Reason 10: To minimize residential land consumption outside of existing communities

map of housing affordability

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chart of percent of parcels and acres developed inside and outside of PFAs in Maryland 1990-2007

Despite State programs to reverse them, sprawling land use trends have continued in Maryland. Programs over the last several decades were designed to protect farms and forests, to limit development along the shoreline of the Chesapeake and its tidal tributaries, and to foster growth generally within the boundaries of existing settlements.

Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) were created in 1997 to encourage development in and around existing towns and cities by concentrating public investment for new infrastructure such as roads and schools in those areas. Despite these efforts, since 1990, 75 percent of statewide acres associated with residential development have been outside of PFAs.

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