Land Preservation Pre-recertification: Autumn is the Time

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Planning Assistance in Action

October is time for more than dressed up ghouls and sacks of sugary sweets. This October, 12 of the 16 counties whose land preservation programs are certified by The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) will be applying for recertification (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Worcester). Certified counties benefit by retaining 75% rather than 33% of locally generated agricultural land transfer tax, which must be used for land preservation. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Maps Land Use for the Town of Williamsport in Washington County

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Land Use Map for the Town of Williamsport, MD

Planning Assistance in Action

Maps can communicate ideas instantaneously. Metes and bounds on the other hand, while necessary as a legal recording of property, read like a foreign language to the uninitiated. Points beginning here or there, and then north for a certain number of degrees, and west for some more, etc. etc. Good for the surveyors, but what about the rest of us? Planners understand this, and many cultivate a love of maps at a young age. Residents and local officials, who know their communities better than anyone else, can still learn a significant amount of new information, or recognize unnoticed patterns in their urban makeup, by analyzing a well-made map. Mapping software, in the form of Geographic Information Systems, better known as GIS, is more powerful than ever. However, it is also pricey and inaccessible for many smaller communities. This is one area in which the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) can help, and did so in collaborating with the Town of Williamsport in Washington County. More

The Maryland Departments of Planning and Natural Resources Team up with Salisbury University to Implement Local Solutions and Initiate Careers

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Planning Assistance in Action

Hunter Phillips at work in Planning’s Lower Shore Regional Office

Planning is a social endeavor. Public hearings, outreach meetings, charrettes, surveys, and comprehensive plans all seek to engage with and communicate the shared vision of the largest number of stakeholders as possible. Planning is collaborative. One government agency or one team of consultant experts alone cannot possibly determine the best course of development for a neighborhood. Rather, the interdisciplinary approach yields the best results. But who is going to organize the charrettes? Who is going to manage that large interagency project or design the maps needed for a public hearing? There is a place for the individual in the planning community, and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) strives to nurture those interested in establishing and advancing their careers in the field. 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

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

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association Wants to Hear from the Planning Community

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Planning Assistance in Action

The State of Maryland is famous for its forward-thinking planning and integrated community of professional and citizen planners. Dating back multiple decades, state leaders have worked tirelessly to preserve and build upon the Maryland we all cherish. One of the essential means to accomplish this is through outreach and education. Communities best understand the assets that they can build upon, the barriers that must be overcome, and the assistance needed to meet their goals and objectives. This is an essential reality of good planning practice, and one the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) is embracing with an outreach project in the Summer of 2017. More

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