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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: land preservation

Jordan Fish
Baltimore County Tourism & Promotion

While tailgating is usually associated with football, especially this time of year, it’s far from the only opportunity. On Saturday, September 28, the 13th Annual Legacy Chase comes to Shawan Downs. The excitement of steeplechase racing, the beauty of the countryside, and the festive atmosphere make this event a must for equine enthusiasts and families alike.

Baltimore County has a long history of steeplechase racing, dating all the way back to the running of the first Maryland Hunt Cup in 1894. The Legacy Chase, along with Baltimore County’s other steeplechase events, offers an experience that is truly unique to this region. Spectators can watch the excitement of the races from the same spot used by more than a century of Baltimore Countians before them.

Hosted by and benefiting GBMC HealthCare, the Legacy Chase has become an annual social event. Whether you’re interested in the racing, the tailgating, or simply taking in the beautiful scenery, come take part in this uniquely Baltimore County tradition.

Shawan Downs is located at 1401 Shawan Road in Hunt Valley. Gates open at 10 a.m.


LandAndrea Van Arsdale, Director
Baltimore County Department of Planning


Have you ever ventured out past the Beltway and begun to notice office buildings, retail centers, and residential communities giving way to agricultural fields, pastures, and wooded stream valleys? These areas are not just beautiful scenery and they didn’t stay green by accident. The open fields and forested areas protect the tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, shield the waterways from suburban runoff, and provide habitat for wildlife pressured by development.

You may wonder, how have these areas have managed to remain rural? Since 1967, Baltimore County has been protecting its agricultural and environmental resources through responsible and sustainable land use policies and regulations. As a result, we have a legacy of sustainable growth and remain a national leader in this movement.

Last year, the Maryland legislature passed Senate Bill 236, introducing similar land use strategies statewide. SB236 calls for all jurisdictions to classify their land according to four distinct growth tiers that define levels of residential development. Under the direction of County Executive Kamenetz, the Planning Department solicited input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Building upon that information and following the implementation guidelines from the State, the Planning Department established and mapped our four growth tiers. Within the County’s rural areas, the growth tiers set the number of houses served by individual septic systems. This serves to further prevent suburban sprawl and to encourage investment in the County’s established neighborhoods and older Beltway communities – the essence of smart growth.

Baltimore County’s Growth Tiers received highly favorable recognition from the Maryland Department of Planning and 1000 Friends of Maryland. We were proud to be one of the first in the state to submit our growth tiers map, especially since it was approved with no changes by the state. The County’s strong land use policies and regulations will help ensure the preservation of our agricultural heritage and the future health of the Chesapeake Bay.


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