We have signed on to a memo to the planning commission with our civic partners to ask for more public participation in this process. Particularly, the input of certain groups has so far been lacking - high school and college students, Black and Latinx organizations, Historic Freeman communities, and organizations representing our low-income, elderly and disabled neighbors. We can all thrive together if the process to chart our future includes everyone. Weigh in on the plan here before December 10.
"As you may know, the Planning Board review phase of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 is now underway. On October 1, 2020, the Planning Board unanimously voted to make the Public Hearing Draft Plan available to the public and to hold a public hearing about it on November 19, 2020. I am writing to invite you to comment on the key concepts and proposed recommendations in the draft Plan, and share your thoughts with the Planning Board.
The Planning Board will hold the public hearing at their virtual meeting on Thursday, November 19. You can testify online, over the phone, or submit written testimony. To testify online or by phone, you must sign up to testify by 12 p.m. on November 18, 2020. Written testimony must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 p.m. on November 18 for it to be reviewed before the public hearing. The public record will stay open until December 10, 2020, to allow more time for those who may not be able to submit testimony by November 19. All public comments, including those submitted after November 18, 2020, will be reviewed by the Planning Board during their work sessions on the draft Plan starting on or after December 17, 2020.
View the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Public Hearing Draft Plan. If you do not have the time to review the whole document, the “Trends and Challenges” and “A Plan to Thrive” sections will give you the key concepts and recommendations of the draft Plan or check out our two-page explainer. Also, goals, policies and actions specific to Agriculture and the Agricultural Reserve are located within Chapter 7, Diverse and Adaptable Growth. Additional information about Thrive Montgomery 2050 can be viewed at www.thrivemontgomery.com.
If you’re willing, we would also greatly appreciate it if you could notify other members of your communities of the Public Hearing Draft and the upcoming public hearing.
Thanks again for your continued collaboration in shaping the future of Montgomery County. Please do not hesitant to contact us if you have any questions!
and expanded comments from 8/2020 here.
(Thanks to colleague Diane Cameron for her invaluable help in developing comments!)
Among our comments:
-Adding the provision for broadband being more available in the Ag Reserve under the Connectedness section. Currently internet issues make all aspects of modern life harder, including civic participation during the pandemic.
-Under the water and sewer section, with the entire Ag Reserve outside the water/sewer envelope, more emphasis on helping businesses and residents manage their wells and septic systems to promote long term viability is key - particularly above the federally designated sole source aquifer. Well and septic resources can be found here.
-In the Climate Change section - MCA has provided edits to reflect the importance of strengthening our natural systems to provide for gains in air purification and water quality. We are planting acres of new forests along stream buffers through our Re-Leaf program to do just that.
The Planning Board is off till September 10. The agenda for the Board meetings is posted two weeks in advance.
The next step in Thrive Montgomery 2050 is publishing the Working Draft Plan. The schedule with dates will be posted later this week but here is a preview:
Thursday, 9/24: Publish Working Draft Plan
Thursday, 10/1: Planning Board to review the Working Draft Plan and approve it (with any changes/edits) as the Public Hearing Draft Plan and set the public hearing date for 11/19/20
Thursday, 11/19: Planning Board to hold the public hearing on Thrive Montgomery 2050 Public Hearing Draft Plan
December 2020 through March 2021: Planning Board work sessions to address public comments and review/finalize the draft plan.