Meet the Planning Staff: Sarah Lipkin Sularz

Sarah Lipkin Sularz joined the Maryland Department of Planning in February 2019 as a Regional Planner for Southern Maryland. Sarah Studied landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota and is currently en route to obtaining her professional license. Prior to relocating to Maryland from Minnesota, she worked as a Landscape Architect in a multidisciplinary engineering firm where she specialized in multimodal transportation design with an interest in green infrastructure. As part of her role with Planning, Sarah has been working with the Maryland Planning Commission Association (MPCA) by assisting with and planning regional workshops, video production, promotions, and otherwise enthusiastically supporting the organization. Continue reading

Maryland Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group Update

Planning in Progress

In our October issue of Planning Practice Wednesday, we highlighted the rapid progress of Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) technologies occurring in Maryland and across the country, and how the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) was gearing up for the inevitable changes driverless vehicles will bring. We promised to bring you updates as MDOT’s Maryland Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group, the body charged with coordinating the development and deployment of CAV technologies in MD, assists with new projects or programs. Continue reading

Planning is developing a new online resource called the Land Preservation Dashboard

Planning in Progress

The Land Preservation Dashboard  is designed to provide users with a clear understanding of how Maryland is meeting its agricultural and environmental land preservation goals. The categories displayed in the dashboard represent various federal, state, local, and private land preservation programs that seek to preserve different types of land such as farmland, timberland, parks, forests, wetlands, riparian zones, and wildlife corridors. It is scheduled for release later this summer. Continue reading

MPCA Adds A New Member to Its Team

MPCA Corner

Granny flat

The MPCA would like to welcome Sarah Lipkin Sularz to the Maryland Department of Planning (see Meet the Staff article on this blog).  We are excited that she will be working with the organization. Sarah has been conducting housing research for the department and uncovered the following examples of how communities around the country are dealing with another emerging housing trend, Accessory Dwelling Units. Perhaps this is a future topic of conversation and research for the MPCA!  Continue reading

MPCA Guidance on Short Term Rentals

MPCA Corner

The regional dialogue at the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) March 29 Regional Workshop in Hagerstown highlighted the desire of citizen planners for networking and information sharing. When you can discuss shared concerns and approaches, your uncertainty begins to lift and your confidence raises. One particularly thorny issue noted by participants was short term rentals.  Continue reading

Maryland Hosts 48th Annual Archeology Field Session

Planning Assistance in Action

Drone image of the 2019 Archeological Field Session Site (Photo Credit: Ryan Craun of M-NCPPC)

Have you ever dreamed what it might be like to join in on an archeological dig? The idea evokes images of Indiana Jones, Egyptian treasure, large rolling boulders and…snakes, right? But one doesn’t have to travel very far to have an authentic brush (pun intended) with an active dig and the chance to help unearth some astonishing artifacts. Hopefully, sans snakes. Continue reading

Planning Launches a New Online Tool to Support TOD Efforts Across Maryland: Part I

Resources and Tools

On July 1, 2019, The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is announcing the official launch of an exciting new online tool designed to both assist professionals in the planning process around transit stations – transportation “nodes” or “activity centers” in industry lingo – as well as to take some of the guesswork out of development trends spurred by these planning efforts for groups such as real estate agents, developers, investors, and even prospective homebuyers. Continue reading