Kayakers on Mallows Bay, Potomac River, Charles County. Courtesy, Chesapeake Bay Program.
Smart Growth Maryland: In the Field in Charles County
11/07/2018 By Kimberly Golden Brandt
Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns. A major component of this campaign is focused on implementing smart growth policies at the local level across Maryland.
The historic Port Tobacco River. Flickr user F Delventhal.
Specifically, SGACC supports responsible development around existing infrastructure, transportation alternatives including light rail, and the promotion of a vibrant and healthy outdoors through implementation of the 2016 comprehensive plan. The coalition led a five-year campaign advocating for this visionary comprehensive plan which:
Focuses development in the County’s existing Priority Funding Areas where there is capacity for an estimated 20,000 new housing units.
Creates a new Watershed Conservation District to protect the headwaters of the Port Tobacco River and the Mattawoman Watershed.
Expands the Priority Preservation Area, initially limited to farmland, to include forestland in western Charles County, growing this area from 51,996 acres to 134,168 acres.
Recommends establishing a Mattawoman-Nanjemoy Rural Legacy Area to provide a new funding source for land preservation in western Charles County.
The coalition has also successfully advocated for:
Removal of a costly, sprawl-inducing highway project from the county budget and plans.
Ending the county practice of issuing school allocations in exchange for a payment by the developer, which led to severe school crowding and excessive use of classroom trailers.
Improved transparency and opportunities for public involvement in the county’s development review process.