History

The City of Laurel Planning Commission was created and established by Ordinance No. 422, passed by the Mayor and City Council on February 17, 1960 under the authority of the provisions of Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The Commission is a volunteer citizen board composed of a City Council Member and four citizens plus an alternate.  The citizen members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for five year terms.

Authority

The Commission holds public hearings on all matters relating to development and zoning within the City of Laurel.  The Commission is empowered to render decisions by resolution on all site plans, subdivision applications, sign and parking modifications, forest conservation plans, and record plats.  In addition, the Commission hears testimony and submits recommendations to the Board of Appeals and the City Council on issues such as variances, special exceptions, zoning map amendments, and overlay applications. The City of Laurel Master Plan, the City of Laurel Zoning Ordinance, and the City of Laurel Subdivision Regulations provide the Planning Commission with the standards by which plans are reviewed.

Meetings

The Commission meets regularly each month, in the Council Chambers of the Laurel Municipal Center at 8103 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, MD.

The Public is welcomed and encouraged to attend. For information regarding agendas or related information call the Department of Economic and Community Development at 301-725-5300, extension 2303.

Procedure

For the Planning Commission to hear a case, an applicant must submit an application via the Department of Economic and Community Development.  All applications are reviewed by a planner who conducts an analysis, drafts a technical staff report, and writes a recommendation for presentation to the Planning Commission. Every applicant is responsible to post a zoning public hearing notice sign (i.e. a "zoning sign") on the property where it is prominently visible from a public right-of-way.  Zoning signs are provided by staff and must be in place at least two weeks prior to being presented to the Planning Commission and must remain posted until a decision is made by the Planning Commission (or the Board of Appeals, for certain cases).  The entire process normally takes 45-90 days.  Applications submitted toward the end of the month generally take longer than ones submitted earlier in the month.  Cases where the Planning Commission makes a recommendation but the Board of Appeals or the City Council often take longer than 90 days.

Policy

On May 14, 2013 the Planning Commission approved Resolution No. 13-12-PC to implement and formalize a policy that the City of Laurel Planning Commission will not hear and consider cases before it where the subject property has an oustanding Code violation.

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