Panel hears final reports on Howard's General Plan

Transportation, economy recommendations made

July 15, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A 34-member advisory panel analyzing Howard County's General Plan wrapped up two days of subcommittee reports last nightin a first-floor conference room of the Columbia Gateway Building.

Five subcommittees of the General Plan Task Force identified priorities for the next General Plan, a document that directs growth in areas of the county.

The Responsible Regionalism subcommittee was one of the last groups to make its presentation.

The subcommittee suggested, among other ideas, coordinating public transportation systems linking residential and employment locations throughout the Baltimore-Washington corridor, developing an economic plan that would improve the fiscal health of those cities and working with governments to revitalize aging neighborhoods.

Last week, other proposals included forming a Department of Resource Protection to oversee preservation of wetlands and forests, evaluating the availability of business resources and tools for farmers in rural western Howard, and remaking downtown Columbia as the county's focal point.

Chairman James McGowan said before last night's meeting that he hoped to complete the report that night.

The report will be submitted to the Planning Board, which will hold a public hearing July 29.

The guidelines will be reviewed by the County Council for adoption in September or October.

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