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2002-02-23
Annapolis, MD. Maryland Senator Files Bills to Limit Store Size

State Senator Paul Pinsky, who represents District 22, Prince George's County in Maryland, has filed Senate Bill 684, entitled: Zoning -- Construction Permits -- Retail Stores Over 120,000 Square Feet. Senator Pinsky, who has been in the Maryland General Assembly since 1994, and is a member of the Education, Health and Environment Committee, filed SB 684 to restrict the construction of huge superstores throughout Maryland. The bill comes up for a commmittee hearing on March 14th. The synopsis of the bill is: Prohibiting planning commissions from approving permits to construct large retail stores over a specified size; and providing for the application of the Act.The preamble to the bill reads as follows:

"Preamble. WHEREAS, Maryland encourages smart growth and planning; and WHEREAS, Maryland should encourage mixed use development opportunities to promote combined residential, retail, employment, and entertainment centers; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet present unique challenges for local government; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet require a significantly higher commitment of police, fire, and public safety resources as opposed to smaller neighborhood stores; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet create more traffic congestion and pollution that tend to strain local streets and highways; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet must generate significant moneys from sales tax revenues to offset the added costs to local government; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet are regional in nature and attract shoppers from a wide region which is contrary to the goal of providing a supply of convenience retail activities to serve local neighborhoods; and WHEREAS, Large retail stores over 120,000 square feet are not pedestrian or mass transit oriented;" The meat of the legislation reads as follows: "A PLANNING COMMISSION MAY NOT APPROVE A PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT A LARGE RETAIL STORE OVER 120,000 SQUARE FEET.

What you can do: To testify in favor of this bill, send an email statement directly to: Paul_Pinsky@senate.state.md.us. Similar measures could be filed in any state.










 
 
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