Sustainable Communities Designations Announced by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Planning
Recommendations include localities around the Washington, DC area, Western Maryland and Eastern Shore
CROWNSVILLE, MD (March 6, 2012) – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner and Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall today announced the designation of four new sustainable communities under the state’s Sustainable Communities Act of 2010. The designated sustainable communities are Mount Rainer, Hagerstown, Centreville and Princess Anne.
"The Sustainable Communities program enables collaboration aimed at increasing transit oriented development and improving commercial and housing opportunities in existing rural, suburban and urban communities around Maryland," said Secretary Skinner. "Since the establishment of the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010, we have been able to select strong local partners that have demonstrated a dedication to improving their communities as well as a solid plan on how to best use precious local and state resources."
"The success of Smart Growth in Maryland is demonstrated by its Sustainable Communities – nine in all," said Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard E. Hall, who chairs the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet. "The four designees for 2012 exemplify their commitment to building thriving communities through sound environmental protection, strong local character and sense of community, solid economic development and innovative housing and development strategies. When I am asked what a successful fulfillment of PlanMaryland would look like, I say that these towns epitomize it."
A Sustainable Community designation reflects that a municipality or County has identified a specific local area in need of revitalization and has created a comprehensive strategy to encourage and guide local investment. The comprehensive Sustainable Community strategy aims to increase economic, transportation and housing choices as well as the quality of the local environment.
2012 Sustainable Communities Designees
City of Mount Rainier – Prince George’s County
The city’s proposal aims to redevelop the former Star-Potts Hall as a civic center and library as well as create a kiss-and-ride parking lot to encourage the use of public transportation. Mount Rainier’s plan also includes the development of a Mixed Use Town Center Zone (MUTC) as well as the increase of housing in this zone by 100-200 units with 8-10% targeted for workforce housing.
City of Hagerstown – Washington County
The city’s proposal includes transportation and recreational improvements and economic and housing development initiatives. The proposal calls for the development of pocket/dog parks and the implementation of a bicycle master plan. It also aims to establish business assistance and commercial building rehab programs and diversify housing stock.
City of Centreville – Queen Anne’s County
Centreville’s proposal focuses on improvements that will enhance outdoor activities and thus boost economic development in the city. Plans include the creation of a public canoe/kayak launch on the Corsica River and improving pocket parks and its streetscape. The proposal also includes the creation of Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) & Mixed-Use Development zones and two planned multi-family infill projects.
Town of Princess Anne – Somerset County
The proposal from Princess Anne focuses on leisure and commercial transportation improvements including enhancing bike & pedestrian connections within the town and to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore campus, developing a greenway around the town’s perimeter and offering kayak/bike rental along the Manokin River. The town’s plan also allows for the establishment of a community theatre and museum as well as increasing rent-to-own housing opportunities for area families.
Location within a designated Sustainable Community is a threshold requirement for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy and Neighborhood BusinessWorks financing programs. Projects in designated areas are also eligible for additional program incentives and benefits such as the following:
- Sidewalk Retrofit Program - Maryland Department of Transportation
- Job Creation Tax Credit - Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
- Sustainable Communities Tax Credit (formerly the Maryland Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit).
More information about Sustainable Communities is available by visiting the Neighborhoods page on the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development website: www.mdhousing.org as well as the Maryland Department of Planning website: www.mdp.state.md.us
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The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development works with partners to finance housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD’s programs, visit www.mdhousing.org.
News updates also are available by following DHCD on Twitter (www.twitter.com/MDHousing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/marylandhousing).
For more information:
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Director, Office of Communications and Marketing
Maryland Department of Planning