The Maryland Department of Planning has launched a PlanMaryland website that will serve as a repository for postings and documents relating to the State’s proposed land use plan. A draft version of PlanMaryland will be released shortly for public and stakeholder comment. The Plan will be based on three goals distilled from the State’s 12 planning visions. Each goal will have a list of outcomes illustrative of that goal. Strategic and implementation policies for both State and local governments will be derived from the goals. The three goals are:
- Concentrate development and redevelopment in towns, cities and rural centers where there is existing and planned infrastructure
- Preserve and protect environmentally sensitive and rural lands and resources from the impacts of development
- Ensure a sustainable and high quality of life in Maryland’s communities and rural areas
PlanMaryland will also classify all areas of the State under a PlanMaryland map, and will incorporate Growth Print, Green Print, and Ag Print maps into a single unified map. Places will be designated in the following categories:
Priority Funding Areas (PFAs)
- Growth Print Areas
- Established Communities
Priority Conservation Areas (Green Print and Ag Print)
- Rural Resource Areas
- Water Resource Areas
- Natural Resource Areas
- Areas Subject to Climate Change
- Fringe Areas outside of PFAs
Within PFAs, the State will designate Growth Print Areas that will be the target of State funding and growth policies. Local governments may petition for additional areas to be designated as Growth Print Areas, subject to unspecified criteria. Other areas within PFAs will be classified as established communities and will not be eligible to receive State funding for growth – only to maintain existing infrastructure. Many of the specifics of PlanMaryland have not yet been released.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, MACo and the Maryland Association of County Planning Officials have raised concerns over the design and implementation of PlanMaryland. Both organizations will be active in reviewing and commenting on the forthcoming draft Plan. As part of the review of the draft Plan, a series of regional public forums will be held starting on April 6.