Baltimore County Now
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
'Twas the Day After Thanksgiving
'Twas the day after Thanksgiving, when all through the mall,
shoppers stood in long lines that reached the back wall.
With walkways too crowded and parking a mess,
Black Friday was causing consumer distress.
When just down the street, there arose such a glow
from the storefront of a local shopkeeper I know.
He invited us in - even offered us chairs -
and was ever so cheerful while he showed off his wares.
He had handcrafted specialties and homemade delights
and gadgets and gizmos.and the best Christmas lights!
He wrapped what we purchased with delicate care,
and we finished our shopping with a few hours to spare!
So, support small business as you shop this December
for the gifts that'll make this a holiday to remember.
And if you really need another good reason,
don't forget - parking is free - so shop local this season!
Andrea 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.
by Karin Brown
Chief of Preservation Services
Baltimore County Office of Planning and Community Conservation
Owners of historic buildings now have new, award winning design guidelines to help them preserve their buildings. Owners can learn how to properly rehabilitate a historic building, why repairs are superior to replacements, how the approval process works, and more. The Historic Preservation Design Guidelines are filled with photographs showing Baltimore County’s wealth of historic buildings.
Based on the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, the common sense historic preservation principles are presented in non-technical language and discuss the various components of historic buildings in great detail. For example, “Windows and Doors”, explains the different parts of a historic window and how it functions. Readers learn why the first choice should be to repair historic features rather than replacing them.
The Baltimore County Preservation Alliance, formerly known as the Baltimore County Historical Trust, recently presented its Government Award to the Department of Planning in recognition of the newly created guidelines.
Beautifully illustrated, the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines can be viewed online.