BEL AIR, MD — The city of Bel Air is one step nearer to having its historic core redesignated as a Maryland Arts & Leisure District.
The Bel Air Board of City Commissioners handed a decision Monday evening approving the redesignation of almost 100 acres downtown as an arts and leisure district.
Bel Air was first designated an Arts & Leisure District in 2011, a standing that will expire this 12 months except the city utilized for redesignation, in response to Bel Air Financial Growth Director Trish Heidenreich.
The designation permits state tax incentives round actions, artists and companies within the district, she mentioned.
April 1 is the deadline for the city to use for redesignation by way of the Maryland State Arts Council, which has coordinated this system beneath the umbrella of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce since 2001. Since then, the council has designated almost 30 arts and entertainment districts around the state, together with Bel Air and Havre de Grace.
“Within the 10 years which have handed, the city has seen a rise in arts-related investments, actions and occasions, thus attracting extra customers and diners to our eating places and our retail shops,” Heidenreich mentioned at a City Corridor assembly Monday evening the place a decision on the redesignation of Bel Air’s Arts & Leisure District was up for a vote.
“Along with bolstering commerce, alternatives for enhancement of our industrial and residential actual property stock have additionally elevated by offering financial incentives for reasonably priced housing for artists and artwork studio workshops that rehabilitate underused properties and create jobs in the neighborhood,” Heidenreich added.
“It is a very optimistic designation,” she mentioned, noting it was “fairly an vital device to draw funding to the city.”
‘Important Progress’ In Artwork In Final 10 Years
Two individuals shared throughout the public listening to that the Arts & Leisure District has been a boon for the city of Bel Air.
“Within the final 10 years since Bel Air was designated as Arts & Leisure District, we have simply seen simply vital development within the number of artwork and the cultural occasions provided on the town, each the variety of native artists that promote their work right here in addition to the attractive public artwork items which have been put in,” mentioned Kristien Foss, chair of the Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission.
“All this actually contributes to our city, and it makes it a really vibrant place to dwell,” Foss mentioned. “It attracts each our guests and our new residents as effectively … It celebrates our historical past.”
To qualify as an Arts & Leisure District, a municipality or county authorities should apply and current an space that can function the middle of cultural points of interest and humanities packages.
In Bel Air, the district encompasses 99 acres that features properties alongside MD 22, Major Avenue and US 1. (See the map under.)
“Every single day and yearly, I feel an increasing number of artwork exhibits up in Bel Air, and it makes it so colourful and enjoyable,” Mayor Amy Chmielewski mentioned throughout the public listening to, which was held just about because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mentioned Chmielewski:”I am wanting ahead to seeing extra murals and extra artwork go up.”
After she spoke, the city commissioners unanimously handed the resolution redesignating Bel Air’s Arts & Entertainment District.
If accredited, the designation would final for 10 years, throughout which era the city would offer tax credit for eligible arts-related properties and actions within the district.
Right here is the map of the Bel Air Arts & Entertainment District: