The Town of Middletown is committed to fiscally, socially and environmentally responsible land use development. Sustainable development integrates the needs of the Town and its residents in the present generation without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs by balancing the economy, society and the environment in the process. In looking towards the future, the Town of Middletown will strive towards sustainable living and planning.
Recognizing the importance of sustainability, the Town Board created the Sustainability Committee as a standing committee of the Town in 2016 to manage the Town's sustainability goals and policies. The Committee is made up of members from different backgrounds who serve in an advisory capacity by providing input on initiatives, acting for the Town on various topics, and educating the public.
1. Preserve and increase the tree canopy coverage in Town, and ensure that the location and scale of the future built environment preserves green infrastructure and other sensitive environmental resources.
2. Evaluate land development’s overall ecological “footprint” and minimize its environmental impact, especially in relation to stormwater management and water quality.
3. Encourage energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable development through raising awareness and creating standards that support best practices.
4. Increase outreach and educational activities to promote recycling and composting.
5. Promote and communicate sustainability concepts and incentivize residents and businesses to implement relevant strategies.
Sustainability in the Town will be guided by the following objectives:
1. Preservation of Open Space and environmental stewardship areas in Town to ensure that the natural environment and the views it provides citizens are preserved into the future. This would include preservation and expansion of fragmented or isolated woodlands into coherent greenways while providing water quality benefits for the Town’s water resources.
2. Continuation of the preservation of the greenbelt of open spaces and farmland established around the Town. This greenbelt physically separates Middletown from sprawl development in other areas of the County.
3. Reduction of the total amount of impervious surface area within the existing Town limits of Middletown through the use of the latest stormwater management and pervious pavement designs.
4. Continuation of its rain barrel partnership with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust and investigation of other sustainable stormwater management practices.
5. Reduction of water consumption and wastewater production through enhanced water reuse programs and low-flow technologies.
6. Reduction of energy consumption and carbon footprint through energy efficiency programs, clean energy programs, alternative transportation fleet options and recycled procurement programs as part of the Town of Middletown government policies.
7. Promotion of Frederick County’s single stream recycling program for residents and development and enhancement of government and business recycling programs in conjunction with the County program.
8. Continuation of the use of the brown biodegradable paper bags to all Town residents as part of its Yard Waste collection program that eliminates yard waste from the municipal solid waste disposal stream.
9. Promotion of sustainable building practices using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program or a similar system for government and commercial construction projects.
10. Reduction of light pollution with a focus on night-time safety, decreasing the harmful effects on wildlife and residents, and conserving energy.
11. Protection of pollinators by modeling pollinator friendly practices and by educating residents about pollinators, including disseminating information about the ways residents can help.
12. Cooperation with Main Street Middletown and Frederick County Public Schools to help educate the public, schools, professional associates, business and industry about creating a sustainable community and to establish sustainable policies for all commercial and County buildings and operations in the Town.
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
In 1991, the State of Maryland enacted the Forest Conservation Act to protect forests by making forest conditions and character an integral part of the site planning process. The law’s intent is to maximize the benefits of forests and slow the loss of forest land, while allowing development to take place.
Sustainable energy is energy produced and used in such a way that it "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.". The term "sustainable energy" is often used interchangeably with the term "renewable energy".In general, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy are widely considered to be sustainable.
Erosion & Sediment Control / Storm Water Management
Clearing or grading land in excess of 5,000 square feet is not permissible without first obtaining approval of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan from the Frederick County Soil Conservation District. Frederick County also requires developers to submit a “Stormwater Management Plan” for capacities of stormwater drainage systems for any new subdivision or site development.
The Town of Middletown was designated as a Bee City USA municipality in September 2020. As an affiliate, the Town is expected to maintain the certification by reporting on its achievements and celebrate being a Bee City USA affiliate every year. Bee City USA is part of nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
In order to promote water conservation and decrease runoff to the Chesapeake Bay, the Town of Middletown previously partnered with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin to create the Rain Barrel Program. The Town now partners with the Scott Key Center to offer rain barrels for sale to town residents
Municipal Carbon Footprint
A municipal greenhouse gas inventory was completed for Middletown using 2018 as a baseline. A Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory is an accounting of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from activities within a given boundary. These inventories help decision-makers identify the greatest sources of GHG emissions, establish goals, and track progress towards reduction targets.
Solid Waste Management
Promotion of Frederick County’s single stream recycling program for residents and development and enhancement of government and business recycling programs in conjunction with the County program. Continuation of the use of the brown biodegradable paper bags to all Town residents as part of its Yard Waste collection program that eliminates yard waste from the municipal solid waste disposal stream.
Environmentally sensitive building and site‐design, following LEED Guidelines (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), should be encouraged to minimize the potential negative impacts of such things as forest and habitat disturbance as well as stormwater flows on adjacent sensitive areas, aquatic resources, and water quality.
Dark Sky Policy
The problems of light pollution first became an issue in the 1970s when astronomers identified the degradation of the night sky due to the increase in lighting associated with development and growth. As more impacts to the environment by lighting have been identified, an international “dark sky” movement is advocating for the precautionary approach to outdoor lighting design.
Historic preservation is an inherently sustainable practice. An immediate advantage of older and historic buildings is that the structure already exists. No energy or waste is necessary for its demolition and far fewer resources are needed for its reuse because much of the materials and infrastructure may already be in place.