Smiegel, Pipkin Grill Planning Chief Over PlanMaryland

The state’s top land use planner appeared before the General Assembly delegation from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to answer tough questions about a controversial initiative some fear strips local authority over development. Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Richard Hall was hit with a barrage of allegations from Shore delegation members about PlanMaryland, an umbrella policy approved by the governor for the state’s land use programs. State Senator E.J. Pipkin, R-36-Upper Shore, and Delegate Michael Smigiel, R-36-Cecil, continue to be two of the more outspoken critics of PlanMaryland, having staged a protest against it late last year, and most of the Shore delegation members have expressed their opposition to the executive order.