Vacancy, Special Secretary of Smart Growth

Contact: Patricia A. Goucher

c/o Department of Planning
301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365
(410) 767-4620; fax : (410) 767-4480
web: (rural legacy program)

In July 2001, the Office of Smart Growth was created (Chapter 566, Acts of 2001). The Office oversaw the coordination and implementation of Smart Growth policy statewide. With the Smart Growth Subcabinet, the Office recommended to the Governor changes needed in State law or regulation to advance Smart Growth policy. Through outreach and assistance to local jurisdictions, the Office articulated that policy and informed citizens, developers, home-owners associations, and others who needed help in applying Smart Growth principles to their own projects.

Concepts of "smart growth" were enacted into law in 1997 and build upon the Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act of 1992 (Chapter 759, Acts of 1997; Chapter 437, Acts of 1992). Through Smart Growth, Maryland is committed to limiting sprawl development by revitalizing older neighborhoods and redirecting growth to already developed areas, thereby saving the State's farmland, open spaces, and natural resources. State funds target projects in Priority Funding Areas, those locations approved for growth and redevelopment.

Smart Growth as a State policy encompasses so many programs administered by different State agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Business and Economic Development, the Environment, Housing and Community Development, Natural Resources, Planning, and Tranportation. For this reason, the Office of Smart Growth served as a centralized clearinghouse as well as an impetus for Smart Growth action.

The Office was headed by the Special Secretary of Smart Growth who was appointed by the Governor; however, in June 2003, the Office moved to the Department of Planning, and the Secretary of Planning took over the leadership of the State's smart growth efforts. Department staff supports the work of the Smart Growth Subcabinet.

The Office was last funded in Fiscal Year 2004.

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