• Overnight lodging services, once common in Bel Air, can be redeveloped.
Future threats mentioned include:
• A decline of "small town charm" to possibly include "a growing tavern culture that discourages other uses of the core area and raises the risk of crime" and a decline in a sense that Bel Air is a unique place.
• An erosion of the town's "service-center" advantage over other places to possibly include a decline in the attractiveness of the shopping mall, development of competing health care centers elsewhere and dispersal of county services outside of town.
• Decline in contributions of citizen volunteers because of the aging of current volunteers and inability to replace them from younger, "two-earner households."
• With the county, not the town, in control of land use in the Winters Run watershed, there is a threat that the quality of Bel Air's water supply may decrease.
The theme about the water supply and who will control and protect it is found throughout the report. The county government is setting up a permanent public water authority with the likely goal of eventually taking over the private Maryland American Water Company that supplies Bel Air.
The town has its own sewer system, but the sewage generated is treated by the county under an annual cost arrangement that is passed on to residents and businesses.
Among the action recommendations in the plan are:
• Continued development of the armory and its park and planned marketplace.
• Promoting energy conservation in town-owned facilities and adopting more sustainable operations in town government.
• Improving water conservation and partnering with the county to protect Winters Run.
• Developing a natural resource conservation plan for town parks and other properties.
• Strengthening the development review process.
• Reducing environmental impacts of traffic. Making the town more bicycle and pedestrian friendly and making it easier for people to move between residential and commercial areas.
• Taking a variety of steps to encourage business revitalization and retention, in particular, the commercial and residential revitalization of the downtown core.
• Help Bel Air become a healthier community and increase youth activities.