The leading voice for smarter growth since 1994

1000 Friends of Maryland advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.



Planning and Zoning

Planning and zoning are the cornerstones of all our development decisions. These decisions, made at the local level, affect everything from school overcrowding to farmland preservation.  

To accomplish meaningful results, 1000 Friends supports three basic criteria for planning:

  • Local plans should include performance standards to ensure they are on track for success, and should be enforced through rigorous zoning.
  • The planning process should incorporate citizens' ideas and visions in a meaningful way.
  • The State should have the ability to require minimum standards in local plans, but should also provide planning assistance to jurisdictions that need it.

Local jurisdictions, either counties or cities, have the authority to manage growth under minimal State supervision.  As a result, some jurisdictions are leading the way with innovative policies and smart solutions.  Others are paving their way to an economically and environmentally unsustainable future. 

1000 Friends strives to be a resource for local jurisdictions, developers, and citizens as they tackle these complicated issues.  We also support policies that help accomplish our criteria for smart planning.

Transform Baltimore

 For Website


Support Builds for Baltimore City Rezoning that will Strengthen Community Investment


Baltimore’s antiquated zoning code is confusing and long overdue for updating. Now, a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including nonprofit community development organizations, environmental advocates, business groups, preservationists, developers, and builders, have united to urge the Baltimore City Council to approve the long-pending rewrite of the zoning code.


These 29 organizations, representing constituencies who don't always agree on development issues, have delivered a letter to members of the City Council urging passage of the comprehensive rezoning to promote new investment and foster stronger communities.


“We believe Transform Baltimore will make the code clearer and more user-friendly for neighborhoods, communities, and citizens, while also facilitating investment in Baltimore by creating greater clarity and predictability for owners and developers,” the letter reads. “Its more modern structure and approach will be welcomed by all who want to see the City move forward.” (Click here to read the full letter.)


Let the City Council know it’s time to move Baltimore forward with a modern zoning code that lays the groundwork for new community investments.


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