Planning Practice Monthly: September 2020 Edition

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Census 2020

Maryland is Looking Strong…But There is Still Time to Make a Difference!

Maryland Census 2020

by Kristin Fleckenstein, Director of Public Affairs and Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 


Don’t Delay, Respond Today! With the 2020 Census deadline just days away, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) remains in high gear to ensure a complete count of all Marylanders. Maryland currently has achieved a 70.5 percent self-response rate that exceeds the 2010 Census total count of 60.5 percent. Maryland’s total count, which also includes households counted by U.S. Census Bureau enumerators, currently stands at  97.9 percent.   

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Women in Planning Series: Part V

Breaking New Ground and Glass Ceilings

Elizabeth Hewlett

By Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

With an already storied career as an attorney and principal in a prestigious law firm, Elizabeth (Betty) M. Hewlett broke new ground when she was appointed to her first term as Chairman of Prince George’s County Planning Board from 1995 to 2006. As the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity – in both an organization and a profession which, up to that time, was largely dominated by white men – Hewlett, now in her second term (2011-present), is responsible for leading one of the nation’s premier parks and planning organizations. 

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Planning Assistance in Action

Celebrate Fall with Walktober and Walk Maryland Day!


by Brittany Brothers, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Maryland Department of Transportation, Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner, and Michael Bayer, AICP, Manager of Infrastructure and Development 

The days are growing shorter, the evenings crisper, and the leaves are just about to “turn,” which means October is right around the corner. Fall is the perfect season to kick start or reignite your walking routine, and what better way than with Walktober! 

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Another Way to Get your (Walktober) Walks On: Take the Patuxent Challenge!


by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Did you know you there’s a way you can participate in two really fun, healthy outdoor activities this fall at the same time? The Patuxent Challenge is a great way to do just that. 


What is the Patuxent Challenge? 

Created by the Tourism Workgroup of the Patuxent River Commission, an organization dedicated to creating public access to the Patuxent and encouraging river-related economic and recreational activities, the Patuxent Challenge is an initiative designed to get people out-of-doors and discover all the beauty and recreational opportunities the river and its tributaries have to offer. 

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Planning in Progress

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

Maryland Land Preservation Programs: Updates and Upcoming Deadlines

Land Pres

by Daniel Rosen, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner, and Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Despite the on-going constraints posed by COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) staff continue to work diligently (albeit remotely), and land preservation efforts are moving forward as scheduled. Here are updates on two of Planning’s primary initiatives: 

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MDOT Launches Annual Statewide Transportation Investment Tour

MDOT logo

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Each fall, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) conducts a tour of 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to update local officials and the public on transportation investments around the state.

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Open Now! Take the Statewide Transit Plan Survey 

The Maryland Statewide Transit Plan (STP) is an initiative of the Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and will provide guidance on the need for transit services and connectivity in Maryland. This plan will create a 50-year vision for transit building upon the transit services that exist today, including existing regional and local plans, as well as proposed projects, analysis of future activity centers, demographics, and transit needs, that will create a framework for coordinated transit service and customer experience. 

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MDOT to Host Zero Emission Webinars in October

In close coordination with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a series of webinars in October to promote collaboration on the adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) and deployment of ZEV infrastructure throughout Maryland. They are seeking input from local agencies and professionals across the state and neighboring regions.

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Local Spotlight

The New Decade Means New Comprehensive Plans

Maryland Department of Planning

by Joseph Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager

Many jurisdictions coordinate the development of new comprehensive plans with the arrival of decennial census data. Census data is a foundation of comprehensive planning; providing a snapshot of Maryland communities, outlining growth trends, and distinguishing key demographic indicators. 

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MPCA Corner

It’s Time to Recognize Maryland’s Citizen Planners!

MPCA Conference 2020

by Joeseph Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager

Do you know a citizen planner or entire planning board (planning commission, board of zoning appeals, historic district commission) that deserves recognition for their work in 2020? Maryland’s citizen planners volunteer endless hours to their communities.

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Meet the Planning Staff

Joe Rogers


by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Joe Rogers has had the dubious distinction of being our very last Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) team member to join the department prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, his first day on the job being only nine days before stay-at-home orders went into effect. It’s pretty safe to say that the experience of teleworking his first few months on the job are not exactly typical! 

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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.

MPCA Conference 2020

Maryland Planning Commissioners Association
Virtual Conference
November 9
More Information and Registration


Click for more on Conferences

Funding Opportunities

Federal, state and/or non-governmental funding.

Maryland Energy Administration

FY21 Low-to-Moderate Income Energy Efficiency Grant- Deadline: October 1

Resilience and Restoration Grants
MD Dept. of Natural Resources - Deadline: October 9

Click for more on Funding Opportunities