Baltimore County Council Approves Master Plan 2030

By: Adam Baker and Jennifer Busse
March 4, 2024

On February 20, 2024, the Baltimore County Council voted to approve the Baltimore County 2030 Master Plan.  While the Baltimore County Charter requires the Master Plan to be updated every ten years, Master Plan 2030 was delayed several years on account of the COVID pandemic and lengthy debates among the County Council and County officials.

The Master Plan is the blueprint from which County policies flow; policies surrounding growth, infrastructure, conservation, adequate public facilities, inclusionary housing, among other priorities.  While it is not a mandate, the Master Plan effectively provides an aspirational benchmark for developing in the county for the next decade and beyond.

Baltimore County’s Master Plan 2030 focuses on three primary themes: (1) Equity; (2) Sustainability; and (3) Vibrant Communities.  Woven through these three themes are six Guiding Principles: (1) Livable Built Environment; (2) Harmony with Nature; (3) Resilient Economy; (4) Responsible Regionalism; (5) Inclusive Planning; and (6) Healthy Community.

The Master Plan also identifies Core Retrofit Areas or “nodes” which are areas within the County that are prime for redevelopment on the basis of criteria such as transit access, employment centers, and community assets.  Development within these “nodes” will require the appropriate infrastructure but will be buttressed by policy to support future development.   Development activity outside these areas will continue to be permitted but may not be propped up in the same way by the Master Plan.

Master Plan 2030 is organized into three main sections:

  1. Growth Framework —outlines the plan for growth in the county over the next ten years, highlighting various targeted areas for future development and redevelopment.
  2. Vision Framework —provides the structure for implementing the goals of the Master Plan.
  3. Implementation—this section will be created after the master plan is adopted by the Baltimore County Council and will include implementation strategies and tracking of success. The underlying goal is for the county to establish action-oriented, measurable implementation plans with provision for public accountability, as well as monitoring and reporting progress at regular intervals.

The Land Use and Zoning attorneys at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP have been actively engaged in the preparation and adoption of Master Plan 2030. If you are seeking to develop a property, rezone a property, are concerned that your property may be subject to a downzoning, or would like to discuss aspects of the Master Plan further, we encourage you to reach out to us. Contact Adam Baker ( or Jennifer Busse (