Maryland Planning Commissioners Association

MPCA 2013 Annual Conference

Ripken StadiumOctober 24-25, 2013 
Ripken Stadium 
Aberdeen, Maryland 
The conference theme was Field of Dreams!


Thursday, October 24

Planning Commissioners Education Course

This class satisfies the requirements of the Smart and Sustainable Growth Act of 2009 which requires planning commission and board of appeals members to complete a planning education course within 6 months of appointment.


Friday, October 25

When Spirits and Land Use Meet: Legal Issues Faced by Maryland Wineries and Breweries

While the popularity of wines and beers produced in Maryland steadily increases in the marketplace, local wine producers and beer brewers are often challenged by a regulatory maze presented at the federal, state, and local levels when they want to sell their products. This session will provide a summary of laws impacting these two industries and a review of one county’s approval process. Questions and answers are welcome throughout the presentation.

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      Nicole M. Folks – Kelliher & Salzer, LLC

Due Process, Fairness, Transparency and Effective Decision Making

This session will examine principles that underline procedural requirements; decision-making and enhanced understanding of the role board members can play in promoting fairness and transparency in land use and development review and approval.

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      Christopher N. Jakubiak, AICP – Jakubiak Town + City Planning

Dealing With an Angry Public How To Prevent, Resolve And Contain Conflict

This high-energy workshop offers participants new tools for preventing, resolving and containing conflict with members of the public. In an interactive, skill-building session, participants will examine reasons why public meetings fail and learn alternatives techniques to support conflict management and collaborative problem solving processes.

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      Lou Gieszl – Deputy Executive Director, Maryland Judiciary Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office

M–O–O–O–O–V–E Your Meeting

This session is chock full of practical information on ways to facilitate a well-run and fast paced meeting. You will learn how to make concise and correct motions as well as receive tips to encourage but control the discussion of issues. Everyone is heard and the meeting keeps rollin’.

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      Dr. Sandy Landbeck – Councilwoman, City of Aberdeen

Holding the Line on TMDLs – Accounting for Growth Policies

This session provides a look at a policy the state is designing to promote a market for trading in TMDLs in Maryland. Learn how Accounting for Growth Policies could result in lower pollution costs for local government, developers, and ratepayers, while accelerating the Bay’s restoration.

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      Chris Rogers, AICP – URS

The Smart Green and Growing Annual Report

Since the passage of the Smart, Green and Growing legislation in 2009, all Planning Commissions and Boards are required to prepare an annual report. Is your jurisdiction addressing the new requirements correctly and efficiently? Workshop participants will learn which requirements apply to their jurisdiction and will be provided with examples and worksheets to successfully satisfy these requirements.

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      David Dahlstrom, AICP – MDP Regional Planner, Annual Report Project Manager 
      Scott Graf – Planner II, Carroll County Planning Department

Lunch Keynote Speaker: Mayor Michael Bennett

A briefing for the conference attendees on the city.

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      Michael Bennett – Mayor, City of Aberdeen 
      Phyllis Grover, Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Aberdeen

Maryland’s Open Meeting Act – What You Need to Know to Stay Out of Trouble

Nearly all public officials know that the Maryland Open Meetings Act exists, but how does it affect your activities? When must a public body act in public session? When may the public body meet in closed session? What are the consequences for you, personally, if you participate in an improper closed session? What sources of guidance exist to help you maintain consistency with the law? In this session, you will learn how the Open Meetings Act impacts you and your colleagues and how you can help ensure that your actions comply with the law. A laptop is required for this training session.

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      P. Tyson Bennett, Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr, LLP

Planning for Micro-grids and Disaster Resilience

All critical infrastructure is dependent on electric power. What happens when the grid goes down? Through the use of microgrids, communities can provide emergency power continuity. During normal operations, these same microgrids generate electricity and offset operating expenses. This session will provide general information on microgrids, the process of microgrid planning, and updates on trends in energy planning at the local, State and federal level.

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      David Ager, AICP, RLA, LEED-AP ND – Townscape Design 
      Rebecca Rush, Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, Inc. 
      Richard Lank, VP , DERP Technologies, LLC

Living with Freight: Getting the Beer to the Bar

Every community relies on the delivery of goods to shops, stores and businesses to keep the local economy humming. Yet trucks traveling along local streets and trains rolling through town bring noise, safety concerns and challenges for the neighbors. This panel presents solutions that local planners can use to improve safety and reduce local conflicts related to the movement of freight.

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      Jacquelyn Magness Seneschal, AICP – Townscape Design 
      Sharon Daboin, CSX, Consultant, State Government & Community Affairs 
      Valorie LaCour, MA, RLA, LEED AP, Baltimore City Department of Transportation

Community Wind – Opportunities for Community Ownership

Community Wind Project and how can you separate fact from fiction, balance public safety concerns with advancing local sustainability objectives and provide local economic benefits? Learn about an array of resources available to help you make informed decisions and characteristics of what key text amendment elements are likely to be required to ensure your community is open for CW projects.

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      Rebecca Rush, Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, Inc. 
      Andrew Gohn, Senior Clean Energy Manager, Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) 
      Richard Lank, VP , DERP Technologies, LLC

2012 Septic Law Uncovered

The Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, aka SB 236, requires the local Planning Commissions and Advisory Boards to conduct public hearings on two occasions, the first, if necessary, to hear formal MDP comments on any tier map submittal, and secondly, on new major residential subdivisions created in Tier III. This session will re-cap the basics of the bill, discussing the formation of the Tier Map, and highlight the adequacy of public facilities impacts and environmental concerns that must be considered during the review and approval process for all new major residential subdivisions created in valid Tier III areas.

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      John Leocha, Water Resources Planner, Maryland Department of Planning

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