​Instructions and Guidance for Specific Plan Submissions

Instructions and Guidance on Submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning

​Comprehensive Plans

Review Period: 60 days. Land Use Article Section § 3-203(c) requires planning commissions for non-charter counties and municipalities to submit comprehensive plan updates and amendments to the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) at least 60 days prior to the public hearing at which the planning commission may recommend the plan or amendment for adoption. However, Planning recommends that jurisdictions submit comprehensive plans and amendments with at least a week buffer between the end of the 60 days and the public hearing, thus providing time for staff and the planning commission to review and prepare for Planning’s comments. Charter counties should consult their county attorney for any local requirements to submit comprehensive plans to Planning for review and comment. If a charter county decides to submit a comprehensive plan, the review period is still 60 days. Planning makes every attempt to accommodate expedited reviews but cannot guarantee that we will be able to complete our reviews in fewer than 60 days. For municipalities and non-charter counties, comprehensive plans or amendments submitted for review fewer than 60 days prior to the public hearing may require the jurisdiction to reschedule the public hearing. For charter counties with local requirements to submit comprehensive plans to Planning for review and comment, comprehensive plans or amendments submitted for review fewer than 60 days prior to the public hearing may require the jurisdiction to reschedule the public hearing.

Submission Requirements: A jurisdiction must submit a full explanation and the text of the comprehensive plan or amendment to Planning, including a description of how it is related to or incorporated with other planning documents. For amendments, this may include redlined documents indicating changes, including any needed property or area identification information, proposed land use changes, policy amendments, relationship to or incorporation with other planning documents, etc. Other supportive submission documents include maps of the area of change if applicable and a detailed cover letter including the main contact person and the schedule of public hearings. Planning cannot effectively review comprehensive plans or amendments if the submission is incomplete. The submission of an incomplete comprehensive plan update or amendment may slow down the review process or lead Planning staff to contact the jurisdiction for additional information.

Submission Process/Contacts: Please send all comprehensive plan or amendment materials via email, at least 60 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 Comprehensive Plans webpage.

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