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Joint Statement by WTP & Balt Co Home Builders

Joint Statement on Baltimore County Council Bill 9-24 on Mixed-Use Projects

 

We The People - Baltimore County &

The Baltimore County Chapter of the Maryland Building Industry Association

 

As advocates of home ownership for working families, we are issuing this joint statement to request that the Baltimore County Council (i) suspend further action on Bill 9-24, otherwise known as the "compromise" bill on mixed-use projects, and (ii) convene a task force of community leaders and planning specialists to develop legislation that will reflect community input, garner community support and meaningfully address the housing crisis and the glut of underperforming commercial land in our County. 


The County Council rejected the County Executive's mixed-use bill on the grounds that it was allegedly rushed and not reflective of community concerns.  In its place, the County Council introduced and quickly withdrew Bill 7-24, which would have permitted the densest housing possible for any development near a state road like York Road.  Then, the Council introduced Bill 9-24 as a "compromise" for mixed-use projects just twelve days later. 


We have serious concerns that this Bill is similarly rushed, and that it will not change the status quo or meaningfully address our challenges.  We are also concerned that the Council will turn its attention elsewhere after passage.  As a result, we believe the only prudent course is to suspend action and instead engage the community through a task force to develop a "Consensus Bill" that can actually address our challenges, while preserving our quality of life and the reasons why families want to live in our County. 

 

We recommend that the task force members be appointed by the County Council and complete their work no later than September 2024.

 

WTP Note:

 

The Council will hear public comment on the compromise bill, if it is not withdrawn before then, on March 26 at 4:00 p.m. We ask that you join us in either testifying before, or submitting written comment to, the Council to argue for this commonsense approach to developing meaningful reform.

 

For reference, you can view We The People's comments on the Council's "compromise" bill here, where we explain why it falls short and how it can be substantively improved.

 

Onward!

 

Nick Stewart, Pat Keller and the WTP Team

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