2040 Comprehensive Plan

Annapolis Main Street

Annapolis Ahead, Bridging Barriers, and Connecting Communities.

Welcome to the ABCs of planning in Annapolis. The Annapolis Ahead 2040 Comprehensive Plan, serving as the update to the City’s 2009 comprehensive plan, will focus on protecting and enhancing neighborhood character and health, supporting inclusive economic growth and diversity, and ensuring that the local environment is resilient.


Updates as of November 17, 2023

After 90-Days of comments, listening, and questions, the Annapolis Ahead 2040 Comprehensive Plan 90-day public review and comment period ended September 2023. All comments received were organized in a formal comment log and made available on this website below. Following a thorough analysis of the comments, an outline of major text and map updates to the Draft Plan was proposed by City staff  to the Planning Commission and approved on October 12, 2023. City staff then drafted the major text updates and shared these in a memo to the Planning Commission on November 16, 2023. 

To review the major text updates for the Draft Plan click here.

City staff are now working on formatting the updated Draft Plan with the text updates, new images, and maps, to submit to the Planning Commission for approval at its next meeting on December 7, 2023. The goal is to share an approved Draft Plan with the City Council by the end of the calendar year so that the adoption process can begin in early 2024. The adoption process will involve a review of the Draft Plan by the City Council and could lead to continued changes of the Draft Plan which must be approved by the Planning Commission.

Review copies of the Draft Plan can still be found at Michael E. Busch Library, Eastport Annapolis Neck Library, and the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

To stay up to date on upcoming webinar events, in-person events, or watch past events check the Recent Presentations Banner on the sidebar. Thank you for your interest and participation in the Annapolis Ahead 2040 Comprehensive Plan!

Comments: What comments have been submitted about Annapolis Ahead?

As comments on the Draft Comprehensive Plan were received, Planning and Zoning are compiling the comments into a comment log which can be accessed at the link below. All Comments will receive a formal response from staff by the completion of the comment period along with the comment period closing in September 2023.


Comments: How do I ask questions about the Comprehensive Plan?

Send an Email to CSORTIZ@ANNAPOLIS.GOV if you have any questions about the Draft Plan.


The Future Land Use Map is a foundational exhibit within most comprehensive plans that distills the  values and priorities for how the City will evolve and how our land base should be best utilized in coming years. The land use designations consider the best use of the land to ensure that the City’s goals are met, and the map is the outcome of extensive listening to City residents and property owners, business-owners, community organizations, and other stakeholders during the comprehensive planning process, and other recent planning efforts.

Use the map link below to access an interactive map that compares ‘Existing Land Use’ to ‘Future Land Use’. The map includes a slider bar that can be moved left and right to see how land use designations will change in the Future Land Use Map. The map can also be zoomed to take a closer look at specific areas.

Interactive Future Land Use Comparison Map

The Future Land Use Map serves as a guide to development decisions made by City Staff, Boards and Commissions, and Elected Officials by providing a snapshot of the intended use of land across the city. Although the City’s zoning code provides far greater detail on the requirements for development, the intent of the zoning code generally aligns with the intent of the Future Land Use Map.

If you have questions or comments about the Future Land Use Map, please use the comment link below to send a message to Planning & Zoning staff.

Comment Form

The major updates represented in the Future Land Use Map are the following:

  • “Mixed-Use” now encompasses the “Retail/Commercial” and “Office” designations which emphasizes the desire for more walkable communities where compatible retail, office, residential, and other uses are better connected. Most of the parcels now designated as “Mixed Use” are located along major thoroughfares that are designed to service multiple uses.
  • “Environmental Enhancement” is a new land use designation that prioritizes the  environmental benefits that certain parcels provide which includes stormwater management, tree canopy preservation, biodiversity, or potentially other benefits. While many of these sites are currently undeveloped, some are paved and/or minimally developed areas in close proximity to waterways that should be enhanced to provide improved environmental benefit.
  • “Recreational Enhancement” replaces “Recreation” as a new land use designation that encompasses all existing parks and other areas best intended for active recreational open space.


Nearly 200 comments were received in response to the mid-June 2021 release of the Draft Annapolis Ahead Goals, Metrics, and Actions! Following the September 17 comment deadline, we created a comment log to share everything we heard. Please use the link below to view all comments received (we removed all names of commenters for privacy purposes). While additional comments will still be accepted, Planning & Zoning staff are focused on addressing the comments received prior to the deadline. There will be an another formal 60-day comment period following the release of the Draft Plan document which we anticipate between late Fall and early 2022.

DRAFT Goals, Metrics, and Actions Comment Log

Check out the Draft Annapolis Ahead Goals, Metrics, and Actions released in June 2021:

DRAFT Goals, Metrics, and Actions

Through nearly a hundred meetings, workshops, discussions, and surveys with community members over the last 18 months, we have been carefully listening to where Annapolis should be headed in the next 10-20 years. We are pleased to share the Comprehensive Plan's DRAFT Goals, Performance Metrics, and Recommended Actions. This release serves as an important checkpoint in our process as we continue to develop the plan itself. Please use the link above to visit a dedicated website where you can review the current draft goals, metrics, and actions, and submit comments that will help us improve and refine the plan.


A Comprehensive Plan is a broad statement about the community, looking approximately 20 years ahead.  The plan includes goals and strategies to achieve the goals, with specific performance measures and targets that will help determine if these goals are being met.  We will be looking at how we can ensure healthy communities, healthy economies, and healthy environments.

Sign up for the City’s  Notifications and News Flash email listservs.  The Planning and Zoning Department has a general News Flash and a weekly Comprehensive Plan Update. 

Key  Reference Documents

  1. The new plan will build on the 2009 Comprehensive Plan with public input, data collection, goal definition, strategies, performance measures, and performance targets to ensure that it all gets put into action.
  2. The Demographic and Economic Profile and Real Estate Market Analysis for the Annapolis Comprehensive Plan Update - October 2021 and the summary PowerPoint from November 14, 2019.
  3. The Fiscal Impact Analysis (Updated December 2021) of the City's ability to meet its operating expenses over the next twenty years based on population growth projections.
  4. The Maritime Task Force Strategy: Strengthening the Industry is the outcome of a nine month planning process led by a Maritime Task Force created by the Annapolis City Council to find strategies for preserving and expanding the working maritime industry in Annapolis.
  5. The West Annapolis Master Plan is a strategic community vision for the commercial area of West Annapolis that was developed with community input and completed in July 2021. The plan provides a range of recommendations for transitioning the commercial area into a more dynamic mixed-use place that can better cater to the needs of nearby residents as well as the broader population.
  6. For additional information on subsidized multi-family housing see the Five-Year Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan, which will be updated this Spring.   
  7. Did you get a chance to catch Strong Town’s Chuck Moran’s presentation on October 10, 2019?  He discusses how jurisdictions can encourage sustainable development.  
  8. How to talk to your neighbors about the Comprehensive Plan: On the Table will guide you through background information and key topics.  
  9. What is a form-based code?  Learn about this approach to zoning that focuses more on form than use (but doesn’t ignore use altogether).  
  10. What the future of Annapolis' bike network may hold as envisioned by the local advocacy group BikeAAA in this presentation to the Annapolis Planning Commission
  11. What opportunities are there for the Maritime Industry in Annapolis in the future? Read about it in this Blue Technology Business Study and Strategy


Certain sections of the plan are required by the Land Use Article from State of Maryland Law.  The plan will begin with a demographic analysis of the City and will also include sections on:

  • Land Use
  • Environment
  • Water Resources and Sea Level Rise
  • Historic and Neighborhood Conservation 
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Parks and Community Facilities
  • Sensitive Areas
  • Municipal Growth


The plan guides decision-making and directs implementation actions.  Implementation happens through the combined efforts of individuals, communities, civic groups, and the City government. Many of the plan’s goals and policies reflect this shared responsibility. The City’s two main implementation tools are regulating development and funding capital improvements such as roads and parks.

One first step is to critically examine all that we’ve accomplished in the last 10 years since the 2009 Plan and all that we were unable to accomplish, so we can begin thinking about what is next for the City.

Planning Diagram


Jakubiak & Associates Inc.

Jakubiak & Associates is a Maryland-based planning firm that has worked regularly with numerous municipalities in the region, including Annapolis, on comprehensive planning, zoning, land use analyses, and strategizing for policy mechanisms and regulation to put findings and concepts into action.

The firm’s role in the Comprehensive Plan update is to analyze the City’s land use data, develop policy and regulatory solutions that encourage a desired Annapolis revealed throughout the process, draft sections of the plan, and provide guidance to City staff working on the plan in whatever area necessary.

BAE Urban Economics

BAE is an urban economics and public-benefit real estate development consulting practice with connections to Annapolis that accounts for sustainable economics, equity, and the environment in considering practical city solutions. They have broad experience in feasibility studies, strategic planning, revitalization, public-private transactions, public financing, fiscal and economic impacts analyses, and development advisory services.

For the Comprehensive Plan, their role is to assemble a complete demographic and economic profile of Annapolis, conduct a real estate market analysis, and project land use under varying conditions, while relying on the aforementioned analyses, to inform decisions.


Stantec is a global multi-disciplinary firm that specializes in planning, engineering, and design among other areas. They regularly invest in internal research and push the boundaries of knowledge in topics such as sustainability, technology, and adapting to change, to inform the projects and services they provide for municipalities across the U.S. and internationally.

Their role, as a widely connected and specialized firm, involves building on the analyses conducted by the other consultants to evaluate and provide new and alternative approaches to development with data-supported concepts and illustrations to support community character objectives. Drawing from their expertise and partnerships, they will also provide recommendations related to transportation, public services, infrastructure improvements, and happiness and health interventions. The firm is also able to assist in the public outreach and engagement component.