Governor Martin O’Malley and Richard Eberhart Hall, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, have outlined an additional 60-day review period for PlanMaryland, the State’s first strategic smart growth plan, in response to feedback from local officials who had requested more time to review the draft plan.
On September 7, MDP will provide a revised version of the draft plan. It will reflect changes based on public comments it has received since releasing the first draft on April 28. MDP will send the revised draft plan to a work group of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission on September 7 before releasing it later that day online.
MDP will then begin an additional 60-day review period through November 7 to receive comments on the updated draft. Those comments will be incorporated into the final version of PlanMaryland to be submitted to Governor O’Malley by mid-November.
“I have appreciated all the input we’ve received so far from local officials and residents during the initial 120-day comment period since April,” Hall said. “Achieving complete agreement on the process may be difficult, but there seems to be broad accord on the objectives of PlanMaryland. If our children and grandchildren ask 30 years from now who paid attention to the health of our land, water and communities, we want to be able to answer: We did.”
PlanMaryland is a policy plan to improve coordination between state agencies and local governments on smart growth and to help Maryland better accommodate a projected million additional residents during the next 25 years. The plan will realize a vision that the Maryland General Assembly set in motion 37 years ago when it passed the 1974 Land Use Act. The legislation authorized the Secretary of Planning to prepare a state growth plan “to promote the general welfare and prosperity of the people of the state through coordinated development of the state.”
The plan is the result of more than three years of collaboration between MDP, fellow State agencies, local government officials, stakeholders from the development and environmental communities, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission and other Marylanders. An extensive outreach process has involved feedback from more than 3,000 citizens at 30 large public forums dating back to 2008 and at scores of smaller stakeholder meetings with local officials, business leaders and civic groups throughout Maryland. MDP has received hundreds of comments on the plan online since it released the first draft in April.
Source: Maryland Department of Planning