PlanMaryland On Hold Until December 12 Senate Hearing

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the process for completing and adopting PlanMaryland has yielded an extended conversation among many stakeholders. In a November 18 letter to Senate President Mike Miller, Secretary Richard Hall has indicated that the final plan will not be adopted until following a hearing acknowledging an earlier request to that effect by the Senate, following an extended floor debate during the October special session.

As of this writing, the Secretary’s letter does not appear on the Department of Planning’s PlanMaryland website.

From coverage in the Cumberland Times-News, Secretary Hall indicated:

“We are preparing a final version of the general plan that will serve as a broad vision for the state,” Hall wrote. “This version of the plan will not be presented to the governor until after the hearing on December 12, 2011.”

Further background from the Times-News article details the path to this timing decision:

The Senate president sent a letter to Hall on Oct. 25 asking Hall to hold off on implementation until a hearing could be scheduled. Sen. Joan Carter Conway, the chairwoman of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, has scheduled the hearing where Hall and other planning staff will present a briefing on PlanMaryland.

Miller wrote his letter because of concerns raised by a number of senators, he said. Legislation was introduced during the October special session relating to the plan, but Miller said the Senate decided to stick with the original purpose of the special session, which was congressional redistricting.

“… the sponsors of the bills expressed concern that PlanMaryland would be put in place in final form prior to commencement of the regular session in January.” Miller said a hearing before implementation would “… be very helpful to members’ understanding of what is being proposed and will allow for additional input on this issue.”

Click here to read previous coverage of PlanMaryland on the Conduit Street blog.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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