Can you imagine Maryland without our rolling horse and farm fields, forests, and parks? Each year Maryland loses 17,000 acres of open space due to poorly planned development. It is often cheaper for a developer to build on a green field instead of redeveloping abandoned space in an urban area. In addition, weak or unclear local planning and zoning opens the door for that type of poor growth. It is vital to our future to balance growth with conservation of natural and agricultural areas, 1000 Friends of Maryland works to protect these areas from sprawling development.
There are several policies that can slow or even stop green field development:
- Funding programs at the State or local level. The premier State land conservation program, Program Open Space, uses a small tax on real estate transfers to support preservation.
- Strong local plans that establish agriculture or conservation areas, backed by strong rural zoning.
- Other financial incentives. These can include tax credits for placing land under easement, or transfer of development rights programs where a developer pays a rural land owner for the right to build in an urban area.
Think about your favorite vista, farm, or park. Why does it matter to you? Help us protect these natural areas from development!