What’s In Governor Hogan’s PlanMaryland Repeal Executive Order?

Maryland Governor Lawrence “Larry” Hogan signed Executive Order 01.01.2017.18 on August 19, 2017, which formally repealed PlanMaryland, the previous State Development Plan, and formed a process for creating a new State Development Plan. This article summarizes the contents of that order and also answers several related questions.

What does the Executive Order do?

  1. Repeals PlanMaryland that was previously enacted under Executive Order 01.01.2011.22 by prior Governor Martin O’Malley.
  2. Requires the creation of a new State Development Plan by July 1, 2019, by the Maryland Department of Planning, in coordination and collaboration with the Smart Growth Subcabinet and the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, local governments, and other stakeholders
  3. Requires State agencies to provide analysis and collaboration as needed to develop the new Plan and information
  4. Requires the new Plan to include two components: (i) guidelines that articulate the purpose and objectives of the Plan, including collaborative strategies essential for modern planning; and (ii) a State Planning Digital Resource Center that establishes a transparent and organized collection of State and local plans and related planning resources to plan and coordinate responsible growth and resource protection
  5. Specifies that the new planning strategies must serve four goals: (i) enriching the lives of Marylanders; (ii) using Smart Growth principles; (iii) growing responsibly; and (iv) protecting Maryland’s resources.
  6. Specifies that the strategies for growing responsibly and protecting Maryland’s resources should have five objectives: (i) supporting existing communities; (ii) creating quality places; (iii) coordinating State investment; (iv) natural resource preservation; and (v) cultural historical and heritage preservation
  7. Requires the identification of existing and proposed State agencies and digital resources to support each strategy of the new Plan

Does the State have to have a development plan?

Yes – Title 5 of the State Finance and Procurement Article requires MDP to create and from time to time revise a State Development Plan. This requirement has been in the law for decades but has not always been followed. The O’Malley Administration adopted PlanMaryland on December 16, 2011.

Are there any significant effects on county governments from the formal repeal of PlanMaryland?

No – PlanMaryland was essentially a “shelved” document even prior to Hogan’s election.

PlanMaryland had two main components: a horizontal integration and a vertical integration component. The horizontal integration component focused on state agencies better coordinating and communicating amongst themselves regarding land use and funding decisions. The systemic changes developed under the horizontal integration component can operate independently of PlanMaryland and may continue to exist and be modified as necessary. Horizontal integration funding strategies will be part of the new Plan as well. MACo has and will continue to support better horizontal integration at the State level.

The vertical component of PlanMaryland involved the State making funding/infrastructure decisions based on planning areas which overlaid the existing Priority Funding Areas and certain other designated lands. These planning areas were either proposed by local jurisdictions or designated by the State based on specified preservation and conservation criteria. MACo raised numerous concerns with the planning areas and questioned their need. Ultimately, only a few counties and municipalities elected to undertake the somewhat arduous planning area designation process and the O’Malley Administration eventually ceased emphasizing the planning areas.

How will MACo participate in the new State Development Plan?

As it did with PlanMaryland, MACo will participate and offer comments and suggestions on the new State Development Plan, in conjunction with county planners and other affected county stakeholders. MACo anticipates working closely with the Maryland Municipal League on the issue as well. MACo is waiting for further information regarding the collaborative development process detailed in the Executive Order.

 

 

Clean Energy Economy Discussed at 2017 #MACoCon

From Left to Right: Michael Richard, Dereck Davis, Mary Beth Tung, and Kelly Shulz

County officials received an overview on the jobs generated by the clean energy economy on August 17 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference. The panel was called “The Clean Energy Economy – Generating Jobs, Producing Power” and moderated by House Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck Davis.

Maryland Energy Administration Director Dr. Mary Beth Tung summarized the impact of renewable energy on Maryland’s economy.

Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Kelly Schulz provided an overview of apprecticeship and training programs available for renewable energies.

Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner Michael Richard discussed the role of the PSC and need for in-state renewable energy sources to meet Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements. Richard also discussed MACo’s 2017 solar energy legislation (HB 1350).

Maryland Clean Energy Center Kathy Magruder provided further statistics on energy sector jobs and career paths, noting that the solar and wind industries are creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than other industries and is now 7% of the state’s total workforce.

Maryland DC Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association Executive Director David Murray noted that solar installation jobs cannot be exported and that their average wage is $18 per hour. Murray also discussed the different types of solar projects, including residential, commercial and industrial, and utility scale solar.

 

Tackling Complex Public Works Projects at #MACoCon

During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference panel “Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain, the South Kent Island Solution” attendees learned how Queen Anne’s County and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to address public health and environmental concerns by connecting 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.

Todd Mohn, Director, Department of Public Works, Queen Anne’s County, began the session by providing an overview of the South Kent Island sewer project. Mr. Mohn discussed why the project is necessary and identified the numerous stakeholders involved with the planning and implementation of the project.

Steve Cohoon, Public Facilities Planner, Queen Anne’s County, discussed the areas impacted by the project. Mr. Mohn also described how the county was faced with an alarming septic system failure rate on South Kent Island (70-90%), and how environmental and health concerns made the project a top priority for Queen Anne’s County.

Julie Barown, P.E., Northeast Regional Municipal Systems, Orenco Systems, Inc. talked about the technical specifications of the South Kent Island sewer system, including why the STEP (Septic Tank Effluent Pumping) system is far superior to OSDS (On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems) systems. According to Mrs. Barown, in addition to reducing costs, the STEP system will greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen being discharged into the Chesapeake Bay from the South Kent Island service area.

Queen Anne’s County Commissioner At-Large Jim Moran concluded the panel by discussing how limited funding, Smart Growth requirements, and anti-growth concerns—among many other concerns and challenges—made it necessary to create a unique solution. Commissioner Moran also talked about the potential political consequences that can result from controversial public works projects, and how the county sought to mitigate concerns by seeking citizen input throughout the planning process.

The session was moderated by Delegate Shane Robinson and was held on Friday, August 18. The MACo Summer Conference was August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. This year the conference’s theme was “You’re Hired!”.

Governor Hogan Announces PlanMaryland Repeal at 2017 #MACoCon

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

Maryland Governor “Lawrence “Larry” Hogan highlighted the achievements of his Administration, including the announcement of a new State Development Plan that would replace PlanMaryland, during his closing remarks at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference on August 19.

Hogan thanked counties for their service and noted the importance of the State partnering with the counties. He stated that his Administration has provided $22 billion in local aid during his term – the highest amount ever. Regarding his Administration, he stressed that “[we] have strived to bring state government directly to the people of Maryland.”

State Development Plan/PlanMaryland

Hogan’s primary announcement concerned the signing of a new executive order that formally repealed PlanMaryland, the State’s previous State Development Plan, and announced a new collaborative effort, which will include MACo, the Maryland Municipal League, regional planning commissions, and other stakeholders, to develop a new Plan. “We want to build a better framework for a better Maryland,” Hogan stated.

(Note: Maryland is required to adopt a State Development Plan under Title 5 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.)

Economic Development

The Governor cited many statistics related to the State’s economic development and growth, noting that Maryland nationally ranks: (1) 3rd in entrepreneurship; (2) 3rd in research and development; (3) 2nd in STEM employment; (4) 2nd for the lowest poverty rate; and (5) 1st  in median household income. He stated Maryland has gained 110,000 jobs under his Administration and has nationally gone from 49th to 7th in economic growth.

Public Education

Hogan noted the FY 2018 Budget delivered a record investment in public education, including community colleges and libraries, for the third year in a row.

Chesapeake Bay

Hogan discussed the ongoing work of restoring the Chesapeake Bay, noting that the Bay recently received its highest grade for water quality in 25 years. He stated that his Administration has invested a record $3 billion in bay restoration efforts, including additional funding for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and restoring previously cut funding to the Bay Restoration Fund.

He summarized his actions regarding the sediment and nutrient challenge posed by the Conowingo Dam and stated he was issuing a “request for proposals” for test dredging of the Conowingo basin. Hogan also reiterated that he repealed the 2012 best available technology for nitrogen removal (BAT) septic system requirement everywhere in the State. The BAT requirement remains within the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area and counties have the option of requiring BAT systems for individual sites or more broadly.

Zero Waste

The Governor also summarized his recent executive order repealing a previous ban on permits for county landfills and stated that his Administration is not abandoning zero waste principles but transitioning to a more collaborative process. According to Hogan, the new process stresses three Rs: “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Opioid Crisis

Hogan briefly touched on the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic, noting that he has declared a state of emergency over the issue and has provided $50 million in new funding and over $500 million in total funding to fight the problem. He stated that it will take all levels of government to solve the problem and urged counties to help fast-track authority for their local health departments to take advantage of the newly available funding.

Program Open Space and Land Acquisition Programs

Hogan highlighted the $360 million for Program Open Space (POS) and other land acquisition programs. He noted this was the first time POS was fully funded in more than a decade. He also praised legislation introduced by his Administration that provided some protections for future POS funding.

Transportation

The Governor touted his transportation actions, including providing $14.8 billion in the state’s consolidated transportation plan that has enabled approximately 1,000 transportation projects throughout the state. He also noted that his Administration successfully repealed “the disastrous road kill bill” (formally titled the “Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016” and also known as the “scorecard bill”).

On the subject of Highway User Revenues (HUR), Hogan noted his Administration recently announced an additional $38 million in grants for local transportation projects and pledged, “We will not stop fighting for you until we have fully restored highway user revenues to their historic levels.”

Concluding Remarks

Hogan concluded by posing a challenge to the attendees. “Each and every day we are given the opportunity to do something great,” he said, and urged everyone to make the most of each day. The Governor pledged that his Administration “can and will continue to change Maryland for the better.”

Other Information

MACo President and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

MACo President and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz introduced the Governor and also stressed the importance of the MACo Summer Conference. “We take great pride in the quantity, quality, and diversity of our [conference] panels,” he stated. Kamenetz also noted the Conference provides valuable informal opportunities to share ideas and information.

Kamenetz presided over a $5,000 award by the Maryland/Delaware/DC Beverage Association for the best county booth. The award went to Kent County for a charity of the county’s choice. The County chose the Kent Center – a nonprofit that provides cooking and meal preparation jobs to adults with developmental disabilities. The County brought treats prepared by the Center to the MACo Conference’s Taste of Maryland Reception.

Useful Links

Governor Hogan Webpage

Executive Order 01.01.2017.18 State Development Plan

Kevin Kamenetz Baltimore County Webpage

Maryland Delaware DC Beverage Association Facebook Page

Kent Center Website

 

The Taxing Impacts Of The New Look Vacation

Mike Coveyou, Montgomery County Division of Treasury

The sharing economy is rapidly changing the way people work, play and travel. Online platforms like Airbnb and VRBO offer tourists and business travelers alike entirely new ways to experience Maryland counties, providing opportunities to experience the greatest they have to offer from entirely new vantage points.

This remodeling of tourism also offers county residents new avenues to earn income and provide services for profit – begging the need for local governments to reexamine whether their methods of tax collection remain as equitable as they were when hospitality depended upon the brick and mortar, multi-unit hotel or motel.

At the MACo Summer Conference session, The New Look Vacation: Opportunities & Responsibilities in the Sharing Economy, held on Friday, August 18, at 2:15 pm, participants heard a wide range of perspectives from Airbnb Policy Director Will Burns, Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association President and CEO Amy Rohrer, and Montgomery County Chief of Treasury Michael Coveyou on how to best balance innovative new opportunity with principles of tax equity. Attendees learned about viewpoints of the issue from traditional brick and mortar establishments, solutions implemented by Airbnb nationwide, and the perspective of the county tax collector on the impacts these changes have on county coffers and operations.

The Honorable Jason Buckel, Maryland House of Delegates moderated the panel.

 

Debating Environmental Justice & Land Use at 2017 #MACoCon

County officials engaged in an discussion on how to incorporate environmental justice concerns into land use planning processes on August 17 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.

From Left to Right: Dick Fairbanks, Rebecca Rehr, and Philip Hager

The panel “Environmental Justice and County Land Use: Finding the Win-Win Scenario” featured two members of the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities who discussed a wide range of issues and challenges surrounding environmental justice and county land use: (1) Maryland Environmental Health Network Public Policy and Advocacy Manager Rebecca Rehr; and (2) Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park Vice President Dick Fairbanks.

The panelists discussed how to handle the sometimes adversarial stance taken by different stakeholders during discussions on environmental justice issues, how to incorporate environmental justice issues into areas with existing or historical land development patterns, handling the political realities posed by environmental justice, and dealing with extreme positions taken by stakeholders.

Both Rehr and Fairbanks stressed the importance of consulting with affected communities and the need for environmental justice advocates to engage with counties during the planning and zoning processes rather than simply introducing legislation at the state level. Rehr noted that the use of geographic information services (GIS) data makes it much easier for counties to identify and respond to environmental justice concerns related to specific projects.

Audience members questioned where the line was between genuine community concerns related to health versus a “not in my backyard” mentality. Fairbanks stated that the Commission was an advisory body and typically only considers cases that have provable health impacts as opposed to potential NIMBY situations.

Maryland Association of County Planning Officials President and Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning Officer Philip Hager moderated the panel.

Rural Counties Coalition Starts the Day Early at 2017 #MACoCon

The MACo Rural Counties Coalition received an update on land use, economic development, and opioid issues on August 17 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.

Jeannie Haddawy-Riccio (far left) addresses the Coalition

Deputy Chief of Staff Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio provided a brief update on the priorities of Governor Lawrence “Larry” Hogan’s Administration, focusing on customer service. Haddaway-Riccio also introduced the Governor’s Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) team, including Intergovernmental Affairs Director Kristal Quarker Hartsfield, Eastern Shore IGA Representative Bunky Luffman, Western Maryland IGA Representative Mark Widmyer, and Southern Maryland IGA Representative Gretchen Hardman.

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp, Garrett County Planning and Land Management Director Deborah Carpenter, and Rural Maryland Council Executive Director Charlotte Davis provided an update on the activities of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission and its various rural workgroups. Knapp also provided an update on best available technology for nitrogen removal (BAT) septic system legislation.

Maryland Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill discussed jobs and economic development issues. “We have to get out there and make things happen,” Gill stressed. Gill’s updates included: (1) video lottery terminal revenue; and (2) arts districts and tourism activities. Gill also urged counties to invest in economic development staff and to focus on your economic priorities.

Department of Commerce Managing Director Steve Pennington discussed the More Jobs for Marylanders Act that passed during the 2017 Session.

Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine raised an issue about ambulance services going bankrupt due to lack of reimbursement from opioid victims. Valentine suggested the creation of a last resort State funding mechanism to reimburse ambulance services.

Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center Executive Director Clay Stamp discussed the State’s efforts to address the opioid crisis. Stamp urged counties to empower their emergency managers to use funding that is now being provided by the State and the federal government.

Calvert County Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt chaired the meeting.

#MACoCon Panelists Discuss “Cannabusiness” in Maryland

During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference panel “The Green Rush? Cannabusiness in Maryland Counties” attendees learned about the growing “cannabusiness” industry, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and what counties need to know moving forward.’

Shad Ewart discusses how Maryland’s medical cannabis industry will create a host of ancillary jobs

Being a new – and unique – enterprise, many entrepreneurs struggle with how to best leverage this emerging industry…and counties struggle with how to fit these “cannabis-adjacent” businesses into their communities, economies, and local policies.

Shad Ewart, Professor, Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Emerging Markets: Marijuana Legalization, Anne Arundel Community College, began the session by discussing Maryland’s medical cannabis program. Mr. Ewart talked about how the medical cannabis industry continues to advance and legitimize, and how mainstream professionals are increasingly interested in economizing on this opportunity. As part of his presentation, Mr. Ewart described the ancillary businesses within the medical cannabis industry. According to Mr. Ewart,  “the people who profited from the Gold Rush were not the ones mining for gold, but the people who sold them the picks and shovels.”

According to Darren H. Weiss, Esq., Principal, Bethesda Office, Offit Kurman, because the medical cannabis industry is a new – and unique – enterprise, many entrepreneurs struggle with how to best leverage this emerging industry… and counties struggle with how to fit these “cannabis-adjacent” businesses into their communities, economies, and local policies. Mr. Weiss discussed some of the legal challenges associated with medical cannabis in Maryland, explained how growers and dispensaries become licensed to operate in Maryland, and how they will operate in local communities.

Gail Rand, CFO, Patient Advocate, ForwardGro, closed the session by discussing her advocacy efforts for medical cannabis in Maryland. ForwardGro is licensed to grow medical cannabis and has begun operations in Anne Arundel County. Mrs. Rand offered insight into the medical cannabis licensing process from an applicant’s point of view.

The session was moderated by Senator Brian Feldman and was held on Thursday, August 17, 2017.

Planning Commission & Board of Appeals Training Kicks Off 2017 #MACoCon

Lower Eastern Shore Regional Planner Keith Lackie discusses PFAs

The Maryland Department of Planning kicked off the 2017 MACo Summer Conference on 2017-08-16 by offering its free planning and land use course. The several hour course outlines the history of land use in Maryland, basics of planning and Smart Growth, engaging with elected officials and the public, and key land use issues currently facing the state.

While designed for planning commissioners and board of appeals members, any interested county official can attend. The course is required under state law and is offered at the MACo Summer Conference, MML Annual Convention, and online. You do not have to be registered for the MACo conference to attend this session.

Maryland Department of Planning staff, including Assistant Secretary for Operations Robert McCord, Lower Eastern Shore Regional Planner Keith Lackie, and Director of Planning Coordination Chuck Boyd walked attendees through the course materials.

Useful Links

Planning Commission/Board of Appeals Training Course Webpage

Work Begins on First Sports and Recreation “Smart City” in the Nation

Source: Johnson Controls

A Sustainable Cities Network article (2017-08-09) reported that work is under way on the first sports and entertainment “smart city” in the nation. Johnson Controls has started development on the Hall of Fame Village LLC at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and will be the largest construction project in the state. Johnson Controls is working in conjunction with the Hall of Fame and Industrial Reality Group. According to the article, the project began in 2016 and the village is expected to open in 2020 (for the National Football Leagues 100th anniversary) with final build-out occurring by 2040. The development is estimated to cost $700 million and will generate $15.3 billion in new revenue over a 25-year period. From the article:

A professional services contract calls for Johnson Controls’ products, services and solutions to be used within the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, including the museum. This will provide for the creation of a showcase “smart city” with the company providing a suite of building management systems to assure “world-class” environments and yield significant operational cost savings over the life of the agreement, according to the partners. …

Just as important are the smart technologies that will bring the village to life — technologies related to heating and cooling, fire and security, lighting, the fan experience and scoreboard, and a building- and campus-wide operating system. The operating system will allow window shades to adjust according to the movement of the sun, lights to dim as more natural light enters rooms, employees to control cubicle temperature and security cameras to capture faces of people entering and exiting buildings as identification badges appear on monitoring screens.

“Our innovative, integrated, technologies will provide the right combination of safety and security at the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in an environment that demonstrates how we connect ‘cities’ that run smartly and reliably,” said Kim Metcalf-Kupres, vice president and chief marketing officer, Johnson Controls.

The project will include the following facilities: (1) Hall of Fame Museum; (2) Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium; (3) Black College Football Hall of Fame; (4) National Youth Football and Sports Complex; (5) 25,000 square-foot four-star hotel and conference center; (6) Hall of Fame Promenade (a mixed-use restaurant, retail, and residential area); (7) The Center for EXCELLENCE (a coaches university); (8) performance center; (9) player care center; and (10) Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Experience (a $120 million virtual reality experience and waterpark).

Useful Links

Hall of Fame Village Website