Planning Planning Monthly - November 2019 edition

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Welcome Val Lazdins, Assistant Secretary

Val Lazdins

Planning is excited to announce our new Assistant Secretary for Planning Services, Val Lazdins. Joining us from his most recent position as the Director of Planning and Zoning for Howard County, Val has extensive experience in many areas of the planning spectrum. From the Chief of Research/Special Projects at the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commision to 16 years of experience in Planning positions in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Planning is excited to welcome Val to the team.

Since he just started this week, be on the lookout for a more in-depth interview in a future edition of Planning Practice Monthly.

Planning Assistance in Action

Local Spotlight: The CSM Velocity Center in Indian Head, MD: A Great Example of How Project Collaboration Gets the Job Done

Velocity Center CSM

An Interview with Dr. Maureen Murphy, President of the College of Southern Maryland by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner and Sarah Lipkin Sularz, Regional Planner.

Finding the right project and getting a myriad of groups and community members fully invested is not always easy, despite being the key to making things work. However, when a project is identified that meets the needs of stakeholders, the results speak for themselves. The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Velocity Center, a collaboration in the town of Indian Head, Charles County between CSM and numerous non-profit, public and private entities, is one such project. Read Full Article...

Resources and Tools

Idle Free Maryland: A “Three-Legged Stool” Approach to Reducing Vehicle Emissions to Protect Maryland’s Most Vulnerable Populations

Idle Free Pledge

by Kristen Humphrey, MLA, Infrastructure and Development Planner, with Tim Shepherd, Division Chief, Mobile Sources Control Program, MDE

Few of us stop to think about how much time we spend in the car simply waiting. Certainly, we all know the frustration of being stopped in traffic due to construction or an accident on our daily commute to and from work, but what about all the other times we are just sitting, engines idling? We might sit at the drive-through of a fast food restaurant or bank, waiting to pay a toll, or the gridlock following a large sporting event.

What about our children’s school pick-up lane? How often have parents and grandparents felt like they spend half their lives waiting in those interminable lines and what about the countless school buses waiting, too? Read Full Article...

Planning in Progress

We will continue to provide updates about these exciting efforts as they develop in upcoming issues

Brownfield Redevelopment Update: The State’s First-Ever Brownfield “Boot Camp” Touted A Great Success

Brownfield Bootcamp

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Development and Infrastructure Planner with Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner

As reported in our July-August edition of Planning Practice Wednesday, Planning, in conjunction with MDE, is stepping up efforts to remediate and reduce the number of brownfields (contaminated or potentially contaminated parcels of land) across Maryland via a new initiative called the Brownfield Redevelopment Outreach Program. Read Full Article...

Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and Planning Team up on Nuisance Flood Planning Guidance

Nusiance Flodding Plan

Maryland House Bill 1427 (Chapter 442 of the Laws of 2019) requires that “[o]n or before October 1, 2020, a local jurisdiction that experiences nuisance flooding shall develop a plan to address nuisance flooding.” The law further requires that, “[a] local jurisdiction that develops a plan to address nuisance flooding shall submit a copy of the nuisance flooding plan to the Maryland Department of Planning.” Nuisance flooding is defined as “high tide flooding that causes public inconvenience.” Read Full Article...

Land Use Law Chat

Land Use Law Chat

The Maryland Department of Planning is starting a new initiative called Land Use Law Chat, through which we will publish—with the assistance of counsel to the Department of Planning—a series of white papers on legal topics of interest in areas of land use, planning, and community development.  This initiative is born out of our recognition that, particularly for those working in our smaller communities, there is a need for better access to usable legal resources and information. Read Full Article...

MPCA Corner

36th Annual Conference in Aberdeen a Huge Success!

MPCA 2019 annual conference

On November 6 and 7, more than 70 citizen and professional planners visited Aberdeen to participate in the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) annual conference. Planners networked with one another, shared best practices, learned about emerging and future trends in Maryland, and celebrated the vital work of planning commissions and boards of zoning appeals. Day 1 started with state mandated Planning Commissioner and Open Meetings Act trainings and ended with exciting tours of Swan Harbor Farm and the Frito Lay facility. If you don’t know how some of your favorite snack foods are made, you should head up to Aberdeen and see it for yourself! Read Full Article...

Meet the Planning Staff

Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP

Sylvia Mosser, AICP

Sylvia A. Mosser, AICP, joined the Maryland Department of Planning as a Resource Conservation Planner on July 4, 2018 – but technically her first day “on the job” was “off” due to the holiday!

Sylvia’s primary role has been designing and implementing Planning’s new Brownfield Redevelopment Outreach Program to spur assessment, remediation and beneficial reuse of otherwise contaminated and/or vacant properties throughout the state (see above article). Read Sylvia's Full Profile...

Continuing Education & Training

In each newsletter, we highlight the most relevant and timely upcoming events. Our website does include many additional events, so please visit it regularly for updates. Listings are searchable by subject.


Upcoming Conferences and Seminars

Planning related conferences in Maryland and nearby states.


The P3 Government Conference
Washington, DC
December 3
For More Information

Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference
Cambridge, MD
December 4-6
For More Information

Click for more on Conferences


Listed webinars are typically free or low cost and cover a wide range of planning related issues. Many include CM credits.

Smart Growth Online

Perfect City: Lessons, Challenges and Pitfalls of the World’s Greatest Cities
Wednesday, December 4 @ 1:00 p.m. EST
AICP CM Approved 
For More Information

Impacts of Automation: What States, Cities, and MPOs Need to Know
Wednesday, December 4 @ 1:00 p.m. EST
For More Information

Click for more on Webinars

Training Around the State

Workshops and classes offered by state agencies or our partners.

Training Around the State

Framing Affordable Housing Messages to Influence your Stakeholders
Tueesday, December 3 , 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC
For More Information

Google Talks – building our community through education and entrepreneurship
Monday, December 16, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Washington, DC
For More Information

Click for more on Trainings

Funding Opportunities

Federal, state and/or non-governmental funding.


MHT Capital Grants Workshops
Maryland Historical Trust - Deadline: November 21
For More Information

Chesapeake Bay Trust - Prince George’s County 
Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) - Deadline: December 5
For More Information

Click for more on Funding Opportunities