Spurring Maritime Innovation in Annapolis
Win, May Sein
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In 1987, the City of Annapolis created Maritime Zoning Regulations, delineating four zones along Annapolis’ waterfront: Maritime Conservation District, Mixed Maritime District, Maritime Industrial District, and Maritime Eastport. The districts are designed to provide incentives to the maritime industry, while offering flexibility to property owners who wish to implement higher-value uses that would add to the success of the district. With over 250 businesses and organizations related to boat servicing and supplies, boating instruction, brokerage, chartering, insurance, marinas, and other maritime needs, Annapolis remains a major center for recreational boaters along the East Coast. However, the recession of 2007-2009 caused the worst economic decline for Annapolis’ maritime industry since 1932. Maritime businesses continue to face rising land costs and rent, resulting in fewer new maritime businesses locating in the City. The Fall 2016 Community Planning Studio class was tasked with reviewing previous economic studies of Annapolis’ maritime industry and updating the studies’ recommendations with new approaches. Our Studio class examined ways to revitalize the City’s maritime industry, focusing especially on how innovation-driven economic development tools could be applied in Annapolis. The following report synthesizes our research and proposes several recommendations that the City may implement in the short-, medium-, and long-term.