Department of Planning & Land Management

Department of Planning & Land Management

The Department is responsible for the oversight, implementation, and management of programs related to planning, zoning, development review, resource management, and agriculture preservation.  Functions include overall program development, code enforcement, environmental compliance, and natural resource management. The department provides direct support to numerous boards, councils, and committees related to various areas of responsibility.

PLM at a Glance, 2024

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The Bureau of Comprehensive Planning is responsible for developing and implementing the County Master Plan as envisioned by the citizens. The meetings and activities of the Planning and Zoning Commission are coordinated by the Planning & Land Management Department Director, who is Secretary to the Commission. Capital Improvement Projects review, site selection, and land banking for future schools, roads, and other public facilities are administrative functions of the Bureau.

The Department is also responsible for comprehensive, county-wide master planning. Land use plans are made and implemented working with the Carroll County Planning & Zoning Commission authorized under the Land Use Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Several functions within the Bureau are designed to ensure County projects and programs conform with the County Master Plan, that current and long-range County planning serves to implement the Plan, and that land use and policy decisions are in accordance with the Plan. Among the ways, the Bureau fulfills these functions are water and sewer master planning, comprehensive plans for the County and incorporated towns; major street and road planning; and the town/county liaison planners.

The Bureau of Development Review is the lead agency in the review of all residential, commercial, and industrial plans in Carroll County. The Bureau is responsible for processing and tracking development plans from submittal through approval. The Bureau also provides development review services to the municipalities.

The Bureau of Resource Management includes stormwater management, forestry/landscaping, water resource planning, and the Environmental Inspections Services Division. The Bureau is charged with the protection and management of water, land, and forestry resources. Staff are involved in a wide range of activities including subdivision and site plan review, water supply development and protection, watershed restoration and protection, forest protection and enhancement, landscaping development and enhancement, floodplain management, stormwater management, sediment control, sinkhole protection and mitigation, program development, and enforcement.

The Office of Zoning Administration is responsible for the daily interpretation and enforcement of Chapter 223 of the Carroll County Code of Public Local Laws and Ordinances.

The Agricultural Land Preservation Program assists landowners to permanently preserve their land for agricultural uses.