Public Notice: Annual Towing Fee Hearing
The Director of the Baltimore County Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections will hold a virtual public hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 1, to consider testimony on proposed changes of the maximum allowable fees or charges for police-initiated towing and trespass towing in accordance with Regulation 02.02.02.07, Code of Baltimore County Regulations regarding police-initiated towing and Regulation 02.02.03.08, Code of Baltimore Regulations regarding trespass towing.
The Department of Planning is committed to development and land use of the highest quality. This department ensures compliance with Federal, State and County laws through the review of land use proposals and the development of plans, policies and procedures in order to make recommendations to approving authorities. Our goal is to achieve the vision of the Master Plan by promoting and preserving safe and sustainable communities of a high aesthetic quality for the citizens of Baltimore County.
Adequate Public School Facilities
The Baltimore County Code as of March 1, 2000 requires that the Department of Planning create regulations to assess development impact on schools. Adopted School Impact Regulations outline requirements developers need to submit to the Department of Planning in order to determine the impact of projects with a residential component on public school facilities.
The information for filling out School Impact Analysis Forms includes:
Section 32-6-103(c), (f) and (g) of the Baltimore County Code requires that the Department of Planning furnish the School Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance Report and Maps using September 30, 2022 school enrollment data, indicating overcrowded school districts in accordance with parameters in the referenced County Code.
The countywide maps display the overcrowded school districts, using the September 30, 2022 enrollment data:
Capital Improvement Program
A six-year plan authorizing the funding for capital improvements such as roads, sewers, parks and schools. View details for the Capital Improvement Program.
The Comprehensive Manual of Development Policies (CMDP) is enabled by Section 504.2 of the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations, which states that the Department and Zoning shall compile and codify, in an appropriate and practical form, a comprehensive manual of the Planning Board's land-use and development policies and zoning resolutions.
In its entirety, the CMDP is a robust document with many useful standards, guidelines and regulations that the County uses to help steer commercial and residential development within the goals of the Master Plan. Currently, the Department of Planning is in process of updating the manual to provide desirable design approaches and meet the needs of (re)development within the County.
The manual (PDF format) has been divided into Divisions and Sections to make it easier to read.
Division I. Focus on Community
Division II. Residential Development within the Urban/Rural Demarcation Line
- Section A. Residential Standards
- Section B. Residential Guidelines
- Section C. Residential Compatibility
Division III. Commercial Development within the Urban - Rural Demarcation Line
The updated Division III was introduced to the Planning Board on January 5, 2023. The Planning Board held a public hearing on January 19, 2023 and voted on February 2, 2023 to approve its updates and changes. The updated Division III was sent to the Council Office on February 7, 2023 and was adopted on March 24, 2023.
- Section A. Main Street
- Section B. Freestanding
- Section C. Shopping Center/Mall
- Section D. Office
- Section E. Mixed Use/TOD
Division IV. Special Areas and Procedures
The updated Division IV was introduced to the Planning Board on April 15, 2021. The Planning Board held a public hearing on May 6, 2021 and voted to approve its updates and changes. The updated Division IV was sent to the Council Office on May 11, 2021 and was adopted on June 26, 2021.
- Section A. Scenic Views
- Section B. Complete Streets
- Section C. Pikesville Design Guidelines
- Section D. Honeygo Overlay District Design Guideline
- Section E. Hunt Valley Timonium Design Guidelines
- Section F. Downtown Towson District Guidelines and Standards
- Section G. Design Review Panel
- Section H. Planned Unit Development
- Section I. Assisted Living Facilities
- Section J. Microwave Path Protection
Design Review Areas
Bill 12-93 was enacted on January 19, 1993 to create the Baltimore County Design Review Areas. The development plans in these Design Review Areas are reviewed by the Design Review Panel, an advisory and consulting body to the County agencies involved in reviewing development plans. Design review is conducted for all projects located within designated Design Review Areas.
The Planning Department coordinates the review of residential and commercial development in Baltimore County with respect to planning concepts. The purpose of development review is to ensure quality development and redevelopment of land in accordance with adopted planning principles.
Specifically, the department makes recommendations based on the following standards and guidelines:
- Baltimore County Zoning Regulations
- Baltimore County Code (Development Article 32)
- Comprehensive Manual of Development Policies (CMDP)
- Manual of Regulations, Section 260
- Complete Streets Guidelines
- Landscape Manual
- Local Open Space Manual
- Community Plans
- Master Plan
- Design Review Panel Area Project Guidelines
The Department of Planning requires the submission of a pattern book for the review of development plans for major residential subdivisions and general development Planned Unit Developments. A pattern book may also be requested for the development plan review of commercial projects. The information to be provided in the pattern book is provided below:
The Growth Tiers identify where major and minor residential subdivisions may develop and the type of sewage disposal system that will serve them. A parcel divided into four or more lots is considered a major subdivision in Baltimore County. Our Growth Tiers were developed in response to Maryland’s Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (SB 236). Existing geographic data such as existing and planned sewer areas, zoning, URDL and a variety of conservation or preservation layers were analyzed and used to classify County land into one of four Growth Tiers:
- Tier I: Major or minor subdivisions served by public sewers are allowed.
- Tier II: Major or minor subdivisions served by public sewers are allowed. Minor Subdivisions on individual on-site disposal systems shall be viewed as interim.
- Tier III: Major subdivisions on individual on-site disposal systems are allowed, with the recommendation of approval by an approving authority. Minor subdivisions on individual on-site disposal systems are allowed.
- Tier IV: Only minor subdivisions on individual on-site disposal systems are allowed.
A poster of the adopted map as amended on June 5, 2017 is available and citizens may also view the Growth Tiers in the "Land Development" tab of Baltimore County's My Neighborhood interactive map.
The Baltimore County Charter requires that a master plan be updated at least every 10 years. The master plan provides policies and guidelines for sustaining livable communities and achieving balanced development in Baltimore County.
A Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a mixed-use development that capitalizes on the presence and ridership of transit while connecting to the surrounding communities.
The State of Maryland provides a TOD designation following a local application, a review of the proposed plan by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Smart Growth Coordinating Committee before it is submitted to the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet for approval. The County must include a request in its annual Priority Letter to MDOT in order for the State to consider an application. A TOD provides a unique opportunity to increase transit ridership and connectivity, reduce reliance on motor vehicles, and support mixed use communities with public amenities and a greater “sense of place”.
The County has developed a process at the local level for making a recommendation to the State for a Transit Oriented Development. In order for the County to consider a request for designation as a TOD, the party must submit an application.