Released on November 8, 2011 - 3:00pm
Nov 08
Mayor Craig A. Moe is pleased to announce that the City of Laurel was among the first five communities in the State of Maryland to receive designation as a Sustainable Community, and extends his appreciation for the State designation.
 
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner and Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall announced the designation of five sustainable communities under the State's Sustainable Communities Act of 2010. The designated sustainable communities are Aberdeen, Cumberland, Hyattsville, Laurel and Westminster.
 
Location within a designated Sustainable Community is a threshold requirement for the Community Legacy and Neighborhood BusinessWorks programs. In addition, the City can participate in the MDOT Sidewalk Retrofit Program, the Department of Business and Economic Development Job Creation Tax Credit, as well as the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit.
 
Per the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010, all Community Legacy Areas, Designated Neighborhoods, TOD Zones and BRAC Zones became Sustainable Communities effective June 1, 2010. Former Designated Neighborhoods and Community Legacy areas such as Laurel would have ended in the next two years without the new designation.
 
"Sustainable Communities strengthens the progress Maryland has made in smart growth and sustainable development," said Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard E. Hall, who chairs the Governor's Smart Growth Subcabinet. "These five designees are demonstrating their commitment to sustainable communities: sound environmental protection, strong local character and sense of community, solid economic development and innovative housing and development strategy. When I talk to people about GrowthPrint and PlanMaryland, these are the types of communities that I describe."
 
Citing the City’s submittal, the State concluded that the Laurel proposal includes enhancing transit to access employment and regional shopping facilities and incorporates green technology provisions in all proposed developments. The City proposes to encourage the redevelopment of grey fields and vacant properties for mixed use and provide a wide choice of housing options for all residents. The City also will move forward on attaining an Arts and Entertainment District designation.
 
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