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[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 data on the State 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 Base Realignment and Closure Subcabinet, the Governor's Council on the Chesapeake Bay, and as vice-chair of the Smart Growth Subcabinet. The Secretary also serves on the Governor's Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture; the Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee; the Community Legacy Board; the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays; the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; 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 Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland; and the Metropolitan Development Policy Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Under the Department are Communications; Historical and Cultural Programs; Planning Services; and the Office of Smart Growth. The Department also is aided by Administration, and the Patuxent River Commission (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-816).


Within the Department, Administration provides functions essential to Department operations. These include accounting, management information services, personnel, and procurement and inventory.


Initiated in March 2003 as Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, Communications adopted its present name in July 2008. It directs the Department's legislative agenda, provides information to the public, and produces all Department publications.

Under Communications are Communications and Education; and the State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance.


Under Communications since 2007, Planning Research Services 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). A library of planning-related literature and research materials also is maintained, and research services are provided to the public, Department staff, and local governments.


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.

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.


[photo, 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, January 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Most Division programs fall under the Maryland Historical Trust, which oversees Administration, the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum, and three offices: Preservation Planning and Museum Programs; 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.


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 "Certified Local Government" programs.

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).

Fifteen members constitute the Trust's Board of Trustees. Twelve are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Three serve ex officio. Trustees appoint eight area representatives to serve one-year terms. The Board appoints the Director.

The Trust works through Administration 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.

Under the Maryland Historical Trust, Administration oversees a number of functions formerly assigned to the Office of Archaelogy.

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.

In 1996, the Office of Preservation Planning and Museum Programs 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.

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.

Four units are overseen by the Office: Archeology Assistance Programs; Local Preservation Programs; Maryland Heritage Areas Program; and the Museum Advancement 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 four units: Financial Assistance and Easements; Rehabilitation Tax Credit; Review and Compliance; and Underwater Archaelogy.

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

The Office is organized into four units: Cultural Conservation; Evaluation and Registration; Information Management and Library Services; and Survey and Research.


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

Planning Services formed from State and Local Planning in March 2003. It provides technical assistance, local program review, and planning design services to Maryland counties and municipalities.

Three units are administered by Planning Services: Land and Water Resources; Land Use Analysis; and Planning Data Services.



Under Planning Services, Land Use Analysis oversees Bay Restoration; Plan Review; and three regional offices.


Planning Data Services collects, analyzes, and publishes socio-economic, cultural, geographic, parcel and land use information for planning purposes. This office provides a database for use by State and local government agencies, and the general public. For each county and the City of Baltimore, 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 Services. 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 Services 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.

Three units are overseen by Planning Data Services: the Property Mapping Section; Redistricting and Reapportionment; and Research and State Data Center.

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. The Property Mapping Section assumed this function in 1997. The Section updates property maps and prepares them for MdProperty View. From the Section, paper copies of property maps also are available to the public.

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.

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.


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.

The Office of Smart Growth oversees Infrastructure Planning.


Organized in March 2003, Infrastructure Planning provides research and technical assistance for transportation, water and sewer, 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; Transportation Planning; and Water and Sewer Planning, as well as the Western Maryland Regional Office. It also staffs the Appalachian Regional Council.

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July 1, 2009   
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