In Baltimore County, the Master Plan No Longer Rules

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The Baltimore County Council unanimously passed a bill that changes the county’s development approval process. Whereas before Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) were required to work within both the county’s master plan and the relevant community plan, now PUDs can be approved as long if they comply with either of those plans or if the planning office simply approves, which, as Teresa Moore, of the Valleys Planning Council observed, “makes the master plan moot.” I’m with Teresa — the master plan ain’t a master plan if no one has to follow it!

It’s goofy enough to pass a bill that allows developments to be approved willy-nilly outside of the scope of a (theoretically) well-thought-out master plan with environmental protections, but the bill was even worse originally. According to The Sun, the first version of the bill “would have allowed development outside a growth-management boundary adopted 45 years ago.”

Moore believes the bill’s patent absurdity will attract legal challenges. Well hopefully those challenges will come before irresponsible development does harm too much harm to the County.

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