Local Community Planning Visits Seek to Strengthen Local Partnerships with State, Offer Growth Awareness
BALTIMORE - The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) announced its undertaking of a bold initiative in 2006 to offer assistance in addressing complex issues of growth and land use planning. Through this initiative, entitled Local Community Planning Visits, MDP Secretary Audrey E. Scott will travel throughout 2006 to Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City to meet with county leaders to offer awareness about the benefits of planned growth, to encourage prevention of uncontrolled growth, and to offer planning assistance.
Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. stated of the visits, "The commitment of this Administration in strengthening and serving local government is critical to promoting planned and deliberate growth in the State. I am pleased my Administration is encouraging counties to plan proactively to avoid reactive and uncontrolled development, and to promote healthy growth in our communities."
Secretary Scott stated, "Local government is the heartbeat of successful, planned growth. I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit face-to-face with Maryland's county leaders to share the value of planned growth for Maryland citizens."
Strengthening relationships with local jurisdictions has been one of Secretary Scott's priorities since taking leadership of the Department in 2003. Most recently, in 2005 the Department of Planning and the Department of the Environment together hosted regional workshops throughout Maryland regarding the critical need to address early and effectively growth pressures. Also in 2005 the Department of Planning joined Maryland Association of Counties and the Maryland Municipal League in presenting regional Growth Summits that examined regional trends and factors driving growth. Local planning and elected officials across the state participated in these well-attended forums. Capitalizing on the success of these workshops, Secretary Scott commenced today the first Local Community Planning Visits in Cecil County and Kent County.
As a former mayor, county council member, and past-president of the Maryland Municipal League, Secretary of Planning Audrey E. Scott intends to schedule throughout 2006 a Local Community Planning Visits with every county at its regularly scheduled council meeting.