Frederick Launching Broadband Pilot Program to Expand Service to More Residents

This week Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that the County will work to expand broadband opportunities in the region. The pilot program will use a variety of resources including a $202,012 grant from the State of Maryland Rural Broadband Office to expand broadband service to the Rocky Ridge community. The program is part of a larger effort to bring more service to residents and correct connectivity gaps brought to light by a 2020 study.…

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Baltimore County 2030 Master Plan to Focus on Equity, Sustainability, Community Development

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has announced the launch of the County's next master plan to guide smart growth over the coming decade. Master Plans, sometimes called "Comprehensive Plans" are important components of local government where officials, staff, and community residents collaborate to set local planning and zoning priorities for future years. Baltimore County's next plan will be focused on delivering responsible growth and development guidelines while promoting important aspects like open space that contribute…

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MCEC and MES Seek Responses to Local Solar Survey

The Maryland Clean Energy Center and Maryland Environmental Service have teamed up to gauge interest in future solar projects at the county and municipal level.  With federal and state funding anticipated in the future to support implementation of these measures, the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) & the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) want to be prepared to help local communities take advantage of those resources quickly. They are asking that county and municipal staff members…

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Forever Maryland Foundation Announces 2021 Conference

The Forever Maryland Foundation will hold its 2021 Maryland Land Conservation Conference – “Preserving with a Purpose” – on July 13th & 14th at Ripken Stadium, in Aberdeen, MD.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase of individuals seeking to be in and among nature and to truly appreciate its benefits. Coming out of this global health crisis, we hope to build on the appreciation for nature and natural resources – and to…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Planning & Zoning

This post summarizes the status of various planning & zoning bills that MACo took a position on during the 2021 Regular Session.  Planning and zoning is an integral function of county governments and an area that spurs a high level of interaction with residents and business owners. In its planning & zoning advocacy, MACo seeks to protect the ability of local governments - those closest to the people and with the most insight into local…

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County Executive Olszewski Announces Legislation to Expand Live Music, Boost Support for Local Musicians

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced plans to introduce the New Opportunities for Tourism and Entertainment (NOTE) Act, local legislation to enable more restaurants and bars to offer live music and entertainment across Baltimore County and support the recovery of musicians and performers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Local musicians and performers entertain, inspire, and help make communities more vibrant. This pandemic has upended their way of life, and this effort creates new opportunities…

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Broader View Matters on Municipal Incorporation Process

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified on March 2 before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition to HB 1226 Municipal Incorporation - County Commissioners or County Council - Required Approval of Referendum Request. This bill changes how a municipality is incorporated, taking away input and oversight from county governments. From the MACo Testimony: Under current and longstanding Maryland law, in order to incorporate, residents of an area must first petition the county governing…

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Baltimore County, Utility Partnering to Install EV Charging Stations

This week, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that the County is partnering with Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) to bring more charging stations to the area. Building upon other sustainability measures, Baltimore County is working to get 28 new electric vehicle charging stations installed at no cost to the County. Stations will allow EV owners to charge their vehicles with either Level 2 smart chargers or DC fast chargers. A strong charging station…

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Bay Crossing Study Draft Environmental Statement Available for Review & Comment

The Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the ongoing Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study is now available for review and comment at baycrossingstudy.com through Monday, May 10, 2021. Originally scheduled for December, the release of the DEIS was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the study is to consider two-mile-wide corridors to provide additional capacity and access across the Chesapeake Bay to improve mobility, travel reliability, and safety at the existing William…

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Program Open Space Popular Among Marylanders

Last week, the Partners for Open Space released the results of a recently conducted poll which found that Program Open Space was exceedingly popular among Maryland residents. The poll questioned Maryland voters who are likely to participate in the November 2022 election. Results indicate that 90 percent of participants approve of Program Open Space, and prefer the State maintain its current funding. Program Open Space has been a historically successful program, providing an immense public benefit…

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