• PlanMaryland Part 2: Framework for smart growth or dramatic policy shift?

    By Megan Poinski

    This is the second of four articles on PlanMaryland, the proposed state planning guidelines, that have stirred passionate opposition from many local officials.


    To listen to the Department of Planning talk about PlanMaryland, the long-term development plan being drafted for the state, it does not represent a major policy shift.

    “With PlanMaryland, we’re just trying to carry out what the whole state has said it wanted,” said Andrew Ratner, director of communications for the Maryland Department of Planning. Ratner said that the plan is built off of the 12 visions for economic growth, resource protection and planning policy that were drafted by a task force named by Gov. Martin O’Malley and codified by the General Assembly in 2009. The plan is nothing but a framework that syncs what departments are doing in the vein of smart growth, requiring no additional legislation to be implemented.

    However, opponents to the plan feel otherwise.

    “This represents a dramatic policy shift,” said Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, who represents mostly rural Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. “It targets all infrastructure growth, and urbanizes the suburban parts of the state.”

    Read more: http://marylandreporter.com/2011/11/15/planmaryland-part-2-framework-for-smart-growth-or-dramatic-policy-shift/#ixzz1dpDTMoQ4

  • Senator E.J. Pipkin: Letter to Secretary Hall Asking for Senate Hearings before PlanMaryland sent to Governor

    November 3, 2011

    Secretary Richard Hall

    Maryland Department of Planning

    301 West Preston Street

    Suite 1101

    Baltimore, Maryland 21201

    Dear Secretary Hall,

    The Senate President sent your office a letter dated, October 25, 2011, requesting you delay finalization and implementation of PlanMaryland until the Maryland State Senate could hold hearings.

    It appears as though you have no intention of yielding to the wishes of the Senate President.

    In a Daily Record article dated November 1st, you are quoted as saying “We have confidence in what’s in there.”  If this is the case, then certainly there should be no reason to put off hearings by the State Senate until the regular legislative session.  That is, unless of course there is an actual lack of confidence in “what’s in there.”

    If the data used to create PlanMaryland is unimpeachable, then its presentation in front of a State Senate committee should be nothing but a simple courtesy.

    I ask that you yield to the request of the Senate President and avail yourself to hearings before final recommendations and implementation of PlanMaryland.


    E.J. Pipkin

    Senate Minority Leader

    Senator EJ Pipkin

    District 36