April 22, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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Will You Be Part Of The Plan?

Councilman Michael Peroutka
Councilman Michael Peroutka's picture
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April 3, 2018

In May of last year, the county council passed a resolution (18-17) urging the county executive and the Office of Planning and Zoning to begin the comprehensive review of the county’s 2019 General Development Plan (GDP) during 2017. This amounted to a “jumpstart” of the planning process, which normally would have begun in 2019 following the traditional 10-year cycle. The resolution, citing growing citizen concern over development issues, also urged the administration to include citizen participation in the process.

Accordingly, the Office of Planning and Zoning has been conducting a series of public meetings, styled as “listening sessions,” where county residents have been afforded an opportunity to offer their ideas, concerns and suggestions regarding issues such as intensity of growth, congestion, infrastructure and the need for additional public resources.

The objective of the GDP is to express the community’s values and what is important to our quality of life as well as to reflect the citizens’ “practical vision for the future and set the groundwork for various functional plans and master plans.”

As you might imagine, casting such a broad scope brings together many diverse views and strong opinions. For example, at one of the sessions I attended in Broadneck, many of the comments from the public expressed the sentiment that the local area has indeed reached a point where any additional congestion would seriously affect the quality of life. More than a few folks took the position that the county should hang out a “no vacancy” sign and end development completely.

There was also a great deal of discussion about geography of our county and the traffic problems associated with the many peninsulas.

The planning process will continue through a development phase during the rest of 2018, leading to a preliminary draft in January 2019. By the middle of 2019, a final draft plan is expected, with final approval by the county council in November or December of that year.

Even if you missed the opportunity to attend one of the public listening sessions, you can still contribute your views by way of an online survey. You can also join a mailing list to stay informed of progress and events by visiting www.aacounty.org and selecting “Planning and Zoning.”

If you haven’t yet expressed your views, I urge you to get involved in this process, because nobody knows your community like you do. Your view is a vital part of the community vision. As the planning process goes forward, I urge you to plan to be a part of it.


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