listening as opposed to telling, Planning works with jurisdictions to achieve their own community development objectives.

The 2019 Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 55, which establishes the Department of Planning as a central repository for all land use plans, and amendments and revisions to the plans, adopted by a unit of the state government, a regional government, an interstate agency, or a local government. But as with Home Rule, the pulse of this legislation runs through the veins of Maryland’s counties and municipalities.

In partnership with sister agencies, Planning already reviews and assists localities with their plans, but SB 55 codifies its role as the librarian of local planning in Maryland, and will ensure the excellent work of jurisdictions is celebrated and shared throughout the state. Planning is developing the depository in 2019, and has a head start with its Comprehensive Plans webpage.

Most recently, Planning provided feedback on the draft 2040 City of Rockville Comprehensive Master Plan Update. The department applauds the City for a thorough and proactive plan that will serve its residents well for decades to come. For example, our comments noted that  “Policy 24- Establish a floating zone specifically written to correspond with areas planned for Residential Attached on the Land Use Policy Map” on page 51 is another great example of trying to incrementally increase infill development in the city. The city is to be commended for this strategic effort to promote infill development, yet retain the character of the city’s neighborhoods.

Check out Rockville’s plan, as well as our comments and other local plans, on the Plans and Comments webpage

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