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Comprehensive Plans

How Comprehensive Plans are Adopted

Although each jurisdiction follows its own hearing and notification protocol (which must be in compliance with the State’s Open Meetings Act), there are certain procedural requirements that must be followed under Land Use Article​:

  1. Maryland law requires that local jurisdictions forward copies of the comprehensive plan (or amendments to the plan) to relevant State agencies and adjoining local jurisdictions for their reviewat least 60 days prior to the planning commission public hearing (§3.07.c). In order to better assist local governments, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) will circulate the Plan to State agencies. MDP requests that local jurisdictions provide one hard copy and one digital copy of the plan. 

    These materials should be mailed to:

    Maryland Department of Planning Clearinghouse
    C/O: Comprehensive Plan 60 Day Review
    301 W. Preston Street
    Suite 1101
    Baltimore, MD 21201


  2. The planning commission holds at least one public hearing.

  3. The planning commission recommends adoption of the plan to the local legislative body.

  4. The local legislative body can hold its own public hearing and deliberate on the plan at its regularly scheduled meeting or following the hearing.

  5. The local legislative body must act within 60 days after the date of the submission; failure to act is taken as concurrence with the planning commission’s recommendation. The legislative body can adopt the plan in whole or in part, or it can return the plan to the planning commission for further consideration.

  6. After a local jurisdiction has adopted a plan or plan element, they must submit one CD/DVD of the plan and (1) hard copy for the State Depository per § 5-502 of the Maryland Code. 

    These materials should be mailed to:

    Maryland Department of Planning 
    C/O State Depository Librarian 
    301 W. Preston Street
    Suite 1101
    Baltimore, MD 21201