Commerce Subcabinet Hears Regional Priorities

Planning in Progress

by Joe Griffiths

In the May edition of Planning Practice Wednesday, we introduced readers to the Department of Commerce’s new Regional Resources Workgroup. Since that time, the Commerce Subcabinet established five regional teams (Eastern Shore, Baltimore Area, Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, DC Metro Area) composed of state staff from agencies including the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Maryland Higher Education Council (MHEC), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Labor, and others. Each team has a regional leader who organizes bi-monthly conference calls to discuss regional issues and propose methods through which state agencies serving on the Commerce Subcabinet can assist local economic development projects and help jurisdictions overcome barriers. Continue reading

Commerce Subcabinet Recognizes Regional Resources

Planning in Progress

If the feedback received during the development of the new state development plan, A Better Maryland, taught us anything, it is that Marylanders desire a regional approach to planning. Maryland may be small in size, but it has large regional distinctions. The planning needs and objectives of Western Maryland differ from those along the I-95 corridor, and the community development goals of the Eastern Shore necessitate an approach unique from what one might find in Southern Maryland. These distinctions are one of Maryland’s greatest assets, and the Commerce Subcabinet recognizes and wants to maximize this strength. Continue reading

A Better Maryland – Thank You from Planning

Thank you

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) would like to thank everyone who has attended one of our community meetings as part of the second round of outreach for A Better Maryland. We are excited to see a few of the same faces from the first round, but even more excited to see new people join the conversation. The draft strategies have sparked productive back and forth dialogues between Planning staff and participants, but even more importantly, between the participants themselves. The meetings have provided project staff with an unexpected benefit as well. As mentioned elsewhere, environmental preservation and economic development form the core of A Better Maryland, but as the meetings have unfolded, previously unseen connections between strategies, across topics, have started to crystalize. Marylanders want good planning and responsive state government, something we plan to deliver as part of A Better Maryland. Continue reading

A Better Maryland Initiates Second Round of Community Outreach

Planning Assistance in Action

Following a summer of analysis and collaboration with our partners, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is once again set to traverse the state’s communities and continue the dialogue about A Better Maryland, the new state development plan. The outpouring of community engagement during the first round of 72 listening sessions was exhilarating. Thousands of Marylanders contributed feedback at public meetings and online. We received over 1,700 comments ranging in topics from infrastructure to housing! You can find them on our What We’ve Heard page.

Two overarching topics stood out. Reviewing the comments and the survey responses, it became clear that the environment and economic development form the core of what Marylanders want a state development plan to address. Continue reading

A Better Maryland Listening Sessions Drawing to a Close

Planning Assistance in Action

21 out of 24. In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament, that equates to an excellent free throw percentage. It could also represent the number of daffodils blooming in your garden this spring. But at the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), it signifies the counties Planning has visited in its first round of listening sessions for the new A Better Maryland state deveopment plan. 21 out of 24 counties and Baltimore City. Talk about statewide coverage…
Continue reading

A Better Maryland Reaches Milestone, but the Conversation Continues

Planning Assistance in Action

Explaining A Better Maryland in Queen Anne’s County

On February 15, at the Wharves of Choptank Visitor Center in Denton, A Better Maryland passed the halfway point in its initial outreach period. The Caroline County listening sessions marked the 13th of 24 (all 23 counties and Baltimore City) engagement events that the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is conducting through early spring. The purpose of the sessions is to discover how officials, staff, and members of the community think A Better Maryland, the new state development plan, can best assist them in advancing local planning, economic, and community development objectives. Continue reading

Get Involved, Attend A Better Maryland Listening Sessions

Word cloud in response to the question “What is your community’s greatest strength?” Wicomico listening session

Make sure to express your voice on A Better Maryland when the project team comes to your county. Planning meets with local staff and officials during the day, but the pinnacle of our visits are the evening community listening sessions. Thus far, the public has come prepared. Below are a few of the themes we have been hearing. Continue reading