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Planning Legislation

​1992 Planning Legislation

Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act

The 1992 Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act articulates the State's growth policy through seven visions (the General Assembly added an eighth vision in 2000) centered on concentrating development in suitable areas, protecting sensitive areas, and establishing funding mechanisms to achieve the visions. The Act also requires local jurisdictions to address these same visions in their comprehensive plans. All local jurisdictions with few exceptions, incorporated these visions into their comprehensive plans on or before July 1, 1997. Under the Act, local governments are required to review, and if necessary, update their plans once every six years...

These are the eight visions from the 1992 Planning Act.

  • Development is concentrated in suitable areas.
  • Sensitive areas are protected.
  • In rural areas, growth is directed to existing population centers and resource areas are protected.
  • Stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay and the land is a universal ethic.
  • Conservation of resources, including a reduction in resource consumption, is practiced.
  • To assure the achievement of items (1) through (5) of this section, economic growth is encouraged and regulatory mechanisms are streamlined.
  • Adequate public facilities and infrastructure under the control of the county or municipal corporation are available or planned in areas where growth is to occur.
  • Funding mechanisms are addressed to achieve these Visions.

 

The Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning policy is codified in §5-7A-01 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code. The visions are codified in §3.06(b) of Land Use Article​ of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

 


1997 Planning Legislation

Priority Funding Areas Act (click heading to expand)

The 1997 Priority Funding Areas Act directs State funding for growth related infrastructure to Priority Funding Areas (PFAs), providing a geographic focus for State investment in growth. PFAs are existing communities and places where local governments want State funding for future growth. Growth-related projects include most State programs that encourage growth and development such as highways, sewer and water construction, economic development assistance, and State leases or construction of new office facilities. The Act legislatively designated certain areas as PFAs - municipalities (as they existed on January 1, 1997), Baltimore City, areas inside the Baltimore and Capital Beltways, Department of Housing and Community Development Designated Neighborhoods - and established criteria for locally designated PFAs. The criteria include permitted density, water and sewer availability, and designation as a growth area in the comprehensive plan.

Priority Funding AreasPriority Funding Areas Mapping

Senate Bill 389 from the 1997 regular session of the General Assembly

The PFA Act is codified in §5-7B of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

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2006 Planning Legislation

House Bill 1141 and House Bill 2

The 2006 session of the Maryland General Assembly was the most active session relating to planning and zoning legislation in many years. Key legislation was passed (House Bill 1141 and House Bill 2) that will affect comprehensive plans, annexations and land preservation programs. This includes new and expanded elements required in all comprehensive plans. The law makes changes to basic land use planning and zoning requirements and annexation procedures, agricultural land preservation, and Maryland's Smart Growth programs.

House Bill 1141 from the 2006 regular session of the General Assembly
House Bill 2 from the 2006 regular session of the General Assembly

HB 1141 is codified in Md. Code Ann., State Pers. & Pens. § 5-7B-02, -03; Md. Ann. Code art. 23A, §§ 9, 19 ; Md. Code Ann., LU Title 1, Subtitles 1 and 4 and Title 3, Subtitle 1-3 and Title 4, Subtitle 2 and Title 7, Subtitle 3

HB 2 is codified in Md. Code Ann., Agric. §§ 2-505, 2-518, and 8-405; Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 12-115; Md. Code Ann., SFP § 5-408; Md. Code Ann., Econ. Dev. Title 10, Subtitle 5; Md. Code Ann., LU Title 1, Subtitles 1 and 4 and Title 3, Subtitle 1-3

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2009 Planning Legislation

Smart and Sustainable Growth Act

Clarifies that local jurisdictions must implement and follow the comprehensive plans they adopt. 
Link to One Page Summary

House Bill 297 from the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly

The Smart and Sustainable Growth Act of 2009 is codified in Md. Code Ann., LU Title 1, Subtitles 1-4 and Title 2, Subtitle 1 and Title 3, Subtitles 1-3 and Title 4, Subtitles 2 and 3 and Title 10, Subtitles 1 and 2; Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 8-1808.1

Smart Growth Measures and Markers

Directs local jurisdictions and the State to collect smart growth measures and indicators and establishes a statewide land use goal. 
Link to One Page Summary

House Bill 295 from the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly

Smart Growth Measures and Markers is codified in Md. Code Ann., LU §§1-207, 1-208, 1-301 to 1-304, and 10-103.

 

Planning Visions

Updates the planning process to include housing, sustainability, TOD, environmental protection and more. 
Link to One Page Summary​

House Bill 294 from the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly

Planning Visions is codified in Md. Code Ann., SFP. § 5-7A-01; Md. Code Ann., LU Title 1, Subtitles 2 and 4 and Title 3, Subtitle 2 and Title 7, Subtitles 1 and 2

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2010 Planning Legislation

Sustainable Communities Act

The Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 strengthens reinvestment and revitalization in Maryland's older communities by reinventing an existing rehabilitation tax credit and extending the life of the credit through 2014, simplifying the framework for designated target areas in the Community Legacy (CL) and Neighborhood BusinessWorks (NBW) program by creating "Sustainable Communities", establishing a new transportation focus on older communities, and enhancing the role of the Smart Growth Subcabinet (SGSC) in the revitalization of communities.

House Bill 475 from the 2010 regular session of the General Assembly

The Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 is codified in Md. Code Ann., Econ. Dev. § 5-1304; Md. Code Ann., Hous. & Cmty. Dev. § 6-104, -201 to -213, -301 to -306; Md. Code Ann., SFP § 5A-303; Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 9-1406; Md. Code Ann., Transp. §§ 2-701 to -703, 7-101.

 

Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission

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