Boundary Expansion Hearings Scheduled for Three State Heritage Areas

03/16/2021
By Preservation Maryland

The Maryland Heritage Area Authority (MHAA) will hold two virtual hearings later this month to address requests to expand the geographic boundaries of the three of the state’s thirteen Heritage Areas: Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area in Western Maryland, Beach to Bay Heritage Area on the Lower Eastern Shore, and the Four Rivers Heritage Area in Anne Arundel County.

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Certified Heritage Areas promote heritage tourism and foster partnerships between governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to create more livable and economically sustainable communities. They preserve and celebrate Maryland’s history, cultural traditions, and natural areas through grants, loans, tax credits, and other tools. MHAA is an independent unit of state government that operates in the Maryland Department of Planning.

Preservation Maryland believes the State of Maryland should increase their investment in heritage tourism. In 2017, Preservation Maryland successfully supported bi-partisan legislation that increased the $3 million cap on the program to a full $6 million cap, doubling the impact of the already powerfully successful program.

HEARING INFORMATION

The first hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 3:00PM and will include a request to enlarge the boundaries of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area to include property related to the Hagerstown Aviation Museum and annexed areas of the City of Hagerstown in Washington County. It will also include a request to enlarge the Beach to Bay Heritage Area to include the Mt. Zion Memorial Church located at 29071 Polks Road in Princess Anne, Somerset County. You are encouraged to attend the hearing or submit testimony if you are a local government official, heritage resource organization, tourism industry representative, business and property owner, or anyone who is interested in the proposal to enlarge the boundaries of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area or the Beach to Bay Heritage Area.

HEARING DETAILS

The second hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 2:00PM and will include a request to enlarge the boundaries of the Four Rivers (Annapolis, London Town and South County) Heritage Area to include an additional buffer to existing boundaries; the North County African American Trail; the Mid-County Cluster; the Jug Bay Cluster; recreational trails; and additional heritage tourism sites throughout Anne Arundel County. You are encouraged to attend the hearing or submit testimony if you are a local government official, heritage resource organization, tourism industry representative, business and property owner, or anyone who is interested in the proposal to enlarge the boundaries of the Four Rivers (Annapolis, London Town, and South County) Heritage Area.

HEARING DETAILS

Both hearings will be held virtually via YouTube live stream. Interested parties will have an opportunity to submit written testimony to staff for the record until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Due to telework requirements, all submissions should be sent via email to jen.ruffner@maryland.gov. If you are unable to submit your testimony via email, the address for MHAA is: Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Maryland Historical Trust, 100 Community Place, 3rd Floor, Crownsville, MD 21032-2023, Attn: Jennifer Ruffner.

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