Working in collaboration with the Long Reach Village Board, the Howard County Council, Columbia Association, business owners and others, County Executive Allan Kittleman will pursue a Sustainable Community designation for Columbia’s Village of Long Reach. Kittleman has pre-filed legislation with the Howard County Council to seek its approval of the application.

“We have been working diligently on revitalizing Long Reach, starting with the redevelopment plan for the Village Center. Seeking a Sustainable Community designation from the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development is the next logical step,” said Kittleman. “Becoming a ‘sustainable community’ opens up possibilities for grants and resources to increase the economic vitality and livability of the Village Center and surrounding area. We are working hard to make this happen.”

The 30-page application, which will be submitted to the state by the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ), was developed by a Sustainable Communities Workgroup with representatives from DPZ, the Department of Public Works, the Office of Transportation, the Office of Community Sustainability, the Economic Development Authority, the Housing Commission, Columbia Association, the Columbia Art Center, the Long Reach Village Board and staff, Long Reach High School and area business owners.

Kittleman has prioritized the revitalization of aging neighborhoods and village centers, including the recent addition of $2 million in his fiscal 2017 Operating Budget to launch RENEW Howard, a program to assist residents and homebuyers to renovate older homes.

Obtaining the ‘sustainable community’ designation, which lasts five years, will open the eligibility for various state programs and resources, such as Neighborhood BusinessWorks, Community Legacy and the Strategic Demolition Fund. The designation also enhances competitiveness for state programs such as Maryland Bikeways.

Kittleman and DPZ staff will attend the Long Reach Village Board meeting at Stonehouse on July 19, at 7:30 p.m., to discuss the application, as well as the future of the Long Reach Village Center.