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Md. smart-growth law ineffective, study says

November 02, 2009

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- A study concludes that Maryland's smart-growth law isn't doing much to curb suburban sprawl.

The study by University of Maryland scholars said the 12-year-old law is ineffective because it can't force builders to comply. The study also said Maryland hasn't given developers enough incentive to launch projects in older, urban neighborhoods.

Former Gov. Parris Glendening pushed the smart-growth law through the General Assembly in 1997 and has become a national advocate for the policy. He told The Washington Post that Maryland's law should be stronger, but political reality makes that difficult because local governments don't want to give up control over growth.

The law is intended to protect farmland and encourage development in densely populated urban areas near mass transit.

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