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Health and Zoning in Prince George’s County

“At the heart of any community’s success and prosperity is the health of its residents. When people have safe neighborhoods, a clean environment, access to physical activity, recreation, nutritious foods, affordable health care, and other resources that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, they are more equipped to excel in school, thrive in the workforce and fulfill their civic responsibilities.” – Prince George’s County Health Improvement Plan 2011 to 2014: Blueprint for a Healthier County

As part of the effort to create a new Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations for Prince George’s County, staff have identified health concerns that could be affected by land use decisions and the need to evaluate the role zoning regulations may play in improving the public health of communities within Prince George’s County. Prompted through meetings with project stakeholders, including the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council and the Health Policy Research Consortium, this discussion paper examines the relationship between land use regulations and improving community health, explores critical health concerns in Prince George’s County, reviews recent policy impacting the health of County residents, and investigates key practices enacted by neighboring jurisdictions in an attempt to remedy public health concerns through updating their Zoning Ordinances. Finally, staff provides additional recommendations for how the County should proceed in its work to create a 21st Century Zoning Ordinance that contributes to healthier environments for the citizens of Prince George’s County.

Staff reminds the reader that, at the time of this writing, the Planning Department, Planning Board, and District Council have not taken positions regarding the proposals presented by Clarion Associates, project consultants for the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations Rewrite. Nothing in this discussion paper should be viewed as endorsement or adoption of any recommendation made by Clarion.

 

Read the discussion paper on Health and Zoning in Prince George’s County.

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