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State Designates Towson a Sustainable Community

Towson, Maryland (February 25, 2014) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Planning have designated Towson a sustainable community. Towson now qualifies to apply for state funds for projects that advance commercial revitalization, provide financing to small businesses, support business retention and attraction, and encourage home ownership.

"We are pleased that the state has recognized Towson's tremendous potential as vibrant place to live, work and play," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "The County's Department of Planning has been working with the community to help identify key projects where state and County investment can complement the $770 million of private investment in downtown Towson."

EffortsTarget York Road and East Towson

Sustainable community efforts will be targeted along the York Road corridor. Plans include creating and maintaining an attractive and user-friendly physical connection between Towson University and the Towson core, expanding transportation alternatives for transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists, and promoting  environmental stewardship by reducing impervious surface in new development. The plan also includes historic preservation and housing efforts in the historic African American neighborhood of East Towson, which was settled in the mid-1800s by freed slaves.

'An Important Designation'

"With our County seat now a sustainable community, Towson joins Catonsville/Patapsco, Greater Dundalk and Hillendale/Parkville/Overlea in an important designation that can lead to additional state support and funding for projects that will continue our investment in these communities," said Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins.

"Towson has the opportunity to be a model for sustainability and mobility in Maryland. Now that Towson is a sustainable community, the County will hopefully be able to tap into new resources as we revitalize the downtown core and expand transportation options throughout greater Towson," said Councilman David Marks.

"The Greater Towson Committee is pleased to partner with the County, our business and community leaders as Towson's development accelerates," said Katie Chasney Pinheiro, executive director of the Greater Towson Committee.

"This is another important step in making Towson an even greater place to live and work," said Nancy Hafford, Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce.

Growth Continues in Downtown Towson

Over the past four years, downtown Towson has seen more than $770 million in new private investment completed or in development, including the Towson Square entertainment center, Towson City Center, Towson Row mixed-use development, and 2,600 new apartments and townhomes.