Comprehensive Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Planning in Progress 

Screenshot showing Planning’s FAQ webpage.

In the December 2021 edition of Planning Practice Monthly, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) introduced our new Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) Frequently Asked Questions. Planning and PFAs go hand in hand. We analyze PFAs, coordinate with municipalities and counties on PFA expansions, and talk about PFAs every day.  

But if anything competes with PFAs for our attention, it is comprehensive plans. The Land Use Article requires jurisdictions with planning and zoning authority, through their Planning Commissions, to develop comprehensive plans and review them every 10 years for any needed updates (please check out the Local Spotlight article in this edition to learn about Maryland jurisdictions currently updating their comprehensive plans).

Planning has developed resources about comprehensive plan requirements, citizen participation in the planning process, and how plans are adopted. We have a webpage where you can find currently adopted comprehensive plans, as well as draft plans and amendments, throughout the state.  To pair with our PFA FAQs, Planning also recently published a set of comprehensive plan FAQs.

The questions and answers address the purpose, timing, components, and potential funding sources for comprehensive plans, as well as how they relate to other planning and implementation documents, such as water and sewer plans and the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities Action Plans.  

At Planning, we know PFAs and comprehensive plans, and we hope that these FAQs will help you understand them better as well. We are currently finalizing a set of FAQs on municipal annexations. 

If you would like to request FAQs on a specific planning topic, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov. 

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