MDP Secretary Hall Denies “War On Rural Maryland”

In today’s Salisbury Daily Times, Maryland Planning Secretary Rich Hall defends the still-controversial PlanMaryland against charges levied in an earlier editorial by State Senator E.J. Pipkin.

On November 29, Senator Pipkin posted a commentary, run by the paper – excerpted in part below:

One of the worst policies for rural Maryland is PlanMaryland, which will destroy local government’s authority over land use and property rights.

And it’s all being done with the stroke of a gubernatorial pen, not with a vote by elected representatives.

The administration dusted off a 1974 law it says gave the state planning department ultimate authority in determining how land was to be used. However, that plan was never written; the O’Malley administration has written the plan, claiming no legislative approval was necessary.

Today, Secretary Hall replied:

PlanMaryland is hardly a “war on rural Maryland.” It is a policy plan to better position state agencies to work with each other and with local governments on making the best use of limited public dollars. It does not change any existing law.

…and concludes with references to local governments:

This administration has a strong track record of working with local governments and other stakeholders on growth issues. There will always be rough spots — with or without a strategic plan for sustainable land use. Growing smart is not easy, but we must work together for jobs, housing, to protect agribusiness and the environment. That is important for today, and for the Maryland where our children and grandchildren will live decades from now.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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