12 Planning Visions

​Maryland’s Planning Visions law (from 2009) created 12 Visions which reflect more the State’s ongoing aspiration to develop and implement sound growth and development policy. The visions address: quality of life and sustainability; public participation; growth areas; community design; infrastructure; transportation; housing; economic development; environmental protection; resource conservation; stewardship; and implementation approaches. See the descriptions of the Visions below.

Local jurisdictions are required to include the visions in the local comprehensive plan and implement them through zoning ordinances and regulations.

Maryland’s Twelve Planning Visions

image of Maryland's 12 planning visions 

  1. Quality of Life and Sustainability:

    A high quality of life is achieved through universal stewardship of the land, water, and air resulting in sustainable communities and protection of the environment.

  2. Public Participation:

    Citizens are active partners in the planning and implementation of community initiatives and are Sensitive to their responsibilities in achieving community goals.

  3. Growth Areas:

    Growth is concentrated in existing population and business centers, growth areas adjacent to these centers, or strategically selected new centers.

  4. Community Design:

    Compact, mixed–use, walkable design consistent with existing community character and located near available or planned transit options is encouraged to ensure efficient use of land and transportation resources and preservation and enhancement of natural systems, open spaces, recreational areas, and historical, cultural, and archeological resources.

  5. Infrastructure:

    Growth areas have the water resources and infrastructure to accommodate population and business expansion in an orderly, efficient, and environmentally sustainable manner;

  6. Transportation:

    A well–maintained, multimodal transportation system facilitates the safe, convenient, affordable, and efficient movement of people, goods, and services within and between population and business centers;

  7. Housing:

    A range of housing densities, types, and sizes provides residential options for citizens of all ages and incomes;

  8. Economic Development:

    Economic development and natural resource–based businesses that promote employment opportunities for all income levels within the capacity of the State’s natural resources, public services, and public facilities are encouraged;

  9. Environmental Protection:

    Land and water resources, including the Chesapeake and coastal bays, are carefully managed to restore and maintain healthy air and water, natural systems, and living resources;

  10. icon of 12 planning visionsResource Conservation:

    Waterways, forests, agricultural areas, open space, natural systems, and scenic areas are conserved;

  11. Stewardship:

    Government, business entities, and residents are responsible for the creation of sustainable communities by collaborating to balance efficient growth with resource protection; and

  12. Implementation:

    Strategies, policies, programs, and funding for growth and development, resource conservation, infrastructure, and transportation are integrated across the local, regional, state, and interstate levels to achieve these Visions.

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