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 implementing smart growth policies at the local level throughout Maryland.

In Frederick, one of the state’s fastest growing counties, Smart Growth Maryland and Envision Frederick County lead the Smarter Growth Alliance for Frederick County. Formed in 2015, the alliance is comprised of local and state organizations advocating for sustainable development and protection of Frederick’s natural and historic resources.

In addition to Smart Growth Maryland and Envision Frederick County, the Smarter Growth Alliance steering committee includes representatives of Clean Water Action, Climate Change Working Group of Frederick County, Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards, Potomac Conservancy, and Sierra Club Catoctin Group.

The alliance has successfully advocated for legislation that:

  • Strengthened stream buffer protections, which are essential for clean water.
  • Repealed an ordinance that encouraged the transfer of residential development rights to farm properties – exactly where housing developments are not supposed to go.
  • Restored residents’ rights to challenge Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreements (DRRAs) before the Frederick County Board of Appeals and in the appellate courts.
  • Reformed the DRRA review and rezoning processes to give citizens more of an opportunity to participate in decisions that impact their community.

The coalition has also spoken up for increased land preservation funding and adoption of zero waste policies, and has spoken out against the pipeline to transport fracked gas underneath the Potomac River near Hancock, Maryland.

Currently the coalition is focused on Livable Frederick, the county’s new draft comprehensive plan, and the draft Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan. Livable Frederick is essentially a blueprint for how and where the county will grow in the coming decades. With Frederick losing hundreds of acres of farmland and forest to development each year, responsibly directing growth is crucial to fostering a sustainable future. The Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan is an opportunity to create a science-based management plan for a heavily-polluted river that provides a portion of the City of Frederick’s drinking water.

The Smarter Growth Alliance seeks to engage residents and policymakers in supporting these campaigns and others that promote wise land use to ensure a resilient and prosperous future.

Smarter Growth Alliance for Frederick County

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