Priorities / Livable Community
To ensure that future generations can live and work in livable, healthy and affordable communities, it’s imperative that we manage development responsibly. Land use decisions are critical because their impact extends beyond the immediate environs of the project under consideration. How growth is managed affects our schools, roads, public safety, our environment and the cost of running our county and the taxes to fund it. Decisions about land use and growth must be made thoughtfully, with ample consideration given to their long-term implications.
Affordable communities require a diverse selection of housing options, such as apartments, condos, accessory dwelling units, townhomes, duplexes, as well as small single-family homes. Affordable, healthy communities should be walkable, bicycle friendly, with a robust public transit system and nearby services and amenities. Mixed-use zoning near transportation hubs (bus stops, parking and train stations), contributes to affordability.
The principles of Smart Growth should be utilized when making planning decisions. This helps keep communities affordable, helps limit sprawl, and protects our overall environment. Residential growth should be directed toward existing municipal centers and not be scattered across our open and agricultural lands. It’s imperative that we protect our agricultural industry, which has been a valuable part of our economy since Frederick County was settled. A strong Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) should be in place so that the timing of new residential development is linked to the availability of schools, roads, and other public facilities. This helps protect our taxpayers from the adverse effects of poorly planned residential growth.
Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a sustainable and healthy community with clean air and water and that requires that we protect our environment and natural resources. It means protecting our waterways with riparian buffers, protecting and restoring our forests, and limiting sprawl. It also requires that we manage our waste. We should expand our recycling efforts, initiate and promote countywide composting, and work toward attaining Zero Waste.