New Decade Means New Comprehensive Plans

Local Spotlight

Many jurisdictions coordinate new comprehensive plans with the arrival of the decennial census. Census data is the foundation for comprehensive planning, providing a snapshot of Maryland communities, outlining growth trends, and distinguishing key demographic indicators.

In 2013, House Bill 409 increased the review period for comprehensive plans from six to ten years. To learn more about the ten-year cycle and when your jurisdiction’s review is due, please visit Planning’s Comprehensive Plan 10-Year Review Cycle webpage.

As the lead agency for both the Maryland Census 2020 and the 60-day review of comprehensive plans and amendments, Planning is steeped in this topic. Planning began listing comprehensive planning efforts in the September 2020 Planning Practice Monthly and will continue to track and publish website links in future editions.

If you are aware of a comprehensive planning process currently underway but not listed, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager, at and we will be sure to add it to the list.

Recently Adopted!

Adelphi Road-UMGC/UMD Purple Line Station Area Sector Plan, Prince George’s County

Thrive Montgomery 2050  , Montgomery County

Town of Washington Grove 2021 Comprehensive Plan, Montgomery County

Under Development

planAberdeen, Harford County

Annapolis Ahead, Anne Arundel County

Our Baltimore, Baltimore City

Master Plan 2030, Baltimore County

Brookeville, Update to Transportation, Pedestrian Networks & Streetscaping Elements, Montgomery County

Cecil County Comprehensive Plan

Town of Denton Comprehensive Plan Update, Caroline County

Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Frederick County

Town of Friendsville Comprehensive Plan Update, Garrett County

Town of Galena’s Comprehensive Plan 2031, Kent County

Garrett County Comprehensive Plan 2021

HoCo By Design, Howard County

Loch Lynn Heights Comprehensive Plan, Garrett County

Middletown, 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Frederick County

Town of Mt. Airy Master Plan – 2023, Carroll and Frederick counties

Town of Myersville, Frederick County

Town of New Windsor Comprehensive Plan Update, Carroll County

The Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan, Frederick County

St. Mary’s County Comprehensive Plan Update

Town of Walkersville Comprehensive Plan Update 2020-21, Frederick County

Washington County Comprehensive Plan 2040

West Hyattsville-Queens Chapel Sector Plan, Prince George’s County

New Additions!  

Town Center Expansion Area Amendment, Calvert County

St. Michaels Municipal Growth Area Expansion, Talbot County

Town of Easton 2023 Comprehensive Plan Update, Talbot County

Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Local Planning: New Water Resources Element Guidance

Planning Assistance in Action 

by Jason Dubow, CC-P, Manager, Resource Conservation and Management and Matthew Rowe, Assistant Director, Water and Science Administration, Maryland Department of Planning 

Note: this article was originally published in the Maryland Municipal League’s September/October online magazine, Municipal Maryland

Fig 1 – Photo of sign warning fisherman of rising waters.

To protect private property, public health, government infrastructure and local environmental resources, municipalities should take steps to study the expected impacts of climate change. Those steps should include identifying vulnerable areas, populations, and assets to develop strategies to avoid or lessen those impacts.

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Analyzing Affordable Housing Needs in Your Jurisdiction: Examples from Maryland Housing Elements

Local Spotlight 

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager 

Image 1 – Photo of construction workers framing a house, courtesy of DHCD.

In 2019, the Maryland Departments of Planning (Planning) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD) initiated mutually reinforcing development efforts to assist Maryland jurisdictions with their affordable housing planning needs.  

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Housing Data Dashboard Updates

Resources and Tools

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

The Maryland Department of Planning recently updated its Housing Data Dashboard to include 2022 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Area Median Income (AMI) data and U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 2016-2020 Five-Year Estimates. The Housing Data Dashboard, part of the Housing Element Models & Guidelines website developed by Planning in 2020, helps jurisdictions meet the comprehensive planning requirements of HB 1045, passed in 2019. The AMI data is displayed, for whichever geography (county, place, census tract) a user selects, in the dashboard’s AMI calculator (Figure 1, shown below).

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Affordable Housing in Maryland: A Rural Developer’s Experience

Local Spotlight

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

While articles about sky rocketing rental and home sales prices, housing shortages, and homelessness have routinely made national headlines over the past few years, common misconceptions about affordable housing remain.

Figure 1 – Photo of housing at Liberty Hill, part of GCCAC’s Chautauqua West affordable housing development in Garrett County; courtesy, Duane Yoder.

To help deal with such issues, the Maryland legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1045 in 2019, which requires jurisdictions with planning and zoning authority to address housing as part of a comprehensive plan.

In light of this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) developed guidance (Models and Guidelines), online tools (Housing Data Dashboard) and other resources to assist local governments with developing or updating their housing elements.

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