It’s Time to Recognize Maryland’s Citizen Planners!

MPCA Corner  

by Joseph Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager

Do you know a citizen planner or entire planning board (planning commission, board of zoning appeals, historic district commission) that deserves recognition for their work in 2020? Maryland’s citizen planners volunteer endless hours to their communities.


Unfortunately, this civic dedication often goes overlooked. The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association is recognizing the great work of our citizen planners at its upcoming virtual annual conference on November 9. Efforts deserving praise  include, but are not limited to: 

  • Comprehensive planning 
  • Zoning code update or rewrite 
  • Engaging the community in planning efforts or education 
  • Economic development initiatives 
  • Focused neighborhood revitalization 
  • Historic preservation  
  • Collaboration with professional planners and the planning community 
  • Interjurisdictional coordination  

Please consider the important contributions of your colleagues and citizen planners this year. The MPCA strives to recognize the volunteers that give so much of their energy to the quality of life, community development, and sustainable growth of Maryland’s jurisdictions. 

Because this year’s conference will be conducted online, the MPCA has decided to take a unique approach to the recognition ceremony. If you would like to recognize one or more of your citizen planners, please submit a brief (no more than 2 minutes) video by uploading it to this folder on OneDrive: MPCA Videos. Have fun with it and be creative! The MPCA will show the videos during the annual meeting from 12 – 1 pm on November 9 and will post them to the Maryland Department of Planning’s YouTube channel. If you have any questions about video formatting or submissions, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning, at

And don’t forget to register for the 37th Annual MPCA Conference. The theme is Contingency Planning and Resilient Boards, and the agenda will be filled with sessions on timely topics that Maryland’s citizen planning boards continue to face. The MPCA decided on this theme in response to feedback we received during a Regional Workshop in Salisbury in February (the MPCA is also hosting free a virtual workshop on Friday, September 25 with Strong Towns founder Chuck Marohn), and because of the unprecedented times we are all living through. The MPCA believes citizen planners will play a central role in building a more resilient Maryland. 

To learn more and register, visit the conference webpage 

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