A Jan. 1 op-ed in The Sun: thoughts upon the anti-sprawl agenda, going into 2009. This time we really really mean it, right?
A decade after the initiative began, what works and what doesn’t? What hasn’t worked, according to the Maryland Department of Planning, are efforts to reduce sprawl development. By contrast, the essential finding of a study presented at the 2007 conference of the National Center for Smart Growth is that state programs targeted to support existing communities and downtown revitalization promote more development and private investment in these areas, where the state wants new growth and development to occur. The list of successful downtown communities in Maryland is extensive and growing. . . .
Let us suggest an alternative to top-down oversight over local planning and zoning. This alternative approach is not so driven by artificial statistics — such as land “consumption” numbers or statewide goals for land preservation — that have no real relationship to how people live. It is driven by the goal of making existing communities more attractive places to live, work and play.
Hm. Three easy-to-understand components, eh? Do go on . . . .