1997 Planning Legislation capitalizes on the state’s influence on economic growth and development. This law directs
state spending to Priority Funding Areas (PFA's). PFA's are existing communities and places designated
by local governments indicating where they want state investment to support future growth.
Growth-related projects covered by the legislation include most state programs that encourage or support growth and
development such as highways, sewer and water construction, economic development assistance and state leases or
construction of new office facilities.
The Priority Funding Areas law builds on the foundation of planning visions which were adopted as Maryland policy
through 1992 legislation (and updated in 2009). Funding for projects in municipalities, other existing communities,
industrial areas and planned growth areas designated by counties receive priority for state funding over other
projects. Priority Funding Areas coordinate state and local government efforts to support economic development and
The following areas qualify as Priority Funding Areas:
- every municipality, as they existed in 1997;
- areas inside the Washington Beltway and the Baltimore Beltway;
- areas already designated as enterprise zones, neighborhood revitalization areas, heritage areas and existing
The 1997 planning law recognizes the important role of local governments in managing growth and determining the
locations most suitable for state-funded projects. Counties may designate areas as Priority Funding Areas that meet
guidelines for intended use, availability of plans for sewer and water systems and permitted residential density.
Areas eligible for county designation include existing communities and areas where industrial or other economic
development is desired. In addition, counties may designate areas planned for new residential communities which
will be served by water and sewer systems and meet density standards.
See Local Government Planning Frequently Asked Questions for more
the Priority Funding Areas Interactive Map
For Paper Copy Orders
County Maps, 11” x 17”, $5.00
County Maps, 34” x 44” (poster
Statewide Maps, 11” x 17”, $5.00
Statewide Maps, 34” x 44” (poster size), $25.00
Funding Area CDs, includes statewide and county maps, $50.00
To place an order, please contact Shelly Aprill: (410) 767-4474, email@example.com.
Updated February 2019