From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig and County Council President William “Billy” Boniface have announced the major planning initiatives to be completed over the next four years. The initiatives include a comprehensive update to the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program; an update to the Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan; an update to the Parks and Recreation Element Plan; an update to the Floodplain Management Program, and a new Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan.
The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program is a State mandate and includes revisions to the zoning code to bring it into compliance with new State laws and regulations.
The most significant planning initiative is the Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan which was last updated in 2004. The Land Use Element Plan identifies general areas in the county where agriculture, commercial, industrial and residential land uses is most appropriate. This document will outline the vision of Harford County for the next 10 – 20 years.
The Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan will be directed by the Department of Parks and Recreation and will be coordinated with the Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan. The document establishes a foundation for open space and recreation needs for the County, and fulfills State requirements for continued participation in Program Open Space funding for land acquisition and park development.
The Floodplain Management Program initiative will be the most comprehensive mapping effort completed in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the County since the 1972 flood maps. Additionally, this effort will provide emergency responders and insurance providers with tools to complete risk assessments based on predicted rainfalls.
The Master Bike and Pedestrian Plan will be a first for Harford County. The last comprehensive bikeway study was completed in 1976. Bikeway and pedestrian planning strategies have been included as part of the Transportation Element Plan for the County; however, the 2010 Transportation Plan identified a need for a more comprehensive plan for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Commenting on the Major Planning Initiatives for the period 2011 – 2014, County Executive David R. Craig stated, “Harford County Government, particularly the Department of Planning and Zoning, is about to embark upon very serious and important work for the people and future of Harford County. These planning initiatives will help shape our county for years to come and will play an integral role in maintaining the land we love and quality of life the people of Harford County have come to expect and enjoy.”