by Steven H. Allan, AICP, Planner with the Office of Planning, Education and Outreach at the Maryland Historical Trust, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training
In mid-December 2020, Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) Director, Elizabeth Hughes, informed me that I had been selected for an interim reassignment to help fill a critical staffing need within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and/or the Maryland Emergency Management Administration (MEMA). She explained this move was part of a larger effort to tap various personnel from across state government to assist with the COVID-19 response effort as it entered the vaccination phase, moving, hopefully, toward an end of the pandemic.
by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
Those of you who follow Planning Practice Monthly regularly may have noticed my name on the some of the bylines, or spotted my profile in a Meet the Staff piece currently posted on Planning’s Facebook page. (I serve as the principal writer and editor for the newsletter as part of my broader Local Assistance and Training Planner role for the department).
You might have also noticed that the newsletter was on hiatus for several months and that this is our first issue following that break. The reason for the break was, starting mid-December to early-January, several Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) staff accepted temporary, but indefinite, assignments with various partner agencies to assist with the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. We have been asked to share some of our experiences beginning with this edition.
The increasing frequency of tidally-driven nuisance flooding has been recognized as a concern by Maryland lawmakers (see Maryland HB1427 – 2019 and SB1006 and HB1350 – 2018), resulting in the requirement for local jurisdictions that experience nuisance flooding to develop a plan to address it.
The legislation set October 1, 2020, as the deadline for plans to be developed. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional strains placed on resources, an extension of the submission deadline was granted. In compliance with the order of the governor dated March 9, 2021, the regulatory deadline extension will expire on June 30, 2021.
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) are required to conduct National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) studies for major transportation projects. Currently, MDOT and MDTA are seeking public comments on the following project studies as well as a survey on emerging transportation technologies.
While the process of the 2020 Census was not what we anticipated, the outcome was even better than we’d hoped. Not only did Maryland surpass our 2010 self-response rate, we surpassed many of our expectations. Four Maryland counties finished in the top 100 of the nation’s 3215 counties for self-response and our state finished solidly in 9th place in the nation! In Maryland, there were 21 counties and 91 municipalities that were able to meet or beat their 2010 self-response rates. That’s something to be proud of, and we know that it was the hard work of so many of you that made it possible.