Sunday, November 26, 2023

Hazy About the Plan

 You can read what other people’s opinions are on social media, or you can find out for yourself.

This Wednesday at the East Columbia Branch of the Howard County Library, the League of Women Voters of Howard County is hosting What’s in HoCo By Design?

This event is co-sponsored by the Howard County Libary System.Hear representatives from the County Council discusss the amended new General Plan (HoCo By Design). This event will be a Hybrid meeting beginning at 7pm. In Person:  Howard County Library - East Columbia Branch in the Lucille Clifton Room. Zoom:  The Zoom meeting link will be provided as we get close to the date. Please RSVP to this event so we know how many to expect.

If you are unable to attend, don't worry!  We plan to record the meeting and posting it to our website and our Facebook page.

If you don’t know much about HoCo By Design, you are probably not alone. This is not because anyone was keeping it a secret - - far from it - - but because we all have so many things competing for our attention. We are more likely to focus on our immediate circle: family, home, job, neighborhood. HoCo by Design is a big picture sort of thing which has been developed over several years. That takes a lot of sustained attention. 

Truth in advertising: I have tried numerous times to dig into this and have failed every time. Also true: I haven’t given up. The basic concept is this:

Once each decade, Howard County updates its General Plan, a long-range, visionary document that guides land use, growth, and development decisions. Initiated in 2020, HoCo By Design reflects over three and a half years of community engagement, representing every voice as we create one vision for the County's future. - - HoCo by Design website.

  • Where do we think we are going as a county?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • What is feasible?
  • What are our assets?
  • What are the challenges?
  • How do we envision the end result?

Now that the plan has been written, amended, and passed by the County Council, the work begins to implement it. I guarantee you that the moment the Plan becomes visible in an initiative that directly impacts someone, you will see a good deal of ranting on social media that nobody ever told them this was happening and that the community should get a voice. 

You don’t have to like everything in the General Plan but for goodness sake’s don’t be that person. Be the informed person. After all, it is your Howard County. 

HoCo Hot Topics is an ongoing initiative of the Howard County League of Women Voters. The next one scheduled is in March, 2024. The focus will be education. That should be…interesting. 

To learn more about the Howard acounty Leaguw of Women Voyers, visit their website.

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