Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet to Hold a Virtual Public Forum on Wednesday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m.

Planning in Progress

Significant accomplishments have occurred over the eight years of the Hogan Administration to advance sustainable growth that supports a strong economy and environmental stewardship across all of Maryland. Please join the Smart Growth Subcabinet agencies to hear about the work of the subcabinet to collaborate with local leaders, connect local communities to state resources, and achieve results across the state.

Following these important updates, the Smart Growth Subcabinet will hold the biannual public forum. This will be an opportunity for elected leaders and planning officials to discuss with the subcabinet local government issues relating to activities that affect smart growth, development, neighborhood conservation, and resource management.

To participate in the forum, you will need to register:

The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws and works to create, enhance, support, and revitalize sustainable communities across Maryland. Its members will provide updates on land use, environmental, housing, economic development, and transportation issues chosen by county elected officials and staff. Open audience discussion will round out the session. Don’t miss your chance to connect directly with agency heads on critical smart growth and land use issues.

Should you have a problem registering or have questions, please contact Chuck Boyd, Maryland Department of Planning, at Chuck.Boyd@maryland.gov, or (410) 767-1401.

Annexation Frequently Asked Questions

Planning in Progress

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, local Assistance and Training Manager

In the December 2021 edition of Planning Practice Monthly, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) introduced our Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). In the April 2022 edition we introduced our Comprehensive Plan FAQs.

For the third edition in our FAQ series, Planning is sharing our Municipal Annexation FAQs. The Local Government Article Division II, Title 4, Subtitle 4, governs requirements for town and city annexations. At least 30 days prior to the public hearing during which a legislative body may approve an annexation, the municipality must submit the annexation plan to Planning for review and feedback.

Planning reviews annexation plans per the requirements of Local Government Article § 4-416. Planning also considers the annexed area for PFA certification, as well as any other areas of state interest. Please see our instructions and guidance for annexation submissions for more information.

In these FAQs, Planning developed responses for questions on annexation law, the annexation process, the connection between annexations and comprehensive plans, PFAs and annexations, post annexation procedures, and where to locate additional annexation resources.

At Planning, we know PFAs, comprehensive plans, and annexations, and we hope that these FAQs will help you better understand them as well.

If you would like to request FAQs on a specific planning topic, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov.

Interagency Workgroups Share the Benefits of Three Years of Regional Coordination

Planning in Progress

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, local Assistance and Training Manager

In March 2019, staff representatives for every Maryland state agency on the Commerce Subcabinet (Subcabinet) met in Lanham to discuss a new initiative titled Regional Resources. The Subcabinet established interagency staff teams representing five regions (Eastern Shore, Baltimore Metro, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and Washington Metro) to collaborate in business and community development across the state.

Fig. 1 – Screenshot showing Maryland Regional Resources home page.

The regional teams meet monthly, frequently inviting guest speakers from statewide economic development associations and regional organizations to join the collaboration. The teams also submit bi-monthly reports to the Subcabinet and coordinate on targeted projects. Additionally, staff from the Maryland Departments of Commerce (Commerce) and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) organized a collaborative work and reporting structure for the new Regional Resources Workgroup and developed a program website.

The regional teams navigated many challenges that arose over the past three years, specifically the threats posed by the crisis of pandemic and the opportunities presented by pandemic recovery. Team leaders incorporated new members in response to state agency and Subcabinet requests and successfully leveraged interagency collaboration to address priority projects.

Through it all, the workgroup to the challenge of Governor Hogan’s Customer Service Promise and advanced objectives outlined in A Better Maryland to “respect regional distinctions” and “improve collaboration and coordination among state agencies.”

Perhaps most importantly over these past three years, the teams established cross-agency professional relationships in support of Maryland’s communities and the work of their own agencies. At the October 4, 2022, Subcabinet meeting, the regional teams offered testimonials, compiled in the video linked below. Here, they express the importance of the Regional Resource initiative in their own words.

To learn more about the Regional Resources Workgroup, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov

Maryland 2022 Statewide Brownfield Conference: A Walk in the Park for All

Register Now!

Planning in Progress

Maryland’s Second Statewide Brownfield Conference is being held on Wednesday, November 16 and will provide a forum for local governments, consultants, attorneys, developers, and non-governmental/community organizations to learn and share information about brownfields.

Fig 1 – Photo collage showing Leonardtown Warf, a revitalized brownfield. source: public domain.

The group will delve into how revitalizing land through brownfield cleanup and redevelopment/reuse can bring improvements in equitable access to recreational spaces in Maryland’s communities and serve as A Walk in the Park for All.

Conference Schedule & Topics

Wednesday November 16

8:15 – 8:45 a.m.

  • An opportunity to connect with other attendees before the welcoming remarks Wednesday morning including a mindfulness exercise.

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

  • Welcome remarks from Secretary of Planning, Rob McCord, Secretary of the Environment, Horacio Tablada, and U.S. EPA Region III Environmental Education Coordinator and Environmental Justice Liaison, Stephanie Branche.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Keynote speech by Jerome Shabazz of the Overlook Environmental Education Center

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

  • Session 1: Post-assessment funding resources – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will address post-assessment funding opportunities and how those can be leveraged for recreational reuse projects.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Session 2: Brownfields to greenfields and ballfields – An environmental consultant, a community organization representative, and local government staff will present case studies from Maryland communities about brownfields with recreational reuse including Sparrows Point Park in Baltimore County, Gold Street Park in Baltimore City, and Lake Street Park in Salisbury.

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

  • Session 3: How environmental justice and equity can grow green community refuges Experts will examine how environmental justice can result in recreational spaces that benefit communities and restore environmental well being.

In-person events:

Wednesday November 16, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

  • Brownfield tour and social gathering/networking event Join us for an exciting tour of a redeveloped brownfield site and an opportunity for in-person engagement: Cross Street Partners invites you to tour The Packing House, the repurposed historic Phillips Packing Company, Factory F in Cambridge. Networking happy hour to follow at RaR Brewing, Cambridge.

Thursday, November 17, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

  • Brownfield tour and social gathering/networking event – Join us for a second exciting opportunity to tour a redeveloped brownfield site and for in-person engagement: Footer Building Development LLC invites you to tour The Footer Building, the repurposed historic Footers Dye Works building in Cumberland. Networking lunch to follow at The Crabby Pig, Cumberland. (Note: in the dropdown for “Date,” select “Thu Nov 17, 2022”)

Maryland Department of Planning to Host 3rd Annual Walktober “Walkinars”

Planning in Progress

The Walktober Walkinar series, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and hosted by the Maryland Department of Planning, will help planners, local officials, pedestrian advocates, and the public at large learn how to advocate for safe walking infrastructure.

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