MDP Submits Phase 1 of Long-Range Plan for Sustainable Growth
ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 19, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today accepted “PlanMaryland,” the State’s first long-range plan for sustainable growth, from Secretary Richard Eberhart Hall of the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) – achieving a vision first laid out by the General Assembly a half-century ago.
PlanMaryland is an executive policy plan that better coordinates the smart growth efforts and programs of state government. The Governor filed the Plan with the Secretary of State, as required by law. The Governor also filed an Executive Order to provide an overview of the process for implementation of the plan. During the coming year, state agencies will work to identify changes in strategy to achieve the goals of the plan and will work with local governments on delineating areas for future state investment, growth and preservation.
“There are some challenges so large we can only hope to tackle them together. Creating jobs and expanding opportunity is one of the, and building a sustainable, long-term future for our children is another,” said Governor O’Malley. “That’s what PlanMaryland is all about- it’s Maryland’s first long-range, sustainable growth plan, which will serve as a tool for targeting state resources with maximum transparency to encourage smarter growth. In the long run, that means a healthier environment, stronger communities, and a more sustainable future and a better quality of life for our kids.”
The Plan culminates four years of development that included meetings with more than 3,000 people across the state and thousands more reached online through surveys and social media — one of the largest outreach efforts of its kind in Maryland planning history. More than 300 comments were received during two public comment periods in summer and fall 2011. The second comment period was added after local officials in August requested more time for deliberation. MDP also received advice from the Smart Growth Subcabinet, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, sister state agencies and local planning officials in preparing the 116-page document. The Plan fulfills legislation from the General Assembly in 1959, 1974, 2007 and 2010 that required or laid out the process for a state development plan — a mandate that until now had gone unmet.
“We need PlanMaryland because the rate of land conversion for development has grown at triple the rate of population since 1970. That is not sustainable,” said Planning Secretary Hall. “Without a smarter approach, we’ll face billions of dollars in additional cost for more road and school construction and we’ll undercut the enormous public and private efforts and investment already being made or planned to clean our bays, rivers and streams. After many years of pursuing a goal of smart growth, Maryland finally has a game plan to approach it more efficiently and effectively.”
“The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission is grateful to Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly for asking us to provide advice on the preparation and content of PlanMaryland,” said Commission Chairman Jon Laria. “The Commission is charged with a broad array of growth-related responsibilities, but none is more important than working with PlanMaryland’s stakeholders to ensure that the Plan contributes positively and meaningfully to the State’s smart growth goals.”
Over the last five years, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has invested approximately $9.9 billion in public schools and over $660 million in public school construction in rural Maryland. Recognizing the importance of our community colleges in preparing our workforce for the jobs of the new economy in Maryland, the administration has invested approximately $485 million in operating funding for community colleges and over $218 million in community college capital projects in rural Maryland. By providing over $1 billion in funding for transportation projects in rural Maryland, the administration has been supporting investments like rehabilitating and replacing bridges in Western Maryland, widening of highways on the Eastern Shore, the Hampstead Bypass and Taneytown Streetscape projects in Central Maryland, and upgrading and widening roads in Southern Maryland. Working through programs such as Community Legacy, the Community Development Block Grant, and Main Street Maryland, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has been helping local partners bring new investment and vitality to the state’s core communities. By leveraging technical assistance and State resources, 20 Main Streets sites in rural Maryland have funded $82 million in public improvement projects and over $65 million in private improvement projects since 2008.
The full plan and other information about it can be accessed at Plan.Maryland.gov