(April 15, 2020) — Berlin is seeking public input on the community’s resilience element of the town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan update. Comments will be accepted for the next two weeks until Thursday, April 30th.

This week, Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen announced that a draft of the Resilience Element is now available on the Town website for public review and input.  “The document is available as a Google Doc, allowing visitors to make comments directly on the site, and as a .pdf, which will allow comments to be submitted via email.”

The draft Resilience Element can be found at berlinmd.gov on the Administration page under Departments.  Comments will be accepted until Thursday, April 30, 2020. Following that deadline, staff will review comments and suggestions received and will compile them for the Planning Commission and Mayor and Council review.  Approval of the final document and amendment to the Comprehensive Plan will occur later this year.

Just over a year ago, in March 2019, Berlin hosted a series of three community meetings to gather input on a Resilience Element to be incorporated into the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.  The Town received a $20,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prepare the element and worked with the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC) to conduct the meetings and begin drafting the document.

During those meetings, Ms. Brandi Espinola of the EFC facilitated the discussions, then worked diligently with Town staff in the subsequent months to write the Element.  This year on March 9th, copies of the draft document were made available as part of the Regular Mayor and Council meeting.

At that meeting, Planning Director Dave Engelhart discussed the draft Element with the Mayor and Council, noting that every 10 years Maryland municipalities are required to review and update their Comprehensive Plans and Berlin’s planned update would include the Resilience Element.  He noted that the Planning Commission had also been provided the document for their review and comment and would make their recommendation to the Mayor and Council at a later date.

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