Meet the Planning Staff: Debbie Herr Cornwell

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Debbie Herr Cornwell joined the Maryland Department of Planning in April as a resource conservation planner. She is serving as the Secretary’s representative on the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Board and the Critical Area Commission. As the Department lead for the Transfer of Development Rights initiative, Debbie has been reaching out to county and municipal jurisdictions to discuss how a TDR program can benefit them, More

Transfer of Development Rights – New Ways of Looking at Preservation and Investment

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Resources and Tools

Many planners are familiar with Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) programs as a tool used to preserve open space by lifting development rights from a property and using those rights in another area to develop at a higher density. Less known is the use of TDRs by developers for other purposes, such as development design flexibility or environmental mitigation , and the existence of county-municipal TDR programs. More

Sustainable Communities: An Intergovernmental Collaboration

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Planning Assistance in Action

As part of a larger effort to decrease the amount of vacant and underutilized space within its downtown, in 2014 one Maryland municipality implemented a Central Business District Façade Program. This program, combined with enhanced marketing, a small business outreach program, and design funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, led to improvements in the appeal, marketability, and aesthetics of a historic downtown and prompted new commercial lease signings. Another Maryland community leveraged over $800,000 in targeted state financing assistance to acquire and demolish eight blighted buildings and remediate hazardous material in a ninth. The dedicated collaboration of jurisdictions, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) realized these stories of community revitalization success through the application of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities Program. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Michael Bayer

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Michael Bayer joined the Maryland Department of Planning in November as the Manager of Infrastructure and Development. More

The Maryland Department of Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit Communicates Spatially

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Resources and Tools

Sometimes a concept or trend just needs to be expressed visually. In response to this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is fluent in the language of spatial analysis and representation. The goal of planning is to nurture and inform, and to play a vital partnership role alongside the diverse and numerous interests, stakeholders, and dynamics that influence our ever-changing society and communities. To maintain the highest-level of quality in our responses to the planning needs of Maryland, Planning employs a talented group of spatial technology professionals who share a mission to provide the department, our various public and private partners, and our citizens with data, analysis, and resources that are accurate and precise. This team of geospatial experts, with an extensive background in geospatial analysis, cartography, data modeling and management, and application development comprises Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit (GDA). More

Meet the Planning Staff: Karen Mierow

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Karen Mierow is the Maryland Department of Planning’s newest regional planner for Southern Maryland.  She provides local planning assistance and education coordination to Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties as well as overall support to the department Local Assistance and Training Division. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Assists the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with the Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool

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Resources and Tools

Planning is a highly interdisciplinary activity for any local or state government, incorporating land use, environmental protection, transportation, housing, economic development, and much more. An often-overlooked responsibility is advancing public health. Preserving green space, developing parks and other recreational facilities, connecting walkable and bikeable transportation networks, and ensuring the quality of Maryland’s air and water are just a few of the ways in which planners can promote healthy and vibrant communities.  Considered from another perspective, this might be planning’s most significant role. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) recently developed the Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool (MDEPHT) to promote the health of Maryland citizens and jurisdictions as they consider the future of their communities. The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is leveraging the extensive work completed by DHMH to advocate that the MDEPHT be used as an information resource for local governments during their planning efforts. More

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