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Municipal Planning


What is the definition of Annexation? Click here.

[an-ik-sey-shuh n]
noun: annexation; plural noun: annexations
1. Municipal annexation is the process of legally including within the corporate limits of a city or town an unincorporated area that is outside the municipality.

For many cities and towns in Maryland, annexation of surrounding areas plays an important role in influencing the economic growth, environmental protection, quality of life, and municipal fiscal well-being of their communities. (Page 3; The Maryland Municipal League Municipal Annexation Handbook; September 2013)

The Maryland Municipal League provides useful guidance for municipalities in terms of their procedures for annexation through their handbook.

Annexations and the Municipal Growth Element

Municipalities that implement their planning and zoning authority should have an adopted comprehensive plan. Legislation in 2006 added the municipal growth element as a required element of a comprehensive plan. Shortly after the law changed requiring a MGE, The Maryland Department of Planning produced a model and guideline for writing the Municipal Growth Element to the Comprehensive Plan. The municipal growth element should examine past growth trends and patterns. It should include a projection of future growth in population and resulting land needs based on a capacity analysis of areas selected for future municipal annexation and growth. It also requires an examination of the effects of growth on infrastructure and natural features both within and adjacent to the present municipality and on future growth areas that may be annexed.

In Maryland, annexations are covered by the Local Government Article, § 4-401 - § 4-416. According to § 4-406 (c) (2) the local government shall provide notice to “any regional or State planning agency with jurisdiction in the county.” MDP, for its part, after receiving this notice will provide comments for consideration by the municipality during its annexation procedures. At least 30 days prior to the public hearing, the annexation plan and map/plat, annexation resolution and notice of public hearing should be emailed to mdp.planreview@maryland.gov​.

Learn more about plan submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning.

Post Annexation Procedures

Following the approval of an annexation​, there are some important procedures for municipalities to follow. Municipalities should report the annexation to its clerk, the Clerk of the Court in the county or counties in which the municipal corporation is located and, for those municipalities in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Municipalities should also send a copy of the annexation resolution with the new boundaries to:

Maryland Department of Legislative Services
Legislative Division
90 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact Joe Griffiths, Manager, Local Assistance & Training at 410-767-4553 or joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov

​​Maryland Municipal League Conference Annexation Session

The Maryland Department of Planning thanks the Town of La Plata and Charles County for contributing to an informative session on annexations at the 2023 Maryland Municipal League Summer Conference (click image below for pdf of presentation)


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