The State of Maryland entrusts local jurisdictions with land use planning authority to guide growth and development through the Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. The Land Use Article delegates planning and land use regulatory authority to all non-charter counties and all incorporated municipalities, except for Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and some of their jurisdictions.
The statute outlines the responsibilities, roles, and functions of the planning commission and sets the ground rules for planning and zoning powers.
In 2012, the Maryland General Assembly repealed Article 66B and Article 28 and replaced it with the Land Use Article.
Land Use Article. For a print copy ($91 in-state), call LexisNexus at (800)223-1940 and ask for the 2012 Maryland Code Annotated Land Use Article.
In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly repealed Articles 23A, 24, 25, 25A and 25B and replaced them with the Local Government Article.
In an opinion dated November 18, 2014, Attorney General Doug Gansler affirmed the role of municipal
and non-charter county planning commissions in developing local comprehensive plans. Responding to
the Town of Mount Airy, the Attorney General opined that under § 3-205(d)(1) of the Land Use Article,
the Town Council could not adopt any substantive changes to a comprehensive plan as prepared and
approved by the Town’s Planning Commission. Attorney General Gansler further concluded that a local
legislative body’s ability to influence the content of the local comprehensive plan is limited to (1) voting
not to adopt a plan as approved by the planning commission and (2) sending the plan back to the
planning commission with recommendations for revisions. The opinion does not affect charter counties
or Baltimore City. The opinion is consistent with the longstanding advice of MDP and a 1992 attorney
general opinion. MDP staff will continue to provide technical assistance to local planners on
comprehensive plans and plan updates as needed.
Planning Tools for Transit Oriented Development
Transit-oriented development (TOD) may not be a new concept, but planning for and implementing walkable, mixed-use areas where communities and transit systems build on each other’s benefits remains challenging.
MDP developed Planning Tools for Transit Oriented Development as a comprehensive online planning and implementation resource to support state and local TOD efforts. The resource provides tools for planners, developers, elected officials and residents to advance TOD in their jurisdictions
An interactive map features a TOD profile tool that enables users to delve into demographics, employment data, transit use, land use and development projects around every Metro and MARC station in Maryland. The resource also details TOD policies, programs and implementation efforts around the state, describing each rail and subway line along with their progress and potential. Rounding out the resource are summaries of best practices to support creative development projects.