In a prelude to the release of PlanMaryland, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) released its first draft of proposed guidelines and criteria for the new planning areas at the December 15 meeting of the Maryland Planning Directors’ Roundtable. The guidelines detail the purpose, intent, and criteria for each of the five new “place planning areas” and the five new “preservation/conservation planning areas” contained in PlanMaryland.
The guidelines will be reviewed by the Plan Maryland Workgroup of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. MACo believes that place planning area designation should be the purview of local governments, similar to the existing law for Priority Funding Areas, and not subject to approval by the Smart Growth Subcabinet. MACo has also stated that there needs to be an appeal or resolution process where a local government and the State disagree over the designation of a preservation/conservation planning area.
In addition to the guidelines, MDP also provided two additional documents at the Roundtable: