Representatives from the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission highlighted some of current and pending projects they are working on at the 2015 MACo Summer Conference on August 14. The Commission continues to study and make recommendations on a wide range of Smart Growth and land use issues in Maryland.
Ballard Spahr Partner and Commission Chair Jon Laria provided a short overview of the Commission and then discussed the Commission’s recently released Reinvest Maryland initiative, which includes policy recommendations for encouraging infill, redevelopment, and revitalization in existing built areas. Land Stewardship Solutions Planner and Commission Member Greg Bowen discussed the Commission’s current work on rural economies and rural Smart Growth issues. Maryland Delegate and Commission Vice Chair Mary Ann Lisanti discussed the pending release of the Commission’s Status Check project, which would annually publish a uniform set of growth and development data for individual counties and regions in the state.
MACo Legal and Policy Counsel and Commission Member Les Knapp concluded the panel by stressing the Commission’s usefulness as a sounding board and advisory body. Knapp cited the Reinvest Maryland strategy as an example of the positive work the Commission can generate. He also expressed satisfaction that the Commission was taking a serious look at rural growth issues, something that MACo has maintained is lacking in Maryland’s current Smart Growth model. Finally, Knapp noted that the Status Check project could produce useful information but cautioned that the Status Check data should: (1) not be used as a county grading or ranking system, (2) be presented in a neutral manner; and (3) include necessary caveats to minimize misperceptions.
Maryland Delegate and Commission Member Stephen Lafferty moderated the panel.