The Municipal Growth chapter provides guidance on how the City will grow in regard to new development and population. The chapter uses projections on future population growth coupled with land use strategies to elicit the type of growth that will best serve the City. Given that the City is constrained geographically, any new growth will come primarily in the form of redeveloping existing sites that could provide more benefit to the City in terms of meeting environmental goals, housing goals, mobility goals, among others.
Grow in a way that assures public facilities and infrastructure remain adequately sized and equipped to deliver exceptional service to existing residents, institutions, and businesses.
- The levels of service documented in the fiscal impact studies supporting this Comprehensive Plan are not reduced over time but instead kept the same or improved.
Action 1: Implement a revised Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance especially for parks, and neighborhood parks especially.
Action 2: Expand parks and public open spaces and ensure any major land use proposals incorporate open spaces and trails that can help link together the City’s public amenities.
Action 3: Maintain disciplined plans for the allocation of water and sewer connections in keeping with State of Maryland MDE regulations and guidelines (see the Community Facilities element).
Action 4: The City will extend no facilities or services to any property without annexation. However, on a case-by-case basis, the City may consider a pre-annexation agreement – a contract requiring the owner to annex when the City is ready to do so.
Within the designated growth area-- which is defined as the area outside of the City boundary which meets the guidelines for the State’s Priority Funding Areas and is therefore deemed sensible for annexation-- promote exceptional development that addresses the city’s planning goals and, in particular, contributes to the creation of good paying jobs and the fiscal strength of the city.
- Any redevelopment plans for properties annexed into the City will be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission and be found consistent with this Comprehensive Plan.
- Each annexation approved by the City will be found to make a net positive fiscal impact to the City.
Action 1: Apply the recommended land use plan designation and appropriate mixed use zoning to each annexation as provided for in the Land Use element.
Action 2: Require that development proposals in the growth area protect and/or restore sensitive areas such as forests, stream buffers, and wetlands and where possible incorporate these resource areas into the Greenway Map discussed in this Plan. (see goal LU 6 in the Land Use element)
Action 3: Conduct fiscal impact studies of each proposed annexation.
Growth in the number of households will prioritize increasing workforce and affordable housing.
- The affordable housing performance measures included in the Housing element will be achieved.
Action 1: Require a conceptual development plan and firm commitments to delivering affordable housing as a condition of annexation.
Action 2: Study and adopt strategic updates to the zoning code that can incentivize housing for households making 80-120% of the area median income.
Action 3: Utilize zoning district changes to identify “housing priority” areas where access to transit, jobs, and amenities are already available.
Action 4: Remove barriers in the zoning code to creating additional workforce housing options-- such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes -- in places where they are compatible with adjacent communities.
Prioritize revitalization and redevelopment that best connects residents to retail, services, and amenities.
- The percent of land area in the City zoned for mixed use increases from 8% to 20% by 2030.
Action 1: Update the Zoning Ordinance and zoning map to significantly expand the places where mixed-use development is permitted and/or required.
Action 2: Provide enhanced technical assistance from City staff where renewed retail and housing opportunities will contribute to the quality of life for the City, such as in the Arts & Entertainment District.
Action 3: Explore reductions in parking requirements for redevelopment in areas where direct access to transit, bike, and pedestrian networks already exist, and allow for greater flexibility in utilizing shared parking solutions.
Action 4: Leverage parking districts in the City’s most walkable commercial areas, including the expansion of the existing downtown parking district and implementation of a new parking district for Eastport, as a way of better managing limited parking resources and mitigating conflicts.