MACo Responds to 60-Day PlanMaryland Extension

An August 26 article provides MACo’s reaction to the Department of Planning’s recent announcement to allow an additional 60 days of comment time for the second draft of PlanMaryland that will be unveiled September 7.  MACo is appreciative of having a comment period for the second draft (originally none was intended).  However, MACo also believes further time is needed to adequately address the remaining concerns and information “gaps” in the Plan. 

With the new timeline announced on Thursday, county leaders will have until Nov. 7 to comment on the plan. Those comments will all go into the final report, which will be sent to O’Malley in mid-November. Under the original time frame, the next draft was supposed to be the final report. Department of Planning spokesman Andrew Ratner said that the change will delay implementation by a few months.  …

MACo has worked with the Planning Department to provide comments and feedback on different aspects of the plan, but has only taken a solid position on one thing: the need to increase the length of time that local government leaders have to review and comment on the draft, said MACo Associate Director Les Knapp Jr. County governments’ desire to have more time to spend with the draft was made clear through critical comments at last week’s meeting, and Knapp said it was good to see that the administration was responding to that.

“This is a significant change in land use for the state, and it is something that needs to be debated at length in counties and municipalities,” Knapp said.  …

MACo president, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, said that the changed time schedule represents progress.

“We’re really pleased, though we still have members who want more than 60 days to comment,” he said.

In its public comments, MACo is requesting additional time beyond the 60 day period so that counties can have adequate time to comment and work with the State to fill-in the remaining missing pieces of the Plan.

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