Baltimore County Creates Community Planning Institute

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Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Monday, to facilitate conversation between community members and their local government, the Baltimore County Department of Planning announced the creation of the new Community Planning Institute.

The Community Planning Institute's creation directly results from Baltimore County's first Comprehensive efficiency review. The report outlined more than 150 recommendations, one of which was to create a planning academy that would directly engage with constituents.

"No one knows Baltimore County better than the people who live and work here, and the Community Planning Institute will share the tools and resources participants need to be actively engaged in plans and processes that affect their communities," Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. "Community engagement and advocacy are transformational and empowering, and I thank our team at the Department of Planning for organizing these interactive sessions."

The inaugural session of the CPI will begin in May 2023 and consist of five weekly evening in-person sessions. These interactive two-hour sessions, led by various county agencies and guest speakers, will allow participants to engage in discussions and activities to deepen their understanding of planning and land use regulations, the decision-making process, access resources to keep them informed and introduce practical ways to advocate for their communities.

Topics for the first session in 2023 include Planning 101, Understanding Zoning, and the Baltimore County Development Process.

"The Department is excited to bring another resource to communities so they can better understand and be engaged in the County's planning and development processes," Baltimore County Department of Planning Director Steve Lafferty said. "The Community Planning Institute will provide a unique opportunity for residents to learn about zoning, land use, and development and how they can be involved in decisions that are important to them and their neighbors."

A survey to solicit ideas from residents and stakeholders for the Community Planning Institute is open through February 24, 2023.

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The leaders just figured out that the people that live here know what is best. You can’t make this up. Yes, people that worked hard to achieve a safe and clean environment know better than those put here and given free money. We’re doomed.

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