Small Area Planning
Recognizing the unique character of Anne Arundel County's different communities, the 1997 General Development Plan divided the County into 16 Small Planning Areas and recommended that a separate, more detailed land use plan be completed for each.
These community-based plans were prepared and adopted between 1998 and 2004. Each plan was developed by planning staff working with a citizen advisory committee consisting of community representatives. The process involved an extensive amount of public outreach using open forums, surveys, and focus groups.
The Small Area Plans included recommendations for future land use and development in the area; facility and infrastructure needs; and areas to be targeted for revitalization, mixed-use development, and/or land preservation. Each Small Area Plan was followed by comprehensive zoning legislation to rezone properties according to the adopted Land Use Plan in the SAP.
The SAP Land Use Plans were superseded by the 2009 General Development Plan; however, the Office of Planning and Zoning and other County agencies continued to implement many of the recommendations in the Small Area Plans using a variety of methods including design studies, corridor studies, legislation and code revisions, capital project programming, and grant programs until Plan 2040, the County's most recently adopted General Development Plan went into effect in June 2021. Plan 2040 adopted nine geographic regions to replace the Small Area Plans with a community-based Region Plan process.