​Instructions and Guidance for Specific Plan Submissions

Instructions and Guidance on Submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning

​Priority Funding Area Certifications

Review Period: Up to 30 days. State Finance and Procurement Article Section § 5-7B-08 requires a local government to certify locally designated Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) to the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), but it does not mandate a timeframe. This is called a PFA certification. Certifying an area as a PFA facilitates access to state growth-related funding for transportation, water, and sewer infrastructure, neighborhood revitalization, and housing assistance, including the Maryland Mortgage Program. Planning will review the PFA certification for compliance with PFA criteria, as outlined in State Finance and Procurement Article §5–7B–03, and send a PFA concurrence letter to the jurisdiction within 30 days. The local certification process is determined by the jurisdiction and may be completed administratively or legislatively. When Planning receives a PFA certification, the department does so with the expectation that the jurisdiction has followed its local procedures, and proceeds with its review accordingly. PFA certification reviews do not have a statutory timeframe, nor do they require a public hearing unless the jurisdiction has established such a requirement.

Submission Requirements: A local government PFA certification is an official letter from the jurisdiction, stating its local certification of an area as a PFA, which includes the following information for the certified properties: map and parcel number(s); applicable zoning; allowable residential density; sewer service area designations; comprehensive plan designated growth area status; and any other relevant information which led the local jurisdiction to determine the property meets the PFA criteria.

Submission Process/Contacts: Please send all PFA certification materials via email 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's Priority Funding Areas webpage.

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