The Zoning Ordinance, Subtitle 27 of the County Code, is adopted by the District Council for the purpose of governing the use and development of land. It defines various zoning categories, specifies the uses which are permitted, prohibited, and permitted subject to special exception review in each zone, and specifies detailed procedures governing a change in zoning.
The purpose of planning in Prince George's County is to provide guidance for the future physical development of the county. State law places the responsibility for developing the county's plans in The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Zoning is the legal power of government to regulate the use of private property for the purpose of protecting public health, safety and welfare. It is one of the police powers of the State of Maryland.
As previously discussed, all land in Prince George's County is zoned, and the type and density of potential development is regulated by the terms of the various zoning categories. Before a land owner or developer can actually begin construction on his property, however, he generally must obtain approval of a plan of subdivision, and record plats in compliance with Subdivision Regulations (Subtitle 24 of the County Code).
A number of programs have been utilized as a means of bridging the gap between Master Plan recommendations and day-to-day land development activities. These public policy documents typically focus on the funding of public service projects, the establishment of priorities in the expenditure of public funds, the scheduling of expenditures so as to bear a close relationship to anticipated revenues, and the coordination of activities when several departments or agencies are involved.