Resources and Tools
by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Planner
The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is responsible for reviewing and providing comments on a variety of locally developed plans and planning documents. A few of the most common plans the department reviews are comprehensive plans and amendments, municipal annexations, and Priority Funding Area certifications.
Traditionally, Maryland jurisdictions have mailed these plans, along with any supportive documents (e.g., resolutions, maps, staff reports), to Planning’s offices at the State Center in Baltimore. Jurisdictions can still submit plans via the U.S. Postal Service, however most often the department receives them digitally. As state agencies, — including Planning, moved to remote operations and teleworking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular collection of mail was hindered, although Planning still had dedicated staff checking on a weekly basis.
As the state moves toward a return to office work, mail collection will similarly return to normal. However, the department recommends that jurisdictions submit plans and supporting documents electronically if they are able. It reduces the use of paper, avoids unnecessary copying of large maps or diagrams, and ensures the timely reception of plans whose review period is determined by Maryland State Code — 60 days for comprehensive plans and 30 days for annexations, for example.
To assist jurisdictions with plan submissions, Planning developed an Instructions and Guidance on Submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning webpage with helpful information on the length of the review periods, submission requirements, and submission processes and contacts. The department also set up a submission email address at mdp.planreview @maryland.gov through which it is recommended all jurisdictions submit plans and supporting documents.
Planning’s Regional Planners review the three types of plans listed above, so please copy your respective Regional Planner as well. And while Planning staff review water and sewer plans, jurisdictions should submit them to the Maryland Department of the Environment. For file attachments totaling more than 25 megabytes, please submit as a link to a cloud storage service (e.g DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive). For general information about using cloud storage, read this article.