In general, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (the “Commission”) and the Prince George’s County Council are responsible for development review in Prince George's County. The City’s role in the process is advisory in nature, with several exceptions.
Prince George's Planning Board
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission of Prince George’s County consists of a five-member Planning Board whose members are nominated by the County Executive and appointed by the County Council, and a support staff of more than 100. The Planning Board advises the County Council on planning and zoning matters. The County Council is responsible for setting policy, approving plans, and implementing plans in the planning process and approving the budget for the Commission.
City of Bowie Role in Development Review
The Commission forwards various planning matters including development proposals, site plans, variances, zoning map amendments, etc. to the City for its review and comment. The items are reviewed by the Planning Department and forwarded to other City departments and committees, including the Bowie Advisory Planning Board, as appropriate. The City Council then establishes a position regarding the item based on input from City departments, committees, and residents. That position is forwarded to the County Planning Board, the Zoning Hearing Examiner, and the County Council as necessary.
The Prince George’s County Council delegated authority to the City to hear and decide requests for variances and departures from the Prince George’s County Zoning Ordinance. The City reviews approximately ten applications each year. In addition, the City has been delegated authority over Alternative Compliance from the County’s Landscape Manual, nonconforming uses, minor revisions to special exception site plans and certain detailed site plans. Due to their nature, the annual number of these applications is extremely low. The procedures for review of all of the above applications are contained in the City Code.
Details about the County’s development review process and requirements can be found on the Prince George's Planning Board website.