The Real War on Rural Maryland: SPRAWL

26 Jan

The tough rhetoric used by opponents of Smart Growth initiatives is a strategy centering around the politics of fear. It seems that this fear rhetoric has blinded Marylanders to the real reasons behind policies such as Plan Maryland. A shared love for rural Maryland, with its picturesque landscapes and tradition of farming communities is why generations of Marylanders choose to raise families and live their lives on the Eastern Shore by the Chesapeake Bay. What both rural voters and policy makers on both sides of the aisle agree on is the need to keep our beloved rural Maryland just that: rural.

As MDP Secretary Hall explained today at the Plan Maryland briefing in front of the House Environmental Matters Committee, (after the Committee wished him a happy birthday in song) Plan Maryland is neither ¬†regulation nor legislation. Instead, it is simply a way to knit together different state agency policies already in existence, without trumping local governments’ zoning ordinances, to make sure the state grows in an efficient way without sprawl. Secretary Hall stressed that the broad Plan is not something to be feared, but that empty political rhetoric has gotten in the way of the truth. In fact, the real “war on rural Maryland” is the unplanned growth that strips communities of their farmland and a healthy Bay that are the real reasons why they love the Eastern Shore in the first place.

Below is a page from the Plan Maryland executive summary explaining what the Plan is NOT.

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