Master Planning History
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.
Baltimore County began launching growth management policies in the 1960s. The master plans and their landmark programs are essential to maintaining the sustainable development for economic well-being, public health and safety, education, and resource preservation throughout County communities, and have made the County nationally and internationally renowned. Learn more about past master planning efforts.
Public Comments for Draft Master Plan 2030
Baltimore County has released the draft of Master Plan 2030 for public review and comment. The draft plan follows a two-year planning process that included extensive community engagement. Comments can be submitted to the Baltimore County Planning Board by noon on Wednesday, May 17, one of two ways:
Attn: Baltimore County Planning Board, Department of Planning,
105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 101
Towson, Maryland 21204
By email: email@example.com
Your input is critical to ensuring the Master Plan 2030 reflects the vision and needs of everyone who lives, works, and visits Baltimore County. Visit our Master Plan 2030 HUB to sign up for email updates by clicking “Join” at the top of the HUB page.
Baltimore County Master Plan 2030 is an aspirational planning document that charts a course for the County throughout the next decade and beyond. The plan represents the culmination of a lengthy master-planning process which began in spring 2021 and included community outreach and public input phases, recommendations from local experts, stakeholders and County agencies, as well as, deliberation and coordination among numerous County agencies and Department of Planning staff.
Using Sustaining Places—Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans published by the American Planning Association (APA), as a guide, the Department of Planning developed a framework that intends to create “livable, healthy communities in harmony with nature—communities that have resilient economies, social equity, and strong regional ties”. In addition to using the Sustaining Places report as a guide, the Department of Planning also wanted to ensure that Master Plan 2030 included four key building blocks:
- Focus on preparing for the future needs of the county.
- Incorporate best planning practices.
- Provide clear implementation guidelines and benchmarks.
- Create a “living” document that will evolve throughout the years. As new studies are completed, new sections, proposals and documents will be added and linked to the main page.
Themes and Principles
Master Plan 2030 is based on a systems approach, with three interwoven themes and six guiding principles. Three interwoven themes in Master Plan 2030 are equity, sustainability and vibrant communities. These themes run throughout the plan elements, influencing the goals and actions that are found in the Master Plan 2030, Vision Framework:
- Equity—Being inclusive in our decision-making, ensuring equitable distribution of resources and creating opportunity for all.
- Sustainability—Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the County's public and internal government infrastructure and safeguarding the County's ecology and climate.
- Vibrant Communities—Ensuring that all residents have access to high-quality, accessible and affordable housing, cultural and recreational opportunities in safe communities while promoting responsible economic development.
Six guiding principles, identified in the "Sustaining Places—Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans" published by the American Planning Association (APA), reinforce Baltimore County’s Vision for 2030 and serve as this Plan’s overall goals—Livable Built Environment, Harmony with Nature, Resilient Economy, Responsible Regionalism, Inclusive Planning and Healthy Community. They express and reinforce the major concerns Master Plan 2030 seeks to address.
Master Plan 2030 efforts are underway. The timeline began in the winter of 2021 and will run through summer of 2023 with numerous public engagement opportunities. The timeline may be adjusted periodically.
- Winter 2021—Data analysis, research and establishing themes.
- Spring 2021—Kickoff of public engagement.
- Summer/Fall 2021—Public engagement and feedback; Phase 1
- Winter 2022—Public engagement and feedback; Phase 2
- Summer/Fall 2022—Internal creation of Draft plan.
- April 2023—Draft plan review and public feedback.
- May 2023—Draft plan Planning Board review.
- Summer 2023—County Council consideration and final adoption.
Community Engagement Meetings
Phase 1 (Summer of 2021)
Throughout the summer and fall of 2021, the Department of Planning conducted a series of Community Engagement Meetings that were held in different communities throughout the County. The input that was gathered included topics on big ideas and the vision for the local community and the County in the next 10 years. The community engagement meetings focused on identifying and prioritizing important aspects of your community’s character to preserve, enhance, transform or strengthen in Master Plan 2030.
Phase 2 (January and February of 2022)
At the heart of this process is the idea that local government should invest more, and more thoughtfully, in its people and infrastructure. Using what we heard in the summer and fall, we’ve developed draft goals for six Master Plan topics. We held public meetings in January and February 2022 asking for public input on these goals and suggesting actions to achieve these goals.
Adopted Community Plans
A community plan sets forth goals, objectives, policies, and programs to address specific issues related to a particular community. View a list of adopted community plans.