Bowie Master Plan Update

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is moving forward with its update of the 2006 Approved Master Plan for Bowie and Vicinity. The long-awaited update of the Master Plan kicked off earlier this year with the Prince George’s County Planning Board Initiation in January, followed by the District Council’s approval of prospective goals, concepts, and guidelines for the Master Plan in February.

The update process is currently in its primary Public Participation Phase. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, public participation is being conducted online through Microsoft Teams. Participants can register for virtual public meetings at cityofbowie.org/2492/Bowie-Master-Plan-Update.

The first virtual public meeting was held on Saturday, June 13. The meeting initiated the participation phase with discussion of the overall purpose of the update and the current timeline for delivery, considering the impacts of the Pandemic. The primary goal of meeting was to educate Bowie residents, property owners, and community stakeholders on M-NCPPC’s objectives and future opportunities for participation in the planning process. Video of the public kickoff meeting can be accessed at the link below:

The Bowie City Council will begin its review process of M-NCPPC’s Preliminary Master Plan early next summer. The City’s review will involve a public hearing and work sessions on the Master Plan update, prior to providing a position statement for the Joint Public Hearing of the County Planning Board and District Council in Fall 2021. In the meantime, the Bowie Advisory Planning Board (BAPB) will conduct its own public hearings on the Preliminary Master Plan and make recommendations to the City Council.

Bowie Master Plan Update Timeline & Schedule

Significance of the Bowie Update

The recommendations and policies of the Bowie Master Plan will undoubtedly inform future development in the area. Perhaps the most important component of a Master Plan update is the accompanying Sectional Map Amendment (SMA). The SMA is the instrument through which land use recommendations of a Master Plan are functionally applied to individual properties within the plan’s boundaries. This process of comprehensive rezoning shapes future land use with the intent of curating specific development patterns within the plan area. The Bowie Master Plan update, however, will not include an SMA because its delivery date roughly coincides with the Countywide Map Amendment (CMA) – a process in which the entire County will be rezoned to reflect the County’s new Zoning Ordinance. Accordingly, understanding the Bowie Master Plan in relation to the new Prince George’s Zoning Ordinance and upcoming CMA will be crucial for property owners, community stakeholders, developers and other parties interested in Bowie’s growth and future development.