First Round of County Meetings for “A Better Maryland” Underway

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As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) has announced it will conduct outreach meetings for the new state development plan, A Better Maryland,  in each of Maryland’s 24 counties.  In a recent press release (2017-11-03) MDP stated that the first meeting was held in Garrett County on November 6. Pending meetings include St. Mary’s County (Nov. 28) and Wicomico County (Nov. 29).

From the press release:

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is kicking off its new state development planning process, A Better Maryland, on Monday, November 6, in Oakland, Garrett County. In a series of 24 listening session outreach events in every Maryland County and Baltimore City during the winter and early spring of 2017-18, Planning will seek input from local government officials, Maryland residents, and other stakeholders.

A Better Maryland is a two-year project which was initiated by Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order 01.01.2017.18 this past summer, with an expected completion date of July 2019.  Governor Hogan described the project as one aimed at “enriching the lives of Marylanders,” but also one that will “not supplant local planning and zoning authority.” Planning will work closely with local governments and other stakeholders, state agencies, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, the Maryland Municipal League, and the Maryland Association of Counties to develop and maintain a productive dialogue throughout the effort. The purpose of the listening sessions and the larger statewide dialogue is to engage and connect with Marylanders and get feedback about vital resources and information that A Better Maryland might include, and how it can help local governments and state agencies better meet their planning needs.

“The Hogan administration is committed to improving the coordination between state agencies and local government,” said Acting Secretary of Planning Robert McCord. “This thoughtful approach to planning will ensure continued economic growth, while conserving our state’s precious natural resources.”

A Better Maryland is an exciting opportunity for state and local governments, as well as Maryland residents, to work together, craft a shared vision for our state, and identify the path forward to achieve that vision,” explains Special Secretary for Smart Growth Wendi Peters.

Three meetings (elected officials, local staff, and the public) are scheduled for Garrett County on Monday, November 6, and additional meetings are scheduled for St. Mary’s County on November 28, and Wicomico County on November 29. Please visit A Better Maryland webpage at Planning.Maryland.gov for more information and announcements of future meetings. If you have any questions about A Better Maryland, please contact Chuck Boyd, Director of Planning Coordination, (chuck.boyd@maryland.gov) 410-767-1401.

Useful Links

A Better Maryland Webpage

Governor Hogan’s Executive Order 01.01.2017.18

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of A Better Maryland State Development Plan

To learn more about what A Better Maryland means for counties and perspectives on what the Plan should contain, attend the “Planning Ahead: Preparing for the New State Development Plan” session on December 7 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference.

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: