Smart Growth Maryland Releases Toolkit for Advocacy Across the State, talks what’s next for the program
Marylanders often say that the state has it all, from mountains, lakes, and beaches to bustling cities and rich cultural and historic sites. If you grew up here, it might be easy to take this diversity for granted, but in the past 30 years, Maryland has lost more land to development than in the prior 300 years. Development and sprawl can often be incremental; it is difficult to see its impact until greenspaces dwindle or historic downtowns experience two “thousand-year” floods in the span of two years. With the state population predicted to grow by over 500,000 people in the next 17 years, how can Marylanders proactively protect vital natural and cultural resources while creating equitable, sustainable, and resilient communities? Smart Growth policies are one way to achieve this. As a movement, Smart Growth aims to create density in already developed areas in order to protect agricultural, cultural, and natural resources.
U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.)have introduced legislation that would expand the Historic Tax Credit to foster economic growth and urban renewal, revitalizing housing in distressed neighborhoods nationwide. In 2021 Maryland passed state legislation that that made financial assistance available to help close appraisal gaps in historically redlined and disinvested neighborhoods.
The State of Maryland recently announced the preliminary FY24 budget, including $102 million to fully replenish Program Open Space, eight years ahead of schedule to accelerate land conservation projects. Although still preliminary, Preservation Maryland is pleased to see support for a program we have long championed through our advocacy work and our Smart Growth program.
Today we are revisiting Maryland Comptroller-elect Lierman’s words from a 2020 guest blog as she makes a powerful case for the important role historic preservation can play in helping Maryland grow smarter.