Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan establishes a community’s long-term vision, goals, strategies, and policies for guiding future decisions, changes, and investments. It includes background information on the County’s past, along with an analysis of current issues and trends. The Plan is intended to serve as a guide for the County’s future growth, revitalization, preservation, and resilience over the next 10-20 years. While it will primarily provide guidance for the County’s unincorporated areas, it will also address key community issues that require collaboration with Queen Anne's County municipalities and other state and local agencies.
What is PlanQAC 2021?
PlanQAC 2021 updates the County’s last Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2010. It will express the vision of what the County wants to become over the next 10 to 20 years and the steps needed to make that vision a reality. It serves as the policy guide and framework for future growth and development, infrastructure and capital improvements, and natural and historic resource conservation. The Plan encompasses the County’s entire geographic region and includes functional elements that impact growth and development such as transportation, economic development, community facilities, environment, and land use. The final Comprehensive Plan will be an advisory document to inform the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commission, and County departments, as well as stakeholders, non-profit organizations, social services, and the citizens and business owners of Queen Anne’s County.
How is the Comprehensive Plan used?
The Comprehensive Plan is the guiding document that County decision makers, agencies, residents, employers, developers, and other stakeholders use to ensure that Queen Anne’s County evolves in line with the community’s collective vision for the future. For example, the County Planning and Zoning Department uses the Plan to evaluate projects and developers use the Plan to guide their proposals. Having a forward thinking and up-to-date comprehensive plan is critical to the County’s long-term success.
Why update the Comprehensive Plan now?

The current plan, adopted in 2010, helped to guide County decisions and policies over the past ten years. The County adopts a new comprehensive plan on a periodic basis to address changing conditions, new socio-economic circumstances, or other changes in policy. The State of Maryland also requires that counties and municipalities update their plans at least once every ten years.

Wallace Montgomery, a multidisciplinary consulting firm with offices in Maryland and Delaware, has been contracted to update the Comprehensive Plan. Working with County staff, boards, commissions, and project sub-consultants, the update will reflect current demographic, development, and preservation conditions in Queen Anne’s County, identify future trends and opportunities, and provide goals and recommendations for a number of topic areas.

What types of information is being updated?

It is important to note that PlanQAC 2021 is an update of the 2010 Comprehensive Plan. Information that is accurate and still pertinent in the 2010 Plan will be carried forward, although it may look a little different. Generally, information that will be updated falls into four categories:

  • Technical Changes. Since the last Plan was adopted in 2010, much of the information in that document is over ten years old. Related updates will fix technical information such as updating background information and removing completed actions.
  • Reflect New Plans. Several new plans have been developed by the County and the State since the 2010 Plan was adopted. As appropriate, information from these plans will be incorporated into PlanQAC 2021 as updated background information and new or modified policies and actions, so that the County’s Plan will reflect the most recent information and policy directions available. Information from these other plans will be clearly identified in the new document.
  • Other New or Modified Narratives, Policies, or Actions. Individual narratives, policies, or actions will be updated to reflect emerging issues or innovative ideas. PlanQAC 2021 will also include a revised layout/format, which is intended to be more readable and user-friendly.
  • Map Changes. Many, if not all, of the maps included in PlanQAC 2021 will be updated to reflect the most current data available. There will also be an opportunity for property owners who wish to change the land use or intensity of their individual parcels to submit these requests, which will be reviewed and incorporated on an individual basis.
What will the Plan address?

The Plan will address the following topics as mandated by the State: Goals and Objectives, Land Use, Housing, Community Facilities, Transportation, Water Resources, Sensitive Areas, Areas of Critical State Concern, Development Regulations, and Development Regulations.

Major components of the Plan will include a community vision and implementation plan, community profile, existing conditions studies, and land use analysis. Based on the community’s input and updated data being collected and analyzed, a future land use map will be generated to help guide future growth, development, and preservation.

Who can be involved?
Anyone and everyone! The County encourages all members of the Queen Anne’s County community to join in and let their voice be heard. If you live, work, own property, visit, or utilize services in Queen Anne’s County, we want your feedback!
How can I get involved?
It is important to get involved in the Comprehensive Plan activities, from data collection to community visioning and mapping, to the creation of goals and objectives. The Get Involved page of this website describes all current opportunities available to give your input, including our “Comp Plan Question of the Week.” This page will also list all public meeting dates and times throughout the process as they are scheduled, as well as include materials from past events. Use the Contact/Feedback page to sign up for future updates and to ask questions and provide feedback regarding the comprehensive plan.
What is visioning? How does it relate to the implementation plan?
Visioning is a planning process through which a community creates a shared vision for its future – and plans to achieve it. Think of the vision as the community’s preferred ‘destination’ – a place where it would like to be in the future. Think of the implementation plan as a vision ‘roadmap’ – how the community intends to get there over time.
We already have other plans and strategies – what will happen to those?
Existing plans and strategies are an important part of the comprehensive planning process. These plans will inform the planning process and, in some cases, will be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan if the goals and vision are still consistent with the community’s aspirations.
How will the Comprehensive Plan respond to COVID-19?

The Comprehensive Plan addresses many of the salient issues we face today and can serve as a high-level guide to ensure that the County not only recovers from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, but emerges stronger, healthier, more resilient, and more equitable than before. In light of COVID-19, we will include changes to various narratives, policies, and actions including the areas of food access, health equity, housing stability, and increased instances of teleworking and we will note how expectations around population and economic growth may be impacted, highlighting the importance of continued monitoring and response.

PlanQAC 2021’s public outreach activities are also impacted by COVID-19. Visit the Get Involved page to see how these activities will be adjusted to accommodate current guidance and meeting restrictions.

How can I get the latest information on this planning process?
Keep visiting this project website or sign up for updates on our Get Involved page!
What consultants are working with the County on this project?
  • Wallace Montgomery (prime consultant)
  • Remline (subconsultant)
  • Heritage Strategies (subconsultant)
How long is the official public review period and how will feedback be collected?
The State of Maryland mandates a minimum period for the public comment period to be open. Currently, we anticipate a 60-day official review period, but more detailed information on PlanQAC 2021’s public review period and adoption process will be provided as we get closer to that project phase.
What is the difference between the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?
The Comprehensive Plan (PlanQAC 2021) generally guides land use and is an advisory document. The Zoning Ordinance is part of the County Code and regulates the type, scale, and intensity of development that may occur in specific zoning districts.
What if I want to change my property's zoning?

The County’s Comprehensive Plan update provides an opportunity for property owners to have the zoning of their properties re-evaluated for a different zoning district if they so choose. Property owners seeking to have their properties rezoned following the adoption of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan must make their intentions known while the Comprehensive Plan Update is occurring. Once adopted, the Comprehensive Plan charts the direction of the community’s long-term goals, which includes identifying a pattern of desired land uses.

After adoption of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan, the County will embark on a process of Countywide rezoning; however, the rezoning of any parcel will be evaluated against the land use designation it received in the updated Comprehensive Plan. Zoning is a tool to implement the land use policies of the Comprehensive Plan—zoning must be consistent with the land use plan.

Additional information and the Comprehensive Rezoning Request Form can be found on the Resources page.