The Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code requires that municipalities adopt a comprehensive, or “master” plan composed of various elements, such as Land Use, Transportation, and Sensitive Areas, to serve the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing the coordinated, adjusted, and harmonious development of the local jurisdiction and its environs. The Master Plan acts as a guide to public and private actions and decisions to ensure the development of public and private property in appropriate ways.
The Master Plan is reviewed and, if necessary, updated every six years. The City of Gaithersburg's first "complete" Master Plan was in 1997. This was followed by the 2003 update. The City is completing the 2009 Master Plan update. Unless, under the current update, a new recommendation is adopted, the recommendations made under previous Master Plans carry forward.
VISIONS - The State of Maryland has established twelve visions to guide the various Master Plan elements' objectives. The visions are:
- Quality of Life and Sustainability
- Public Participation
- Growth Areas
- Community Design
- Economic Development
- Environmental Protection
- Resource Conservation
PlanMaryland is a planning process designed to create a better and more sustainable future for Maryland. The state legislature created the authority for such a plan in the 1970s, but a broader recognition of the costs of unsustainable types of land use has grown in recent years to the point where such a plan is now urgently needed. We need to do a better job of steering development toward areas that already have roads, schools and other public infrastructure.
MASTER PLAN ELEMENTS - As stated, Land Use, requires that any Master Plan include the following required elements:
- Process and Overview
- Land Use
- Sensitive Areas (Environmental)
- Community Facilities
- Water Resources
- Municipal Growth
Optional Master Plan elements include:
- Historic Preservation
- Parks and Recreation
LAND USE - This core element proposes the most appropriate and desirable patterns for the general location, character, extent, and interrelationship of the uses of public and private land, on a schedule that extends as far into the future as is reasonable. The Land Use element uses a combination of Map Designations and Special Study Areas to identify those areas for which recommendations are made. Unless, under the current update, a new recommendation is adopted for an area, the recommendations made under previous master plans for said area carry forward.
PUBLIC PROCESS - The development of a draft element may include the use of charettes, public work sessions with the Mayor & City Council and Planning Commission, and interdepartmental City work groups. At such time as a draft document is completed for a Master Plan Element, a copy of the draft will be placed on this website and will be available at City Hall, 31 South Summit Avenue for review and comment. After each Master Plan Element is made available to the public for 60 days, a public hearing will be scheduled.
Questions and Comments on the Master Plan?
Copies of the Master Plan documents listed above are also available for public inspection and purchase from the Planning and Code Administration at City Hall, 31 South Summit Avenue, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Please direct any comments to City Hall, 31 S. Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please call 301-258-6310.