Department of Planning Overview
The Jefferson Building, Suite 101
105 W. Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
Andrea Van Arsdale, Director
Baltimore County invites citizens, service providers and advocates to participate in a Public Hearing to obtain citizen views regarding its use of federal Housing and Urban Development funds, priorities and emerging needs in County Fiscal Year 2015. The hearing will be held on December 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the Towson Room of the Towson Library.
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With the passage of Bills 122-10 and 55-11, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has consolidated the former Office of Community Conservation with the Office of Planning. The new agency will be known as the Department of Planning. The functions associated with the former Office of Community Conservation will be under the Division of Neighborhood Improvement.
The Division of Community Development will continue the functions associated with the former Office of Planning. A new Division, Neighborhood Response Team, will utilize a team-based approach to capitalize upon and integrate the physical planning, housing, and commercial revitalization skills of the staff.
Working closely with citizens, elected officials, and other government agencies, the Baltimore County Department formulates policies, plans and regulations to guide future growth and to preserve and enhance existing communities.
The Baltimore County Charter gives the Department broad responsibility for the County’s master plan and zoning regulations. Other major duties of the office are related to its role as staff to the Planning Board, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Design Review Panel.
Major Activities of the Department
- The planning office provides staffing for four volunteer citizen advisory boards/commissions.
- Planning Board — recommends, reviews and approves planning proposals.
- Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) — reviews development plans involving historic properties, and approves sites for placement on the County’s Preliminary Landmarks List.
- Design Review Panel (DRP) — reviews development plans for designated areas
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) — advises the County administration and County Council on pedestrian and bicycle matters.
- Master Plan
The Department prepares a Master Plan every 10 years, monitors its implementation, and prepares progress reports.
- Neighborhood Response Team (NRT)
The Neighborhood Response Team serves as the primary contact for planning related matters. It is organized into four geographic areas called sectors. (North, East, Central and West).
- Development Review
Community planners and development review staff review development proposals.
- Historic Preservation
Staff conducts research and administers County policy and regulations.
The office administers the Comprehensive and Cycle Zoning Map Processes that revise the zoning designation of properties in the County.
In response to County Council Resolutions, Planning Board initiatives, County Executive requests, or Master Plan recommendations, staff revise planning-related regulations.
- Capital Programming
Once a year, staff reviews and makes recommendations on the County’s capital budget and program, which is a six-year plan for expenditures to design and construct county buildings, parks, roads, utilities and other capital facilities.
- Planning Research
Staff performs various planning research functions essential to formulating and implementing plans and policies. The Department is also required by the County Code to prepare school impact analyses and report the annual enrollment capacity of the public schools.
Revised December 2, 2013