The Maryland Department of Planning Teams up with the Appalachian Regional Commission

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Planning Assistance in Action

ARCFor most Maryland residents, access to a reliable broadband network is a given; a bill we pay every month, but a readily available service when we need to connect to our work email, search for a new restaurant, or find driving directions. For some parts of Western Maryland though, this is not always so certain, as the secluded location and rugged geography make the extension of network infrastructure expensive and difficult. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the Allegany Board of Commissioners, helped overcome this barrier in Allegany County by providing the funding to strengthen the area’s broadband network and improve services to residents, businesses, and emergency services. More

Map-Based Medusa Brings Maryland’s Historic Resources to your Devices

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Resources and Tools

Have you ever wondered what historical treasures your neighborhood or local village can boast? Would you like to know a little more about that site memorialized on the roadside plaque you drive by every day on your way to work? To help you answer those questions, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) has combined cutting edge mapping technology with some of Maryland’s oldest cultural resources in its new mapping tool named Medusa. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Lee Sobel

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Lee Sobel has joined Planning as the Assistant Secretary of Planning Services. Lee brings a broad spectrum of both public and private sector experience to the department. He spent the last three years as the Director of Public Strategies at RCLCO, a national real estate and economics advisory firm based in Bethesda. Prior to that, Lee spent 10 years at the Office of Sustainable Communities for the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Real Estate Development and Finance Specialist. More

Planning Connects the Census to Communities

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Resources and Tools

The 2020 Census is only three short years away, but the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the United States Census Bureau (Census Bureau) are already hard at work guaranteeing the accuracy of Maryland’s counts. One of the ways we are doing this is through the Local Update of Census Addresses Operation, otherwise known as LUCA. The Census Bureau conducted its first LUCA in preparation for the 2000 Census and has been fine tuning the process for each successive count. It is the only opportunity for tribal, state, and local governments to review and comment on the Census Bureau’s residential address list prior to the 2020 Census. A complete and accurate address list will allow the Census Bureau to reach every living quarters in the state. More

James T. (Jim) Noonan, AICP: 1950-2017

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Planning Assistance in Memoriam

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The State of Maryland has lost one of its best planners in Jim Noonan, who passed away peacefully in hospice on April 17, 2017.  Many of you know Jim not only from his long tenure at the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) stretching back to the Nixon era, but more recently in the private sector and in various roles with the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Born in Altoona, Pa in 1950, Jim graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Geography and started at what was then called the Department of State Planning. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Erin Goodnough

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Erin Goodnough joined the Maryland Department of Planning in February. She is responsible for the services and activities of the Planning Department’s Planning Data and Research Division. More

A Community Effort for Placemaking on Smith Island

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Planning Assistance in Action

Smith Island, home to the official dessert of Maryland, the aptly named Smith Island Cake, inhabits a unique position in Maryland’s physical and cultural geography. The only inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay accessible solely by boat, Smith Island is a waterman community (fishing, crabbing, oystering) rich in history and identity. The community recently concluded a year-long visioning process that resulted in the adoption of the 2016 Smith Island Vision Plan. As part of this effort, one issue repeatedly came up; the desire for an outdoor gathering space on the Island. This vision is about to become reality, as a collaboration between community, business, and governmental organizations successfully applied for and received a $5,000 Placemaking Grant award from the National Association of REALTORS® to construct a pocket park on a currently vacant lot adjacent to a picturesque marsh in the Village of Ewell. More

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