If you have the chance to make it to Wicomico High School this evening, you can share your opinions on growth in Maryland. (I’m all for it; however, we could use friendlier policies in order to make it happen.) This is how the Maryland Department of Planning put it:
The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland are hosting a series of public forums across the State for residents to share their thoughts and ideas on future growth in the state.
Six Smart Growth Listening Sessions, planned for September, will take place in Maryland’s regions (Baltimore Metropolitan, Washington Suburban, Southern Maryland, Lower Eastern Shore, Upper Eastern Shore and Western Maryland) and are open to all citizens.
The Listening Sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. to accommodate diverse public input on a variety of growth-related topics including, smart sustainable growth; growth and a healthy environment; regional development; historic preservation; transportation and growth; and growth and schools. Moderated by community leaders, these sessions are designed like town hall meetings with open discussion on these important matters.
It just so happens that we on the Lower Shore bat leadoff in the lineup, so we can set the tone for future events. (Or be the guinea pig, as is sometimes the case.) What wasn’t revealed in the notice that I received was who our local host(s) would be, but I have a sneaking hunch it may be many of the same people who are on the Wicomico Neighborhood Congress and/or Wicomico Environmental Trust. Seeing that it’s a town hall meeting on “Smart Growth” sort of clues me in on the agenda, so naturally I’m going to be there to represent sanity. I have my own agenda for “smart growth”:
- Respecting private property rights over government regulation and intrusion
- Having the state sell off their surplus land in order to make it taxpaying and productive once again
- Favoring job creation over radical environmentalism
- Reestablishing local control over Coastal Bay areas
- Allowing Transferable Development Rights to have a sunset date rather than be permanent, much like an option on purchasing land. I’d suggest a 10 to 20 year term, that way each generation of landowners can decide if they’d like to open their properties up for development.
We’ll see if the fur goes flying tonight. I’ll allow them to say their piece, but I’m going to attempt to get my two cents in as well. It should be fun.