Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maryland Task Force on the Future of Growth and Development

City of Laurel Development Director, Karl Brendle sends along the following:
"Despite current economic conditions, an additional 1.3 million people are expected to move to Maryland by 2030. The Maryland State Task Force on the Future of Growth and Development is charged to re-examine development policies to try and minimize the effect on this new population growth. I represent the Maryland Municipal League planners on the Task Force. I would be happy to entertain any questions, or relay concerns about development issues at" - Karl Brendle

It only took me 10 minutes to take the survey. And if you have questions, there is nobody better than the Professor Karl to answer.

Karl has 25+ years of experience in the development trenches here in the Mid Atlantic region working for both developers and governments alike. Laurel is very fortunate to have a man of his experience and reputation looking out for our city’s best interests. Karl doesn’t just work here...he also lives right here in the city. He is one of our Oldtown neighbors.




Task Force on the Future of Growth and Development

The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) announced the formation of the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development at the beginning of 2008 (see Press Release dated January 7, 2008). This Task Force was formed under House Bill 773 and was signed into law last year. The 21-member Task Force is charged with studying a wide range of smart growth and land use issues effecting Maryland. A final report is due by December 1, 2008. The term of the Task Force, however, extends through 2010, serving as an advisory board to the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet.

Upcoming meetings, dates and locations (subject to change)
Monday, October 27th at MDP Office in Baltimore, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 12th at MDP Office in Baltimore, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday, November 24th, (Location TBA if needed)

Make a Difference in Maryland for Future Generations

You can help chart the future of growth in Maryland’s communities. The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland invite you to participate in a survey informing their work on recommendations and strategies for sustainable growth in the State.

Click here to take the survey!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Laurel Commons

The Laurel Commons redevelopers provided me with a few interesting drawings that show how the property will look when completed. See the Leader's recent story.

The TIF issue is still not resolved. The County does not appear to support a TIF. Either the County Executive or our local County Council Member, Mr. Tom Dernoga, must sponsor the legislation and neither has done so at this time.

The lack of County support for a TIF will make the City Council's support politically difficult. I don't hear a lot of support for a city-sponsored TIF from my Oldtown neighbors.

Please click on any graphic below for a larger image.

My thanks to Ms. Calista Black, Marketing Manager, Laurel Commons, General Growth Properties, Inc.

Hopefully the architects will soon provide their own web page with better graphics. These drawings are really worth seeing in high resolution.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Only 3 days left ...

The registration deadline to vote in Maryland is this Tuesday, October 14th at 9:00pm.


Visit this website to check to see if you are registered and to locate your polling place:


Download and complete a
Voter Registration Application and bring or Fax it to:
Prince George's County Board of Elections, 16201 Trade Zone Avenue, Suite 108 Upper Marlboro, MD 20721 Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M Telephone: (301) 430-8020 Fax (301) 430-8080 Directions

The Prince George’s County Board of Elections will also be open today October 11th from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. to accept voter registration applications.


The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the General Election is as follows: Download Absentee application. If the application is mailed, 4:30 p.m. on October 28, 2008; or If the application is faxed, 11:59 p.m. on October 28, 2008.


You can visit this page to view a SAMPLE BALLOT for the STATE OF MARYLAND, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY:


Please contact the MD Board of Elections: or call: 1-800-222-8683.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Laurel Main Street Businesses Profiled

Renita Young is a broadcast student from Chicago who is finishing her degree in Washington. She recently produced a 2 minute video for Medill News Service about how Laurel’s Main Street businesses are dealing with the slumping economy.

Featured interviews include: Sherron Algarin of the Changing Faces Boutique, Jessica Emery of the Gallery, and Gary Haymes of the Take it or Leave it Consignment shop. Unfortunately, since the piece was taped the Consignment Shop has announced that they are closing.

This short piece is well done and it shows the power of a free blogging site coupled with solid video storytelling skills. Hyperlocal journalism at work.

Click here for the video: or here for a bigger picture:

10/9/08 update - Turns out the Medill website has an entire multimedia package about Laurel's Main Street.