This past weekend, we marked the observance of Earth Day. I joined volunteers at a tree planting and community clean-up in the Ridgeleigh neighborhood off Loch Raven Boulevard, and I salute the volunteers throughout the Fifth District who helped at other events, from Towson to Perry Hall.
The Baltimore County Council elected in 2010 has passed many measures to help improve the environment. The first legislation I sponsored, Bill 2-11, created a Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to help expand our trail network and increase bicycling. Bill 7-12 established the first-ever zoning category for open space. Other bills have strengthened the role of
NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, which preserves undeveloped land.
In 2010, the previous County Council passed legislation that provides a property tax credit for three years for either a new home that exceeds the Home Energy Rating System by 40 percent or for an existing home whose energy performance is increased by 40 percent. I have introduced Bill 23-12, which also qualifies homes that meet the International Code Council’s National Green Building Standard. The new standard judges not just the unit, but site development plans and other factors.
The new legislation shows that sound environmental policies can be good for taxpayers as well. We should be doing all we can to encourage the construction of energy-efficient homes that consumers will buy.