Smart, Green and Growing - Where do we grow from here? logoHouse Bill 773 from the 2007 session of the Maryland General assembly established the 21-member Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development. This Task Force was charged and empowered to complete the following 13 tasks:

  1. Study current land use policies and their impact on growth in the State;
  2. Study current trends and challenges for municipal corporations and counties as they relate to growth, including population and demographic changes;
  3. Analyze the capabilities of municipal corporations and counties to plan for future growth and development;
  4. Analyze the impacts of county development proximate to municipal corporate limits on municipal infrastructure, water resources, and sensitive areas;
  5. Analyze the impacts of municipal growth and development on county infrastructure, water resources, and sensitive areas;
  6. Identify regional growth and development issues;
  7. Study mechanisms to facilitate joint planning to coordinate growth and development between municipal corporations and counties;
  8. Examine the impact of 1.03(e) and 3.05(f) of Article 66B of the Code on a local government's ability to establish a floating zone on a property or grant piecemeal rezoning of a specific property;
  9. Determine methods to assess the cumulative impacts of proposed development on infrastructure, including water, sewer, roads, and utilities, and on transportation, fire and safety resources, health systems, educational systems, and environmental resources on a regional scale;
  10. Determine the parameters for a state development plan, state transportation plan, state housing plan and determine how these plans work together with local land use plans;
  11. Identify infrastructure needed for smart growth development consistent with population growth;
  12. Assess mechanisms to fund the construction and maintenance of smart growth infrastructure; and
  13. Make recommendations to implement law or regulations that further best management practices as they relate to future growth and development in the State.
  14. Serve as an advisory board to the Governor's Smart Growth Subcabinet, providing advice and guidance at least twice annually through December 31, 2010.

The Task Force began convened its first meeting in January 2008. During its first year, the task force met every month. The Task Force on the Future for Growth & Development presented its initial report to Governor O'Malley at his "Smart, Green & Growing" press conference on January 12, 2009. The report, entitled "Where Do We Grow from Here?," presents an assessment of current conditions in the State and outlines over 50 recommendations for furthering smart, sustainable growth in Maryland.

"Maryland has long been a national leader in progressive land use policy, from the creation of the first state planning commission in 1933 to the well-known Smart Growth legislation of 1997. More than a decade after the advent of Smart Growth, however, we continue to face significant land use challenges," said Jon Laria, Chair of the task force.

"Maryland is a wonderful place to live, but expected population growth promises increased pressure on farmlands, forests, and waterways, including our precious Chesapeake Bay and the window of opportunity to confront and solve these challenges is shrinking."

Click here to view the report and here to view the appendices.

The Task Force and its various work groups continued meeting regularly through April 2010. Senate Bill 278 from the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly transitioned the Task Force into the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, expanding its charge and membership and extending its time.


The Members of the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development

  • Jon Laria, Task Force Chair, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Rudolph C. Cane, House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee
  • Delegate Virginia Clagett, House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee
  • Senator Joan Carter Conway, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee
  • Senator Richard Colburn, Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
  • Secretary Richard Eberhart Hall, Maryland Department of Planning
  • Brigid Kenney, Planning Director, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Don Halligan, Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Carol Gilbert, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Asuntha Chiang-Smith, Executive Director, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Subcabinet
  • John Dillman, Rural Maryland Council Designee
  • Gerrit Knaap, Director, University of Maryland National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education
  • Commissioner David Carey, Town of Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners
  • Karl Brendle, Director, City of Laurel Department of Development Management
  • Sandy Coyman, Director, Worcester County Department of Comprehensive Planning
  • President Jan Gardner, Frederick County Board of Commissioners
  • Dru Schmidt-Perkins, Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Maryland
  • Frank Hertsch, Principal, Morris & Ritchie Associates
  • Derick Berlage, Citizen Representative

This page was last updated: 2010-09-02