This website is a service of the Maryland Department of Planning to help the residents better understand the comprehensive planning process. Each of us is an important stakeholder who helps shape the landscape of our neighborhoods, cities, towns and State. As development pressure increases and irreplaceable resource lands are lost, it is vital that Maryland grows smarter and more sustainably through a more collaborative and informed public process.
We hope that you become familiar with your comprehensive plan, attend posted public hearings and weigh in on local planning and development decisions affecting you and your community. Your active participation is a critical component of the local planning process.
The Maryland Department of Planning’s Review of Comprehensive Plans
As the land use planning and policy arm of the State, the Maryland Department of Planning promotes growth that fosters vibrant, livable communities, preserves and protects the environment, and makes efficient use of State resources. We work closely with Maryland's counties and municipalities in visioning and guiding where and how future development, revitalization and preservation will occur.
The Department, on behalf of the State, reviews comprehensive plans for consistency with the State's Smart Growth and growth management laws, specifically, the Land Use Article including the requirements for Municipal Growth, Water Resources and Priority Preservation Area Elements, The State Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Policy found in Subtitle 5-7A, commonly known as the 12 Visions, and the Priority Funding Areas Act found in Subtitle 5-7B of the State Finance and Procurement Article. Some of the specific provisions that local comprehensive plan should address are based on these Maryland Planning legislative initiatives:
Our review and comment on local plans are provided to counties and municipalities as guidance to insure local plans reflect the best possible land management policies and practices. The Department's comments are posted on this website prior to the draft plan's scheduled public hearing. The public is invited to participate in crafting the vision, goals and priorities for their community.