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Suburban Sprawl

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NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,Annapolis Bureau | April 7, 1992
ANNAPOLIS -- While its negotiators wrangled desperately with the budget, the General Assembly yesterday enacted bills to control suburban sprawl throughout Maryland and to strengthen legal protections for battered women.The sprawl bill, which was sponsored by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, attempts to limit sprawling development by directing counties and cities to follow guidelines when adopting land-use plans and development regulations.The guidelines call for concentrating future construction in suitable areas, protecting environmentally sensitive areas, streamlining regulations and encouraging economic growth.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN REPORTER | November 28, 2007
Who'd have expected that one of the biggest housing developments proposed in Maryland in years would be in rural, mountainous Allegany County, where the population has been dwindling since the factory economy collapsed 30-some years ago? But that's just what has happened, since a Columbia-based developer offered to build a 4,300-home community, along with some stores, a riding stable and trails on scenic U.S. 40, hard by Green Ridge State Forest. And, perhaps even more surprising, it has drawn fierce opposition - from people who say the county failed to follow its own growth plan in approving the process.
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NEWS
By ELISE ARMACOST | July 14, 1996
DEBBIE SHAUGHNEY lives in Happy Acres on Smiley Drive, one of a gazillion new subdivisions in Carroll County. Floating among the cornfields midway between Westminster and New Windsor, Happy Acres is a poster child for suburban sprawl.It is the kind of land-hungry development Gov. Parris N. Glendening railed against when he unveiled a $46 million plan to encourage families to buy homes in older neighborhoods, like Brooklyn Park, Reisterstown and Hillendale. Happy Acres has big, one- to three-acre lots and wide streets tailor-made for all the minivans and four-by-fours in the driveways, which makes sense since you can't get a loaf of bread, a newspaper or a video short of a 20-minute ride into town.
NEWS
By FRANK ROYLANCE and FRANK ROYLANCE,Sun Reporter -- Weather Blogger | June 24, 2007
The June 13 tornado near Butler in northern Baltimore County stirred Barry Brown of Sparks to write: "Has anyone other than myself realized that this problem is exacerbated by urban/suburban sprawl? It seems because of over-development of this area, that `tornado alley' is moving north." I don't buy it, Barry. If sprawl triggered tornadoes, we'd see far more in New Jersey than in Kansas. But as more people move to, and build in, the Hereford zone, we do have more people to witness funnel clouds and sustain wind damage.
NEWS
By KENNETH TREISTER | September 16, 1992
Coconut Grove, Florida.--The looting, arson and violence that marked the bloody Los Angeles riots has awakened America to the incredible problems that exist in its core cities and posed the question, ''What is the basic, root cause?'' The answers and proposed solutions are usually superficial and predictable: the disintegration of the family, more money for black entrepreneurship or for ghetto programs, etc. But these ideas are symptomatic and do not relate to the root cause.The underlying cause of America's urban ills is the complete segregation of American society caused by suburban sprawl and the flight of the white upper and middle class from the inner city over the last 40 years.
NEWS
By Thomas Sowell | June 30, 1999
THE LATEST scare phrase that is supposed to set off a political stampede is "suburban sprawl."But, before we go thundering off in all directions, just what is this suburban sprawl? How can you tell whether there is sprawl where you live?Those who want to lead a government-sponsored crusade against sprawl have no time for such questions. Politicians who want to "do something" and "make a difference" must have a crisis du jour. So suburban sprawl is today's contrived crisis.It refers to the fact that metropolitan areas are spreading out, with people living in lower densities in the suburbs than in the central cities.
NEWS
By LARRY CARSON | October 16, 2005
Slowing development was a major theme of the 1998 political campaigns that brought to office people such as county executive candidate and County Councilman Christopher J. Merdon. Since then, the pace of development has slowed but, as this year's petition drive to place the council's Comp Lite comprehensive rezoning on the 2006 ballot showed, some people still are upset about growth. Merdon, a Republican, kept himself on the politically safe side of the issue by voting against the rezoning bill, arguing that it would allow too many new homes and businesses too soon.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | October 24, 1996
Uniting to fight suburban sprawl, a new coalition of environmental, downtown and historic preservation groups called on Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday to save Maryland's vanishing farms and forests and rebuild communities.Thirteen civic and professional groups and one development firm announced they had formed 1,000 Friends of Maryland to build public support for strong growth-management legislation. The coalition, which represents 200,000 members, is named for an Oregon grass-roots group that has waged a successful campaign to limit sprawl in that state.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | June 30, 1997
I LIKE THE QUOTE from the developer who justifies a massive housing and commercial development along the banks of the Potomac River as "in-fill." I hadn't seen or heard the term before it showed up in The Sun over the weekend. Edward Podboy, president of the company that wants to build a city of 12,000 people on one of the largest expanses of woodlands remaining on the Potomac, said such a development does not constitute suburban sprawl because it will occur in an area already infested with suburban sprawl.
NEWS
By Donald F. Norris | April 13, 1997
The Smart Growth bill recently passed by the legislature will target hundreds of millions of dollars in state money for use in designated growth areas. It is a move toward sanity, but much stronger action is necessary if Maryland is serious about discouraging suburban sprawl.Although the Smart Growth legislation will direct state funding for such things as water, sewer and roads toward already developed areas, it has two critical, if not fatal, weaknesses. It does nothing to limit the power of local governments to regulate development and it does not give state government a meaningful role in managing growth.
BUSINESS
By Mary Umberger and Mary Umberger,Chicago Tribune | June 15, 2007
It's a long-standing question: What causes suburban sprawl? No, not the unbridled growth of exurbia but, rather, what's behind the growth of suburbanites' - well - behinds? That's something Karen Mumford would like to know. The Atlanta academic is part of an unusual partnership between a real estate developer and public health research team that aims to find out whether people would be more inclined to walk if there were something they could walk to. She's equipping study participants with high-tech pedometers and global-positioning devices to track their activity before and after they move into a development in Atlanta that promises a walk-to-nearly-everything lifestyle.
NEWS
By TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL and TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL,SUN REPORTERS | April 28, 2006
Growth-management laws in more than half of Maryland's counties - including much of the Baltimore region - are being misapplied by local officials in ways that inflate housing prices and aggravate suburban sprawl, according to a study released yesterday by University of Maryland researchers. Thirteen Maryland counties, four of them in Baltimore's suburbs, have enacted laws intended to keep new development from overwhelming schools, roads and other government services, the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education reported.
NEWS
By LARRY CARSON | October 16, 2005
Slowing development was a major theme of the 1998 political campaigns that brought to office people such as county executive candidate and County Councilman Christopher J. Merdon. Since then, the pace of development has slowed but, as this year's petition drive to place the council's Comp Lite comprehensive rezoning on the 2006 ballot showed, some people still are upset about growth. Merdon, a Republican, kept himself on the politically safe side of the issue by voting against the rezoning bill, arguing that it would allow too many new homes and businesses too soon.
NEWS
By Stephen G. Henderson and Stephen G. Henderson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 27, 2005
CHINA, Texas - Two brothers, George and Bill Dishman, are slowly driving along dusty roads a few hours southeast of Houston, down 'round the Gulf of Mexico. The land here rolls for miles in all directions, flat as a frying pan. "This is rice country," Bill says, in his easy drawl that makes the word sound more like "rise." He has on a pair of dark sunglasses and, though he's 71 years old, has a lean, youthful mien. "There used to be more rice fields, but they keep on urbanizin' and urbanizin,' " George adds, nodding at an unsightly McMansion that recently parked itself in an open pasture.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | December 2, 2004
Oregon, a state that has long prided itself on having the nation's toughest curbs on suburban sprawl, appears on the verge of relaxing those limits or being forced to pay untold millions of taxpayer dollars it doesn't have to landowners affected by the restrictions. Last month, as the majority of them were backing Democrat John Kerry for president, Oregon's usually liberal voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative entitling landowners to be compensated if any environmental or zoning regulations reduced the value of their property or to get an exemption from those rules.
NEWS
By Tom Horton and Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | October 22, 2004
Two maps of the Nanticoke River, drawn nearly four centuries apart, appear side by side on Michael Scott's computer at Salisbury University's department of geography and geosciences. The 1608 version, part of the first mapping of the Chesapeake Bay by Capt. John Smith, was accomplished with a none-too-accurate compass and an astrolabe, which ascertained latitude but not longitude (that calculation wouldn't be refined until 1780). For all that, Smith's map of the broad and still largely undeveloped river flowing under U.S. 50 at Vienna is remarkably similar to the latest satellite-derived photos.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN REPORTER | November 28, 2007
Who'd have expected that one of the biggest housing developments proposed in Maryland in years would be in rural, mountainous Allegany County, where the population has been dwindling since the factory economy collapsed 30-some years ago? But that's just what has happened, since a Columbia-based developer offered to build a 4,300-home community, along with some stores, a riding stable and trails on scenic U.S. 40, hard by Green Ridge State Forest. And, perhaps even more surprising, it has drawn fierce opposition - from people who say the county failed to follow its own growth plan in approving the process.
FEATURES
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | July 7, 2004
Add Christy Yeoumans to the I-Hate-Wal-Mart club, a vast group whose members can be found seemingly everywhere - including the packed parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Hunt Valley on a recent morning. "Wal-Mart is all that is horrible about corporate America," Yeoumans, 29, says, tossing a couple of Wal-Mart bags into her car. "It's the biggest, worst corporate store in America. It's funny you caught us here. We never shop here ... much." "I absolutely despise this place," her sister-in-law Rachel Yeoumans says, "but they do have good prices."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Joanne E. Morvay and Joanne E. Morvay,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 26, 2004
Hidden amid big-box stores and chain restaurants lies the real Gaithersburg, a diverse Montgomery County community that has a storied history. It's hard to imagine in today's suburban sprawl, but Gaithersburg was once a rural summer home for Washington socialites and politicians. Begun as a settlement called Log Town in 1765, the city has come a long way since it was incorporated as Gaithersburg in spring 1878. It's home to two planned communities: Montgomery Village, established in the late 1960s, and Kentlands, begun in the late 1980s.
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