Maryland’s municipalities and counties primarily use three authorities to control land use within their boundaries. These are the authorities to adopt a comprehensive or master plan, to enact a zoning ordinance and to implement subdivision regulations. Together, these tools direct how land will be developed. The Local Government Article and Land Use Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, are the sources of State law that govern the administration of these three important land use powers.
Division I of the Land Use Article delegates these three basic planning and land use regulatory powers to the State’s non-charter counties and municipalities, and to Baltimore City. The Article but does not require these jurisdictions to exercise delegated planning and zoning powers, but does require that if these powers are exercised by a local government, the powers must be exercised in accordance with the Article’s provisions.
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