November 19, 2021 Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that Arbutus has been designated a Sustainable Community by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, giving Baltimore County access to additional resources to support community revitalization efforts.

With this announcement, Arbutus becomes Baltimore County’s ninth state-designated Sustainable Community.

“Our main streets and communities like Arbutus represent the foundation of Baltimore County, with a rich history, vibrant neighborhoods, and a strong business community,” Olszewski said. “With this Sustainable Community Designation, we gain access to additional tools and resources allowing us to further promote economic development and community revitalization, making Arbutus even stronger. We are grateful to our state partners and community leaders in Arbutus for making this designation a reality.”

The designation, which the Baltimore County Department of Planning applied for in 2021, has the potential to bring new resources including programs, loans, grants and tax credits to support community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism. The announcement followed extensive work from the Western Sector Planner, Josephine Selvakumar, and support from Councilman Tom Quirk, community leaders and businesses, including the Greater Arbutus Business Association and representatives of University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

Located south of UMBC, the boundaries of the Arbutus designation area focus on the community’s commercial core and its connections to the surrounding residential community.

Goals for the designation include improving local stream quality and expanding the tree canopy, promoting home ownership, improving the bicycle and pedestrian network, promote economic development by attracting and retaining diverse businesses, and continuing to grow the relationship between UMBC and the greater Arbutus community.

The Arbutus Sustainable Communities Designation Application and Action Plan can be read in full here.

In addition to the Sustainable Community Designation, Arbutus has previously been designated as a Local Historic District, a Commercial Revitalization District, a Design Review Area, and a County Enterprise Zone.