Frequently Asked Questions
About the Parole Town Center Master Plan Update
- What is the Parole Growth Management Area?
The Parole Growth Management Area (PGMA) comprises one of Anne Arundel County’s three designated “Town Centers,” which are targeted for development, redevelopment, and economic growth in the County. The PGMA is approximately 1,500 acres and located directly adjacent to the City of Annapolis. It includes the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Westfield Annapolis Mall, and extends down Riva Road to the Heritage Office Complex and along MD450 to the Housley Road area. While the PGMA is a County designation that does not encompass the Parole neighborhood or Outer West Street portions of the City of Annapolis, City and County staff are in close cooperation on cross-jurisdictional planning for this area.
- Is there currently a Plan for the PGMA?
The Parole Urban Design Concept Plan (UDCP) has guided land use and development and set general standards for the quality of design within the PGMA since it was adopted in 1994. This Plan was developed based on the land use, market, and transportation conditions at that time. It established a vision for Parole as an area with a diverse mix of uses and street-level activity in a compact, walkable setting.
- How does the Parole Plan relate to the County's General Development Plan?As with all master plans and development regulations adopted by the County, the Parole Town Center Master Plan will need to be consistent with the goals, policies, and recommendations of the General Development Plan (GDP).
The GDP is Anne Arundel County’s comprehensive plan to guide growth and development in the County, prepared in compliance with State requirements and guidelines. Once adopted by the County Council, the GDP establishes policies and recommendations to guide land use decisions over a 10- to 20-year timeframe. In 2021, the Office of Planning and Zoning submitted a revised General Development Plan, known as Plan2040, to the County Council for consideration. You can follow that process and the Plan's progress by visiting the Plan2040 web page.
Plan2040 includes dozens of goals and policies that will help guide planning in Parole. For example, Goal NE2 includes policies to increase the tree canopy in urban areas. Goal BE15 directs the County to improve mobility and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Goal HE2 focuses on attracting new businesses to the County's Town Centers. These and other relevant priorities—developed with the input of more than 4,000 Anne Arundel County residents—will ensure that Parole continues to be a desirable community for current and future residents.
- Why update the Parole Master Plan?Much has changed in the Parole area since the Parole UDCP was adopted in 1994. Many critical transportation improvements first highlighted in the 1994 UDCP are now in place, including the development of Housley Road to the west of Generals Highway, extension of Solomon’s Island Road from West Street to Bestgate Road via Medical Parkway, and the improved access to US50 from Route 2. Major new facilities have transformed Parole, including expansions of Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Westfield Annapolis Mall, the redevelopment of Parole Plaza for the Annapolis Towne Centre, and residential, office, and commercial developments throughout the PGMA.
However, Parole faces new challenges, and it is time to assess the current needs of the area. With the assistance and input of citizens, residents, stakeholders, and County and City staff, an updated Plan for Parole will refresh the shared vision for the community, outline clear priorities for implementation of infrastructure needs, and clarify the policies and guidance that direct development in the PGMA. The revised Parole Plan will provide a broad guide for land use in the PGMA, and will outline development regulations and design standards for the area.
The Plan will not provide detailed development or redevelopment schemes for any particular sites. The Plan will help guide current and ongoing efforts to address transportation issues, but initiatives such as US 50 improvements are separate, and the Plan will coordinate with those efforts. Funding is not attached to Plan recommendations, but the Plan will help shape budget priorities, and may recommend other funding strategies. Finally, the Plan may make broad recommendations for new infrastructure, but a firm schedule for implementation is deferred to more detailed infrastructure planning by appropriate agencies.
- Why was the Parole planning effort paused in 2018?In 2017, the Office of Planning and Zoning conducted extensive outreach for a Parole Town Center Master Plan revision. This outreach included virtual surveys, digital communication, interviews with residents and community partners, and an in-person open house to develop a shared vision for Parole. Nearly 200 people participated in this process. Much of that community feedback is captured in a report that you can access by clicking here. This effort was paused in 2018 so that OPZ could focus on completing Plan2040 and allow for the completion of related transportation studies.
Between 2018 and 2021, OPZ also engaged more than 4,000 residents in the Plan2040 public outreach phase. Further, the Office of Transportation recently completed two studies trained on mobility and transportation alternatives for Parole —the Transportation Center Feasibility Study and the Parole Mobility Study. These studies involved significant public input. OPZ will build upon the recent and significant engagement conducted in Parole and throughout the County—including perspectives captured in the initial Parole outreach—to re-engage community members around the Parole Town Center Master Plan today.
- What is the timeline for the Parole Plan update?
County staff are at work doing background research and analysis for this Plan. The public input process will formally begin in April with the launch of the community survey: click here for the survey in English o aquí para español.
The Office of Planning and Zoning anticipates virtual meetings, stakeholder interviews, surveys, and opportunities to review and comment on the Plan throughout the spring and summer. Draft Plan review by the Planning Advisory Board is anticipated for early fall, with introduction of the Plan to County Council occurring shortly thereafter. The Office will soon begin scheduling and announcing exact dates, pursuant to the coordinated needs of County staff and the community.
Click image to enlarge
- How can I get involved and stay up-to-date?
Please join the Parole Plan email list by clicking here. OPZ will send regular updates, announcements, and opportunities to engage in the Plan's formation. The 2021 community survey is now live: click here for the survey in English o aquí para español. The Parole team will regularly update the Plan website with news and opportunities to participate.