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A Better Maryland Strategies

A Better Maryland is a dynamic, evolving plan that provides a framework to support a thriving economy and environmental stewardship. The plan supports collaboration among state and local governments and all other stakeholders, providing resources and tools for the long term economic success of Maryland.

Planning identified the following topic areas in its first round of community engagement related to the new state development plan, A Better Maryland.

The topics and their associated strategies are organized into broad categories including: Environment; Economic Development; Community Development; and Collaboration/Coordination.

Also included below is the key to the color code.



Ensuring a safe, clean environment for residents while responsibly balancing economic development

  • Prepare interagency tools to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental programs

  • Review and streamline the State’s Critical Areas guidance for local governments to more effectively meet the Program’s goals

  • Delegate state authority to administer programs to jurisdictions that have stricter local regulations

  • Incorporate agriculture into resource conservation efforts in implementing watershed improvements and other programs

Encouraging stewardship of Maryland’s natural landscapes

  • Enhance the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) and other conservation programs to meet the State’s goals

  • Develop tools for jurisdictions to analyze the positive impact of preserved land per dollar spent

  • Review existing state land preservation programs to identify how to reduce administrative costs

  • Continue to pursue acquisition opportunities that provide public water access sites and the opportunities for trail connections

Addressing new environmental challenges and hazard management as a result of sea level rise, atypical storms, and flooding

  • Provide resources to assist jurisdictions with integration of adaptation planning and data

  • Establish ongoing climate adaptation forum to share case studies, best practices, and informational resources

  • Promote programs that support agricultural resilience

  • Forecast the climate vulnerability of state-controlled land and historic resources

Preparing to meet the demands of future economic growth

  • Provide interagency assistance to address trends that affect and attract local economic development and hold annual planning and economic forum to discuss emerging technologies that would change local economies

  • Improve local accessibility to and engagement with workforce development initiatives

  • Establish marketing workgroup to maximize statewide supply chain integration

  • Develop new partnerships between colleges and businesses to support workforce development and improve workforce readiness

Focusing resources and partnering with the private sector to encourage revitalization of our existing communities in rural, suburban, and urban areas

  • Enhance interagency engagement with the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) in planning and implementation

  • Develop state level resources and programs for leveraging investment in Maryland’s federally designated Opportunity Zones

  • Develop targeted economic data and analysis systems

  • Support and develop active and healthy agricultural business based on statewide regional needs and differences (e.g. buy local)

Increasing Maryland’s use of renewable energy for long-term security and stability

  • Explore opportunities for inter-agency partnerships to use existing funding and programs in increasing energy efficiency and on-site power generation at state facilities

  • Develop statewide renewable energy guidance, which considers land use compatibility and economic viability, and identifies associated state agency support

  • Develop tools and technical assistance for localized energy planning and implementation

  • Pursue interagency partnerships to educate and provide technical assistance to local governments and the public on best practices in promoting energy efficiency and use of renewable energy resources

Exploring all aspects of Maryland’s infrastructure future to determine trends, needs, and alternatives to ensure a thriving economy and sustainable future for all communities

  • Ensure a safe, secure, and resilient transportation system that provides better choices and connections for people and goods

  • Track and forecast emerging technologies and strategies that will impact statewide infrastructure planning and provide guidance on land use and development impacts

  • Provide programs for infrastructure assistance to economic development projects at different scales

  • Expand Transit Oriented Development (TOD) opportunities to be more inclusive of non-rail locations

Addressing the critical shortage of housing that is affordable at all income levels to purchase, rent, and maintain

  • Explore innovative housing partnerships and financing mechanisms to increase the stock of affordable and workforce housing (community land trusts, CDCs)

  • Work with state agencies to develop creative ways to better connect workforce development and housing development

  • Build systems for tracking and preserving the stock of affordable housing that currently exists in Maryland’s communities

  • Develop inter-agency resources for identifying unique housing conditions, needs, and strategies for Maryland’s regions and analyzing the impact that state and local regulations and policies have on the cost of housing

Working with state agencies, regional authorities, and local jurisdictions on planning and community development objectives to develop the skills and resources to make a difference at the local level

  • Enhance state’s resources for and support to non-profit community development corporations

  • Develop broad range of local planning and governance educational programs for citizens and local officials

  • Engage younger and more diverse people in education, training, and professional development opportunities related to community development

  • Explore ways to expand and enhance community development resources for local governments, such as the town manager circuit rider program

Assisting in the identification and protection of important historic and cultural resources

  • Ensure that data and technical resources related to research and survey are accessible and useable

  • Ensure the inclusion of historic preservation and cultural heritage concerns in outreach related to recreation, tourism, urban planning and climate adaptation

  • Enhance and foster the ability of the public to learn more about Maryland heritage through public history, archeology, new technology, and the exhibit and interpretation of archeological collections

  • Document and develop preservation plans for historic properties in State ownership

Helping local governments achieve exciting and desirable places to live, work, and thrive in Maryland through a holistic approach toward planning

  • Assist jurisdictions desiring to integrate health and addictions data into local planning

  • Create state agency design team to assist local jurisdictions on community-wide, TOD, or site-specific projects

  • Work in partnership with local jurisdictions to revitalize corridors within urban and suburban centers and towns

  • Promote projects that enhance quality mixed-use development and support vibrant communities

Ensuring state agency efforts are supportive and consistent when working with local governments

  • Establish a program that improves the state’s understanding of demands on local governments

  • Review state agency facilities master plans on periodic basis and make available/track so that local jurisdictions can see the plans for facilities in their respective jurisdictions

  • Investigate the possible use of the annual priority letter format from local jurisdictions for Maryland Capital Grant projects. This will help determine and identify local priorities and funding

  • Work with local jurisdictions to develop criteria for Maryland Capital Grants program that would allow the evaluation of projects based on local plans and needs

Recognizing and embracing that Maryland’s regions are distinct and have different challenges

  • Evaluate proposed state legislation for regional impacts similar to, or included in, a fiscal note

  • Explore opportunities for the state agencies to resolve interjurisdictional and regional issues

  • Evaluate state program criteria to reflect regional differences

  • Facilitate regional communication opportunities for jurisdictions to interact with each other and state agencies to address shared regional concerns

Using innovation and continuously evaluating how state agencies can be more effective in delivering information and services to local governments and the public

  • Streamline regulatory reviews by providing an interactive portal for electronic submissions

  • Investigate the potential for collaboration with local government to expand cooperative purchasing agreements

  • Conduct regional business training events to inform and educate businesses and local governments of the processes and opportunities to conduct business with State partners

  • Establish an interagency review process to determine the best and most effective delivery mechanisms for State programs and projects