Despite the tough economic challenges we are facing, the O'Malley Administration made significant strides during the 2009 session to achieve One Maryland: Smart, Green and Growing.
The Maryland Department of Planning played the lead role in the passage of the Governor’s Smart, Green, and Growing legislative package by working closely with our stakeholders – local governments, municipalities, and the environmental community – to strengthen and reinvigorate the fundamental tools of smart growth. The General Assembly passed three significant planning bills in this package. Governor O’Malley signed these bills into law on May 7, 2009. See press release.
One of our most far-reaching legislative achievements resulted in a set of modernized Visions that will impact the future growth in Maryland for generations to come. The new Visions will enhance local comprehensive plans by reflecting a greater connectedness between where we live, where we work, and the quality of life we enjoy (See Planning Visions below).
For the first time in history, Maryland now has a statewide smart growth goal and local governments must develop their own goals. Consistent with the Governor's Stat approach, Maryland jurisdictions will now report on a uniform set of indicators in order to provide better information to influence better planning policy decisions (See Smart Growth Measures and Markers below).
We responded decisively to the Terrapin Run ruling by passing legislation to protect the investment that citizens make in their comprehensive plans, and by enhancing the role of these plans for smart growth
(See Smart & Sustainable Growth Act of 2009 below).
This package of successes represents literally the most significant achievements in smart growth in more than a decade. They address a variety of underlying growth challenges facing our State with a set of smart, practical, and sustainable strategies that will help us keep families first and make better choices on behalf of the citizens of Maryland.
Although there is much more work to be done, I am happy to report that we continued our progress as One Maryland.