Session Update: Planning and Zoning Legislation

This post summarizes the status of various planning and zoning legislation that MACo either considered or took a position on.

MACo PlanMaryland LegislationHB 1201 / SB 532 is MACo legislation that would define the scope and application of the State Development Plan (PlanMaryland).  As introduced, the bill would prohibit PlanMaryland from being used to deny State permits, approvals, or mandated funding.  The bill would also provide that in the event of a conflict between the State and a local government over the planning area designations in the Plan, the local government’s comprehensive planning and zoning classifications would prevail.  MACo supported the bill.  Subsequently, MACo and the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) agreed upon amendments to the bill stating that the Plan may not be used to deny a State-issued permit, deny mandated funding, supersede State or local statutes or regulations, overturn a decision of a local government to fund a project, or require a local government to amend its comprehensive plan or zoning. STATUS = PENDING.  The House passed HB 1201 with the MACo/MDP consensus amendments and also added a requirement that the Smart Growth Subcabinet meet biennially with local governments to discuss land use issues.  The Senate has taken no action.

MACo HB 1201 Testimony

Prohibition on PlanMaryland to Deny Permits or Mandated FundingHB 932 and SB 701 are similar bills that include language identical or similar to the MACo PlanMaryland legislation and would prohibit the use of PlanMaryland to deny State permits or mandated funding.  MACo supported the bills as they contained similar provisions to the MACo legislation.  STATUS = FINAL.  The House gave HB 932 an unfavorable report.  The Senate gave SB 701 an unfavorable report.

MACo HB 932 Testimony

MACo SB 701 Testimony

PlanMaryland Conflict SB 835 includes language similar to the MACo PlanMaryland legislation and would provide that in the event of a conflict between the State and a local government over the planning area designations in the Plan, the local government’s comprehensive planning and zoning classifications would prevail.  MACo supported the bill as it contained a similar provision to the MACo legislation.  STATUS = FINAL.  The Senate gave SB 835 an unfavorable report. 

MACo SB 835 Testimony

Approval of PlanMaryland By General AssemblyHB 32,  HB 36HB 931, and SB 829 are similar bills that would require General Assembly approval of PlanMaryland.  MACo supported the bills, citing the traditional oversight role of the General Assembly in significant land use policy changes.  STATUS = FINAL.  HB 32 was withdrawn by the bill’s sponsor.  The House gave HB 36 and HB 931 an unfavorable report.  The Senate gave an unfavorable report to SB 829.

MACo HB 36 Testimony

MACo HB 931 Testimony

MACo SB 829 Testimony

Prohibition on Restricting Local Land Use AuthoritySB 826 would prohibit MDP, the Office of Smart Growth, the Special Secretary of Smart Growth, and the Smart Growth Subcabinet from adopting regulations or taking an action that would restrict the land use power of any local government or regional planning agency.  MACo supported the bill, citing the traditional oversight role of the General Assembly in significant land use policy changes.  STATUS = FINAL.  The Senate gave SB 826 an unfavorable report.

MACo SB 826 Testimony

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