Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns. A major component of this campaign is focused on implementing smart growth policies at the local level across Maryland.

In Charles County, one of the state’s fastest growing counties, Smart Growth Maryland leads the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County (SGACC). The alliance is a coalition of local and state organizations which advocates for a smart, sustainable future for Charles County.  In addition to Smart Growth Maryland, the steering committee includes representatives of Chapman Forest Foundation, the Conservancy for Charles County, Mattawoman Watershed Society, Nanjemoy-Potomac Environmental Coalition, Sierra Club Southern Maryland Group, and Southern Maryland Audubon Society.

Specifically, SGACC supports responsible development around existing infrastructure, transportation alternatives including light rail, and the promotion of a vibrant and healthy outdoors through implementation of the 2016 comprehensive plan. The coalition led a five-year campaign advocating for this visionary comprehensive plan which:

  • Focuses development in the County’s existing Priority Funding Areas where there is capacity for an estimated 20,000 new housing units.
  • Creates a new Watershed Conservation District to protect the headwaters of the Port Tobacco River and the Mattawoman Watershed.
  • Expands the Priority Preservation Area, initially limited to farmland, to include forestland in western Charles County, growing this area from 51,996 acres to 134,168 acres.
  • Recommends establishing a Mattawoman-Nanjemoy Rural Legacy Area to provide a new funding source for land preservation in western Charles County.

The coalition has also successfully advocated for:

  • Removal of a costly, sprawl-inducing highway project from the county budget and plans.
  • Ending the county practice of issuing school allocations in exchange for a payment by the developer, which led to severe school crowding and excessive use of classroom trailers.
  • Improved transparency and opportunities for public involvement in the county’s development review process.

Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County

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