Advocates say smart-growth policies pioneered in Maryland in the 1990s and strengthened under Gov. Martin O'Malley are key to boosting economic development, with benefits that go beyond containing sprawl and protecting the environment.

The question is whether Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican real estate developer, will maintain those policies once he takes office.

Hogan has remained close-lipped about his plans and, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment for this article. But his background is enough to prompt questions from smart growth proponents about the future of the policies.

In October, the state's Sustainable Growth Commission released a report titled "Reinvest Maryland" that looked at ways to make infill development easier, with recommendations that included new financing mechanisms and streamlining permitting and project reviews.

"I feel very strongly that there's nothing partisan about the kinds of priorities that the commission has recommended," said Jon Laria, a Ballard Spahr attorney who chairs the commission. "They're economic development recommendations, which, if implemented, will benefit jurisdictions across the state."

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