With the launch of an interactive website called Plan2040 Community Engagement@Home, Anne Arundel County has taken a leap forward to a brand new level of public outreach and community engagement on the draft General Development Plan (GDP) and its accompanying draft Planned Land Use Map.
Social distancing requirements and restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19 have made in-person public meetings both impractical and a risk to public health at this time. In response, the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning (OPZ) developed the innovative technology platform to make a robust public comment period on Plan2040 still possible, but within safe public health guidelines.
“This online community engagement tool delivers on the most important promise I made as a candidate for this office,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “Plan2040 Community Engagement@Home empowers residents to engage in the most important land use decisions of our decade, at the neighborhood level, with the same information our planners have on each landowner’s application for a change in land use. Please log on, zoom into your neighborhood, and weigh in now. We need to hear from you.”
During a virtual open house period that extends through Sept. 10, residents are encouraged to visit the website Plan2040 Community Engagement@Home to explore all the information at their fingertips.
In addition, the county’s Office of Community Engagement and Constituent Services, along with OPZ planners, will jointly host three meetings with community leaders to educate communities across the County on how to best use the Plan2040@Home tool. For anyone interested in attending a community meeting, please go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the virtual open house period closes, comments will be evaluated for inclusion in a full draft plan document that will be open for public comment for 30 days and then reviewed through a formal series of meetings with the County Planning Advisory Board and the County Council through the fall and winter.
The County Council has the final authority to adopt the plan and current plans anticipate submitting the General Development Plan to the County Council by the end of this year.