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News from Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

Crownsville, MD – With the support of the governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet, DHCD has approved six new Sustainable Communities, raising the total number of designated communities throughout the State of Maryland to 77.

 

Sustainable Communities is a place-based community revitalization designation offering a comprehensive package of resources. To participate, municipal and county governments are asked to identify local areas in need of revitalization and create a comprehensive revitalization strategy or “Action Plan” guiding investment in accordance with the principles of sustainability.

 

The Sustainable Community Action Plan aims to increase economic, transportation and housing choices, and improve environmental quality and health outcomes, among other locally identified goals. Sustainable Community designation encourages interagency and cross-governmental collaboration, aligning State and local resources to address the needs of Maryland communities. Sustainable Communities builds on current federal and state initiatives.

 

DHCD is especially pleased to announce the designation of the Landover Hills-New Carrollton community in Prince George’s County, which is to be the future location of the Department’s headquarters tentatively beginning Spring 2015.

 

Prince George’s County – Landover Hills-New Carrollton

 

The Landover Hills-New Carrollton Sustainable Community area includes the aforementioned municipalities, the New Carrollton state-designated transit oriented Development zone, three planned Purple Line stops and DHCD’s new headquarters. In alignment with the state’s smart growth objectives, DHCD relocated to this site to support the use of public transit, transit oriented development and reduce vehicle dependency among state employees. In collaboration with the municipalities, the county has significant revitalization plans, such as: create a sense of community with unique gateways and signage, form a business improvement district around the Annapolis Road Corridor and the New Carrollton metro stop to increase the mix of retail, encourage energy efficient upgrades among residential properties and construct bike lanes and shared use paths.

 

Prince George’s County – Suitland-Naylor Road Metro Station Areas

The Suitland-Naylor Road Sustainable Community includes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority metro stops of Suitland and Naylor Road, a county Tax Increment Financing District and is a part of the county’s Transforming Neighborhood Initiative. This area has been targeted for state investment as a result of various recent planning efforts. The county plans to increase the area tree canopy to 52 percent, redevelop under-utilized properties, make pedestrian-related transportation improvements, complete the Suitland Parkway Greenway and acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties for income eligible home buyers.

 Anne Arundel County – Odenton-Severn

A historic “streetcar suburb,” the Odenton-Severn area encompasses the state-designated Base Realignment and Closure and transit oriented development zones. Located adjacent to Fort Meade, the county plans to encourage development and revitalization in this targeted area with the following strategies: adopt and establish a tax increment financing district to support the revitalization of the Odenton Town Center, revitalize the “Boomtown” commercial corridor (MD Route 175), increase the supply of quality workforce housing, rehabilitate rental properties to encourage homeownership and complete construction of the South Shore and WB&A hiker-biker trails.

 Frederick County – City of Frederick – Patrick Street Corridor

The City of Frederick is the fifth community in Frederick County to be designated a Sustainable Community. With architecture dating back to the early and mid-19th century, the City of Frederick also has a Maryland Main Street, Arts and Entertainment District and BRAC designation. The city plans to focus efforts associated with the Sustainable Communities program in the Patrick Street Corridor which consists of the Golden Mile, downtown and the area known as East Frederick Rising. While the city has many revitalization strategies planned, a few of the projects identified for these areas include a “wayfinding” signage program, commercial façade improvements, a shared use path that connects the east and west sides of Frederick and redeveloping industrial areas for mixed-use.

 St. Mary’s County – Lexington Park & Charlotte Hall

Lexington Park and Charlotte Hall are the first two unincorporated places in St. Mary’s County to receive a Sustainable Communities designation. Located adjacent to the Patuxent Naval Air Station, Lexington Park has experienced significant growth and development. It was recently designated a Health Enterprise Zone by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The county plans to continue supporting the provision and improvement of affordable and workforce housing, removal of unsafe and blighted buildings and mixed use development. In Charlotte Hall, the county’s northern gateway, the county plans to establish a residential and commercial façade improvement program, improve and expand handicapped accessibility and improve pedestrian connectivity to the Three Notch Trail.

 Worcester County – Town of Berlin

Winner of the “America’s Coolest Small Town” award, the Town of Berlin is the fourth Sustainable Communities designation in Worcester County. Incorporated in 1868, the town is also an Arts and Entertainment District, Maryland Main Street and Sustainable Maryland Certified Community. With support from the Sustainable Communities program, the town plans to increase and improve its stock of housing affordable to those of low and moderate income levels, establish welcoming gateways, increase outdoor recreation facilities, maintain and improve the condition of the historic district through façade improvements and increase the number of bike and pedestrian pathways.

– By Mary Kendall

 Sustainable Communities Approved in Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, St. Mary’s and Worcester Counties

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