To be forewarned is to be forearmed - or to have something to look forward to. That's why people like to know what real estate developments are brewing in their communities.
You can gather information with a visit to your local planning office, but you have other research options, too.
Anne Arundel County, at www.aacounty.org/LandUse, has maps of subdivision activity and a list of scheduled "pre-submission" meetings between developers and residents. The Office of Planning and Zoning is at 2664 Riva Road in Annapolis, 410-222-7450.
Baltimore City lets you look up permits at baltimorehousing.org/ index/permits.asp. Find local master plans at ci.baltimore. md.us/government/planning. The Department of Planning is at 417 E. Fayette St., 410-396-7526.
Baltimore County, at baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning, has community plans, maps and details about proposed "planned unit developments." Sign up for e-newsletters about development at baltimorecountymd.gov/Subscribe. The county Office of Planning is at 401 Bosley Ave. in Towson, 410-887-3211.
Carroll County keeps a list of projects at ccgovernment.carr. org/ccg/devrev/reports. The Department of Planning is at 225 N. Center St. in Westminster, 410-386-2145. (Incentive to go in: The county has a mapping program there that lets you see subdivisions in process.)
Harford County has information about regulations, zoning and development meetings at harfordcountymd.gov/Planning Zoning. (The meeting schedules, which have some details about projects, are listed under "D.A.C.") The Department of Planning and Zoning is at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air, 410-638-3103.
Howard County, at co.ho.md.us/DPZ/DPZ_Home Page.htm, offers searchable tools for viewing project plans near any address you choose. If it has been approved, you can see a PDF version of the plan documents. Pre-submission meetings also are listed. The Department of Planning and Zoning is at 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City, 410-313-2350.
Remember: If you live in a municipality - Carroll County has eight - you most likely will want to turn to your city for information.
Find Jamie's blog at baltimoresun.com/realestatewonk.