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Building Strategies To Map Out Growth

The estimates of growth, which were compiled from figures gathered by the local jurisdictions, predict there will be 2 million more people, 833,000 more homes and 1.6 million more jobs in the region by 2030. The region was defined as reaching west from Fauquier and Loudoun counties east to Anne Arundel County, and north from Frederick down to Spotsylvania and St. Mary's counties to the south.

"We're very confident in these numbers," said Paul DesJardin of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. "Since the 1960s, our projections have been almost spot-on for the number of new households."

The "Reality Check" growth summit held at the Ronald Reagan Building drew more than 300 participants, including George Vradenburg of the District, left, Andrea McGinsey of Ashburn, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, Kim Hosen of Woodbridge and Nanci Porten of Bethesda. (Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post)

_____Live Discussion_____
Transcript: John McClain, deputy director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, discussed property tax assessments and housing around the metro area.
_____Growth and Development_____
Sale of Land Hits Wrong Chord for Strathmore (The Washington Post, Feb 3, 2005)
Arlington Property Values Up 24 Percent (The Washington Post, Jan 19, 2005)
County Restricts Residential Growth (The Washington Post, Jan 12, 2005)
Md. Home Valuations Increase Sharply (The Washington Post, Jan 6, 2005)
Swift Maneuver Expedites Rezoning in Prince George's (The Washington Post, Jan 4, 2005)
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Organizers agreed that the day of planning, if it stops there, will solve little. But yesterday's conclusions, analyzed by planners at the University of Maryland, will be encompassed in a report that eventually, organizers hope, will be used as the basis for regional agreements on growth.

They pointed to the example of "Envision Utah," which held a similar game simulation and has changed local growth trends for the better, its leaders say. Robert Grow, one of the leaders of that effort, addressed yesterday's crowd. He compared growing without a plan to driving into a fog.

"If there is no vision, the public slams on the brakes," he said.

If nothing else, yesterday's exercise represented a rare attempt at regional land planning in Washington, an area riven by rivalries among more than 20 local governments, each with its own views of how the area should grow.

The regional land planning map developed in 1996, largely used for informational purposes, is regarded as a breakthrough.

Given the scant history, the fact that the event brought together Connolly, Williams and Duncan as well as other elected officials and a who's who of planners from across the area was touted as a significant step forward.

"The Washington region is a stepchild that has 20 parents -- all the different jurisdictions," said Len Forkas, chairman of the Urban Land Institute's Washington group. "The idea here is to get all of the parents into one room to decide on the best way to raise the child."

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