"A broad cross-section of Marylanders favors steering most of the state's expected population growth over the next 25 years into already-existing communities and preserving more rural land than local officials are planning to do, according to a new report..
The report, summarizing a series of growth 'visioning' workshops last spring, says participants generally agreed there should be a major shift in Maryland's land-use patterns, increasing development density inside the Baltimore and Washington beltways and along transit lines - in some cases beyond what current zoning allows - to spare forests and farmland from the bulldozer."
"[However,] workshop organizers acknowledged that proposals to increase development density are not politically popular, as residents complain about clogged roads, overcrowded classrooms and loss of green space."
" 'There is some disconnect between that desire [to concentrate development] and what happens on the ground,' said John W. Frece, associate director of UM's Smart Growth research center and the report's primary author. 'There are two things people don't like - one is sprawl, and the other is density.' "
"The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that Maryland, the fifth-most densely populated state in the country, will grow from 5.5 million people now to 7 million by 2030. An additional 28,000 households and 45,000 jobs are expected in the next decade as a result of a nationwide military base reorganization."