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2009 General Development Plan

History of Comprehensive Planning

As a charter county, Anne Arundel County is granted planning and zoning powers by Article 25A of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  Article 66B (Land Use) of the State Code also includes some requirements for comprehensive planning that apply to charter counties. The Anne Arundel County Code designates the Office of Planning and Zoning to prepare and periodically update a comprehensive plan to guide growth and development.

Anne Arundel County has had a General Development Plan (GDP) since 1968, with updates in 1978, 1986, 1997, 2009, and most recently, 2021.  Historically, the County has revised or amended the GDP to reflect demographic, economic, social, and environmental changes that have occurred.  The 1997 GDP also incorporated policy recommendations that comply with Maryland's Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act of 1992 and related "Smart Growth" legislation.

The 2009 General Development Plan

The 2009 GDP, adopted by the County Council under Bill No. 64-09, established a vision for the future based on four core principles: balanced growth and sustainability, community preservation and enhancement, environmental stewardship, and quality public services. The 2009 GDP included a Land Use Plan to guide future development patterns, and a Transportation Plan with recommendations for improving the County’s road network, public transit options, and travel demand management. The GDP also proposed a Priority Preservation Area in accordance with new State requirements for agricultural preservation. In addition, the GDP included a Water Resources Plan that assessed land use impacts on local water resources and laid out strategies to protect those resources. Finally, the GDP addressed the need for concurrency management to ensure that public facilities and services are available to serve future needs.

The 2009 GDP is available here:

Background Reports