Governor’s Redistricting Commission Releases Draft Maps for Public Input

This week, per Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order, the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission released final proposed drafts of the congressional, legislative, and state senate maps and public review. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the governor’s executive order charges the commission with producing fair maps for both state legislative and congressional districts that comply with a set of criteria, including: Complies with U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965 Respects natural boundaries and geographic integrity Does…

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Charles gets new Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Director

Charles County Administrator Mark Belton recently announced the appointment of Kelli Beavers as the director of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. Beginning November 15th, Charles County will have a new Director of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism. In a press release, Charles County Administrator Mark Belton announced Kelli Beavers as his pick to head the county's park department. "Beavers will oversee the Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism's operations, program planning, and coordinating tourist attractions to market…

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Montgomery Publishes Design Guide for Improving Street Accessibility

Montgomery County has recently released a guide to facilitate accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) recently releases a first-of-its-kind design guide titled Planning and Designing Streets to be Safer and More Accessible for People with Vision Disabilities. The guide will facilitate accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision by outlining optimized strategies for public engagement, staff training, and improved pedestrian walkway design.…

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St. Mary’s Seeks Input for Land Preservation Plan

St. Mary's County seeks public input as they develop an updated Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). St. Mary's County recently announced they are seeking public input as they develop an updated Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). Residents, business owners, special interest groups, and other interested parties should attend and participate in a Public Forum on this topic, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, at Wicomico Shores Golf Course. According to the press release: …

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Baltimore County to Launch Online Permitting Platform

Baltimore County today announced the first phase of its transition from paper to online permit applications, in the latest effort to more efficiently and effectively serve residents. Beginning November 1, applicants for building, electrical, grading, plumbing, stormwater management, and other construction permits will submit applications and all related information online. The County will also use its online platform to schedule construction inspections. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of customer service, and this is…

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Fun Fact: Trees in Transition – Colorful Counties

Did you know the Maryland Department of Natural Resources features a weekly fall foliage report every year starting in September? It’s true! The department highlights the trees’ transition each week with reports from experts with Maryland state forest and parks. The reports also include photos from various counties submitted by outdoor enthusiasts who capture the changing colors. Counties in Western Maryland are typically the first to see changes in the leaves. Garrett County has hit…

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Anne Arundel County Executive Pittman Appoints Planning Advisory Board Chair

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the appointment of Gustav “Gus” Kurtz, Jr. as the new Chair of the Planning Advisory Board (PAB). Mr. Kurtz replaces Jerry Pesterfield as Chair. The Planning Advisory Board is tasked with making advisory recommendations to the County Executive, Planning and Zoning Officer, and the County Council relating to master plans, zoning maps, and rules and regulations related to zoning. The Board consists of seven qualified voters who serve…

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Worcester Hosting Listening Sessions for Comprehensive Critical Area Code Update

As part of the Comprehensive Critical Area Code updating process, Worcester County Environmental Programs staff will host two public listening sessions on October 20 and 27, 2021.  This draft legislation, which was introduced by the commissioners on September 21, represents a comprehensive rewrite of the existing law. According to a County press release: “The draft bill simply codifies the combination of the two existing programs, Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area program and Chesapeake Bay Critical Area program,…

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Fun Fact: Getting to the Root of It….240 Years in the Making

This week, Harford County announced the preservation of a 240-year-old root cellar. It is the last freestanding cellar in the county and one of very few that remain in Maryland. Root cellars are underground or partially underground shelters that were used to store vegetables, fruits, and other foods before refrigeration. Most cellars were built as part of houses, but others were separate structures. In the late 1700s, planter Aquila Scott lived on and worked the…

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State Park Leaders Echo Concerns Presented by MACo and Others

At the latest hearing of the State Park Investment Commission, State Park Leaders voiced funding concerns and stressed the need for investment.  Echoing the testimony of local government officials in September, leaders of Maryland's state parks told the State Park Investment Commission about the dire need for investment. Currently, park rangers make just under $12 an hour, making retention a constant challenge. The pandemic has highlighted the need for outdoor recreational space and the value…

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