Pat Troy says she wants to control the future in Severna Park.
"We want this to be a good place to live 30 years from now," Ms. Troy said about ASPIRE, the group she helped found last year. "No one has been able to integrate the residents and the business community into any long-term planning effort. We're trying to build a better future for Severna Park."
ASPIRE, the Association for Severna Park Improvement, Renewal and Enhancement, is holding its first town meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday at Severna Park Elementary School in an effort to get ideas from business owners and residents about the future of the community.
The group has invited Alexander Spear, the Anne Arundel County demographer, to provide population and income information, and Ellie Vernon, a member of a similar group in Queen Anne's County, to talk about the importance of planning groups.
Planning the future of a community helps its residents gain a sense of self-determination, Ms. Vernon said.
At the end of the meeting, audience members will be invited to form small groups to discuss plans for the future of Severna Park. ASPIRE members already have decided they want to develop a master plan for Severna Park that would be incorporated into the county's master plan.
"We just want to make sure that Severna Park is a place for attractive growth," said Linda Zahn, also a founder of the group. "We want to make sure somebody is working to make sure what happens in Severna Park is not haphazard, that it is planned."
Ms. Troy began organizing ASPIRE last year. The group was incorporated in May 1994.
"I'm thinking that as we grow in strength we will be a pretty powerful force in Severna Park," said Ms. Zahn. "We're excited about it, and we hope that we can do a lot of good."