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Maryland Announces Two New Sustainable Communities
A burgeoning community inside the Capital Beltway and a Cecil County town that served as a supply depot for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War are the latest communities to receive designations under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities Program. Program designations are approved by Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet, and there are now 105 approved Sustainable Communities statewide with at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.
Sustainable Communities receive access to a comprehensive package of resources and technical expertise that supports holistic, “big picture” strategies for revitalization. The Sustainable Communities designation provides local governments with a framework for planning and promoting growth and redevelopment in existing older communities that is environmentally, economically and socially responsible.
Cecil County – Town of Charlestown
Established in 1742, the Town of Charlestown was a supply depot for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and features a historical district with approximately 150 buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, including a rare ice house and a house once visited by George Washington. Boasting a waterfront location on the North East River, Charlestown aims to protect its precious natural attractions by reducing the amount of unfiltered stormwater flowing into the river, planting rain gardens, and expanding the use of rain barrels and bio-roofs. The town also seeks to capitalize on its colonial charm by installing brick sidewalks, adding commercial businesses to its historic district, and hosting community events that celebrate its history.
Prince George’s County – Greater Chillum
Located inside the Capital Beltway, Greater Chillum is a densely populated and diverse community that serves as a connecting corridor between Maryland and Washington, D.C. The community is currently transitioning from an auto-centric suburb to a more urbanized area, with a significant percentage of residents reliant upon public transportation. Greater Chillum seeks to improve walkability for pedestrians and encourage more bicycle use by incorporating protected bike lanes and new crosswalks in the area. The community also hopes to become more environmentally friendly by reducing impervious surfaces and to create local economic opportunities by establishing a small business incubator to support entrepreneurs and start-ups.
To learn more about the Sustainable Communities program and the application process, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/dn/.