A Community Effort for Placemaking on Smith Island

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Planning Assistance in Action

Smith Island, home to the official dessert of Maryland, the aptly named Smith Island Cake, inhabits a unique position in Maryland’s physical and cultural geography. The only inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay accessible solely by boat, Smith Island is a waterman community (fishing, crabbing, oystering) rich in history and identity. The community recently concluded a year-long visioning process that resulted in the adoption of the 2016 Smith Island Vision Plan. As part of this effort, one issue repeatedly came up; the desire for an outdoor gathering space on the Island. This vision is about to become reality, as a collaboration between community, business, and governmental organizations successfully applied for and received a $5,000 Placemaking Grant award from the National Association of REALTORS® to construct a pocket park on a currently vacant lot adjacent to a picturesque marsh in the Village of Ewell. More

Planning Simplifies Annual Reporting; Encourages Localities to Embrace the Opportunity

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Resources and Tools

For the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and jurisdictions around the state, spring and early summer are Local Government Annual Reporting season. While that might not sound like something to get excited about, it is a vital time of year for reviewing development progress, initiating conversations about the direction of Maryland’s communities, and reconnecting state and local planning officials.

The Land Use Article of the Maryland State Code requires that Planning report on growth-related changes and permitting activity submitted annually by each jurisdiction with planning and zoning authority. More

Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse at SmartGrowth.org

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The Smart Growth Network (SGN) is a partnership of government, business, and civic organizations that support smart growth. Created in 1996, the network has become a clearinghouse for information about smart growth strategies (thus the name, Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse, or SGIC) through the website, Smart Growth Online, which features smart growth-related news, events, research, presentations and publications, including information on grant opportunities, workshops and webinars. More

Planning Makes Interactive Mapping Accessible and Simple with FINDER Online

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Resources and Tools

You don’t need expensive software to access and analyze current mapping data of Maryland’s 2.2 million parcel records. Planning has developed an interactive and free mapping tool called FINDER Online, which is an excellent resource for local planning offices and interested citizens. FINDER Online users can access and overlay data including parcels, recent property sales, and More

Planning Supports the Analysis of Transportation Improvements along North Avenue in Baltimore

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Planning Assistance in Action

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is partnering with the City of Baltimore (City) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on the North Avenue Rising Project. The City and communities making up North Avenue have come together and expressed the shared vision of revitalizing the corridor to its full potential. Already, significant investments in the corridor have been and are being made in redevelopment and quality of life by institutions, NGOs, and private sector parties. The $27.3 million of improvements under North Avenue Rising includes $10 million from the U.S. DOT Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. This funding is supporting the realization of the locally generated vision, and will go towards transportation improvements along the corridor; including dedicated bus lanes, new bike facilities, renovations to the MTA Metro Station, access improvements to the Light Rail Station, improvements to major bus stops, streetscaping, and targeted re-paving..

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reBlog: Local Governments & MDP Work Through 10-Year Planning Cycle Transition

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From the Maryland Association of Counties’ blog, Conduit Street, by Les Knapp

County and municipal governments are working with the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) to transition from a 6-year to a 10-year comprehensive planning and zoning cycle. HB 409  and SB 671 of 2013 moved to a 10-year cycle, and, to the extent practicable, makes the cycle coincide with the release of data from the United States decennial census. The legislation also required a “check-up” at the 5-year point of a comprehensive plan’s adoption and was amended to clarify that a local government that adopted a growth tier under the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 must integrate the tiers into its comprehensive plan when the plan would be next reviewed under the jurisdiction’s current 6-year cycle. As the bills were part of MACo’s 2013 Legislative Initiative package, MACo supported the bills. More

May Is Preservation Month!

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Our History, Our Heritage

by Secretary David R. Craig, Maryland Department of Planning

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During Preservation Month 2015, let us come together to celebrate Maryland’s extraordinary and diverse heritage. Explore your own historic community through events sponsored by your local historical society, preservation organization or Heritage Area. Learn about your family history. Take a road trip down a Scenic Byway to visit one of our beautiful Main Streets or cultural museums. Share your photos, your impressions and your memories with friends and family.

Part of the Department of Planning, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) helps individuals, businesses and communities save the historic places that make our state special. Using state and federal rehabilitation tax credits, we provide millions of dollars each year to businesses and residents to help repair and rehabilitate their historic properties.

A group of monuments and a line of cannon are framed by a split rail fence at Antietam Battlefield at Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA. Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, staffed by MHT, allocates nearly $3 million to heritage…

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