Sustainable Communities

The Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 promoted reinvestment and revitalization in existing communities around the State. The Act established a State designation of specific geographic areas to promote efficient use of State resources based on local sustainability and revitalization strategies. The Sustainable Communities program consolidates resources for community revitalization and economic development under a single designation with an emphasis on infrastructure improvements, multimodal transportation and "green" development. The legislation established the Governor’s Smart Growth Cabinet as the body charged with final approval of Sustainable Communities designations.

The State defines Sustainable Communities as places where public and private investments and partnerships achieve:

  • Development of a healthy local economy;
  • Protection and appreciation of historical and cultural resources;
  • A mix of land uses;
  • Affordable and sustainable housing, and employment options;
  • Growth and development practices that protect the environment and conserve air, water and energy resources, encourage walkability and recreational opportunities, and where available, create access to transit.

Under this program, various State agencies have created a revitalization toolbox to support comprehensive strategies for revitalization and to prioritize investment in the State’s Sustainable Communities. Development and infrastructure projects located within a Sustainable Community may be eligible for assistance through a variety of State financing and tax credit programs including the Community Legacy, Neighborhood BusinessWorks, Sidewalk Retrofit, Community Safety and Enhancement, Job Creation Tax Credit, and Enhanced Local Tax Increment Financing programs. For more information about these programs, visit the MD Department of Housing and Community Development web site.

Anne Arundel County has been granted approval of three designated Sustainable Communities. These are Brooklyn Park, Glen Burnie (both approved in 2013), and Odenton/Severn (approved in 2014).  For further information on the Sustainable Communities, contact Lynn Miller, Office of Planning and Zoning at 410-222-7431.

Approved Sustainable Community Applications