Community Planning FAQ

Listed below are frequently asked questions about the Community Planning Section.

The Anne Arundel County Region Plans are community-driven land use documents that build on the work of Plan2040—the Countywide General Development Plan—in smaller areas. The Region Plans will evaluate community assets and needs, present a shared vision for the next 20 years, and make specific recommendations about planned land use, zoning, environmental protection, transportation improvements, public facilities, and community design. They will be used as a reference for informing future requests that directly affect your neighborhood in areas such as modifying zoning, private development plans, and the capital budget and improvement program. The Region Plans are an opportunity for you to shape your community.

The process is underway for Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9. Please click here to be directed to the Community Hub websites for each Region Plan.

Plan2040, the County's General Development Plan, establishes broad policies for guiding decisions relating to future development, resource management and protection, and provision of public services in the County. The Region Plans provide area-specific recommendations for refining and achieving the goals of Plan2040. For example, a strategy of Plan2040 is to “Develop a comprehensive Countywide Trails Plan that analyzes where there are deficiencies in the current existing and planned network with the intent of linking existing and future neighborhoods to community facilities, parks, points of interest, and major activity centers. This Plan shall include a comprehensive network of off-road bicycle, pedestrian and recreation trails in the southern half of the County.” The Region Plan process should aid in identifying deficiencies in the trails network and make recommendations for where linkages should be provided. 

The Region Plan process will include a comprehensive assessment and recommendations for Planned Land Use Map and Zoning Map changes. After adoption by the County Council, Region Plans will be considered amendments to Plan2040.

As part of the Plan2040 process, the Plan2040 Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) recognized the limited County resources and drafted nine region plan boundaries for community discussion. The boundaries of the Regions were defined based on community, geographic, environmental, and development characteristics of different parts of the County. The public provided input on the draft Region boundaries through a series of open house meetings and an online comment tool. The Plan2040 CAC modified the Region boundaries to reflect the public comments. Click here to review the Region Plan Boundary Map adopted by the County Council.

Preparation of the Region Plans is staggered over time in recognition of limited resources to facilitate community engagement, conduct research and analyses, and write the Region Plans. It is expected that each Region Plan will take around 24 months to complete. The County Council determined the order of the Region Plans based on a number of factors, including amount of development and change in the Regions and geographic distribution.

Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 are currently underway. You can read more about the ongoing work in these Regions by clicking here. The anticipated schedule for the second and third round of Region Plans can be found at this link.

County Code states that “the Office of Planning and Zoning shall work with the stakeholder advisory committees to create the Region Plans and to ensure that the Region Plans are consistent with the policies in the General Development Plan” (Article 18-2-103(d)(3)).

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) will include 9 to 15 members who represent the diverse interests of each Region. County staff will help direct and facilitate the planning process and provide data and technical expertise from a variety of disciplines. Other experts may be engaged to provide perspective and additional resources.

The County held an open application period for people interested in joining the SAC. Plan2040 stipulates that consideration should be given to ensure that the SAC includes diverse representation of the different neighborhoods within each Region, the ethnic and minority demographics of the Region, and different interests and perspectives such as the following:

Long-time resident property owner/renter (over 20 years)Recent resident property owner/renter (less than 10 years)HOA or Civic Association Board Member
Local business representativeHome builder/ real estate developerMilitary, Department of Defense, or Other Relevant Government Agency or Contractor
Environmental organizationCommunity/ social organizationAffordable Housing Advocate
Member from a Commercial or Maritime AssociationReal Estate brokerMember of a School Organization
Young adult representativeMember of a Local Recreation Council or GroupFarming and Agriculture representative

Once the open application period closed, all applications went to a selection committee for review and discussion. The selection committee included an Office of Planning and Zoning senior planner from each Region team, three other County employees, and two members of the public for a total of eight members.The committee deliberated based on aforementioned criteria, as well as for evidence of relationships with the community, relevant knowledge of the Region, and consensus-building, community service, and/or other skills. The committee then presented a list of recommended applicants to the County Executive for his review and recommendation. The County Executive nominated applicants for each Region SAC, and the County Council made appointments if their District overlaps the Region. The Council affirmed 15 final appointments per SAC through the following resolutions: Resolution 55-21, Resolution 56-21, Resolution 57-21.

The Office of Planning and Zoning accepted applications for SACs for Regions 1, 3, and 9 from May 16, 2023, to July 11, 2023. Applicants will be notified of appointment status upon determination, prior to the introduction of the resolution at County Council.

Learn more about SACs here: 

No, the application period closed July 11, 2023, at 11:59 pm. If you missed the deadline, you are still able to participate in the region planning process! There will be multiple opportunities for public input throughout the 24-month process. Visit your Region’s Hub site to learn more about the process and opportunities to engage. 

Yes, however, applications are now closed for the current set of plans. Please check back for the opening of Stakeholder Advisory Committee applications for Regions 5, 6, and 8 in spring of 2024! 

If you are interested in joining a Stakeholder Advisory Committee for a future Region Plan, please subscribe to the email list for the Region(s) in which you are a community stakeholder. The Office of Planning and Zoning will advertise future opportunities to serve on an SAC through these email lists, in addition to advertising through traditional, social, and printed media.

If you are interested in providing input into an ongoing plan, please click here for more information about opportunities in your Region. While active, each Region holds a monthly SAC meeting that is open to the public. There are digital surveys, digital and in-person mapping exercises, community visioning workshops, outreach events at public libraries and regional employers, and more. You can also reach out directly to the project team for your Region or to your Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Region 2 |

Region 4 |

Region 7 |

Region 1 |

Region 3 | 

Region 9 | 

Yes! If you are involved in organizing events in your neighborhood or community, please consider making the planners and members of your Region Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee aware of upcoming events. While resources are limited, project teams are already confirming opportunities to work with community stakeholders in person.

Please email Christine Duvall to share opportunities for OPZ to connect in your area! 

For additional information on comprehensive zoning, see the Countywide FAQ.

The Odenton Town Center (OTC), is an area located in the western part of Anne Arundel County. It is one of three designated “Town Centers” in the County where development and redevelopment are the highest priorities for economic growth. A mix of land uses are integrated to create attractive, livable, walkable, and economically viable centers.

As a County-designated Town Center, a Master Plan was adopted that identifies specific development and design standards in order to implement the goal of creating an attractive, livable, walkable, and economically viable center.

Unless specifically stated otherwise, all development projects within the OTC must comply with the provisions in the OTC Master Plan. Other development requirements and procedures that apply within the OTC are found elsewhere in the County Code, principally in the following:

Requirements in the County Code that are superseded by provisions in the OTC Master Plan are so noted in the latter. Where a conflict between the two exists, the OTC Master Plan shall govern.

The OTC Master Plan, found on the County's website, will guide you through the planning process.

  • Zoning (sub-area) – page 9
  • Permitted Use Chart – page 48
  • Development requirements (density, number of stories, etc.) – page 47
  • Additional development requirements – page 39
  • Design standards – page 93

Six distinct sub-areas are established within the OTC. Each sub-area has a specific character and purpose. The OTC subareas are official zoning districts as established in Article 18 of the County Code. The sub-areas are further broken down into Regulatory Blocks which include the bulk regulations.

The draft 2023 OTC Master Plan Update is anticipated to be introduced to County Council in the fall of 2023. Once the plan is adopted, any new development proposals will be expected to follow the requirements of the 2023 Plan. If an active development is filed and the new 2023 regulations are more suitable to the project, a developer can submit a letter to the Planning and Zoning Officer requesting to be subject to the 2023 regulations. Otherwise, active developments will continue to follow the requirements in place at the time of filing.

The OTC is not one specific project but a defined geographical area within the County to direct future development and redevelopment. The OTC Master Plan provides planning and implementation guidance and requirements for property owners, as they facilitate development or redevelopment of their properties.

The OTC is a geographical area defined by the County and is not a separate jurisdiction. Development projects are subject to the Anne Arundel County OTC Master Plan and County Code. In addition, the Odenton Town Center Advisory Committee advocates for the goals and objectives of the Odenton Town Center.

The OTC Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. There are opportunities for the public to provide comment. The OTC Advisory Committee generally meets the last Tuesday of the month. Please refer to the County calendar at the bottom of this page for future dates and times.

Sign up for the OTC mailing list. 

The Odenton Town Center Advisory Committee, comprised of nine Odenton area citizens and business representatives who advocate for the goals and objectives of the OTC by working with property owners, developers, business owners and county, state, and federal officials on development and infrastructure investments in the OTC. If you are interested in learning more about the OTCAC or volunteering, please check the OTCAC website.

The Parole Growth Management Area, known as the “Parole Town Center”, is a Targeted Growth Area that is given the highest priority for economic growth and public improvements. Designated in the 1978 General Development Plan as one of three Town Centers in Anne Arundel County, the Parole Town Center is adjacent to the western edge of the City of Annapolis.