Carroll County & Frederick County Offer PlanMaryland Views at Forum

An August 29 Carroll County Times article discusses the PlanMaryland forum held that night in Carroll County.  Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard Hall and other Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) representatives were on hand to defend the Plan and answer questions from both county elected officials and members of the general public.  During the meeting, Secretary Hall stressed that the Plan was not designed to undermine local land use authority.

More than 120 people attended the four-hour forum, filled out comment cards and asked questions. Opinions on PlanMaryland varied, some agreed with the plan and its information while others didn’t.  …

MDP Planning Services Director Richard Josephson said the plan provides informed choices for the future by coordinating state resources with municipal and county governments. PlanMaryland, Josephson said, is a framework that brings the state and local jurisdictions together over which areas are best for growth, preservation or other specific purposes.  …

Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, spoke about a proposed Maryland Planning Bill of Rights he developed that guaranteed the counties would retain their planning authority. The bill of rights, Howard said, would also ensure that local jurisdictions’ master plans would be used when the state develops growth models.  …

Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, said he wanted more freedom for local jurisdictions in the plan. Rothschild, whose presentation was interrupted by applause several times, asked that the state present local jurisdictions with goals but give them the freedom to achieve them the ways they want to.

Elected officials from Frederick County also attended the Carroll County forum and an August 30 Frederick News-Post article discusses their participation, as well as Frederick County’s own comments on the PlanMaryland document itself.

Frederick County commissioners called the Maryland governor’s drafted land-use plan a possible “usurpation” of local authority and a “recipe to block job growth” in comments submitted Monday evening to state officials.  …

“Frederick County deserves the right to continue to control our own destiny,” Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young said at the meeting, reading from a six-page statement board members addressed to Hall.  …

“We’re not doing this because we have a gripe with Carroll County or Frederick County. We’re doing this because it’s a plan for how state agencies work together to implement many state programs. … It doesn’t give us any authority we don’t already have,” Hall said during the public meeting in a packed room at Carroll Community College in Westminster.

The Times also presented a short article on August 28 detailing the views of the Carroll County Delegation on the Plan.

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