STAR Project

   
SHORTCUTS

Project Sponsor
Project Partners
Project Overview
Inventory of Existing Plans
Assessments of Trends
Local Workshops
A Primer for Economic Development
 
   
The STAR final report has been released! 
Find it here.
 

Project Sponsor

The Appalachian Regional Commission

Project Partners

  • University of Maryland Extension
  • The Greater Cumberland Committee
     

Project Overview

Working with local governments, civic organizations, and local residents in each Western Maryland county, the project team will identify the particular needs and opportunities for sustainable economic development in Western Maryland and ensure that those needs are incorporated in PlanMaryland, the state development plan. The work will include analysis of existing social, economic, and environmental conditions including housing, transportation, and critical infrastructure. It will also include the exploration of alternative future scenarios that involve different assumptions about energy prices, investments in transportation and public investments, and land use policies.

Contacts: Gerrit KnaapJason Sartori

Inventory of Existing Economic Development Plans 

   
 
"An Inventory of Existing
Economic Development
Priorities in Western Maryland"
 
Download: PDF (377 KB)
   

The NCSG's initial task on the STAR project is to inventory the Western Maryland region's existing economic development plans.  An inventory of the goals identified in the region’s existing plans provides a window to the unique issues facing Western Maryland, and the economic goals and aspirations of its citizens.  The report, titled “An Inventory of Existing Economic Development Priorities in Western Maryland” will serve as a reference guide through the remainder of the project.

To draft the inventory, the NCSG reviewed publicly available documents created by the jurisdictions of Western Maryland between 1999 and the present. These included the economic and comprehensive plans of the region’s three counties (Garrett, Allegany and Washington), its largest municipalities, and several regional coalitions and partnerships. In addition, the NCSG contacted the region’s economic development directors, planning directors and Chambers of Commerce to ensure that all key plans were obtained for review. The documents included in the inventory are listed below:

  • Report of the Western Maryland Economic Development Task Force  
  • Allegany County Comprehensive Plan Update 2002 (link
  • Washington County Comprehensive Plan 2002 (link)
  • City of Cumberland’s 2004 Comprehensive Plan (link
  • Deep Creek Lake Watershed Economic Growth and Planning Analysis Study (link)
  • Report of the Western Maryland Economic Development Commission (link
  • Sustainable Economic Development Strategic Plan - City of Cumberland, MD (link
  • 2008 Garrett County Comprehensive Plan (link
  • 2008 Comprehensive Plan - City of Hagerstown (link)
  • Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, Inc. “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy” (link)
  • Eggs & Issues: Economic Development in Washington County (link
  • 2011 Garrett County Economic Development Strategic Plan (link)
  • Garrett County Brief Economic Facts (link)
  • 2011 Strategic Priorities and Action Plans - Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (link
  • Strategic Community Impact Plan: 2012-2016 Washington County (link)
     

Assessments of Social, Economic and Land Use Trends

The NCSG's second task is to assess the social, economic and land use trends in Western Maryland.  The assessment process has produced four data briefs:

  • Population. This brief examines the demographic characteristics at present and over time. The brief includes data on population, race and ethnicity, household size, educational attainment and labor force characteristics.  The brief is available hereUpdated August 9, 2012.
  • Economics. This brief examines the structure of the Western Maryland economy and changes in that structure over time. It looks at measures of income, equity and employment.  The brief is available here. Updated August 9, 2012.
  • Infrastructure. This brief examine the capacity and utilization of infrastructure in Western Maryland including transportation, education, healthcare and telecommunications infrastructure.  It also provides a summary of the effects of alternative future statewide growth and transportation scenarios on Western Maryland.  The brief is available here. Updated August 9, 2012.
  • Land Use and Natural Resources. This brief examines current conditions and trends in the use of land and natural resources in Western Maryland. The brief includes data from county comprehensive plans, GreenPrint, and federal sources.  The brief is available here. Updated August 9, 2012.
     

Local Workshops

With assistance from its STAR partners in Western Maryland (University of Maryland Extension and The Greater Cumberland Committee), the NCSG team is conducting workshops with residents in Garrett, Allegany and Washington Counties:

  • Garrett County Workshop
  • Allegany County Workshop
  • Washington County Workshop

At these workshops the NCSG team is presenting draft versions of the policy briefs and seeking information from local residents on their beliefs, perceptions, and aspirations. These workshops will be used to identify local economic development goals and priorities.

On Friday, March 9, the NCSG and its partners met in Frostburg with representatives from Allegany and Garrett Counties to begin planning the workshops for those two counties.  The meeting also included a brief review and discussion of the project's research efforts to date.  A similar meeting was held for Washington County in Boonsboro on Wednesday, April 18.

A Primer for Economic Development in Western Maryland

   
 
"A Primer for
Economic Development
in Western Maryland"
 
Download: PDF (871 KB)
   

The NCSG has release the STAR Project's final report, "A Primer for Economic Development in Western Maryland." Based on the policy briefs described above and the priorities identified through the workshops, this report provides important information about existing conditions, trends, and aspirations in Western Maryland that must be considered in preparing a state economic development plan for the region.  As such, the NCSG will present this report and the STAR Project's findings to the Maryland Department of Planning, the Sustainable Growth Commission, and the Smart Growth Subcabinet in the coming months.

You can find the report here.