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Gov. Moore Wants 95,000 Units in High Rise Apartments Though Out Maryland Suburbs

Updated: Feb 28

Have Your Say Oppose SB0484

by Delegate Ryan Nawrocki


"Governor Moore faced with some skeptical questions by lawmakers of both parties who are concerned about how increasing housing density could put pressure on public services like schools and infrastructure.

 

'That brings me to pause,' said Republican Del. Ryan Nawrocki, of Baltimore County, 'How do we deal with these communities when we’ve frankly been fighting to get adequate public facilities, and this could maybe make that worse in some communities?'"


Did you know that Governor Wes Moore has announced that one of his legislative priorities this year is to expand low-income housing across Maryland? Moore has said that Maryland is short by 96,000 low-income housing units.

 

One of his bills - The Housing Expansion and Affordability Act - would allow taller and denser developments than what the local zoning allows. So for areas zoned for single-family homes, that might mean duplexes, triplexes, or even apartments. The bill would allow manufactured homes anywhere you can build a single-family home today.

But most alarmingly, the legislation would make it tougher for localities to block developments because of infrastructure concerns, like traffic congestion or school capacity.


Can you believe that? When Maryland schools are continuing to struggle with underperformance often related to classroom size, we will just ignore test scores and cram more kids in classrooms!

 

The Baltimore County Executive Olszewski introduced legislation bypassing council approval for mixed-use and low-income housing developments. This directly impacts locations such as White Marsh Mall which faces overburdened schools, roads, and other public facilities.  

 

County Executive Olszewski’s bill would allow the planning board to evaluate and approve mixed-use projects going forward without council approval, unlike planned unit developments that require developers to host community input meetings and add a public benefit.

 

If they receive county funds, developers will need to set aside a percentage of the project units as low-income housing. The number of required low-income units would range from 10% of developments with 20-34 units to 20% for those with 50 or more units.

 

We know that all this talk of low-income housing means that communities like ours will be asked to bear the bulk of this construction while wealthy areas like Pikesville and Towson won’t see their fair share. These pieces of legislation directly threaten our quality of life in eastern Baltimore County.

 

We agree with Councilman David Marks and others who are concerned the legislation will strip away the council’s authority - and as a result, the community’s - ability to weigh in on high-density projects. There are talks of the County Executive withdrawing the bill or at least amending it to preserve County Council input.

 

The hearing for HB 538 - the Housing Expansion and Affordability Act - took place on February 20th in the Environment and Transportation Committee. The hearing in the Senate SB 0484 will take place on March 1st.


Please oppose this bill, call 410-841-3661 takes 30 seconds to have your say!






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