Former Maryland gov. to help local leaders plan for future

Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, president of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, will headline a May 19 meeting of Community 2050, a county-wide conclave of community leaders dedicated to planning the county’s future using smart growth principles.

The regional event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pismo Beach Veterans Hall.

City council members, county supervisors, planning commissioners, city managers, planning directors, public works directors, and representatives from school boards, community service districts, area advisory councils and chambers of commerce, from Nipomo to Cambria, are expected to attend..

As governor, one of Glendening’s primary agenda items was smart growth. He led the creation of a groundbreaking smart growth initiative that focused on using the entire $23 billion state budget as an incentive for smart growth.

Smart growth is a planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. It advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.

It values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short term focus.

-Bob Cuddy