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Housing Expansion and Affordability Act - Senate Bill 484 Gets Major Push Back from Baltimore County Citizens

An emergency meeting of concerned citizens convened on Tuesday, February 27, at the Perry Hall Library, spearheaded by the Republican Women of Baltimore County. This gathering sought to address the contentious issue surrounding Senate Bill 484, inviting prominent county councilmen and community leaders to shed light on its implications. Councilman David Marks commenced the meeting by emphasizing its adverse effects on the local community, particularly its lack of accountability to residents. Subsequently, Councilman Wade Koch echoed similar concerns, highlighting how Senate Bill 484 (along with its cross-filed counterpart HB0538) circumvents local zoning regulations, allows 30% increase in density paving the way for a surge in housing that will exacerbate overcrowding the schools, strained infrastructure, and traffic congestion.

 

Governor Wes Moore has pledged to address the need for 95,000 low-income housing units, prompting Councilman Marks to question the necessity for such a substantial housing expansion in Baltimore County, especially amidst a declining population. Questions were raised regarding the demographic targeted by this legislation, with speculations suggesting a focus on accommodating illegal immigrants, particularly in regions designated as "Sanctuary Zones" within Maryland.

 

The meeting drew the participation of at least 100 concerned Maryland citizens, each expressing reservations about the proposal to introduce high-rise and modular homes across the state's counties. Curiously, the abundance of abandoned homes in Baltimore City, exceeding 13,000, raised inquiries as to why these areas were not being considered for revitalization. Citizens voiced their concerns, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding their families, neighborhoods, property rights, and infrastructure against the ramifications of increased density.

 

The gathering facilitated actionable steps for attendees to assert their rights and voice their opposition effectively. Guidance on delivering verbal and written testimony was provided, alongside a comprehensive list of contact information for State Delegates and Senators serving on pertinent committees. Additionally, sample letters and phone scripts were distributed to aid citizens in articulating their objections.

 

The press coverage of the event extended to WMAR and FOX 45, with additional articles featured in The Baltimore Sun and coverage on WCBM radio. The collective efforts of RWBC and concerned citizens resonated across various media platforms, amplifying their message and ensuring that their voices were heard.

 

However, the battle against HB0538 and SB0484 is far from over. Stay tuned for further updates on our continued opposition to these bills. RWBC remains steadfast in our commitment to keep citizens informed, empowered, and prepared to oppose this detrimental legislation and uphold the interests of our community.

 

 

 



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