by Bihui Xu, Transportation Planner, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
Patricia (Pat) Ann Goucher worked at the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) for more than thirty years. She began her career at Planning as a staff planner and worked in a variety of positions to rise through the ranks to management level.
In the early-2000s, Pat was promoted to Director of Local Planning Assistance and oversaw the unit, providing technical support to Maryland’s 23 counties and 157 municipalities. With her support and guidance, many local jurisdictions benefited from Planning’s assistance. Pat was instrumental in the siting and relocation of the new Bennett Middle School in Wicomico County and helped local governments such as Hebron, Snow Hill, Trappe, and Vienna navigate the planning process for large, unprecedented annexations of multi-use developments.
In 2006, Pat became Director of Infrastructure Planning, where she oversaw transportation planning and, for the next decade, represented Planning in the state’s Public School Construction Program and power plant research program. In addition, she also administrated both the water and sewer facility planning and certified county land preservation programs.
As a director, Pat represented Planning at various committees and workgroups such as the Maryland Interagency Commission (IAC) on Public School Construction and the State Highway Administration (SHA) Interagency Manager’s Workgroup. She was involved in many school construction and renovation projects across the state and was active in major transportation planning studies including the Purple Line Transitway Study in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Pat also served as a key staff member helping to administrate workgroups and develop implementation procedures and guidelines for the Maryland Smart Growth Act of 1997. Pat oversaw the Smart Codes Strategy Group, which produced Planning’s Smart Neighborhoods and Infill and Redevelopment models and guidelines documents.
She also acted as Planning’s supporting staff member for the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in the mid- to late-2000s as well as the Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Commission in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Pat retired after a long, storied career in 2016.
Pat was more than a supervisor – she was a friend to her Planning colleagues. She cared deeply about the work, but she also cared about you as a person. With a subtle yet great sense of humor, Pat was, above all, respectful, generous, and kind to her colleagues. She was very much respected and liked by everyone she worked with. She will be greatly missed.