Request for Session Proposals Extended

MPCA Corner

In last month’s Planning Practice Monthly, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) announced a request for proposals for the upcoming fall conference, scheduled for November 9 and 10, 2020 in Westminster. The MPCA is closely monitoring the pandemic and considering virtual conference options.

If you would like to share your thoughts about a potential online MPCA conference this fall, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning at Even if the conference goes digital, the MPCA is still accepting session proposals, and has extended the due date until June 26.

The theme of this year’s conference is Contingency Planning and Resilient Boards. As we all feel our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for proactive planning, and the benefits of a resilient citizen planning board to a community, are more apparent than ever.

Building on the Planning Commissioner Training Course and Open Meetings Act training session the MPCA holds on the first day of the conference, the MPCA, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning, is requesting your session proposals for the conference.

Sessions should focus on the work of citizen planners, but can incorporate the work of professional planners, other officials and stakeholders, and residents. The conference audience is primarily composed of planning commissioners, boards of zoning appeals members, and historic district commissioners, but also includes staff members from Maryland jurisdictions. The MPCA encourages submissions that creatively address the conference theme.

As a reminder, the details of the session proposals are below:

Submitting Your Proposal

For your topic or session to be considered, please email the following information to Joe Griffiths at no later than 5:00 pm on June 26:

Proposal Elements

No more than 200 words, and should include:

    1. Topic and session name and how the proposal relates to the 2020 MPCA Conference theme, “Contingency Planning and Resilient Boards.”
    2. Brief abstract of information to be covered
    3. How the session will inform and elevate citizen planners’ knowledge of the subject matter
    4. Suggested speakers (no more than five)
      1. Include name, title, and contact information (if available, can be general category of speaker, such as “municipal planning commissioner”)
      2. Indicate session leader
      3. Others as needed
    5. Session length (45 mins or 1.5 hours) requested
    6. Session style (panel of experts, presentation, q&a, etc..)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Inclusion of all elements a-f above
  • Applicability to theme
  • Approach to citizen planning
  • Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include at least one planning board member on the panel
  • Bonus: Session’s applicability to the Westminster/Carroll County region

The MPCA anticipates selecting session proposals by Mid July, 2020

See last year’s session presentations at the 2019 Conference page

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