The Ocean City, MD Comprehensive Plan guides the general arrangement of land uses within the community such as: housing, commercial, recreation and public facilities. The Comprehensive Plan provides a way to communicate a shared vision of the community, and a common set of objectives for managing growth and change. The Comprehensive Plan provides continuity of land use policy and strategies to encourage reinvestment and to manage changing conditions.

Once adopted, these guidelines are implemented through the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance and other City codes or public infrastructure investments.

  • Last updated in 2006 and 2009
  • Currently under review with proposed updates in 2017
  • Next update is scheduled for 2022 following release of the 2020 Census data

Following a 10 year period including a national economic recession and a large East Coast hurricane, the Comprehensive Plan Update reports a stable period without significant growth, decline or major change (property values excluded) as a result of proactive measures taken by the Mayor and City Council. Priorities for the next ten years will become a Planning and Zoning Commission work plan beginning in 2018.


Why does the Comprehensive Plan need to be updated?

  • The Plan should respond to new trends or changes
    • Surge of new hotel construction – to be tracked as a housing type
    • Long term trends in reinvestment – new ways to measure growth needed
    • Increase in special events as a tourism marketing tool
    • Changing vacation types / short term visitors / next-gen family demographics
    • Continue to encourage year round residents, protection of SF neighborhoods
  • The Plan will incorporate new information such as 2010 Census data (resident population)
    • Increase in senior population up 8.6% since 2000
    • Increase in minority population up 1 to 6% since 2000
    • Decrease in family population down 2.5% since 2000
    • Other data on jobs and income, infrastructure improvements
  • The Plan should align with County, State or National priorities
    • Other plans: Hazard Mitigation Plan, FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Transportation Master Plan, Offshore Wind Energy, Regional Sports Partnership

Following approval of the Plan Update on December 5, 2017, the Planning and Zoning Commission forwarded the Plan to the Mayor and City Council for adoption. A public hearing will be held before the Mayor and City Council on February 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. followed by a firs reading of an Ordinance to adopt the 2017 Comprehensive Plan amendment. The required second reading will be scheduled for March 5, 2018.

Comments may be submitted by typing into the window below, or by filling out the downloadable form and returning it the Planning/Community Development office.

Thank you for your interest and participation.

The 2017 Comprehensive Plan amendment may be reviewed online by opening the PDF document listed below.  Individual chapters are also listed which show the ‘redline’ changes that have been made so far.

Please provide your ideas for the Comprehensive Plan Update in the comment window.

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