From the office of Senators Nancy Jacobs and Senator Barry Glassman:
LEAVE LAND USE TO THE COUNTIES!
PlanMaryland is an attempt by Governor O’Malley and Planning Secretary Richard Hall to seize planning authority from local governments in a sweeping political power play.
What they are calling a “smart growth” plan equates to no-growth in many parts of the State.
PlanMaryland is a far-reaching, state-wide centralized planning initiative that, if not stopped, will be implemented by the Administration as early as next month. Spearheaded by Governor O’Malley and Maryland’s Department of Planning, the Plan will direct growth only where there is existing infrastructure; according to the Plan’s growth maps, most growth will be allowed only in Baltimore and in the Washington suburbs.
The Plan lavishes state money for roads, sewer and water in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and starves the rest of the state. More specifically, it directs state agencies to spend growth-related funds only in specific areas handpicked by the Department of Planning that they decided are allowed to grow. That means many Maryland communities would not be eligible for state funds for new school construction or new roads. It also means there will be no job growth outside these handpicked areas.
Governor O’Malley is dusting off an antiquated and highly controversial piece of legislation from 1974 to use as the authority to make these radical changes to land use in Maryland without a new vote from the General Assembly. If PlanMaryland goes unchallenged, Secretary Hall will become the land czar of Maryland, controlling where we live and where we work.
A radical and overzealous policy change that adversely affects many Maryland communities should be vetted through the General Assembly, not acted on unilaterally by the Governor. It should have a hearing where citizens can weigh in and it should be scrutinized by the legislative body.
I understand the necessity for planning for future growth, but one size does not fit all and the counties should maintain their zoning prerogative. Local land use decisions should remain with the local elected officials who are accountable to the people who elected them.
What you can do:
Voice your opposition by contacting the following people:
Secretary of Planning Richard Hall – (410) 767-4510
Governor O’Malley – 410.974.3901
Delegate Maggie McIntosh
Annapolis office: (410) 841-3990
I am not a big fan of the Governor or most politicians. However, I don’t want my state tax dollars supporting infrastructure projects that build more new roads that will need more tax dollars to repair them. Counties should have to fend for themselves. If you can’t pay for it, then you shouldn’t build it or buy it. Look at that nightmare on 22. I don’t like bailing out local jurisdictions with my tax dollars because local politicians were in bed with developers. I oppose government handouts at both the federal and state level. In fact, maybe we could reduce the size of state government, get rid of some of these career politicians and refund tax dollars to the taxpayers.
Unfortunately, Decoydude, 22 is a state route; that’s why it has a number on it (as opposed to county roads, which in this state do not carry numbers). Therefore, it is precisely the state’s responsibility to straighten out the mess that 22 has been for the last 30 years at least. The only problem is getting around the nimbies who don’t want any corrective action applied to 22.
Gee whiz? It has a number on it really? If you were not so quick to be a smarty pants, you would know you just made my point. The poor county planning in terms of inadequate infrastructure to support development created the existing mess that the state taxpayer dollars have to again fix. Don’t come asking for tax dollar handouts like a junkie looking for a fix. Taxpayers should not have to continue to bail out poor decision making of local politicians. I don’t want to have to pay for the mess in PG county, Howard county or any other county. We are always looking for state and federal tax dollars to sustain us down the road. As a fiscal conservative, I really don’t care which political party has bad ideas or good ones. I call them like I see them.
Those nimbies you’re blaming are the people whose private homes and businesses will be ruined. LOCAL officials are the ones responsible for the mess on Route 22 (and elsewhere) because they didn’t plan. Instead they allowed (encouraged?) developers to build right up against roads. Any official with any foresight would have planned for road expansion and insisted a right-of-way be provided. Now the only way to expand the road is to spend massive amounts of tax money to buy already-built-on land — your so-called “nimbies”.
In contrast, Maryland’s Route 24 already has its land for expansion. State officials are the real fiscal conservatives, by planning ahead to protect both private property and taxpayers.
@Decoydude, I would submit that your reply only shows that you are ignorant in the proper sense of the word, not the sense of the word that equates ignorance with stupidity; that’s not what I’m saying. But you appear ignorant of the fact that it is the STATE that controls the right of way along a state road, which usually extends for a not insignificant distance on either side of the actual pavement; for businesses and residences to have encroached upon the pavement as they have along Route 22 is the state’s problem, not the county’s. It is the state that should have kept the encroachment from happening, or else taken steps to alleviate the problem.
@Mort, the only reason Route 24 has such space around it is because the original Route 24, which we now know as Route 924, was encroached upon similarly. And in like manner, being a state route, the right of way is state property; the encroachment can only happen with state acquiescence or connivance. As to the current 24, the state had to condemn a lot of property to get what they wanted; and still there are places where stuff is almost abutting the asphalt, especially as you get closer to US 1.
My point stands.
@ Observer- you just don’t seem to understand my issue and appear to be a bit naive of the politics involved. We live in the real world not fantasy island. You can tell me a state road is different than a county road all day long which is nice but not part of my point. I fully get your point. If someone wants to build and are politically connected the rules get overlooked for them. The processes of rule bending usually starts locally with the planning and zoning process and moves on. Yes, the state does need to say no, and maybe this is finally it.
@Decoydude, then perhaps my choice of the word connivance was accurate. I maintain that you cannot build along, especially against, a state right-of-way without the state’s permission. Whether or not the state should grant that permission is another question; and you may be right that political connections allow this to happen, although historically Harford is an overlooked county when it comes to state politics, especially over the last generation when the county has turned Republican while the state machinery is still in Democratic hands. Perhaps the well-connected who you malign are better connected with the state machinery than most of us realize. I do not immediately comprehend, however, how that permits the subjects of the hegemony to build right up against a major thoroughfare that is in desperate need of expansion, and has been in such a condition for at least 30 years. I’m just saying, here.
Interesting posts. Bottom line: Route 22 needs to be expanded to 4 lanes from 543 to I-95. This road is way to congested to stay in its current form. This part of the county has been over-developed and the taxpayers need relief from traffic. The first place to start the improvements is between Campus Hills shopping plaza and Route 543. Enough BS about state/county roads, just make this happen.
Angelique Scharine says
I agree with Blissful in Bel Air! 22 may be a state road, but much of the problem was caused by the federal government in the BRAC process. Granted, I work at APG and I’m generally supportive of progress in general, but we REALLY need to improve the access roads to APG. The economy around her depends on APG – the infrastructure should be upgraded to support that fact. There needs to be better mass transit (transit that isn’t a part time job to use), and better road access. People shouldn’t be required to spend two hours daily crawling along just to get to and from work.
I know that people live along 22 and I hate to disrupt property and lives, but it’s going to have to change and it’s already past due…
While I agree that something must be done about the congestion on Route 22, I will have to argue that BRAC did not break it. It may have made it a bit worse, but traffic from 543 to Aberdeen has been a growing issues for many years before the BRAC influx.
one more former student says
As someone who happens to live on Rt22, and as a someone who has lived their entire life in Harford County, we Nimby’s on Rt22 will politely tell all the idiots who let the devolpers and their in pocket politicians build tons of houses but no new access road, stick it.
BRAC isn’t the problem, Rt 24 was a great idea when it opened, but let all the devolpers buidl around it so bad they had to add trafic lights, add lanes and now you have a huge cluster at peak times. look at Rt 22 in belair when they did widen it, that worked real well.
They could have punched Rt 715 straight to I-95, but nope, that would cause some developers and commercial property owners to loose land, we can’t do that.
They could have added lanes to Rt543 to belair, but nope, that would cause deveoplers to loose land nad the high$$ homes didn’t want a larger road around them.
and most of all, the politicians could have grown a set and said. we will allow for X number of houses/per year/ in these x areas and we will not be providing public water/sewer past that. the cities of Aberdeen/HDG will expand to a pre defined area with a transition area after that…. but nope, they just wanted the $$ so we taxpayers get to fund all the operating and maintenance costs for the roads/water plants/sewer plants/schools and parks-rec. great deal..
Anyone who decides they can no longer deal with 22 traffic, can’t take the wait on 24, is free to exercise their right to move to Aberdeen, Edgewood, Joppa , HDG or another county and live life on Rt40 and 95.
The state may not have the best plan, but at least you remove the temptation from the local politicians who can’t seem to follow a practice they tell thier kids.. ” Just say No” when it comes to builders. Just look at that great idea that the county put their credit towards on Stepney Road for david craigs buddy Clark Turner. How’s those houses selling now Clarkie???
ALEX R says
Sheesh! It’s the State politicians! No, wait, it’s the local politicians! Is too! Is not! Is too! Is not!
Remember, this is Maryland. Just about every politician is ‘in bed’, as one of you so graphically described it, with every other politician and with the developers. All of the poor taxpayers are peering in the bedroom window wondering who is going to pay to clean up this mess. The answer, unfortunately, is that they are.
Nevertheless, Rt. 22 has needed to be four full lanes with center left turns all the way from Aberdeen to Bel Air for at least 30 years. As the intersection at 22 and 155 so graphically points out, two lanes with center left turn just does not clear the traffic jams. And 22 backed up at HCC long before the Wawa and Arena Club contributed to the mess.
Never mind the political bollocks, where’s the improvements on Route 22?