Biography of the Secretary
Secretary Richard Eberhart Hall
Secretary Hall has over 20 years of professional planning practice. His career spans experience in private consultancy and planning at the municipal, county and State levels. He has been an employee of the Maryland Department of Planning since 1992, first as a planner then, since 2003, in the capacity of Director of Land Use Planning and Analysis. Prior to joining MDP, Secretary Hall was a senior planner at the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning. His earlier planning experiences included positions as a part time planner with the Planning Department of the Town of Carrboro, NC, an associate planner with Aquasystems Inc. in Greenville, NC and a Planning Intern with the Regional Development Institute in Greenville, NC. Secretary Hall is a Maryland native having been raised in Wicomico County and now living in Baltimore City. As such, Secretary Hall brings a broad knowledge of the State, its natural, built and cultural environment and its people.
Secretary Hall’s experience ranges from the technical and practical aspects of planning assistance and analysis to roles in advocating and advising on policy and legislation matters. As MDP’s Director of Land Use Planning and Analysis, Secretary Hall led a group of ten professional planners in the areas of review & comment of local comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, annexations, and other planning policies, growth modeling and analysis and technical assistance, data management and crafting products relevant to smart growth issues and programs. State and local government and the communities they serve benefited most by Secretary Hall’s leadership in implementing the Priority Funding Area program from the 1997 Smart Growth Act.
Coordination with local governments and other planning interests onthese and other important growth issues is the Secretary’s core driving value. He continues to foster strong relationships with the planning community and a wide range of smart growth-related stakeholders. For example, he worked on synchronizing the agency’s efforts with the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays Programs. This work involved addressing growth issues as they relate to the Bays and their tributaries and coordinating many planning issues across MDP and sister agencies.
Secretary Hall has served as the lead on several task forces and workgroups, including 2004’s Development Capacity Task Force and 2005’s Annexation Workgroup. His role is these groups included development and presentation of smart growth analyses, outlining policy options, making recommendations, and working with group dynamics among the related stakeholders to strive toward smart growth consensus. His work included significant consultation with the Secretary, elected officials, and other key players.
Communicating to and informing organizations and citizens that have an investment in and the ability to contribute to smart growth in Maryland has always been a part of Secretary Hall’s objective at MDP. This has included many presentations to groups, both small and large, such as local government planning officials, homebuilders and developers, economic development officials, American Planning Association, environmental groups, regional planning organizations, national planning think tank groups, citizen groups and university planning classes. This is exemplified by his involvement in the Reality Check Plus effort, a unique series of growth visioning exercises held around the state in May and June 2006. Nearly 850 participants that attended these exercises represented a diverse group of stakeholders: government officials, builders, farmers, environmental groups, businesses and citizens. The Secretary’s specific role in this process was to provide background data and information for the four regional workshops.
Secretary Hall is the past President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a former Board member of 1000 Friends of Maryland and is Affiliate Faculty for the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The Secretary received his undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in Environmental Resources and Public Administration from the East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He received a Master’s Degree of City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is a member of the University of North Carolina Planning Alumni Association