The Sustainable Growth Commission Welcomes Student Submissions for 2020 Sustainable Growth Challenge (Due January 17!)

Planning in Progress

The Applied Sustainability Practicum Portfolio website highlights ongoing, student-driven sustainability projects at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Completed during the fall 2018 semester, the site explained and demonstrated three interconnected class projects:

  1. A virtual 3-D tour and online exhibit of a student constructed “Tiny House” on wheels;
  2. A crowd-sourced campus sustainability map; and
  3. A collection of Story Maps explaining campus sustainability features and programs.

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Maryland to Publish First Saltwater Intrusion and Salinization Plan

Planning in Progress

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner with Jason Dubow, Manager, Resource Conservation & Management

This article is a follow up to our original April 10, 2019 article

What is saltwater intrusion and salinization? 

In layman’s terms, saltwater intrusion occurs when seawater or brackish water infiltrates a source of freshwater as a result of sea level rise, storms, excessive groundwater pumping, or other human activities or natural events. Salinization generally refers to the process by which salts accumulate in soils and/or freshwater.  Continue reading

Land Use Law Chat

Planning in Progress

The Maryland Department of Planning is starting a new initiative called Land Use Law Chat, through which we will publish—with the assistance of counsel to the Department of Planning—a series of white papers on legal topics of interest in areas of land use, planning, and community development.  This initiative is born out of our recognition that, particularly for those working in our smaller communities, there is a need for better access to usable legal resources and information. As much was consistently expressed during our outreach for the A Better Maryland State Development Plan and through the Planning Directors Roundtables. Continue reading

Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and Planning Team up on Nuisance Flood Planning Guidance

Planning in Progress

Maryland House Bill 1427 (Chapter 442 of the Laws of 2019) requires that “[o]n or before October 1, 2020, a local jurisdiction that experiences nuisance flooding shall develop a plan to address nuisance flooding.” The law further requires that, “[a] local jurisdiction that develops a plan to address nuisance flooding shall submit a copy of the nuisance flooding plan to the Maryland Department of Planning.” Nuisance flooding is defined as “high tide flooding that causes public inconvenience.” Continue reading

Brownfield Redevelopment Update: The State’s First-Ever Brownfield “Boot Camp” Touted A Great Success

Planning in Progress

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner with Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner 

As reported in our July-August edition of Planning Practice Wednesday, Planning, in conjunction with MDE, is stepping up efforts to remediate and reduce the number of brownfields (contaminated or potentially contaminated parcels of land) across Maryland via a new initiative called the Brownfield Redevelopment Outreach Program. Continue reading

HB 1045: Comprehensive Planning for Housing

Planning in Progress

by Sarah Lipkin Sularz

At the Planning Directors Roundtable in Crownsville, Planning introduced its work on House Bill 1045. The bill, adopted in February 2019, adds a housing element requirement for all comprehensive plans written after June 1, 2020. You may already be familiar with other required comprehensive plan elements, such as those for land use, transportation, and water resources. Continue reading

MDOT does Renewable Energy too: Renewable Energy Master Contract Program

Planning in Progress

by Dan Rosen

Presented by Eddie Lukemire, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) – The Secretary’s Office

At the Planning Director’s Roundtable on September 20, Eddie Lukemire of MDOT spoke about his department’s Renewable Energy Master Contract. This tool simplifies and streamlines the contractual process by using a master Request for Proposals (RFP), with currently certified six solar energy contractors. Subsequent MDOT task orders are issued to the contractors based on geography or transit mode. A scope of work is written to allow  an array of projects that a contractor might propose to complement other projects. For example, if a contractor is installing solar panels in a park and ride lot and sees the potential for adding electric vehicle charging stations, the master contract can accommodate the project. Continue reading