County Executive Owens releases key growth and preservation numbers
Numbers Consistent with Goals of 1997 General Development Plan
Annapolis (November 28, 2006) - County Executive Janet S. Owens has released end-of-term residential permit, employment and land preservation data-all key indicators of this Administration’s growth management practices. This data, which is consistent with the projections of the 1997 adopted General Development Plan (GDP) will provide a foundation for the update of the GDP during the next Administration.
* Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
** Data only available for 2003 and 2004. This number reflects average of this two-year period.
The 1997 General Development Plan, the official policy document adopted by the County Council during a prior Administration, is used to guide the growth, development and protection of natural resources in the County. The GDP sets a course for changes that are expected through the year 2020. The first plan was adopted in 1968 following the establishment of Charter Government. Since that time, the 1978 GDP, the 1986 Addendum and the 1997 GDP have been adopted and served as the basis for land use planning.
The current Plan was adopted to accommodate growth of at least 55,000 new jobs and a total of 55,000 new homes by the year 2020. It was not expected that this increase would occur at constant rate of 2200 new jobs and housing units each year through 2020. It was expected that a higher rate of growth would occur early on in the 25-year period.
"I am pleased with these numbers which show a significant downward trend in the residential building permits while the creation of new jobs remains strong," said County Executive Janet S. Owens. "Contrary to popular belief that this county has experienced unmanaged, run-away growth, these findings support the fact that growth has been occurring where the 1997 General Development Plan directed development and at the rate expected." County Executive Owens continued, "These numbers speak for themselves-average annual housing units permitted are in line with the Plan’s forecasts. Jobs remain strong and well above the 2200 annual average. These are strong indicators of a solid economy and growth over a 25-year period at the pace which was forecasted for Anne Arundel County 10 years ago. This information will be very useful to the next Administration in establishing a growth management policy in the 2007 GDP update."
While growth has unfolded consistent with the GDP, agricultural land was preserved in record numbers in the past 8 years.
"Unlike any other jurisdiction in the State, Anne Arundel County is unique for its beauty, proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the City of Annapolis," said County Executive Owens. "Also home to an international airport and a national center for defense, it’s no wonder that so many people work here and have chosen to call this County home. However, just as important as growth is the preservation of our natural and historical resources. This is evident in the aggressive agricultural land preservation programs that, in the past 8 years, have permanently protected 57% of all land preserved since 1979."
Many other programs, policies and laws were adopted during this Administration consistent with the Plan’s recommendations on how local government should manage growth, conserve the environment and meet resident’s needs over the next 25 years. The numbers released by County Executive Owens this week will be added to a complete assessment of the 1997 GDP recommendations and actions that have been fulfilled. This assessment is underway and will be available next year to aid in the development of the new GDP. A summery of the current General Development Plan can be found on-line.