What Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment can of­fer you

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The re­cent county gov­ern­ment re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and for­mer di­rec­tor’s re­tire­ment have brought new changes and op­por­tu­ni­ties to the Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment. The depart­ment added tran­sit ser­vices to its ex­ist­ing ser­vice ar­eas — land de­vel­op­ment, plan­ning, and cap­i­tal im­prove­ments. Each di­vi­sion works on spe­cial­ized ser­vices, but co­or­di­nates sim­i­lar tasks and func­tions for a more ef­fi­cient county gov­ern­ment.

The Codes, Per­mits, and In­spec­tions Ser­vices Di­vi­sion han­dles engi­neer­ing, con­struc­tion, plan­ning, and in­spec­tions for build­ing projects. The di­vi­sion works to pro­tect the health and safety of res­i­dents by en­sur­ing qual­ity hous­ing and com­mer­cial con­struc­tion, and per­mit re­view. Re­cently, the di­vi­sion be­gun us­ing En­erGov, a public por­tal that al­lows res­i­dents and busi­nesses to fol­low their per­mit process and re­ceive feed­back. En­erGov users can see when per­mits are re­viewed and ap­proved, which makes it a use­ful tool.

The plan­ning di­vi­sion pre­pares and main­tains com­pre­hen­sive plans, sub area plans, and spe­cial pur­pose stud­ies. This di­vi­sion works closely with the Tran­sit Di­vi­sion to in­te­grate tran­sit op­er­a­tions and plan­ning ser­vices. Public tran­sit will play an im­por­tant role in the Wal­dorf Ur­ban Re­design, Hugh­esville Re­vi­tal- iza­tion, and the new Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land Hugh­esville cam­pus, where tran­sit ser­vices are in the plan­ning stages. In fact, the new col­lege cam­pus is be­ing con­sid­ered as a hub for all three South­ern Mary­land tran­sit agen­cies.

The Re­source and In­fra­struc­ture Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion plans and co­or­di­nates public in­fra­struc­ture re­lated to wa­ter sup­ply, sewage, public school ca­pac­ity al­lo­ca­tions, and trans­porta­tion. This di­vi­sion works col­lab­o­ra­tively with the tran­sit di­vi­sion on trans­porta­tion needs.

The Tran­sit Di­vi­sion is re­spon­si­ble for VanGO bus ser­vice, which trans­ports more than 900,000 pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally. VanGO op­er­ates fixed-route and spe­cial­ized, door-to-door ser­vices. Re­gional trans­porta­tion is avail­able through links to Prince Ge­orge’s County The Bus and St. Mary’s Tran­sit Sys­tem. VanGO ser­vices are avail­able on­line and through the new Dou­ble Map bus tracker mo­bile app. Down­load the Dou­ble Map app to your mo­bile de­vice to view VanGO bus lo­ca­tions along routes and es­ti­mated ar­rival times. Visit http://VanGo. Dou­ble Map.com, se­lect your de­sired routes, and se­lect a stop near­est you to view es­ti­mated ar­rival time. To ac­cess on your smart­phone, search for “Dou­ble Map Bus Tracker” in your app store, down­load, and se­lect a sys­tem from the Charles County list.

As the new di­rec­tor of plan­ning and growth man­age­ment, I bring to Charles County Gov­ern­ment more than 28 years of ex­pe­ri­ence with lo­cal and re­gional land use plan­ning, project man­age­ment and spe­cial stud­ies ex­per­tise. It is a priv­i­lege to serve res­i­dents in this ca­pac­ity and work along­side county staff to keep our county a great place to live, work and play. If you would like ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion on the Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment, visit www.CharlesCoun­tyMD.gov/PGM.

Steve Kaii-Ziegler is the di­rec­tor of Plan­ning and Growth Man­age­ment for Charles County Gov­ern­ment.

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