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.



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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.