Letter to the Council: Proposal will do the opposite of the goals in Plan 2035
Dear Chair Ivey and Committee Members:
ICSC is the member organization for the advancement of the Marketplaces Industry, made up of shopping centers, malls and main streets, and the commerce they drive and the communities they create. Our 1,000‐member network in Maryland includes property owners, developers, financial institutions, professional service providers and, importantly, shopping center tenants such as retailers, restaurants, gyms, childcare providers, and health centers. Our members in Maryland are responsible for 1,900 marketplaces accounting for over 525,000 jobs, making up nearly 14% of the State’s job force. Over 59,000 of these jobs have been created in and around Prince George’s County.
For over 65 years, ICSC has promoted and elevated the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather as foundational and vital ingredients to everyday life. On behalf of our Maryland membership, ICSC submits the comments below to express our opposition to CB‐052‐2023, which would implement a two‐year moratorium on townhome and townhome related developments in certain areas of the county.
In 2014, the county adopted its Plan 2035 to take advantage of its geographic proximity Washington, D.C., its jobs, and its institutions. Prince George’s County spent eight years and over $15 million to overhaul zoning policies to promote housing development and economic prosperity.
While we appreciate the county’s intent with CB‐052 to address infrastructure concerns, add more transit‐oriented development, and attract more retail businesses to the region, this proposal will do just the opposite of the goals contemplated in Plan 2035. A moratorium on townhome development would seriously damage the county’s potential to attract new retail businesses and either stop or delay currently anticipated commercial development.
Additionally, it would remove an affordable housing option for many first‐time home buyers or seniors with fixed incomes, deter advancement of county smart growth and transit‐oriented development goals, and ultimately undermine future economic development opportunities.
Limiting housing options will only exacerbate the current housing shortage. On the other hand, a mixed‐use development that includes townhomes helps create the density the Council is looking for to attract more commercial growth throughout the county.
We appreciate the opportunity to share our concerns with this proposed legislation and look forward to future opportunities to work with the Council to address infrastructure concerns, enhance economic development opportunities, and continue to meet the housing needs of the residents of Prince George’s County.
Vice President, State & Local Government Relations
ICSC Government Relations & Public Policy
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