Meet the Planning Staff: Alfred Sundara

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Al Sundara

Alfred Sundara is the Manager of Projections and State Data Center; he has been serving in that capacity since October 2016. In this position, he oversees the development of socioeconomic and school enrollment projections the Maryland Department of Planning produces. He also coordinates the activities of the State Data Center and More

Planning Education: Not Just for Staff

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Resources and Tools

The results of planning decisions (new roads, residential development) are prevalent and conspicuous, but the decisions themselves, let alone the rationale behind those decisions, often go unnoticed. Planning decisions impact a community’s appearance, traffic, housing stock, economic development, environmental conditions, and multitudes more. Because of this, planning must be a highly public and fully vetted process, with community stakeholders, planning staff, elected officials, and planning commissioners all playing a vital role. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Helps with Public School Funding

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Planning Assistance in Action

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With a typical annual state allocation of $300 million toward school construction to be distributed to 24 Local Education Agencies (LEA) across the state, the Interagency Committee for School Construction (IAC), which manages the Public School Construction Program (PSCP), has a lot of work to do. The PSCP was established in 1971 to ensure the equitable physical condition of school facilities across Maryland and coordinate state school construction funding. More

Article: Planning working with Statewide Planning Commissioners to Reinvent an Effective Association

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In a July 17th article in Maryland Matters, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach Project was highlighted. This project is an effort to listen to stakeholders so that Maryland’s planning community can best meet the needs of local jurisdictions. The MPCA is a statewide, nonprofit educational organization of municipal, county and regional planning commissioners and boards of zoning appeals members.

MPCA members work to improve the quality of life for all Marylanders through planning, environmental protection, historic preservation, and growth management. More

Citizen Planners Meet to Discuss Barriers, Issues Facing the Planning Community

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David Jenkins and Carolyn McHugh attended the June 20 Focus Group, a part of the MPCA Outreach Project.

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach project is off to a hot start this summer. With two focus group meetings in the books and five to go, members of Maryland’s planning community are embracing the effort and expressing their opinions. The MPCA hosted the first meeting in Calvert County and the local press took notice.

“We are here to listen,” said Robert Reed, a long-term member of Calvert County’s planning commission and president of the state planning commissioners association that is behind the outreach project.

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Sustainable Communities: An Intergovernmental Collaboration

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Planning Assistance in Action

As part of a larger effort to decrease the amount of vacant and underutilized space within its downtown, in 2014 one Maryland municipality implemented a Central Business District Façade Program. This program, combined with enhanced marketing, a small business outreach program, and design funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, led to improvements in the appeal, marketability, and aesthetics of a historic downtown and prompted new commercial lease signings. Another Maryland community leveraged over $800,000 in targeted state financing assistance to acquire and demolish eight blighted buildings and remediate hazardous material in a ninth. The dedicated collaboration of jurisdictions, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) realized these stories of community revitalization success through the application of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities Program. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Michael Bayer

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Michael Bayer joined the Maryland Department of Planning in November as the Manager of Infrastructure and Development. More

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