The introduction to our week-long planning workshop in Ranson and Charles Town will feature national officials who back exactly the sort of comprehensive, collaborative effort the towns are undertaking.
The evening program begins at 7 p.m. on September 8 at Washington High School. For a complete schedule of the week, go here. And to get an overview of the workshop and its goals, check out the column to the immediate right.
Keynoter for the kick-off will be former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening. Expected to join Glendening at the event are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assistant administrator Mathy Stanislaus and other federal officials from the EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Why all the national interest?
Both during his two terms as Maryland’s governor between 1995 and 2003 and in public life after leaving office, Glendening became nationally known as a proponent of growth planning with energy conservation, environmental responsibility, housing affordability and expanded mobility choices in mind. This project represents that kind of comprehensive approach. It also exemplifies the goals of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a HUD/EPA/DOT initiative that encourages the silo-busting approaches that integrate transportation, housing and energy planning.
The Ranson/Charles Town project leverages $1.4 million in complementary grants from those federal agencies to plan for the revitalization of former factory sites and the towns’ Fairfax Boulevard-George Street commercial corridor. It also enables the drafting of a new zoning code that will guide growth in harmony with the towns’ traditions and character well into the future. By the end of this ambitious week of planning, the Ranson Renewed effort could become a model for regional planning throughout the country.
Whether or not you’re able to join the collaboration in person, by all means, follow the progress on these web pages.