Planning Assistance in Action

Following a summer of analysis and collaboration with our partners, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is once again set to traverse the state’s communities and continue the dialogue about A Better Maryland, the new state development plan. The outpouring of community engagement during the first round of 72 listening sessions was exhilarating. Thousands of Marylanders contributed feedback at public meetings and online. We received over 1,700 comments ranging in topics from infrastructure to housing! You can find them on our What We’ve Heard page.

Two overarching topics stood out. Reviewing the comments and the survey responses, it became clear that the environment and economic development form the core of what Marylanders want a state development plan to address. Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters notes that “participants confidently proclaimed their commitment to environmental preservation and a robust Maryland economy, stressing that these two areas should work in concert to strengthen the state’s communities and provide good jobs to everyone, regardless of where they live.”

In line with this focus on economic development and environmental stewardship, the following vision statement is guiding the A Better Maryland planning effort.

A Better Maryland is a dynamic, evolving plan that provides a framework to support a thriving economy and environmental stewardship. The plan supports collaboration among state and local governments and all other stakeholders, providing resources and tools for the long term economic success of Maryland.

But the conversation is not complete. Planning, with the help of our sister state agencies, local planning directors, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Maryland Municipal League, and the Maryland Association of Counties, has compiled the feedback into the following areas for further discussion, and will be presenting draft strategies for review and consideration in a second round of listening sessions, starting next week! You told us what is important to you and your families, and now we want to discuss the next steps for making A Better Maryland a reality.

At each of the meetings, we will be seeking your continued input on the following topics.

  • Tackling the Economic Development Needs of the Next Century
  • Sustaining the Environment into the Future
  • Preserving Land
  • Improving Economic Growth and Development in Existing Communities
  • Meeting Renewable Energy Goals
  • Addressing Maryland’s Transportation, Infrastructure, and Technology Challenges and Opportunities
  • Creating Workforce/Affordable Housing
  • Building Capacity in Communities
  • Protecting Historic and Cultural Resources
  • Creating Quality Places
  • Coordinating State Agencies in Planning Processes
  • Adapting and Becoming Resilient to Climate Change
  • Respecting Regional Distinctions
  • Improving the Delivery of Programs and Services to Local Jurisdictions

Please join us at one of the following meetings most convenient to you. Visit the project’s Events page for more information about meeting locations and times. Planning is also developing a second online survey that will be available on the Input page soon.

Frostburg: Tuesday, October 9

Hagerstown: Wednesday, October 10

Riverdale: Tuesday, October 16

Princess Anne: Wednesday, October 17

Waldorf: Thursday, October 18

Perryville: Tuesday, October 23

Gaithersburg: Wednesday, October 24

Owings Mills: Thursday, October 25

Easton: Thursday, November 1

Baltimore: Thursday, November 8

Chestertown: Wednesday, November 14

Columbia: Thursday, November 15

These listening sessions will provide crucial additional information, with which Planning will develop the final A Better Maryland plan, to be completed in the summer of 2019. We look forward to seeing you at our meetings.  Please share this with your friends, neighbors and co-workers. Together we will develop the new state development plan, A Better Maryland.