The primary responsibility of the Planning Bureau is to develop and update comprehensive plans and functional plans for the county and smaller regions within the county. The process and implementation of these comprehensive plans plays a vital role in countywide growth management. Bureau responsibilities include the following:
- Lead the planning process, conduct research and analysis, and develop plan documents to comply with State-mandated comprehensive plan elements: land use, community facilities, transportation, rural villages, priority preservation areas, environmental resources, water resources, and mineral resources.
- Lead the planning process/develop functional or implementation plans: Water & Sewer Master Plan (required); Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan (required); Heart of the Civil War Heritage Areas Plan (not required, but adopted by County).
- Process annexations and individual rezoning petitions.
- Provide liaison planning services to individual municipalities, including assistance with their community comprehensive planning processes and attending all municipal planning commission meetings.
- Develop and maintain decision-making tools and data, such as the Buildable Land Inventory (development capacity), monthly population and household estimates, parcel data, Census information, County Profile, and other GIS and demographic data.
- Attend meetings of, support, and/or provide staff assistance to several boards and commissions: Carroll County Planning Commission, Finksburg Planning and Citizens Council, Freedom Area Citizens Council, Council of Governments, Historic Preservation Commission, Monocacy Scenic River Board, Heritage Areas Management Board, Water Resources Coordination Council, Patapsco/Back Tributary Team, and Baltimore Metropolitan Council (Technical Committee, Cooperative Forecasting Committee, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Traffic Analysis Advisory Group).
- Complete the work products indicated in BMC's Unified Planning Work Program each year.
- Facilitate activities to develop or coordinate implementation of recommendations in the Master Plan or other comprehensive or functional plans, such as drafting zoning ordinance amendments, grant applications, comprehensive rezonings, and design guidelines.
- Track/monitor planning-related legislation to facilitate appropriate response to proposals and implementation of new requirements.
- Develop and update annual CIP requests related to planned transportation facilities.
- Prepare Annual Planning Report required under the Land Use Article to be submitted to MDP.
- Maintain multiple geographic data layers/databases, such as parcel data, corporate limits, Growth Area Boundaries, water and sewer service areas, land use designations, zoning, watershed boundaries, etc., and provide mapping and analysis associated with projects specific to the Bureau of Planning.