Still smarting

“It’s the first time the state has ever done anything like this,” said Richard Josephson, director of planning services. State planners have had the legal authority to draw up a statewide development plan since the 1970s, he said, but have never acted on it. Now, though, amid signs that Maryland’s Smart Growth laws and policies haven’t slowed the spread of suburbia over the past 12 years, state officials are dusting off that unused planning tool. “If we continue [developing] at the rate we’re going, we’ll use up 560,000 acres in the next 20 years,” Josephson said. That’s nearly equal to all the land in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties combined, he noted, calling it “staggering to think about.”

From a Sun item on the latest in Maryland government efforts to get to ‘Smart Growth’.

2 Replies to “Still smarting”

  1. Oho — happens, in fact, that in Maryland’s historical landscape ‘Greenbelt’ and ‘socialism’ are inextricably linked — all at once, yet, no question of slippery slopes. (I lived there for a couple of years while at the Univ. of Maryland, incidentally.)

    A little late around here for preserving a nice swath of contiguous undeveloped land surrounding an urban core, though. The sprawl emanates from both D.C. & Baltimore in all directions, with a heavily developed corridor between the two, spread wide over six Maryland counties (Baltimore, Howard, Frederick, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, & Montgomery). With high per-capita income & steady population growth, the political pressure to keep development restriction relaxed is immense & multi-dimensional. And this is already long a solidly ‘liberal’-voting part of the country! (The GOP is represented here, but never on top in generations.) Damage control, more than preservation, is the land-use problem, and quite a tricky business under the circumstances.

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