Monday, August 25, 2008

MDp Announces Smart Growth Listening Sessions!

MDP and MD’s Growth Task Force Host Public Listening Sessions
Citizens Share Ideas and Concerns on Growth and Development

The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland are hosting a series of public forums across the State for residents to share their thoughts and ideas on future growth in the state. Six Smart Growth Listening Sessions, planned for September, will take place in Maryland’s regions (Baltimore Metropolitan, Washington Suburban, Southern Maryland, Lower Eastern Shore, Upper Eastern Shore and Western Maryland) and are open to all citizens.
The Listening Sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. to accommodate diverse public input on a variety of growth-related topics including, smart sustainable growth; growth and a healthy environment; regional development; historic preservation; transportation and growth; and growth and schools. Moderated by community leaders, these sessions are designed like town hall meetings with open discussion on these important matters.
"Protecting our forests and agricultural land and ensuring our existing communities remain places where our citizens want to live, work, and play is a worthy and achievable goal of all stakeholders statewide," said MDP Secretary Richard E. Hall, AICP. His agency and the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland are exploring a wide range of smart growth and land use issues affecting the state.
Task Force Chair and partner at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP Jon M. Laria said, "These sessions will facilitate understanding citizen and community leaders’ priorities and ideas. The Task Force recognizes a broad audience for the public discussion on future growth. We must know how those affected by development feel and consider their recommended solutions."

Listening Sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. over two weeks in September at the following:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – Wicomico County High School in Salisbury
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 – Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville
Thursday, September 18, 2008 – James Blake High School in Silver Spring
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative in Hughesville
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 – Woodlawn High School, Baltimore County
Thursday, September 25, 2008 – Bridge of Life in Hagerstown
For information on the Listening Sessions, visit MDP's website.

The Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland was formed under House Bill 773 signed into law during the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Its 21 members are charged with studying a wide range of growth and land use issues affecting Maryland. Public input will help guide the Task Force’s work. MDP promotes growth that fosters vibrant, livable communities, preserves and protects the environment, safeguards historical and cultural resources and makes efficient use of State resources. The department also provides data, trend analysis, research assistance, and policy development and implementation support for local governments, communities, businesses, and organizations.

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