In an Op/Ed piece run by the Baltimore Sun today, Frederick County Commission President Blaine Young derided the proposed PlanMaryland intiative, as well as the process ahead for its adoption. PlanMaryland, executing a general statement that has been in Maryland statute since 1974, would be a “policy document” prepared by the Maryland Department of Planning, and delivered to the governor before the end of the year (and before the General Assembly begins in January).
From Commissioner Young’s letter:
What I find extremely interesting about PlanMaryland is not necessarily the content but the process. Unlike with Smart Growth, which was debated in the legislature for at least two full sessions, the O’Malley administration has presented PlanMaryland as an executive branch regulatory initiative. No legislation has been proposed, and thus there will be little opportunity for delegates and senators to debate the plan. I find this troubling. Why is the governor intent on bypassing the legislature on this extremely important issue?
If you don’t yet think that PlanMaryland is a significant power grab by the state over local control of county and municipal growth and economic development, I urge you to read it. It is such a giant step toward the ultimate takeover by Annapolis of all land-use decisions that, at a minimum, it should be debated fully, openly and vigorously in the General Assembly.