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Maryland Smart Growth Plan 1997

Maryland Govpics

Maryland's Smart Growth Priority Funding Act of 1997 (The Smart Growth Areas Act of 1997) was launched as part of Governor Parris N. Glendening's Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Initiative. The initiative was created as a result of the state's 1992 Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act, which outlined development goals in Maryland. The Smart Growth Priority Funding Act was created to allow the use of state funds for infrastructure to incentivize higher density developments in the Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) and to protect the areas outside of the PFAs.

Managing Maryland's Growth was authored by the Maryland Office of Planning in 1997 to designate the Priority Funding Areas and to implement the initiative's main goals to:

  • Support existing communities by targeting resources to support development in areas where infrastructure exists.
  • Save our most valuable natural resources before they are forever lost.
  • Save taxpayers from the high cost of building infrastructure to serve development that has spread far from our traditional population centers.
  • Provide Marylanders with a high quality of life, whether they choose to live in a rural community, suburb, small town, or city.

Since this 1997 plan, the state has adopted the 2006 Planning Legislation, 2009 Smart, Green and Growing Legislation, 2010 Sustainable Communities Legislation, and the 2012 Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act. The 1997 Smart Growth initiative has resulted in the establishment of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, and has also been recognized by the Innovations in American Government Awards Program.

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