On November 6 and 7, more than 70 citizen and professional planners visited Aberdeen to participate in the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) annual conference. Planners networked with one another, shared best practices, learned about emerging and future trends in Maryland, and celebrated the vital work of planning commissions and boards of zoning appeals. Day 1 started with state mandated Planning Commissioner and Open Meetings Act trainings and ended with exciting tours of Swan Harbor Farm and the Frito Lay facility. If you don’t know how some of your favorite snack foods are made, you should head up to Aberdeen and see it for yourself!
On day 2, attendees joined informative sessions focusing on incentives for community development, ethics and ex parte communication, housing trends, public engagement, and the characteristics of successful communities. The MPCA extends a hearty thank you to 34th District Senator Robert Cassilly (Keynote Speaker), Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Robert McCord, Harford County Director of Administration Billy Boniface, Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson, Aberdeen Planning Commission Chair Mark Schlottman, and Harford County Chief of Long Range Planning Joel Gallihue for welcoming conference attendees to their community and sharing the forward thinking planning and economic development currently underway in Harford County. But the biggest thanks of all is reserved for Phyllis Grover, Aberdeen Planning Director, without whom the MPCA could never have organized such a successful conference. Thank you Phyllis!
The citizen planner recognition ceremony was the conference highlight! The MPCA and local leaders understand how important the work of planning boards and citizen groups are to community development, and they recognized the following groups and individuals for their invaluable contributions to planning in Maryland.
Calvert and Frederick County Planning Boards for their diligent work shepherding the adoption of new comprehensive plans.
Broadway East Community Association (Baltimore) for its leadership and community building success in developing the Last Mile Park Plan.
Doris Walls (Town of Denton) for her 30 years of exemplary work and dedication as Planning Commission Chairperson.
Jerry Stumbaugh (Town of Williamsport) for his leadership as Planning Commission Chair in updating the town’s zoning ordinance.
Trudy Schwarz (City of Gaithersburg) for her dedication to the City and its planning commission as Planning Division Chief.
The MPCA also thanks all the sponsors and session panelists who contributed to the conference. Keep an eye out for session presentations, which will be loaded to the MPCA page soon!