MACo Resists Mandated New “Vision” In Local Comp Plans

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs on February 17, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp suggested that a proposed new element in county comprehensive plans be withdrawn from a comprehensive piece of legislation regarding climate change and preparedness.

During the hearing, Mr. Knapp indicated “[the bill] would force us to incorporate yet another element into our comprehensive plans that are… already strained.” He referenced many new laws and requirements established since 2006.

From MACo’s written testimony, citing these many recent enactments governing local planning duties:

With the addition of these new requirements, comprehensive plans have grown increasingly complex and costly to prepare. They are no longer the simple visionary documents that could easily be understood by citizens and have begun to take on the detail and specificity traditionally reserved for zoning.

In acknowledgement of this complexity, the General Assembly recently increased the comprehensive plan update cycle from 6 years to 10 years (HB 409/SB 671 of 2013). MACo has also requested that both the General Assembly and the Executive Branch refrain from requiring additional plan changes so that existing requirements can be properly incorporated into the plans and the effectiveness of those requirements can be evaluated.

Search and review all MACo testimony and positions on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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