Notices to Maryland Jurisdictions and our Readers

  1. Planning encourages our readers to stay current on state efforts to protect Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting the Maryland Department of Health and The Office of Governor Larry Hogan websites.
  2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Department of Planning staff are teleworking and will be temporarily unable to review and process standard mail. The department politely requests that all Maryland jurisdictions and others please submit most items electronically to Cassandra Malloy at For Clearinghouse intergovernmental review requests and inquiries, please continue to send them to
  3. Census 2020: Jurisdictions can check their real time Census response rates at the 2020 Census Response Rates website. The map is interactive and updated everyday at 3 PM. The user has the option to select the date and type of response (internet and total). Total responses include people who responded by phone, regular mail, and online. Finally, there is an option to choose the state, a county, or a sub county geography like cities and census tracts.

State Agencies Team Up to Help Re-grow the State’s Forestry Industry

Planning in Progress

Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner with Anne Hairston-Strang, Associate Director, Maryland Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources

Diagram based upon information from Sustainable Reforestation: Growing Tomorrow’s Forests Today (c) 1992,2000, American Forest & Paper Association, Inc. (

It may not be the first thing you think of, but one of the most critical natural resources for ensuring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways in Maryland is healthy forest land. In fact, according to Anne Hairston-Strang of the Maryland Forest Service, “one of forests’ best uses is for promoting water quality, however that relies on proper harvesting using Best Management Practices (BMPs) for sediment and erosion control.”  Continue reading

Thinking of Purchasing a Brownfield Site for Redevelopment? “AAI Before You Buy!”

Planning in Progress

by Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner and Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

“Well, ah’ll be a bon-a-fide prospective purchaser”

The phrase Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) may evoke images of a gold rush era prospector driving a covered wagon drawn by a pair of oxen, but in 2020, this antiquated-sounding term describes something quite different. 

A BFPP is a savvy buyer who has earned environmental liability protections by complying with the United States’ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule before purchasing a property. The AAI Rule came about in response to the 2002 Brownfields Amendments to CERCLA, as a vehicle to “promulgate regulations establishing standards and practices for conducting” AAI.   Continue reading

Planning Simplifies Annual Reporting; Encourages Localities to Embrace the Opportunity

Resources and Tools

For the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and jurisdictions around the state, spring and early summer are the Local Government Annual Reporting season. While that might not sound like something to get excited about, it is a vital time of year for reviewing development progress, initiating conversations about the direction of Maryland’s communities, and reconnecting state and local planning officials.  Continue reading

HB 1045 Guidance Development Considers the Quantitative and the Qualitative

Planning in Progress

The Maryland Departments of Planning (Planning) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD) are crafting useful tools and guidance to help jurisdictions meet the requirements of HB 1045, which goes into effect on June 1 of this year. We first introduced you to our work on HB 1045 in the October 9, 2019 edition of Planning Practice Monthly. As a reminder, all new comprehensive plans written after June 1 must include a Housing Element that addresses the need for Low Income (below 60% Area Median Income) and Workforce (60% – 120% Area Median Income) housing. Continue reading

Update: Maryland’s Phase III WIP – What’s Next?

Planning in Progress

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

In the May 1, 2019 edition of this newsletter, we shared the news that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) had recently posted the draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to their website along with a schedule of public participation and comment. WIP III implementation, however, is an ongoing effort. Here’s what’s happening now: Continue reading

A Little Dues go a Long Way

MPCA Corner

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) is a small volunteer organization dedicated to the support, continued education, and networking of Maryland’s citizen planners. Every member of a Planning Commission/Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, or a Historic District Review Committee (or something with a similar name and function) is automatically a member of the MPCA. The MPCA Board is composed of four volunteer leaders who, on top of their careers and planning commission responsibilities, also dedicate significant time and energy to running the MPCA. They are: Continue reading