A sense of vision is essential to developing a successful, sustainable community.
A well thought out master (or comprehensive) plan can help a community achieve
that vision. This plan considers all of the complex facets of a community — such
as neighborhoods, downtown, parks, farmland, transportation and public services.
Such a plan can clearly state where the community wants to go and what it needs
to do to get there. In Maryland, local plans are reviewed every six years and
active citizen participation is an essential piece of the puzzle.
Citizen participation is a vital component of the local planning process. Watch
for signs posted on land proposed for development. Also, check notices in the
legal section of local newspapers for zoning or master plan update hearings,
or on your local government web-site. Public hearings are advertised to encourage
participation and solicit input from you, the citizen. So, SPEAK UP. You have
a voice and you have a choice.
Read your local comprehensive plan.
Work with developers and your local planning staff to encourage compact
development and preservation of open space.
Attend posted public hearings and comment on planning and development decisions.
Consider forming or joining a local organization to serve as a local watchdog
over planning and growth in your community.