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Department of Housing and Community Development

State of Maryland Designates New Sustainable Community in Baltimore County

State of Maryland Designates New Sustainable Community in Baltimore County

Arbutus will become 123nd Sustainable Community in Maryland

New Carrollton, Md. (October 21, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced Arbutus has become Maryland’s newest Sustainable Community. With this designation, Arbutus becomes the ninth designation in Baltimore County and 123rd in the state. By earning a Sustainable Community Designation, local governments are provided with a revitalization “toolbox” of state resources including programs, loans, grants and tax credits that can support brick and mortar community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism.

Arbutus’ Sustainable Community Area is in Baltimore County, located south of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campus and is bordered by Patapsco Valley State Park to the south and west. Arbutus is uniquely positioned and able to serve as a hub for a diverse technology, industrial business community, and provide direct access to major commuter routes such as I-95, I-695, I-895, and I-295, and is six miles from BWI Airport. Additionally, Arbutus is just 20 miles away from the Washington DC Beltway, providing further access to several business communities and federal employment centers.

In addition to the Sustainable Community Designation, Arbutus has been designated as a Local Historic District, a Commercial Revitalization District, a Design Review Area, and a County Enterprise Zone, which all further encourage neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Arbutus’ key outcomes of the new designation include improving stream water quality and increasing the tree canopy, attracting and retaining more businesses such as grocery stores and cafes, creating a more complete bicycle and pedestrian network, encouraging homeownership and promoting relationships between the community and UMBC students and faculty, and lastly, to expand upon the area’s existing assets for the arts. 

Arbutus hopes to accomplish these key outcomes by improving their existing assets such as strong access to transportation networks and their growing relationship with UMBC.

To date, 123 Sustainable Communities have been designated. This includes 4 county-level designations, 118 municipalities and 59 unincorporated areas. They are as diverse as Frostburg in western Maryland, the Town of Ocean City on the eastern shore, unincorporated areas of Calvert County and large urban jurisdictions in central Maryland. For more information, visit our Sustainable Communities webpage

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Sara Luell, Director of Public Information

Emily Allen Lucht, Director of Communications