State still committed to Smart Growth

November 11, 2009

In response to the story "Smart Growth incentives fail to rein in suburban sprawl" (Nov. 3) there's no denying that sprawl continues to be a problem and that we need to work together to solve it. But the limitations of the Priority Funding Areas charted during Gov. Parris N. Glendenning's administration were known long ago. In fact, they were pointed out 11 years ago, not long after the law passed, in a report by the nonprofit Abell Foundation. In addition, most of the research analysis cited in the article came from our own data. The challenges and opportunities associated with Smart Growth are larger than the 1997 law alone; it is just one of several Smart Growth programs.

Under Gov. Martin O'Malley, we've reinvigorated programs aimed at improving land preservation, community development and development oriented to mass transit. In addition we're also working on developing a state growth plan to better align governmental policies and plans toward the objective of sustainable development. Maryland's commitment and innovation toward the goal of Smart Growth remains strong.Richard Eberhart Hall, Baltimore

The writer is Maryland's secretary of planning.

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