Residential Growth

Legislation

Forest Resource Ordinance

Developer Rights and Responsibilities Agreements

Adequate Public Facilities - Adjustment of School Construction Fees

County Executive Gardner Proposes Legislation to Manage Impact of Residential Growth 

County Executive Jan Gardner provided information on residential growth in Frederick County. Her public information briefing on August 31, 2017, covered the residential growth that is coming based on approvals by the prior administration, defined the impact on roads and schools and the cost to build needed roads and schools, and outlined what her next steps will be.

“I, along with every taxpayer in Frederick County, was dealt a bad hand by the prior administration, who signed 14 contracts with developers that will create severe school overcrowding and traffic congestion in the New Market, Monrovia and Urbana areas,” Executive Gardner said. “At the same time, the Board of County Commissioners weakened the laws that required developers to pay for the necessary infrastructure. I believe new development should pay for itself. The last board shifted the cost of development primarily to the taxpayers.”

FACTS:  The pipeline of residential development previously approved and not yet built will:

  • Generate 21,000 new housing units.
  • Add 50,000 residents. The New Market area alone will see new residential growth equal to two Urbanas.
  • Add 9,700 additional school-aged students (25% increase in school enrollment).
  • Create a need for more than $500 million in schools and roads projects, according to two recent studies:
    • 10 new or expanded schools beyond what is already planned over the next six years, at a cost of $510 million. After impact fees and mitigation fees are paid by developers, taxpayers will be left to pay $167 million.
    • $340 million in road projects in the Monrovia/New Market area.

The cost to taxpayers to build the necessary infrastructure will exceed $500 million, according to studies on schools capacity needs and roads. 

Two-thirds of the already approved residential growth is locked in by legally binding contracts, known as Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreements (DRRAs). Because of these 14 DRRAs, elected officials’ hands are effectively tied for 20 to 25 years.  

Immediate action is being taken to make sure the county never allows any of these DRRAs again. Executive Gardner is proposing a bill to limit the use of DRRAs to developments with 1,500 or more homes, and to prohibit the freezing of fees to developers.  A second piece of legislation would increase the school mitigation fee to reflect the actual cost of school construction to generate more money to build needed schools.

“There will be more to come,” Executive Gardner said.

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For More Information:  

Legislation:

County Executive Jan Gardner - Briefing on Residential Growth