​Instructions and Guidance for Specific Plan Submissions

Instructions and Guidance on Submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning


Review Period: 30 days. Local Government Article Section § 4-415(f) requires municipalities to submit an annexation packet to the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) at least 30 days prior to the public hearing on an annexation resolution. However, Planning recommends that municipalities submit annexations to the department for review with at least a week buffer between the end of the 30 days and the public hearing, thus providing time for staff to review and prepare for Planning’s comments. Planning makes every attempt to accommodate expedited reviews but cannot guarantee that we will be able to complete our reviews in fewer than 30 days. Annexations submitted for review fewer than 30 days prior to the public hearing may require the municipality to reschedule the public hearing.

Submission Requirements: Local Government Article Section § 4-415(b) describes the following required components of the annexation plan.

  1. contain a description of the land use pattern proposed for the area to be annexed, which  may include a county master plan already in effect for the area; 
  2. describe the schedule to extend each municipal service performed in the municipality at  the time of the annexation to the area to be annexed; 
  3. describe the general methods by which the municipality anticipates financing the   extension of municipal services to the area to be annexed; and 
  4. be presented to demonstrate the available land for public facilities that may be  considered reasonably necessary for the proposed use, including facilities for schools, water or  sewage treatment, libraries, recreation, or fire or police services.

In addition to the annexation plan, a complete annexation packet also includes the following components.

  1. An official cover letter from the jurisdiction which includes a copy of the public hearing notification. If the public hearing notification is not yet available, or if the public hearing has not yet been scheduled, the jurisdiction should provide the tentative public hearing date and provide a copy of the notification when it becomes available.
  2. A copy of the proposed draft adoption resolution and/or the annexation petition.
  3. A boundary survey plat, the metes and bounds description, parcel and/or lot number, and address of property.
  4. If the jurisdiction annexing the land has planning and zoning authority, then the packet should also include the existing county zoning, the proposed municipal zoning, existing and proposed density (if residential use is allowed in the zone), water and sewer service area category, and comprehensive plan designated growth area status.
  5. If known at the time of annexation submission, the municipality should indicate if it intends to or has already requested a waiver from the county in which the annexation area resides. Waivers are required for development within five years for land uses substantially different from, or at a substantially higher density than, land uses currently authorized by county zoning (See Local Government Article § 4-416 (b)).
  6. Any other pertinent information relating to the area of annexation.

Submission Process/Contacts: Please send all annexation materials via email, at least 30 days prior to the planning commission public hearing, to mdp.planreview@maryland.gov​, as well as all regional planners assigned to the jurisdiction. Please see Planning’s Local Planning Staff Assignments webpage for appropriate regional planner contacts. Others may be copied as the jurisdiction deems necessary.

To learn more, visit the Maryland Department of Planning Annexations webpage.

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