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

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

A “Three-Legged Stool” Approach to Reducing Vehicle Emissions to Protect Maryland’s Most Vulnerable Populations

Resources and Tools

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

Few of us stop to think about how much time we spend in the car simply waiting. Certainly, we all know the frustration of being stopped in traffic due to construction or an accident on our daily commute to and from work, but what about all the other times we are just sitting, engines idling? We might sit at the drive-through of a fast food restaurant or bank, waiting to pay a toll, or the gridlock following a large sporting event. Continue reading

Local Spotlight: The CSM Velocity Center in Indian Head, MD: A Great Example of How Project Collaboration Gets the Job Done

Planning Assistance in Action

An Interview with Dr. Maureen Murphy, President of the College of Southern Maryland by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner and Sarah Lipkin Sularz, Regional Planner

Part of our mission in publishing Planning Practice Monthly is to highlight the great work of jurisdictions across the state. As we so often see, the projects and initiatives creating the largest impact are those in which a variety of stakeholders from the community are involved from the earliest stages of planning through to implementation.

Finding the right project and getting a myriad of groups and community members fully invested is not always easy, despite being the key to making things work. However, when a project is identified that meets the needs of stakeholders, the results speak for themselves. The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Velocity Center, a collaboration in the town of Indian Head, Charles County between CSM and numerous non-profit, public and private entities, is one such project. The Velocity Center is a shared educational, technological, and maker space, being constructed on the site of a vacant commercial center, which is designed to spur coordination and mutual benefit between the community, the Navy, and CSM. We reached out to Dr. Maureen Murphy, President of CSM, to find out more about the project’s evolution from concept to final construction: Continue reading

Transportation Planning in one Handy Document: Transportation Element Checklist

Resources and Tools

by Joe Griffiths

At the planning directors roundtable on September 20, Planning presented the newly completed Transportation Element Checklist. Continue reading