RESIDENTS have a rare opportunity to plan the future of their communities. They shouldn't forfeit it.
Although complaining about poor planning is a popular pastime, the audiences have been pathetic at meetings of Anne Arundel County's small area planning process.
Last week, for example, a forum in Crofton drew a smattering of a couple of dozen people.
Crofton residents who did not show up lost an opportunity to hear about future projects, potential land-use changes and public improvements planned for their community. They also missed a chance to have a direct say in shaping the future of their neighborhoods.
The county's Department of Planning and Code Enforcement created 16 so-called small areas to generate the detailed planning that isn't in the county's recently adopted, broad General Development Plan.
At the moment, the communities of Annapolis Neck, Broadneck, Crofton, Crownsville, Edgewater-Mayo and Severna Park are in midst of the process.
In small area plans, local issues and concerns are the focus. Recommendations from this review will be incorporated into the county's zoning map.
The county has made an extraordinary effort to empower residents to take a role in shaping their communities.
Meetings were purposely scheduled in the evenings, but attendance hasn't met expectations.
If the public doesn't participate, the committees will have to make decisions in a vacuum. Anyone who is interested in having a say in the planning process should participate in the remaining forums.
They will be held tomorrow at Broadneck High School; for Edgewater-Mayo on Tuesday at Central Middle School; and for Annapolis Neck on May 21 at Annapolis High School. The forums begin at 4: 30 p.m. and run until 8: 30 p.m.
For questions, call Planning and Code Enforcement at 410-222-7432. This is the time to give your input.
Pub Date: 5/13/98