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. Lee has a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan and a BS in Political Science from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Lee brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in fields related to our work. As a Senior Associate in the Investment Properties Group of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) in Miami, Florida, Lee published Greyfields Into Goldfields, a pioneering book about transforming underutilized shopping malls into mixed-use, transit-oriented centers as part of a suburban retrofit best practice. While at the EPA, Lee authored numerous reports on compact development, housing value studies of master-planned communities and Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TNDs), infrastructure finance options for transit-oriented development, and implementing placemaking techniques as an economic development strategy. At RCLCO, Lee created a fiscal analysis tool that compares the cost of local public infrastructure and services between geospatial densities found within a community.

The Planning Services division of the Maryland Department of Planning completes more than 200 technical assistance projects for counties and municipalities in a typical year. Planning services provides support in reviewing or drafting more than 60 comprehensive plans and/or ordinances for local governments annually. It also collects, analyzes and publishes social, economic and geographic information and maintains the digital maps of the state’s 2.3 million parcels. The division comprises the Planning Coordination and Planning Data & Research sections.

Contact Lee at Lee.Sobel@Maryland.gov.