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Maryland Smart Growth

The Environmental Law Institute studies local and state land-use and development laws and policies in Maryland. Approaching the state as a model and a case study, ELI evaluates practices and promotes those that foster smart growth while offering solutions to problem policies that create sprawl.

Featured Areas of Expertise and Resources:

  • Maryland Farmland Conservation: Supporting Sustainable Use of Land through Tax Policy (2008): Maryland's primary tax measures affecting agriculture, the agricultural use assessment (AUA) and the agricultural land transfer tax (ATT), can be improved to encourage farmland protection while continuing to benefit farmers' bottom lines and conservation objectives.

  • "Smart Politics" (January/February 2004): Writing in The Environmental Forum, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening describes his approach to gaining approval for Maryland's landmark package of "smart growth" laws.

  • Smart Growth in Small Towns and Rural Communities: Maryland's Eastern Shore (2001). This report focuses on Maryland's Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay — a region that is working to implement smart growth initiatives in a way that advances rural and town development goals. Its experiences can inform the many small towns and rural areas across America that are seeking to achieve meaningful economic development while maintaining a vibrant rural landscape and successful town centers.

  • Roundtable Report: Smart Growth in Small Towns and Rural Communities: Maryland's Eastern Shore (2000). This report summarizes the discussions held during a roundtable dialogue hosted by ELI and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in June 2000. The Roundtable Dialogue was meant to allow participants to address issues related to town-county and regional cooperation.