Returning county officials received an update from the Smart Growth Subcabinet on key land use, transportation, environmental, and economic development issues at the MACo January 2019 Winter Conference. The panel, A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet, was held on Wednesday, January 2.
The Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. Its members are mostly Cabinet secretaries or their designees. Maryland Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters serves as the Subcabinet’s Chair. MACo collected a series of questions from county officials before the Conference and the Subcabinet mainly responded to those questions.
The Subcabinet touched on the following issues:
- the new state development plan, A Better Maryland;
- health, safety, and building code conflicts for agri-tourism activities;
- local zoning in the siting of solar, wind, and other types of energy generation facilities;
- consistency among state agencies when reviewing permits and projects;
- workforce development and training;
- assistance for Opportunity Zones;
- climate change;
- Chesapeake Bay and water quality efforts, including the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits;
- land preservation programs, including the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation and interjurisdictional Transfer of Development rights programs;
- local Highway User Revenues;
- transit and road development;
- planning for autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and smart infrastructure technology;
- Program Open Space funding; and
- trail development
The Subcabinet also took several direct questions from audience members. Peters moderated the Subcabinet discussion.