Guide Your Way Through Calvert County with Interactive Mobile-Friendly Maps

April 23, 2014

Calvert County now offers online maps for county residents and visitors to find what they need, learn more about what’s going on, virtually explore the natural resources, parks and recreational facilities or see how the county has changed over the last 100 years.

MyCalvertMaps is a new online, interactive geographic information system featuring powerful maps that easily run on any desktop computer, tablet or mobile device. The maps do not require a plug-in or software download to function properly.

calvertRecently featured in the April issue of Calvert Currents,

Calvert County’s rich history is a click away with the Historic Sites Map. From designated historical sites to roadside signs, driving tour info and more, this interactive map brings history alive.

View county properties, tax assessment information and regional topography with the Property and Topography Map. Whether you are looking to buy a property or are just curious, this interactive map gives you a new perspective on the county.

If you are new to the county or just need to find something new to you, the Facilities Guide Map is a great resource. Find schools, libraries, community centers, local government buildings and more, including links to additional information.

The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area was established to help protect our local waterways. Do you live near the Critical Area? The county’s Critical Area Map can show you and help you comply with Critical Area regulations.

Calvert County is surrounded by water and local property owners need to know their flood risk. The county’s Flood Hazard Map can help. It shows flood zones adopted in 2011 as well as the 2013 preliminary update.

From sites for hiking, fishing and horseback riding to public boat launches, sports fields and more, the county Recreational Facilities Map can help you get out and get active.

Check out the county’s Census and Demographics Map for details on population distribution, demographic profiles, housing information and much more.

With the county’s Voter Map you will find the boundaries of congressional, state and county election districts, along with your precinct and polling place.

For information on MyCalvertMaps, call the Calvert County Department of Technology Services at 410-535-1600, ext. 2511, or visit the Calvert County website.


Phil Hager Becomes MACo Planner Affiliate President

April 23, 2014

Carroll Cophil hagerunty Land Use, Planning and Development Director Philip Hager has become the new President of the Maryland Association of County Planning Officials.  He replaces the previous President, Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning Director Larry Tom, who stepped down in February after serving in the office for approximately one year.

Association members include planners from each county and Baltimore City and is an affiliate of MACo.  The Association meets at MACo eight to nine times a year to discuss planning and land use issues, hosts issue panels at MACo’s annual summer and winter conferences, and assists MACo in forming positions on land use legislation and policies.

As President, Hager will serve as a liaison with MACo and occasionally testify on behalf of the Association and MACo on various land use bills.

 

 


Submit Innovative Posters for NACo’s Annual Conference – Applications Due May 16

April 23, 2014

During the 2014 NACo County Solutions & Idea Marketplace in Orleans Parish, LA, July 11-14, 2014, the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) is holding a poster session designed to showcase initiatives and programs that provide evidence-based, cost-savings solutions for counties.  NACo county members are encouraged to participate. Applications are due May 16 (actual posters to be displayed at the conference do not have to be ready by this date).

The Poster Session will feature the success stories, tools, lessons learned and how-to’s of innovative county services and will share these lessons with counties throughout the country.

Click here to review the FAQ document for further information.

By encouraging peers to review posters and understand how they may incorporate similar ideas and projects in their counties, parishes and boroughs the Poster Session will also provide an opportunity for your programs and initiatives to be highlighted at the upcoming 2014 County Solutions and Idea Marketplace.

There is no fee to display a post​er; however you are responsible for getting your poster materials to and from the conference.  Note: At least one person from each participating county must be registered to attend the Annual Conference (click here for online conference registration).​

Visit NACo’s website to apply or to find more information on the poster session.


Resources Offered to Evaluate Municipal Finance Options

April 23, 2014

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website is a resource for evaluating municipal finance options, complying with disclosure requirements and communicating with investors. An article in the recent edition of the NACo “County News Alert” describes the benefits.

EMMA’s online platform provides free public access to financial disclosure documents and trade data on more than 1.2 million outstanding municipal bonds. Municipal borrowers file their disclosures and other information on EMMA to make them available to investors.

MSRB’s “Putting EMMA to Work for You” campaign seeks to raise awareness by small to mid-sized municipal issuers about the importance of communicating with their investors on an ongoing basis.

At each outreach session, the MSRB provides practical guidance and tips about how issuers can use the EMMA website to their advantage to communicate with investors and comply with their disclosure obligations. The MSRB’s goal is to contribute to improved financial disclosure practices and enhanced transparency for the municipal market.

To schedule an outreach session, contact Ritta McLaughlin, the MSRB’s chief education officer, at 703.797.6714 or rmclaughlin@msrb.org.


MACo Seeking Legislative Initiative Proposals For 2015 General Assembly Session

April 23, 2014

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is seeking proposals for consideration as 2015 legislative initiatives. Each year, MACo adopts up to four topics for specific focus during the session of the General Assembly. Past MACo initiatives have included a wide range of topics designed to improve county government services, enhance state support of joint programs, protect local land use authority, clarify or extend county authority, and defend county liability exposure. Typical initiatives call for MACo to work closely with Senate and House sponsors of the county-sought legislation, and often to partner with like-minded organizations or other stakeholders.

Read about MACo’s 2014 legislative initiatives here.

Proposals will be discussed before a committee of MACo leaders, and a slate of recommended initiatives will be proposed to the Legislative Committee before the end of the year.

MACo is pleased to receive suggestions from county elected officials, any of its professional affiliate organizations, or others within the county community. To contact MACo to submit one or more topics as possible legislative initiatives, email Legislative Director Andrea Mansfield or contact the MACo office. For full consideration, proposals should be received no later than June 20, 2014.


Howard County’s Proposed Budget Focuses on Education, Mental Health, and Public Safety

April 23, 2014

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman released the final budget of his second term in office this week.  The $1.7 billion fiscal 2015 operating budget, of which $1.026 billion is general funds, funds new education and mental health initiatives, and new police units to patrol surrounding neighborhoods and target human trafficking.

From the county press release:

Of the $1.026 billion proposed general fund budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 74 percent would go to education and public safety. The budget freezes property and income tax rates at their current levels.

“This budget reflects the priorities of our community, and the progress we have made over the past eight years,” County Executive Ulman said. “Howard County residents rightly place a high value on education and public safety, and we are able to make important investments in those areas because of responsible management and a healthy local economy.”

The budget also provides a 3% cost of living adjustment for general county employees.

The County Council will now begin its review of the budget with adoption expected by June 1, 2014.

Additional information on the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget can be found on the county administration page on the website.


Cities Increasing Land Footprint Faster Than Population

April 22, 2014

An April 14 Washington Post Wonkblog post highlighted the phenomenon of major cities worldwide increasing their developed land footprint much faster than their population footprint.  Using maps from The Atlas of Urban Expansion  prepared by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and time-lapse animations prepared by the New York University Stern Urbanization Project, the post argued that transportation advances, falling density, and the rising number of smaller households has accelerated this trend.

Throughout the last two centuries, cities across the globe – as you might view them from space – have expanded in a relatively uniform way: first incrementally, then at a breakneck speed.

In older cities, this pattern has paralleled innovations in transportation. Early 19th century London, Boston or Warsaw could only expand so fast when the main modes of getting around were by foot or horse and buggy. Eventually, streetcars, railways and automobiles changed the geography of urbanization.  …

The maps reflect both the rapid growth of new development and, in some cases, the swallowing up of existing rural communities as urban centers have expanded.

The animations repeatedly show this process gaining speed (and land mass) in the second half of the 20th century.  Writes NYU research scholar Patrick Lamson-Hall in introducing the [animation] project:

This is in keeping with the theory of falling density, which holds that as cities have grown bigger and the world has urbanized, densities have been steadily falling.   As a result, cities require more urban land per person, meaning total growth in the city area is much greater than population growth.

This trend is closely related to another phenomenon: Globally, household growth is expanding much faster than population growth.  That means the literal number of homes on the planet — each requiring land, energy and infrastructure — is expanding faster than the number of people. …

All of these trends — growing urbanization, falling density, rising household growth — together present some big challenges for how we consume resources and land. …

But it’s not necessarily inevitable that urban areas should gobble up land so much faster than they gain population. That’s the kind of thing we can try to plan for.

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