Sensible blueprint for future land use Anne Arundel County: New master plan focuses growth away from rural areas.

March 13, 1997

AFTER THREE YEARS of meetings and hearings, Anne Arundel County has produced a general development plan that allows for future population growth into the 21st century but minimizes environmental damage and doesn't shoulder the government with exorbitant costs for new roads, sewers and other public works.

The broad outlines of the plan call for directing 90 percent of future development to 40 percent of the county's land area that is served by water and sewer systems or planned to be.

In addition, the plan creates mechanisms -- such as transferable development rights -- to relieve the continual economic pressure to convert rural farm and forest lands into sprawling residential subdivisions.

The plan accomplishes this by concentrating high-density development around public transportation hubs and three proposed town centers -- Glen Burnie, Odenton and Parole.

It also mixes residential, business and commercial uses so that county residents can live closer to where they work.

The proposal offers a sensible alternative to the expensive sprawling patterns of growth the past four decades.

The planners and citizens who produced Anne Arundel's master plan deserve accolades for their efforts.

Not everyone agrees with all of it. In fact, a few members of the citizen steering committee voted against it because they objected to various parts. County residents can make their views known at public hearings and meetings during the coming months.

Taken as a whole, this master plan for development should enhance existing communities and preserve the county's precious natural assets.

As long as comprehensive rezoning after the 1998 county elections follows the outlines of this plan, the process should produce more rational development patterns than previous efforts.

County Executive John G. Gary has not missed an opportunity to point out that this plan parallels Gov. Parris N. Glendening's "Smart Growth" proposal.

Indeed, careful planning to reduce sprawl development makes sense for Anne Arundel County as it does for Maryland as a whole.

Pub Date: 3/13/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.