Maryland Looking Smart

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Maryland Governor Paris N. Glendening is putting more political chips into the Smart Growth kitty.

February 28, 2001

 

Gov. Paris Glendening

 

Maryland Governor Paris N. Glendening is putting more political chips into the Smart Growth kitty. Last month he unveiled a state budget with $145 million earmarked for land buys in environmentally sensitive areas. Most of the money will be used to preserve open space and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

But commitment to the principles of Smart Growth is not new there. According to Maryland state planner Harriet Tregoning, it began in the early 1980s when the state signed a regional pact to reduce the amount of toxins entering Chesapeake Bay. In the mid-80s, the Bay Agreement with Virginia was amended to focus on land use, protecting sensitive areas and directing development toward existing infrastructure. In 1992, the state took a more aggressive tack. It passed a planning act that formalized seven visions for land use that expanded its previous goals.

According to Tregoning, state action has preserved 20% of the Chesapeake watershed and reduced "the rate of sprawl by 30 percent.

"We are of the opinion balancing the interests of the economy and the environment is absolutely achievable."

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