Letter to the Council: Prince George's Chamber of Commerce Position on CB 50, 52 and 53
Dear Chair Demoga and Vice Chair Wala Blegay,
The Prince George's Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the County's business community. We are writing to express our opposition and deep concerns with CB-50-23, CB-52-23 and CB 53-23 legislation. The legislation as proposed would have a deepening impact on the County's ability to meet its housing needs. Often townhouses serve as the most accessible housing type for first-time home buyers. As we focus on increasing Prince Georgians' wealth, homeownership is a clear pathway to that wealth. By decreasing the supply of affordable housing, limiting the County's ability to meet its housing needs and does not meet the interests of residents that expressed that residential development was important to them. Particularly in sprawl areas.
Further this legislation will have a chilling effect on both economic development and county revenue and will increase concerns about uncertainty within the development process. The proposed legislation fuels the perception that Prince George's County does not conduct business in good faith. This is particularly true for land developers, home builders, contractors and associated building trades who make up a large driver of economic and workforce activity in Prince George's County.
The County, whose budget is largely comprised of property taxes, will see a decrease in housing starts and decreases in the corresponding recordation tax revenue generated by each home sale as well as associated developer fees. Additionally, as Prince George's County seeks to attract large. new employers to the County-such as Federal Government agencies-having housing to accommodate the workforce is critical. Townhouses must be part of that housing mix as they are (1) an appealing option to a variety of household types and (2) often in proximity to amenities, transportation, shopping, and other entertainment, which is key to luring this new, higher-income, workforce away from nearby jurisdictions.
In closing, the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce endeavors to enhance the County's economic development However, the proposed bills expose severe gaps in addressing the needs to achieve economic development, meet the housing needs of residents and maintain county revenue projections.
Alexander K. Austin
President and CEO,
Prince George's Chamber of Commerce
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