County Executive Pittman Unveils New Planning Tool
[email protected] Allows Public to Shape the Future Safely
Annapolis, Md. (August 5, 2020) -- With today’s launch of an interactive website called Plan2040 Community [email protected], Anne Arundel County has taken a giant leap forward to a brand new level of public outreach and community engagement on the draft General Development Plan (GDP) and its accompanying draft Planned Land Use Map.
Social distancing requirements and restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19 have made in-person public meetings both impractical and a risk to public health at this time. In response, the County’s Office of Planning and Zoning (OPZ) developed the innovative technology platform to make a robust public comment period on Plan2040 still possible, but within safe public health guidelines.
“This online community engagement tool delivers on the most important promise I made as a candidate for this office,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “Plan2040 Community [email protected] empowers residents to engage in the most important land use decisions of our decade, at the neighborhood level, with the same information our planners have on each landowner’s application for a change in land use. Please log on, zoom into your neighborhood, and weigh in now. We need to hear from you."
During a virtual open house period that begins today and extends through September 10, 2020, residents are encouraged to visit the website Plan2040 Community [email protected] to explore all the information at their fingertips. In addition, the County Executive’s Office of Community Engagement and Constituent Services, along with OPZ planners, will jointly host three meetings with community leaders to educate communities across the County on how to best use the [email protected] tool. For anyone interested in attending a community meeting, please go to [email protected].
“The Office of Planning and Zoning staff has created a very user-friendly platform to review and comment on key elements of Plan2040,” said Elizabeth Rosborg, chairperson of the Citizen Advisory Committee that is helping lead the planning process. “I am very impressed with the way the County has adapted its community engagement process. I hope residents will take advantage of it and utilize the website.”
Community members will be able to review and rate the goals and individual draft elements of Plan 2040 through a series of interactive maps that the public can use to compare current and proposed Planned Land Use designations across the County. It also provides the ability for the public to comment on specific properties where changes are proposed.
“We are pleased to be able to roll out the Plan2040 Community [email protected] online app to virtually engage the community on this important plan at a time when in-person meetings are simply not safe,” said Steven Kaii-Ziegler, director of planning and zoning. “Now we can still have meaningful input into the decision-making process through public participation while also engendering a personal sense of ownership of the Plan.”
Plan2040 is the Countywide plan that will establish policies and recommendations to guide land use decisions in Anne Arundel over the next 20 years by capitalizing on County assets and conserving critical resources. All master plans and development regulations adopted subsequently by the County must be consistent with the goals, policies and recommendations of the GDP.
The draft plan represents a culmination of input from the public since 2017, and it builds on more than 20 public meetings and online surveys Anne ArundelCounty has hosted over the last several years. Approximately 3,000 people have participated in these events to share their concerns and hopes for the County. As a result, the County has drafted Goals, Policies, and Implementation Strategies along with a Land Use Plan to shape future development of Anne Arundel County.
After the virtual open house period closes, comments will be evaluated for inclusion in a full draft plan document that will be open for public comment for 30 days and then reviewed through a formal series of meetings with the County Planning Advisory Board and the County Council through the fall and winter. The County Council has the final authority to adopt the plan and current plans anticipate submitting the General Development Plan to the County Council by the end of this year.