The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) joined with the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in updating the House Environmental Matters Committee on January 26 on the status of the implementation of the new House Bill 1141 comprehensive plan elements. All three panels testified that implementation was going well and that State, county, and municipal land use planning had become more cooperative.
HB 1141 of 2006 required counties and municipalities to add a new water resources element to their comprehensive plans and municipalities to add a municipal growth element. The MACo panel included MACo Associate Director Les Knapp, Calvert County Planning and Zoning Director Greg Bowen and Harford County Chief of Environmental Planning Patricia Pudelkewicz. They testified that: (1) both elements will lead to smarter growth; (2) the water resources element required a lot of effort; and (3) planning coordination between the counties and municipalities had improved.
The MML panel consisted of MML Director of Government Relations Candace Donoho and planning consultant Christopher Jukubiak. Mr. Jukubiak argued that: (1) town growth areas needed to be protected from county development; (2) water and sewer infrastructure is critically important; and (3) people need to be flexible and realistic when drawing planning areas.