Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ESLC Announces New Planning Position to Assist Towns with HB 1141

ESLC Announces New Position to Assist Towns with HB1141
New Capacity An Extension of Conservancy’s Land Use Planning Program

ESLC has announced the addition of new planning capability to support towns and municipalities on the Shore with Maryland House Bill 1141 (HB1141) and related issues. This new capability will be an extension of ESLC’s Land Use Planning program, which was launched in 2002 to help provide support to towns and counties on issues related to growth and development in the region.
This effort includes the addition of a two-year position, funded by a grant from the Keith Campbell Foundation, that will provide support for local governments in ESLC’s service area in implementing the two HB 1141-required elements into town and county comprehensive plans. The program will also launch a broad-based education initiative to make widely available the most applicable and effective town annexation tools, techniques, and models of how healthy, strong communities grow.
"We are very excited to be able to add this important service to our organization and believe it will help us provide essential support to our local governments during this very important time for growth and development on the Eastern Shore," said Amy Owsley, ESLC’s Director of Land Use Planning. "Right now we are in the middle of conducting a HB 1141needs assessment of our towns. Once we have a better handle on specific needs, we will hire a talented, energetic planner to lend a hand. "
This new planner position will be coordinated with the Maryland Department of Planning but is not a replication of or replacement for MDP’s recent staffing changes.
"Our goals is helping our local communities realize their goals as quality, attractive, healthy places to live and one of our first solid steps in this critical vein of work centers on HB 1141," said Owsley. "Our plans to provide this support were in place well before the staffing changes at MDP and this effort is not at all a replacement for the important services provided by MDP. It is our hope to provide short-term services in HB1141 services and develop a long-term understanding on how we can effectively support town planning in the years to come."
ESLC is currently in the recruitment phase of the hire process and is providing grant writing support to support to towns eligible for state funding that can be used for HB 1141 work.
For more details about ESLC’s circuit rider program, please visit www.eslc.org.
ESLC is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of farmland and habitat on the Eastern Shore. Funded by member contributions, ESLC helps landowners to discover, evaluate and implement any of the voluntary land preservation options available. ESLC works to sustain the Eastern Shore's rich landscapes through strategic land conservation and sound land use planning.Our vision in 2050 is an Eastern Shore where towns are vibrant and well defined; farms, forests, and fisheries are thriving and scenic; historic, natural, and riverine landscapes are maintained. ESLC helps save land and promote sound land use planning from the C&D Canal in Cecil County all the way to the Nanticoke River in Dorchester County. We work in Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester Counties. Since its inception in 1990, ESLC has helped landowners to protect more than 45,500 acres of farmland and important habitat on 245 Eastern Shore properties.

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