[photo, 301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Department of Planning works with State and local government agencies to ensure comprehensive and integrated planning for the best use of Maryland's land and other resources. To local governments, the Department provides technical expertise, such as surveys, land use studies, and urban renewal plans. Also, the Department compiles Maryland data for use in planning, including congressional redistricting. Implementing State planning policies also is the responsibility of the Department of Planning.

301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland, November 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365

The Secretary of Planning is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5-201 through 5-204). The Secretary serves on the Governor's Executive Council, the BayStat Subcabinet; and the Governor's Council on the Chesapeake Bay. The Secretary chairs the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and serves as vice-chair of the Smart Growth Subcabinet. The Secretary also serves on the Board of Trustees, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation; the Governor's Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture; the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board; the Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee; the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays; the Climate Change Commission; the Coast Smart Council; the Task Force on the Disposition of the Crownsville Hospital Center Property; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee; the Maryland Green Building Council; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Advisory Committee for the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum; the Maryland Military Installation Council; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Council on Open Data; the Patuxent River Commission; the Rural Legacy Board; the Scenic and Wild Rivers Review Board; the Interagency Committee on School Construction; the State Highway Access Valuation Board; the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission; the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland; and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

Under the Department are four main divisions: Historical and Cultural Programs; Operations; Planning Services; and the State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance. The Department also is aided by the Patuxent River Commission (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-816).


Planning Research Services formed under Communications (now Communications and Education) in 2007. It is the legislatively mandated depository for general, area and functional plans created by the State or local government (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, sec. 5-501). Research services are provided to the public, Department staff, and local governments. A library of planning-related literature and research materials also is maintained


[photo, Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland] 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

In 1985, the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs started as the Division of Cultural Affairs within the Department of Economic and Community Development. When the Department of Housing and Community Development formed in 1987, the Division transferred to the new department as the Division of Cultural Activities. In 1988, it was renamed the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs. Effective October 1, 2005, the Division transferred to the Department of Planning (Chapter 440, Acts of 2005).

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Most Division programs fall under the Maryland Historical Trust, which oversees Operations Management, the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum, and three offices: Planning, Education, and Outreach; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration. The Division also is responsible for the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and staff support for the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

Within the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority was created in 1996 as an independent unit (Chapter 601, Acts of 1996). In October 2005, the Authority moved to the Department of Planning as an independent unit (Chapter 440, Acts of 2005).

A heritage area is an area distinguished by unique physical and cultural resources vital to the history and development of the surrounding community. While fostering small business development, potentially eligible communities may protect and develop their historical, cultural, and natural resources through the Maryland Heritage Areas Program. Such a community first applies to the Authority to become a Recognized Heritage Area. If approved by the Authority, the community next applies to the Authority for a Heritage Area Management Plan Grant, which provides matching State funds to develop a detailed management plan. Upon approval of the plan by the Authority, the area is designated a Certified Heritage Area, and becomes eligible for assistance with grants and loans, as well as tax incentives for rehabilitating buildings, historic and nonhistoric, for tourism use.

The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority was the first certified heritage area, predating the Authority. Since 1996, the Authority has approved the following Certified Heritage Areas: Anacostia Trails; Baltimore; Four Rivers (Annapolis, London Town, & South County); Heart of Chesapeake Country; Heart of the Civil War; Lower Eastern Shore; Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway; Montgomery County; Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West; Patapsco; Southern Maryland; and Stories of the Chesapeake.

In 2015, the Authority awarded over $2.6 million in matching grants to units within the eleven Certified Heritage Areas to support economic development through heritage tourism.

The Authority consists of seventeen members. Ten are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Seven serve ex officio (Code Financial Institutions Article, secs. 13-1101 though 13-1124).


The Maryland Historical Trust formed in 1961 to preserve, protect, and enhance districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in the prehistory, history, upland and underwater archaeology, architecture, engineering, and culture of the State (Chapter 620, Acts of 1961). The Trust also encourages others in the field and promotes interest in and study of such matters. In 1970, the Trust became an agency of the Department of Economic and Community Development and in 1987 joined the Department of Housing and Community Development (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). With the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, it transferred to the Department of Planning in October 2005 (Chapter 440, Acts of 2005).

The Trust acquires and maintains properties of historic or architectural merit by gift, grant, or purchase. Through an easement program, it holds partial interest in such properties in order to monitor their condition and appearance without the necessity of public ownership.

Through State grants and a revolving-fund loan program, the Trust helps organizations, local governments, businesses, and individuals restore and acquire historic properties. Matching grants from the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior are made through the Trust. They support programs, such as historic resource identification (i.e., survey); evaluation (i.e., registration); preservation planning and education; and the Certified Local Government Program.

To local jurisdictions, the Trust makes grants for surveying Maryland historic sites. Results of these surveys are published. The most significant sites are eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places through the Trust. Properties listed on the National Register receive a degree of protection from federal and State licensed or funded projects that might adversely affect them.

Through its community education program, the Trust administers a local volunteer network, represented by advisory organizations (one in each county, in Baltimore City and Annapolis). These organizations, besides carrying out their own local preservation programs, assist the Trust by promoting its programs, grants, and loans; sponsoring Preservation Week activities; and advising on preservation needs and interests. The Trust sponsors an annual conference and regional workshops.

A library of archival and photographic material relating to Maryland archaeological and architectural history is maintained by the Trust.

Appointed by the Governor pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the State Historic Preservation Officer is a member of the Trust staff. Preservation activities as required by the federal government are carried out by the State Historic Preservation Officer in concert with the Trust (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5A-301 through 5A-359).

The Trust works through Operations Management and three offices: Preservation Planning and Museum Programs; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration. It also oversees the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum.

10515 Mackall Road, St. Leonard, MD 20685

Open Wednesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. from April 15 through Oct. 15

The Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum at St. Leonard, Calvert County, opened to the public in 1984. On the Patuxent River and St. Leonard's Creek, the 546-acre Park extends along two and a half miles of shoreline. Most of the Park is located on Point Farm, which was deeded in trust to the State by Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson in honor of her husband, Jefferson Patterson. Here scientists have found evidence of prehistoric Indian sites, 10 to 12 million-year-old invertebrate fossils, and remnants of early European settlements. The Park and Museum function as an educational, research and recreational facility.

Under the Maryland Historical Trust, Operations Management is responsible for fiscal affairs, grants management, and information technology. Further, it oversees a number of functions formerly assigned to the Office of Archaelogy.

In 1996, the Office of Planning, Education, and Outreach originated as the Office of Planning and Educational Outreach under the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach. In 1997, it reorganized as Planning and Heritage Outreach, and in 2004, as Heritage Planning and Outreach. In October 2007, Heritage Planning and Outreach combined with the Office of Museum Services to form the Office of Preservation Planning and Museum Programs. In January 2015, the Office restructured under its present name.

The Office provides staff support to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, and offers technical preservation assistance to local governments and the general public. It administers the Certified Local Government Program, and oversees the production and sale of Maryland Historical Trust Press publications. This unit also coordinates the Noncapital Historic Preservation Grant Program, tracks preservation-related State legislation, and prepares the annual Maryland Historic Preservation Awards program.

Under the Office are three main programs: Archeology Assistance Programs; Cultural Resources Hazard Mitigation Programs; and Maryland Heritage Areas Program.

In 1989, the Office of Preservation Services was established. Throughout Maryland, the Office protects and enhances historic, archaeological and cultural properties.

Office work is conducted by five units: Capital Grants and Loans; Historic Preservation Easement Program; Preservation Financial Incentives; Review and Compliance; and Underwater Archaelogy.

In 1989, the Office of Research, Survey, and Registration formed to direct the Division's historical, architectural and archaeological research.

The Office is organized into five units: Architectural Research; Evaluation and Registration; Geographic Information Systems; Information Management and Library Services; and Survey and Research.


The Operations Division began as Administration, and was renamed Operations in March 2010. In October 2015, Operations combined with Communications and Education to form the Operations Division.

Within the Department, the Operations Division provides essential functions, including accounting, management information services, and procurement and inventory.


301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365

In October 2015, the Planning Services Division formed from a merger of Planning Data and Analysis, and Planning Services.

The Division oversees Planning Coordination, and Planning Data and Research.


Planning Coordination began as Planning Services, formed from State and Local Planning in March 2003. In October 2015, it reorganized under its present name. To Maryland counties and municipalities, it provides technical assistance, local program review, and planning design services.

Three units are administered by Planning Coordination: Environmental Planning; Infrastructure Policy; and Local Assistance and Training.

Environmental Planning began as Comprehensive Planning. It became Planning Coordination and Resource Management in 1997, Environmental Planning in March 2003, and Land-Use Planning and Analysis in November 2003. It was renamed Resource Conservation Planning in July 2004, Land and Water Resource Planning in July 2008. and was restructured under its present name in October 2011.

Policies for land use and growth, water and sewer infrastructure, restoration and protection of Chesapeake Bay, and natural resource protection are developed by Environmental Planning.

Organized in March 2003 as Infrastructure Planning, Infrastructure Policy adopted its current name in October 2011. It provides research and technical assistance for transportation and public school construction planning statewide. Projections and modeling are used to anticipate Maryland's future needs and analyze current proposals.

Infrastructure Planning oversees: Public School Construction; Resource Conservation; and Transportation Planning.

Local Assistance and Training began as Local Planning Assistance and adopted its present name in October 2015. It oversees three regional offices and provides staff support to the Appalachian Regional Commission.


Planning Data and Research originated as Planning Data Services, and organized as Data Planning Services in March 2010. It restructured as Planning Data and Analysis in October 2011. In a further reorganization of October 2015, Planning Data and Analysis reformed as Planning Data and Research under the Planning Services Division.

Socio-economic, cultural, geographic, parcel and land use information for planning purposes is collected, analyzed, and published by Planning Data and Research. This office provides a database for use by State and local government agencies, and the general public. For each county and Baltimore City, projections of population, housing, public school enrollment, employment, and income are prepared. They are used by State and local government agencies, as well as the private sector.

Statistical data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other information sources are maintained by Planning Data and Research. Such data relates to population, housing, employment, income, and education. A computerized system of the office also geographically references data on the physical and cultural attributes of the State.

Planning Data and Research helps maintain the State's 2,800 automated property maps and their linkage via x,y reference points to the two-million parcel database of the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. This information is accessible to government agencies and the public on CD-ROM as MdProperty View for use with off-the-shelf viewing software and standard personal computers. MdProperty View quickly retrieves map and attribute information on individual or multiple properties, including ownership, acreage, type, size, value, and improvements.

Under Planning Data and Research are three units: Geospatial and Data Analysis; Projections and State Data Center; and Property Mapping.

Geospatial and Data Analysis started as Land Use Analysis. Formerly under Data Planning Services, Land Use Analysis in May 2007 assumed some functions formerly assigned to Technical Planning Support. In October 2011, it transferred to Planning Services, and then later to Planning Data and Analysis (now Planning Data and Research).

Geospatial and Data Analysis is responsible for Geographic Information Systems.

Projections and State Data Center began as Demographic and Socioeconomic Projections, and reorganized under its present name in October 2015.

This center oversees Redistricting and Reapportionment, and the Research and State Data Center.

The Research and State Data Center organized in 1980. It provides for the development of databases to assist in planning for the overall growth and development of the State. The Center provides information from decennial censuses and is concerned with historical and projected data on population, housing, employment, personal income, business establishments, parcels, and school enrollment. The Center works to improve access to and use of statistical data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other federal and State sources.


The responsibility for preparing electronic property maps transferred from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to the Office of Planning (now Department of Planning) in October 1996. Under Planning Data Services (now Planning Data and Research), the Property Mapping Section assumed this function in 1997.

Property Mapping updates property maps and prepares them for MdProperty View. From the Section, paper copies of property maps also are available to the public.


Concepts of "smart growth" were enacted into law in 1997, building upon the Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act of 1992 (Chapter 759, Acts of 1997; Chapter 437, Acts of 1992). Through the principles of "smart growth", Maryland is committed to limiting sprawl development by revitalizing older neighborhoods and redirecting growth to already developed areas, thereby saving the State's farmland, open spaces, and natural resources. To achieve these ends, State funds target projects in Priority Funding Areas, those locations approved for growth and redevelopment.

In October 2003, the Department of Planning was charged with developing and implementing the Maryland Priority Places Strategy (Executive Order 01.01.2003.33). The Strategy is to establish goals for land-use policies that are fiscally sound and promote sustainable development along with long-term economic growth, community revitalization, and resource conservation.


In 1969, the State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance organized in accordance with the federal Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968. Formerly within the Department of State Planning, the Clearinghouse transferred to the Office of Planning in 1989 (Chapter 540, Acts of 1989). In 2000, it became part of the Department of Planning. Formerly under Strategic Development, the Clearinghouse transferred to Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs in 2005, to Strategic Development in May 2006, and back to Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs in 2007. In October 2011, the Clearinghouse separated from Communications.

The Clearinghouse facilitates intergovernmental review and coordination of applications for financial assistance, direct federal development programs, draft environmental impact statements, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and certain specified applications for State assistance.

As the State's single point of contact for federal agencies, the Clearinghouse disseminates notices and announcements of proposed federal and some State actions. The Clearinghouse also transmits the views of Maryland State, regional and local public officials to federal agencies; facilitates resolution of disputes; and formulates a single recommended course of action. Additionally, recommendations regarding the disposition of State excess and federal surplus real property are made by the Clearinghouse.

In the weekly Intergovernmental Monitor, the Clearinghouse announces proposed federal and State actions. In the Catalog of State Assistance Programs, it reports on federal financial assistance awards, and maintains an inventory of State-owned real property and federal real property in Maryland. (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, sec. 5-509).


The Clearinghouse and Plan Review Section began as Plan and Project Review in 1994. It adopted its current name in 1997. The Section checks county and municipal comprehensive plans for compliance with the Planning Act of 1992 (Chapter 437, Acts of 1992) and reviews water and sewer plans, and municipal annexation proposals for consistency with State and local planning policies.

The Section has two primary components: the State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance; and the local plan assessment and advice program.


Redistricting and Reapportionment compiles U.S. census data and election data to create and prepare precinct and legislative maps. From this section, maps are made available to the public.

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