MEA Dedicates $6.7 Million to Energy Efficiency Grants for Local Governments and Nonprofits

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) today announced the next cycle of Low-to-Moderate Income Energy Efficiency Grants designed to support local government projects. The program will award $6.7 million to local governments and non-profits to fund energy efficiency projects specifically designed to serve low-to-moderate income Marylanders. Projects include commercial and residential building retrofits as well as new construction with energy efficiency upgrades. The program is competitive and accounts for regional distribution based on the number of…

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Montgomery to Consider Incentives for Development Over Metro Stations 

The Montgomery County Council will consider legislation that would provide incentives for high-rise developments over metro stations. Today, Councilmember Hans Reimer will introduce a bill that would allow developers to make a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to build residential and commercial buildings at least eight stories tall over metro stations. Developments would then be exempt for 100 percent of the real property tax for a 15 year period. The bill is an effort…

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Worcester Names New Deputy Director of Development Review and Permitting
Jennifer Keener
Worcester Names New Deputy Director of Development Review and Permitting

The Worcester County Commissioners today announced Jennifer Keener as the new deputy director of Development Review and Permitting (DRP). Keener will take over for Deputy Director Phyllis Wimbrow, who will retire September 18 after 36 years of service to Worcester County. The DRP deputy director is responsible for assisting the director with all aspects of development, review, permitting, and other functions, including staff supervision. Keener joined DRP in 2006, serving as a DRP specialist until…

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House Democrats Release Wide-Ranging Climate Proposal

This week House Democrats on the Congressional Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a report detailing a comprehensive strategy to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report lays out a framework for actions congress can take to achieve climate change goals. Included in the proposals are directives to federal agencies, and suggested legislation and climate targets. The proposal leans heavily on emissions reductions in the transportation and energy generation sectors. Notable points and…

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Baltimore City Announces Small Business Rebate Program

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young today announced a grant program that will allow restaurants to submit applications for reimbursement of permit fees associated with starting or expanding outdoor seating capacity. The Small Business Rebate Program is the latest effort in Mayor Young's Outdoor Seating Relief Program and Outdoor Dining and Street Closure Program. Through the rebate program, restaurants are eligible to receive grants to help reimburse all of the permitting costs associated with…

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Planning Releases New Tools and Guidelines for Housing Element Development

The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) has published new models and guidelines for housing elements in comprehensive plans. The new website includes data, best practices, and other useful resources for planning departments. MDP began the work to create the website and compile important resources after the passage of HB 1045 (2019) that requires jurisdictions include a housing element that addresses the need for affordable housing including workforce and low-income housing. During the 2020 Session the…

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Charles Developing Nuisance Flood Plan, Seeks Resident Input

The Charles County Department of Emergency Services is developing a plan for combating nuisance flooding in the county and is seeking resident input.  Nuisance flooding occurs during high tide when water levels are high enough to reach over the banks of waterways. Water from nuisance flooding spills onto roads causing traffic disruptions and into both commercial and residential areas causing damage to buildings and increasing stormwater pollution runoff. In an effort to protect areas from…

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How Planners Can Aid Public Health During a Pandemic

The American Planning Association is hosting a panel discussion to emphasize and describe how planners can adapt and help with pandemic response and recovery efforts on Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 1-2:30 p.m. The panel will discuss how local health departments operate, areas for collaboration between planners and public health departments during emergency situations, and the value of planning during and after a pandemic. The event will include breakout rooms for peer-to-peer interactions to give…

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Anne Arundel Takes Planning and Zoning Meetings Online

Anne Arundel County is launching new additions to its planning and zoning website to allow for virtual public meetings with added public participation. Community meetings are a required step in development project reviews. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many public meetings have been forced to move to an online format. Jurisdictions have had to make adjustments to conduct normal business, and with the return of in person meetings seemingly a long way off, Anne Arundel…

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Historical Trust Awards $600,000 for Preservation Projects

The Maryland Historical Trust has awarded $600,000 in funds to assist ten historic preservation projects across six jurisdictions. Today, Governor Hogan announced $600,000 in grant awards to assist ten historic preservation projects through the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program. The program provides support to eligible entities for capital preservation projects across the state.  Nonprofits, local governments, businesses, and individuals are eligible to receive grants for acquisition, restoration, and in some cases, pre-construction work. The Historical…

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