Workgroup Updates PlanMaryland Progress

A workgroup of stakeholders met on August 29 to discuss continuing implementation of PlanMaryland, the far-reaching statement of state area-driven priorities. The workgroup is part of the ongoing charge of the state’s Sustainable Growth Commission, and is seeking to oversee and guide state agency implementation of the overall plan.

The workgroup focused its attention on efforts by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to improve and coordinate its data and efforts regarding sensitive areas, notably under the GreenPrint program. The discussion with DNR is the latest in an ongoing series, where agencies are updating the workgroup of their progress and plans as they implement relevant facets of PlanMaryland.

The continued conversation of the group focused on the ongoing nature of PlanMaryland, both in development of its area mapping as well as agency implementation. Staff from the Maryland Department of Planning presented the latest views of the PlanMaryland maps, and discussed the process ahead for continued input — both from local governments (who have continued responsibility to designate the various areas laid out under the PlanMaryland program) and from citizens.

Visit the PlanMaryland map online.

The PlanMaryland website details the implementation stages underway and ahead, including guidelines for local governments with local designations:

PlanMaryland establishes five Planning Area-Place categories that local governments may employ to meet these objectives. These are:

Targeted Growth and Revitalization Areas
Established Community Areas in Priority Funding Areas
Future Growth Areas
Large Lot Developed Areas, and
Rural Resource Areas

From the full guidelines document, comes this timetable for counties in the months ahead:

The identification of Planning Areas is intended to be a collaborative process, starting at the local level. Local governments can choose to participate and identify possible Planning Areas for all, portions or none of the lands within their jurisdiction. The Maryland Department of Planning will be available to assist local governments in identifying potential Planning Areas within their jurisdiction and coordinate State agencies’ assessments of their proposed Planning Areas.

The identification of Planning Areas is intended to build on areas already established through work that has already been done by local jurisdictions, such as local comprehensive plans and implementation measures, as well as areas already targeted by State programs. Planning Areas will be used to identify areas where local and State programs can be better focused to achieve shared public goals. The outcome will be a geographic and public policy framework that local governments, State agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector can use to achieve the goals and objectives of PlanMaryland and their own priorities.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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