Anne Arundel County is served by the Baltimore Light Rail and MARC Penn Line with nine stations. The 2009 Anne Arundel County General Development Plan recognizes the need for mixed use and economic development around existing or planned transit stations by designating all transit station areas as Targeted Growth Areas, considered the highest priority for economic development. Through its more detailed and community-based small area plans, the county designates Transit Mixed Use for station areas such as Odenton MARC, BWI Amtrak/MARC/Light Rail, Cromwell/Glen Burnie and North Linthicum, to allow office, retail, high-density residential uses and pedestrian and bike paths to improve access to stations. The county also offers density bonuses, shared parking, streamlined development review processes and design guidelines to plan for and incentivize development.
The major TOD planning and implementation effort in the county, the Odenton Town Square Project at the Odenton MARC Station near the U.S. Army’s Fort Meade base, is jointly developed among a private developer, the county and state. The 2003 Odenton Small Area Plan calls for the station area to be a high quality compact development with a mix of retail, office, civic, and housing uses to create a vibrant live/work community. As a state- designated TOD site, the Odenton Station Area receives state support for TOD planning and implementation and was established as a TOD District by the county in 2011. The market demand for TOD at this location is strong not only because of its proximity to a commuter rail line, but also due to increased job opportunities at Fort Meade, a BRAC site. However, the MARC line’s limited weekday peak hour service tempers that market demand.
Market demand for TOD at this location is strong not only because of its proximity to a commuter rail line, but also due to increased job opportunities at Fort Meade, a BRAC site. The planned short and long-term MARC improvements will further enhance market demand for TOD.
Anne Arundel County’s other two rail stations, located near the BWI/Marshall International Airport, fall within the Airport Noise Zone, which prohibits high density developments due to Federal Aviation Administration height restrictions near airports.
Although Anne Arundel officials expressed interest in being able to provide affordable TOD housing, the county has no affordable housing legislation for TOD projects.
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