PlanMaryland Impacts Our Region Public Comments Due September 1, 2011

August 9, 2011

Recently, the Maryland Department of Planning released the draft "PlanMaryland" planning document for public comment. The intent of the Plan is to better integrate state programs and local planning priorities and to provide a framework for targeting state funding for appropriate local projects. This Plan could have significant impacts on the various jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C. region where we have clients and property owners with land interests, and may weaken attempts by these Counties (Montgomery, Frederick, Howard, Prince George's and Charles) to implement their own Smart Growth strategies and economic development plans.

A central objective of the Plan is to minimize dispersed low-density residential development and replace it with desirable, compact sustainable communities in areas with sufficient existing and planned infrastructure. Further, unlike similar plans in the past, PlanMaryland seeks to make consistent and interdependent the initiatives of the State, local governments and the private sector. It is meant to guide local development by identifying state policy areas for growth and preservation. We are hopeful the Maryland Department of Planning will give considerably more weight to localities and stakeholders such as yourselves before implementing PlanMaryland so that local growth priorities are coordinated with Statewide goals.

Public comment on the Plan is being sought through September 1, 2011, after which the final version will be presented to Governor O'Malley in the Fall.