Save the Date! Maryland Planning Commissioners Regional Workshop in Salisbury on February 21

MPCA Corner 

In 2019, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) started a new regional workshop initiative, and hosted events in Hagerstown (March) and Annapolis (July). The organization looks to build on the momentum of 2019 and extend it into next year, conducting its first 2020 workshop in Salisbury on Feb. 21. The details are to be determined, but make sure to save the date!


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.

Continue reading

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

Planning Maintains Maryland Property Maps

Resources and Tools

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner
with Gary Maragos, Manager, Property Mapping Unit

Did you know that Planning is responsible for updating and maintaining Maryland’s more than 2,800 property maps? What exactly does this mean and where can you access them? Continue reading

The Maryland Volkswagen Mitigation Plan: $2.5 Million in Awards and More Opportunities to Come

Planning Assistance in Action

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner
with Tim Shepherd, MDE, Division Chief, Mobile Sources Control Program, MDE

Whether or not we are Volkswagen owners, most of us will remember the VW emissions scandal – sometimes called “dieselgate” – that was revealed to the world a little more than four years ago. Fewer will be able to recall, however, what occurred once the publicity died down and the dust settled after the numerous lawsuits that followed.

In 2014 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) noticed significant differences in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions between European and U.S. models of VW’s diesel vehicles. Researchers for CARB identified that emissions were considerably lower during regulatory testing than they were during real-world driving. In response to the discovery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) found Volkswagen to be in violation of the Clean Air Act in 2015 and they, and regulators around the world, began to investigate. Continue reading

Meet the Planning Staff: Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP

Meet the Planning Staff

Sylvia, Halloween 2018

Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP, joined the Maryland Department of Planning as a Resource Conservation Planner on July 4, 2018 – but technically her first day “on the job” was “off” due to the holiday! Continue reading

36th Annual Conference in Aberdeen a Huge Success!

MPCA Corner

On November 6 and 7, more than 70 citizen and professional planners visited Aberdeen to participate in the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) annual conference. Planners networked with one another, shared best practices, learned about emerging and future trends in Maryland, and celebrated the vital work of planning commissions and boards of zoning appeals. Day 1 started with state mandated Planning Commissioner and Open Meetings Act trainings and ended with exciting tours of Swan Harbor Farm and the Frito Lay facility. If you don’t know how some of your favorite snack foods are made, you should head up to Aberdeen and see it for yourself! Continue reading