Shared Community Vision Released For ‘Livable Frederick’ Plan

The process now will include developing scenarios to reach the goals.

Frederick, Md (KM)  It’s a much different process than how planning is currently conducted. During her public information briefing on Monday, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that the results of a survey of residents has come up with a vision for the future. “The vision reads ‘ Frederick County is a vibrant and unique community where people want to live, work and thrive while enjoying a strong sense of place and belonging,'” she said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we are well on our way to creating a bright future for a Livable Frederick through is unprecedented public outreach process.”

Gardner says over the course of four months, more than 2,000 residents took part, and completed a Livable Frederick survey to determine which values they wanted for the county. County staff wen through more than 15,000 individual comments.

She says residents want fulfilling jobs that help support their families. They also value traditional industry, and want to preserve the county’s agricultural legacy and open spaces. In addition, citizens who responded to the survey say they want a healthy environment, clean air and water, and to plan for growth.

The next step is to develop scenarios that make this vision a reality. “We want to get beyond what we described early on which is very common where we have an increment of growth and we predict that growth in the future and plan accordingly,” says Kate Ange, Vice President of Renaissance Planning, which will be working with the county. “Scenario planning allows us to get beyond the predicting plan. It allows to say ‘what’s the future we want, and what are some different ways we want to get there.'”

She says scenario planning can help the county accommodate growth. “We’re taking that increment of growth, and we’re looking at the existing policies that are on the ground and we’re saying ‘how much can we accommodate? Where does that growth go? And what are the current policies mean in terms of the nature of that growth,” says Ange. “And then we’ll come up with a series of alternative scenarios and say ‘what if growth happens like this instead? Does that get us closer to the vision or move us in a different direction?'”

There will also be accommodations for residential growth. “We also want to understand the people side of this. ‘Whose moving here? Whose moving away from here? What are their market preferences? Where do they like to shop? What kine of places do they like to live,'” says Ange.

“We’ll kind of look at these job dynamics and the people dynamics, and we’ll start to get a better sense of ‘what does the vision say we want? What are some of the trends in terms of job growth, and even people preferences in terms of where people want to live and how they want to live, and what sort of scenarios can we come up,” says Ange.

The County Planning Commission is expected to get a briefing on “Livable Frederick” scenario planning on Wednesday.

County Executive Gardner said the “Livable Frederick” plan is still a work in progress, and citizens are encouraged to participate. She says they can go on line to for more information.

By Kevin McManus