Maryland Planning Commissioners Association Seeks Session Proposals for its 39th Annual Conference!

MPCA Corner

by Joe Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) will host the 2022 fall annual conference in Frederick City on October 25 and 26. The theme of this year’s conference is Planning for Challenges on the Horizon. The MPCA has conducted its past two conferences virtually and is very excited to meet up with everyone again in person. The MPCA will monitor the pandemic and adjust as necessary. 

Last year’s theme and session topics focused on getting back to planning in a world still impacted by uncertainty, but also one in which citizen planners needed to forge ahead. That uncertainty remains, but so do the challenges on the horizon. In a planning community navigating its way through the pandemic while simultaneously tackling the difficult issues of the 21st century, the benefits of a functioning and thriving citizen planning board are more apparent than ever.  

Building on the Planning Commissioner Training Course and Open Meetings Act training sessions the MPCA holds on the first day of the conference, the MPCA, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning, is requesting session proposals for the conference by July 15.  

Sessions should focus on the work of citizen planners, but can incorporate the work of professional planners, other officials and stakeholders, and residents. The conference audience is primarily composed of planning commissioners, boards of zoning appeals members, and historic district commissioners, but also includes staff members from Maryland counties and municipalities. The MPCA encourages submissions that creatively address the conference theme.  

SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL:  

For your topic or session to be considered, please email the following information to Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov no later than 5:00 pm on July 15:  

Proposal Elements 

No more than 200 words, and should include: 

Proposal Elements

  • Topic and session name and how the proposal relates to the 20221 MPCA Conference theme, “Planning Challenges on the Horizon”
  • Brief abstract of information to be covered
  • How the session will inform and elevate citizen planners’ knowledge of the subject matter
  • Suggested speakers (no more than 5)
    • Include name, title, and contact information (if available, can be  general category of speaker, such as “municipal planning commissioner”) 
    • Indicate session leader
    • Other information as needed 
  • Session length (45 mins or 1.5 hours): Pick One
  • Session style (panel of experts, presentation, question and answer, etc.)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Inclusion of elements listed above
  • Applicability to theme
  • Relevance of approach to citizen planning
  • Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include at least one citizen planner on the panel
  • Bonus: Session’s applicability to Frederick City/County or the Washington Metro/Western Maryland regions 

The MPCA anticipates selecting session proposals by July 22. 

See last year’s session presentations at  https://planning.maryland.gov/Pages/YourPart/MPCA/annual2021.aspx 

More on the MPCA 

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. 

Submission Goals and Scope 

Submissions should formulate a presentation team (one or more persons), focus on an applicable topic expanding upon this year’s theme: Planning for Challenges on the Horizon, include a visual presentation or physical take away, and facilitate a session of either 45 mins or 1.5 hours. If you believe your session topic could be eligible for AICP CM credits, please note this so that the MPCA and Maryland Department of Planning staff can work with you to make them credit eligible.