Calvert County, Maryland

Metropolitan area.Today, 92,000 residents live in Calvert County, including in its two incorporated municipalities: North Beach and Chesapeake Beach, and its seven town centers: Solomons, Lusby, St. Leonard, Prince Frederick, Huntingtown,Owings, and Dunkirk. Navigating these changes, as the county contin- ues to grow, is partly the purview of MarkWillis, a lifelong county resident and current Director of its Planning &Zoning Department.AndWillis’ roadmap is the county’s Comprehensive Plan,which according to Maryland State law,must be updated on a regular basis. “The Comprehensive Plan is the county’s overall, future vision for the next 20 years, and that vision gets updated every five to ten years,”Willis explains. “And it’s never done without the public being in- volved. It’s a very intense, transparent operation. At the local level, you’re directed by the Planning Com- mission, because in Maryland, the Planning Com- mission is a citizen commission; they’re appointed to that Commission by the legislative body,which, in this case, is the Board of County Commissioners. We have between 100 and 150 public interactions, including meetings with the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners, both of whose meetings are public events.We also reach out to the citizenship of this county through town halls,meetings,workshops, and round tables. I’ve spoken to churches, HOAs, the American Legion –we’ve never turned down any group, person, or entity that wants us to talk and to listen to what they have to say.” “So, the draft Comprehensive Plan is actually owned by the Planning Commission until such time as the members have an updated draft that they feel is adequate, appropriate, and sufficient for maintaining the goals and objectives within the county,”Willis continues.“Then the legislative body, the Board of County Commissioners,will vote on it