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Preservation of Agriculture & Rural Open Space Functional Master Plan

Approved & Adopted 1980

"In the late 1950s, agrilcutural and open space preservation arose as a social and economic issue. The loss of agricultural and open space land, as a metropolitan planning issue, was expressed in terms of metropolitan needs and problems -- the need to preserve open space and the diseconomy in building the costly infrastructure to serve scattered suburban development. This was at the heart of the issue in 1956 when Maryland, the first state to do so, enacted a law to provide preferential assessments to farmland in the hope of encouraging farmers not to sell their property to developers. Today, 42 states have enacted this type of legislation. Despite preferential assessment programs, however, development pressure has continued tp erode farmland..."

Rocky Road From Chapter I: Policy Farmework, Preservation of Agriculture & Rural Open Space (AROS) Functional Master Plan (1981) p. 1

Details of Publication
Amendment, March 1986
The Charge
Summary of Findings and Recommendations
Policy Framework
The Setting
The Facts
Farmland Preservation as a Public Purpose
Farmland and Rural Open Space Land use Program
Farmland and Rural Open Space Public Service Guidelines
The Next Step

  1. Summary of The Rural Density Transfer Zone and Rural Cluster Zone
  2. Small Farm Economics
  3. Description of the Maryland State Environmental Trust
  4. Environmentally Sensitive Areas
  5. Historic Sites Master Plan and Ordinance
  6. Glossary of Terms

Illustrations Montevideo Road
Agricultural Preservation Study Area
Planning Area
General Plan Concept
Subdivision Activity & Sewer Envelope
Septic System Suitability
Potential Stream Impact Areas, State Areas Of Critical Concern, Conservation Areas
Generalized Working Farm Map
Generalize Soils Map
Proposed Rural Area Land Use and Zoning
Public Resources - Sewer System
Public Resources - Water System
Trails System


  1. Estimated Number Of Development Rights In The Agricultural Reserve
  2. Dwelling Unit Potential On Vacant Land By Sewer Service Category
  3. Proportion Of Total Dwelling Units Constructed
  4. Price Distribution Of For Sale Housing

NOTE: The page numbering shown on each page does not apply to this media. The numbers shown at the bottom of each page do not correspond to the printed version of the Master Plan. The complete document is represented by the index below.

M-NCPPC Staff Contacts:

Fred Boyd

Josh Penn

Leslie Saville

Date of last update: January 13, 2015