Land Preservation Pre-recertification: Autumn is the Time

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Planning Assistance in Action

October is time for more than dressed up ghouls and sacks of sugary sweets. This October, 12 of the 16 counties whose land preservation programs are certified by The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) will be applying for recertification (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Worcester). Certified counties benefit by retaining 75% rather than 33% of locally generated agricultural land transfer tax, which must be used for land preservation. More

Interview with Vicky Rinkerman: Port Deposit, MD Town Administrator

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Local Spotlight

Port Deposit, situated along the banks of the Susquehanna River in Cecil County Maryland, is a historic town of approximately 650 residents. From humble beginnings as a collection point for lumber floating downriver, it took off in the mid-nineteenth century as a crucial junction point for additional goods including grain and coal. This was due to its position as the furthest point downstream on the Susquehanna and the furthest navigable point upstream in the Chesapeake Bay. At this same time, Port Deposit earned fame for the excellent granite deposits just to its north, and multiple factories and mills dotted downtown and the waterfront. With so much commerce, the Port Deposit financial industry gained prominence, and for a while the town was the only place to conduct banking between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware. The coming of railroads expanded the market for Port Deposit’s goods throughout the country. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Maps Land Use for the Town of Williamsport in Washington County

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Land Use Map for the Town of Williamsport, MD

Planning Assistance in Action

Maps can communicate ideas instantaneously. Metes and bounds on the other hand, while necessary as a legal recording of property, read like a foreign language to the uninitiated. Points beginning here or there, and then north for a certain number of degrees, and west for some more, etc. etc. Good for the surveyors, but what about the rest of us? Planners understand this, and many cultivate a love of maps at a young age. Residents and local officials, who know their communities better than anyone else, can still learn a significant amount of new information, or recognize unnoticed patterns in their urban makeup, by analyzing a well-made map. Mapping software, in the form of Geographic Information Systems, better known as GIS, is more powerful than ever. However, it is also pricey and inaccessible for many smaller communities. This is one area in which the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) can help, and did so in collaborating with the Town of Williamsport in Washington County. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Myra Barnes

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Myra Barnes

Myra serves as the Lead Clearinghouse Coordinator for the Electronic-Maryland Intergovernmental Review and Coordination Process (E-MIRC). In her capacity as the Lead Clearinghouse Coordinator, she makes sure that the day to day operations of the Clearinghouse run smoothly. More

InfoPortal: A One-stop Online Shop for State Assistance Programs

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Resources and Tools

As the cliché goes, information is power. Few would argue this, but one could claim that information has a worthy competitor: time. Magical digital devices in our pockets can deliver the answer to mundane trivia when debating with friends, or display the weather radar when deciding if we should stay at the park. One should never underestimate the impact of required information delivered rapidly. But what about when information is more complicated than the American League Batting Champion in 1966? The answer is the Orioles’ own Frank Robinson by the way, hitting .316. It was a pitchers’ era. What if the sources of information are wide-ranging, or if you don’t even know exactly what you are looking for, but you know what the answer can deliver? This may seem esoteric, but it is a challenge facing many individuals or organizations seeking state assistance online. They know what they want in the end, but they don’t know what steps to take to get there, or even what resources can make those steps lighter. The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) developed InfoPortal to help. More

The Maryland Departments of Planning and Natural Resources Team up with Salisbury University to Implement Local Solutions and Initiate Careers

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Planning Assistance in Action

Hunter Phillips at work in Planning’s Lower Shore Regional Office

Planning is a social endeavor. Public hearings, outreach meetings, charrettes, surveys, and comprehensive plans all seek to engage with and communicate the shared vision of the largest number of stakeholders as possible. Planning is collaborative. One government agency or one team of consultant experts alone cannot possibly determine the best course of development for a neighborhood. Rather, the interdisciplinary approach yields the best results. But who is going to organize the charrettes? Who is going to manage that large interagency project or design the maps needed for a public hearing? There is a place for the individual in the planning community, and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) strives to nurture those interested in establishing and advancing their careers in the field. More

The Sustainable Growth Commission Challenges Maryland College Students to Plan for a Sustainable Future

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Resources and Tools

The Gold Street Park: Druid Heights-Baltimore Plan integrates a vision for revitalizing a vacant lot in Baltimore’s Druid Heights Neighborhood. The planning process kicked-off with community outreach and stakeholder design meetings in the fall of 2015. The final design builds upon an existing mural and includes attractive landscaping, natural play area for kids, stage for community events, and a meditation area. It also proposes sustainably sourced and environmentally advantageous building materials, with flora benefiting the neighborhood and enhancing local water quality. More

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