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Plan2040 Land Use

The Land Use Map will be a central component of Plan2040. Below is information about the Land Use Map and the process for applying for a Planned Land Use change.
The Planned Land Use Change Application is available here: Planned Land Use Change Application
Applications must be received by November 15, 2019
  • What is the Land Use Map? How is it different from the Zoning Map?
    The Land Use Map depicts the Planned or Future land use designations that provide general guidance in the density, character and location of land uses in the County based on the Plan2040 Vision. Planned Land Use categories are distinct from Existing Land Use, which reflects the current use of a property and serves as a baseline for analysis. Town Center and other planning area master plans that contain a land use component may be more specific by identifying subcategories with descriptions of density, intensity, character, etc. as needed for a particular community. The Land Use Map, along with related goals, policies and strategies serve as the Land Use Plan, which is a long-term guide for how development should occur in Anne Arundel County and provides a framework for making decisions on development and allocation of public resources.
    The Zoning Map (and its corresponding regulations) follows and implements the Land Use Plan by regulating the development that is allowed today. Zoning is more specific, with provisions to clarify what uses are allowed. In accordance with the State’s Land Use Article, the Zoning Map must be consistent with the Land Use Map. Other tools, such as development regulations, stormwater and environmental requirements, and preservation legislation, will implement the Plan2040 Vision and also help shape how development occurs.
    The Land Use Plan is a long-term guide that is implemented, in large part, by the Zoning Map and corresponding regulations. Other County Code provisions such as development and subdivision regulations help implement the Plan.


  • How will the Plan2040 Land Use Plan Map be developed?
    County staff will conduct a comprehensive review of land within the County using the following:
    • Existing use and inconsistencies with the 2009 GDP Planned Land Use, Development Policy Areas, Priority Funding Areas and current zoning
    • Existing and planned infrastructure and functional plan goals - including plans related to multimodal transportation, water and sewer infrastructure, education, green infrastructure, hazard mitigation and community facilities
    • Environmental resources and sensitive areas
    • Surrounding development patterns and trends
    • Demographic trends and economic, employment, market needs and trends
    • Community Input and Vision
      - including from the 2009 GDP, Small Area Plans, and input from Plan2040 Listening Sessions, 17 Visioning Meetings and surveys
    • Community needs
    Property owners may submit a Planned Land Use Change Application to call attention to a property and ensure staff considers the property owner’s desire for future use of the property during the Countywide Land Use analysis phase. Planned Land Use Change Applications will be evaluated based on the above considerations.

    Planned Land Use Change Applications will be accepted through November 15, 2019.

    The submitted applications will be made available for public review and comment once the application period has ended. The comments will be taken into consideration as part of the review and analysis by County staff, who will develop a pre-preliminary draft Land Use Map for the Plan2040 Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to review and provide input.
    The pre-preliminary draft land use plan will be tested for infrastructure impacts and a preliminary draft land use plan will be developed based on those results. The general public will have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary draft Planned Land Use Map in a series of public forums that are tentatively scheduled for March 2021.

    Subsequent to the public comment period, a proposed Land Use Map will be developed and incorporated into the Preliminary Draft Plan2040 document, which will be presented to the public for review in late May 2021. Comments from the Preliminary Draft Plan2040 will be considered and a Final Draft Plan2040 will be prepared and submitted to the Planning Advisory Board for review, public hearing and recommendations. Upon consideration of the Planning Advisory Board’s recommendations, a Recommended Draft Plan2040 will be transmitted to the County Council for public hearings and adoption.

    • Should I just wait for Comprehensive Zoning instead of filing a Land Use Change Application now?
      The only way for a property owner to ensure that their desire for the future use of their property is considered, is to complete the Land Use Change Application. State Code requires that a locality’s zoning maps be consistent with the County’s Land Use Plan contained in its General Development Plan. Future rezoning requests, whether through a comprehensive or piecemeal rezoning process, will be required to meet the intent expressed in the Plan2040 Land Use Plan. Therefore if land owners intend to seek a different zoning category in the future that is inconsistent with the land use designation in the current 2009 GDP, they should first seek a new land use designation for Plan2040 that is consistent with the desired future zoning category. Property owners should use the Land Use Change Application process to initiate analysis of their property as suitable for a change in land use designation.
    • What Are The Planned Land Use Designations?
      Proposed Plan2040 Land Use DesignationDescription
      ConservationPublicly owned passive use parks, conservation lands, and platted community open space adjacent to the 100-year floodplain
      Rural and AgricultureAgricultural uses and single family detached homes at a density averaging or lower than 1 unit per 5 acres
      Low Density ResidentialSingle family detached homes between 1 to 2 units per acre
      Low-Medium DensitySingle family detached, semi-detached units between 2 to 5 units per acre
      Medium Density ResidentialTownhouse and duplex units between 5 to 10 units per acre
      High Density ResidentialMultifamily  dwellings between 15 to 22 units per acre
      Mixed UseMix of service, retail, office, residential, industrial park and public uses 
      Town CenterHigh density residential, commercial and mixed-uses 
      CommercialCommercial activities ranging from local community or general retail and services, home occupations, small businesses,  commercial offices to regional shopping centers and auto-oriented uses
      IndustrialIndustrial parks, manufacturing uses, warehouses, distribution and heavy industry uses
      MaritimeCommunity marinas, yacht clubs, commercial marinas
      Public UseCounty, State and Federal-owned lands (including active parks) not designated as Conservation or Transit
      Transit Public Facilities used for rail, bus, water or air


    • Where do I find out more information?
      For additional information, please contact the Long Range Planning Division of the Office of Planning and Zoning.

      [email protected]
      (410) 222-7432