Maryland Manual On-Line -



[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; the Metropolitan Development Policy Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; and the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State's Water Resources.

Under the Department are Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs; Historical and Cultural Programs; and Planning Services. 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, Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs directs the Department's legislative agenda, provides information to the public, and produces all Department publications.

Under Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs are Communications; 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.

Under the Division are the Commission on African-American History and Culture, the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Most Division activities fall under the Maryland Historical Trust, which oversees six offices: Archeology; Heritage Planning and Outreach; Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach; Museum Services; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration.


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.

The Trust works through six offices: Archeology; Heritage Planning and Outreach; Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach; Museum Services; Preservation Services; and Research, Survey, and Registration.

The Trust's Board of Trustees is composed of fifteen members. 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.

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 Office of Archaeology began in 1968 as the Division of Archaeology under the Maryland Geological Survey (Chapter 541, Acts of 1968). In 1990, archaeological functions of the Survey were combined with the archaeology staff of the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Division reformed as the Office of Archaeology within the Maryland Historical Trust (Chapter 57, Acts of 1990). In 1992, the Office was placed under the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach, and with that office in October 2005 transferred to the Department of Planning.

The Office of Archaeology directs Maryland archaeological research, synthesizes research data, and promotes further research. The Office participates in the excavation of significant historical or archaeological sites that are in the custody or control of a State agency. It coordinates the retrieval and preservation of objects of archaeological significance discovered during the course of any public construction in the State. The Office also encourages preservation of prehistoric or historic sites located on private property.

Publishing reports of its research and investigations, the Office makes educational materials available to schools to teach students about how natives and early settlers of Maryland lived. For museums, institutions of higher education, and scientific or historical institutions, the Office makes available objects and materials that show the archaeological history of the State and helps these institutions preserve and protect archaeological items in their custody. In addition, the Office trains interested citizens to identify, investigate, and register terrestrial and submerged archaeological historic property.

The head of the Office is the Chief Archaeologist. Within the Office of Archaeology are the Terrestrial Archaeology Program, and the Underwater Archaeology Program. The Office also is assisted by the Advisory Committee on Archaeology (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5A-333 through 5A-346).

Under the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach, Heritage Planning and Outreach originated in 1996 as the Office of Planning and Educational Outreach. In 1997, it reorganized as Planning and Heritage Outreach, and in 2004, 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.

In 1989, the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach originated as the Office of Management and Planning. It became the Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach in 1992, resumed its former name in 1996, and returned to Office of Management, Planning, and Educational Outreach in 1997.

Created in 1989, the Office of Museum Services is responsible for the Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program.

Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program. To local jurisdictions and private, nonprofit organizations, the Program provides financial and technical assistance for museums (Code State Finance & Procurement Article, secs. 5A-349 through 5A-359).

The Office also oversees and coordinates two museum properties: the Banneker-Douglass Museum of African-American History and Culture, and the Jefferson Patterson Historical Park and Museum. In addition, the Office is aided by the Museum Assistance Review Panel.

84 Franklin St., Annapolis, MD 21401

Open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday, 12:00 noon - 4:00 p.m.

The Banneker-Douglass Museum of African-American Life and History opened to the public in February 1984 and was renamed the Banneker-Douglass Museum of African-American History and Culture in 1993. The Museum is both an exhibit facility and a research center for studies in African-American history and culture.

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 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 three units: Financial Assistance and Easements; Rehabilitation Tax Credit; and Review and Compliance.

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.

Planning Services oversees Infrastructure Planning; Land Use Analysis; Resource Conservation Planning; Planning Data Services; and the Office of Smart Growth.


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.



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.

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

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.

Created in 1989, Systems Support provides in-depth hardware, software, Internet, imaging and database management support. The unit typically provides specialized microcomputer, mainframe and networking skills to support projects such as the development of a World Wide Web connection to distribute census information and socio-economic projections via the Internet. File transfer support services also are provided. Systems Support provides leadership for the Data Standards Subcommittee of the Maryland State Government Geographic Information Coordinating Committee and data aggregations and analysis for a variety of projects.


Resource Conservation Planning originated as Comprehensive Planning, became Planning Coordination and Resource Management in 1997, was renamed Environmental Planning in March 2003, Land-Use Planning and Analysis in November 2003, and received its present name in July 2004. It develops and promotes policies to support sustainable communities, neighborhood conservation, land preservation, and natural resources protection. Special attention is accorded to land use and growth, agriculture and forest preservation, restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, open space and recreation planning, and implementation of the Patuxent River Policy Plan. This division provides technical support for the Patuxent River Commission.


Smart Growth and Community Development began in 1989 as Local Planning Assistance, became Planning Assistance and Review in 1994, Planning Assistance and Neighborhood Development in 1997, Local Planning in March 2003, and received its current name in July 2005. This office is responsible for the Office of Smart Growth, Technical Assistance, and four regional offices.

Smart Growth and Community Development helps local governments improve their planning and management, develop long-range comprehensive plans, and implement programs for economic growth and resource protection. It provides technical services mandated by State laws, such as the Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act and the Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Act.

To help counties and municipalities, Smart Growth and Community Development prepares technical models and guidelines. It administers technical assistance grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission for studies and helps communities realize economic development opportunities and meet objectives. To manage growth and solve problems, it offers education and outreach programs. Circuit rider staff assists Eastern Shore municipalities in implementing Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection programs. Smart Growth and Community Development consults with, guides, and advises county and municipal staff, citizen planning commissions, and elected officials through its four regional offices at Annapolis, Centreville, Cumberland, and Salisbury.

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.

Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies
Maryland Departments
Maryland Independent Agencies
Maryland Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, & Advisory Boards
Maryland Universities & Colleges
Maryland Counties
Maryland Municipalities
Maryland at a Glance

Maryland Manual On-Line

Search the Manual

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2007

July 6, 2007   
Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites.  View the current Manual

Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!

[ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

Copyright July 06, 2007 Maryland State Archives