[photo, Federal Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland] In Maryland, State planning is the responsibility of the Department of Planning. The Department is the lead agency in implementing Maryland's "Smart Growth" policy, designed to direct development to already developed areas and away from farmland, open spaces, and natural resources. Coordination and implementation of Smart Growth policy statewide is overseen by the Office of Smart Growth within the Department of Planning.

Federal Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland, May 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana), Owings (Anne Arundel County), Maryland] Through intercounty agencies, local governments coordinate regional planning in certain areas.

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council is the regional planning agency for metropolitan Baltimore, for example, while the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has jurisdiction over parks and planning in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission provides water and sewerage treatment for those two counties as well.

Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana), Owings (Anne Arundel County), Maryland, May 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Red barn, Kent County, Maryland] In addition, the General Assembly addresses concerns about planning through the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, the House Environmental Matters Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Red barn, Kent County, Maryland, April 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, Maryland] County and municipal governments also oversee local departments of planning, which typically handle land use and environmental planning, and permits, inspections, and zoning, as well as transportation planning.

Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, Maryland, April 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

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