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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Sketch Plan


A sketch plan is an illustrative plan or model that shows the maximum densities for residential and non-residential development, including building massing and height, locations of public use and other spaces, and the relationship to existing and proposed buildings and properties. A Sketch Plan is required for optional methods of development and is intended to provide circulation patterns and description of the public benefits proposed and incentive densities requested, as well as the phasing of the development and public benefits.

Forest Conservation:

Before submitting a Sketch Plan, a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) or Forest Conservation Plan Exemption (FCPE) must be approved.  In cases where an Forest Conservation Plan Exemption has not been confirmed, a Forest Conservation Plan must be submitted concurrently with the Sketch Plan.

Development Review Committee (DRC):

Sketch Plans go to DRC.

Decision Type:

The Planning Board approves the Sketch Plan prior to Preliminary Plan and Site Plan review.


Sketch Plan fees vary by project specifications.  Consult page 4 of our fee schedule to determine fee.

Review Time:

Planning Board Hearing must take place within 90 days of intake acceptance.


Sketch Plans may be amended.  Before submitting an application, applicants must meet with planning staff and receive an amendment checklist that outlines the required submission items.

Application Instructions

Fill out this application form and email the PDF to  Once our team has received the application and entered it into our system, the primary contact listed on the application form will be asked to upload files to ePlans.

Essential Documents

Supporting Documents

Related Forms

Guides and Tools