General Development Plan
The Cultural Resources Section participates in both the General Development Plan (GDP) and the Regional Planning processes. The adopted General Development Plan (Plan2040) details the County’s commitment to historic preservation as an important component of community preservation and enhancement of the built environment.
Plan 2040 identifies the goal and policies for Historic Resource and Archaeology protection as outlined below.
GOAL BE14: Protect and preserve the significant historic and archaeological resources and cultural heritage of the County; and promote public awareness of the County’s history and the stewardship of historic assets.
Policy BE14.1: Develop and strengthen planning and protection measures for historic and archaeological resources and incorporate historic preservation effectively into planning and policy decision-making.
Policy BE14.2: Increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the County’s historic, archaeological, and cultural resources and their preservation among residents of the County.
Policy BE14.3: Promote the stewardship of historic resources and County-owned archaeological collections, and encourage the adaptive re-use of historic properties and the preservation of historic and cultural landscapes.
In 2018, the Cultural Resources Section (CRS) undertook a study supported by a Maryland Historical Trust Non-Capital Grant to identify Anne Arundel County’s heritage themes. The objective was to develop the heritage themes (historical contexts) in order to provide the Cultural Resources Section with an improved framework for evaluating the significance of historic resources in the county that will enable CRS to make property planning decisions. The initial study culminated in a White Paper that identified eight heritage themes. In determining the themes, CRS focused on the most significant patterns of history that influenced the growth of Anne Arundel County and shaped it into what it is today.
Also as part of the 2018 non-capital grant, a thematic report titled “A Diverse Melting Pot: Ethnic Origins, National Influences, and Immigration” was produced on Theme No. 8. The CRS will continue to pursue further grant opportunities in order to complete reports on all heritage themes.
Updates to the County Inventory of Historic Resources
A core function of the Cultural Resources Section is to maintain the County’s Inventory of Historic Resources. This inventory is one of the most important resources for citizens, policy makers, and historic preservationists alike and acts as the County’s official record of properties that have been designated as representing significant contributions to Anne Arundel County’s cultural identity. The Inventory provides a critical infrastructure to decisions relating to how, where, and when growth and development within the County will occur while remaining true to the shared vision of its future developed by its constituents.
It is, therefore, important that all historic resource documentation is complete and meets current historic preservation research and documentation standards so that CRS can adequately identify and protect the depth and breadth of historic properties that represent the diversity of Anne Arundel County.
In addition to maintaining and updating documentation on file for historic resources currently listed in the Inventory, expansion of the Inventory is also important in order to identify and document resources that reflect the diversity of historic representation, including 20th century communities and resources and historic places associated with African American history, for example.
Find more information on properties currently listed in the County’s Inventory of Historic Resources here.