State Announces Three New Sustainable Communities in Baltimore County
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Great news for three Baltimore county areas. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Planning have designated Catonsville/Patapsco, Greater Dundalk, and Hillendale/Parkville/Overlea as sustainable community areas under the state’s Sustainable Communities Act of 2010. The same designation was awarded to two other areas in Maryland, the Town of Chesapeake City in Cecil County and the City of Bowie in Prince George’s County.
A municipality identifies a Sustainable Community Area as an area in need of revitalization and for which the local government has created a comprehensive strategy to encourage and guide local investment in accordance with the principles of sustainability. The designation now makes the three areas eligible for state funds to help improve their economies, housing, transportation and the environment.
Baltimore county selected them because of the potential for revitalization. All that remains now is for the newly named sustainable communities to submit applications to the state requesting funding for specific projects.
The county plans to take full advantage of the historic and natural resources in the Catonsville/Patapsco sustainable community. It will work to enhance the bike and pedestrian network, reduce trash in waterways and tributaries of Patapsco River, attract investment, encourage home ownership and the rehabilitation of historic properties, and also to get Patapsco Valley certified as a Maryland Heritage Area.
2. Greater Dundalk
Greated Dundalk’s two War of 1812 sites, Battle Acre Park and North Point State Battlefield, will help Baltimore county in its efforts to increase opportunities for heritage tourism in the area. Housing rehabilitation efforts will also continue and the residents plan to link the existing waterfront parks with a path.
Baltimore county is commited to enhance the area’s competitiveness. It will revitalize the Taylor Avenue, Harford Road and Belair Road commercial corridors and develop mixed-use projects on underutilized properties. Improved residential areas through the adoption of rehabilitation standards and greening practices will help the community become more sustainable. New trees will also be planted.
“We are pleased that the state has recognized the tremendous potential in each of these communities,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement for the press. “The County’s Department of Planning has worked with each community to help identify unique opportunities for enhancing the health, housing, small business climate and quality of life in these traditional areas.”
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