2010 Sustainable Communities Legislation
The Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor O’Malley signed two important Smart, Green and Growing bills in the 2010 General Assembly session for the future of growth, development and sustainability in Maryland. MDP joins its community of partners, advocates and stakeholders in implementing the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 (House Bill 475) and supporting the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission (House Bill 474 and Senate Bill 278).
Overall these new Smart, Green & Growing laws inspire new thinking for sustainable growth and development in Maryland and guarantees that its objectives can be achieved.
Governor O'Malley signed the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 into law on May 20, 2010
The Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 strengthens reinvestment and revitalization in Maryland's older communities by reinventing an existing rehabilitation tax credit and extending the life of the credit through 2014, simplifying the framework for designated target areas in the Community Legacy (CL) and Neighborhood BusinessWorks (NBW) program by creating "Sustainable Communities", establishing a new transportation focus on older communities, and enhancing the role of the Smart Growth Subcabinet (SGSC) in the revitalization of communities.
Why is the law important?
The Sustainable Communities Act represents a renewed partnership of State and local leaders from the public and private sectors. The law continues the State's progress toward renewing and sustaining investment in local established communities. This legislation is an important step toward coordinating resources in ways that acknowledge the interdependence of economic, environmental and social investments for the following reasons:
- During its first year of implementation, the law will create an estimated 740 jobs in the construction industry.
- Private investment is attracted and sustained in the State's revitalization areas. Pooled funding resources such as grants and loans for nonprofit organizations, local governments, and small businesses are able to combine and create synergy in one clear revitalization investment area.
- The legislation helps to preserve the authentic "sense of place" and historic character of
- The green economy and sustainable development practices are advanced in tandem with revitalization investment.
- Maryland families are connected to economic opportunity in improving communities. Government programs and resources are streamlined and aligned to enhance effectiveness and create efficiencies in community revitalization.
- Scarce public resources are targeted to select areas in order to transform older, established communities and preserve natural resources.
- Local communities are provided an opportunity to re-envision their revitalization goals and plans to create greater economic opportunity and environmental protection.
What does it mean for Maryland citizens?
The new law promotes equitable, affordable housing by expanding energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation. Because the law favors transit-oriented development, Maryland citizens are afforded more transportation choices, which will decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
Click here to read House Bill 475 (66 pages).