The Maryland Planning Directors Roundtable met on June 5 to discuss the proposed Infill, Redevelopment, and Revitalization (IRR) Policy that is being considered by the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. MACo, county and municipal planners, State agencies, and other stakeholders participated in broad group discussions over key aspects of the IRR Policy. Attendees also heard case studies from Howard County Planning and Zoning Director Marsha McLaughlin and City of Hagerstown Planning Director Kathleen Maher. McLaughlin discussed the successes and challenges surrounding the County’s Route 1 revitalization efforts while Maher discussed Hagerstown’s downtown revitalization programs.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Martin O’Mallley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown have requested that the Commission study and propose a State policy to encourage infill, redevelopment, and revitalization. The IRR Policy will likely have both spending and regulatory components. Key areas of focus include: (1) the role of the Smart Growth Subcabinet and making the best use of existing programs and plans; (2) transit-oriented development; (3) funding, financing, and incentives; (4) streamlining and regulatory relief at both the state and local levels; (5) education, training, outreach, and best practices; and (6) planning and design. The Commission’s final report and recommendations are due August 31.
MACo has formed an internal workgroup to study the issue and provide county input. MACo’s Board of Directors will be meeting with Commission Chair Jon Laria and Commission Member/Harford County Council Member Mary Ann Lisanti to discuss IRR in July and there will also be an IRR panel at MACo’s 2014 Summer Conference.