If you were thinking of building a new home in Prince George’s county, you may have just run out of time. The Prince George’s County council has approved a resolution that essentially bans new home projects in a large swath of the southern part of the county.
According to the Washington Post, the measure, which passed Tuesday with a vote of 8-to-1, was proposed over concerns that residential growth in the county is outpacing road improvements.
“It’s designed to prevent further overburdening of the roads in the Brandywine area, particularly the 301 corridor,” sponsoring council member Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro) told the Post.
The resolution effectively abolishes the Brandywine Road Club, a fund that offset the cost of building roads in the area. According to the Post, builders who failed to meet adequate-roads standards, in other words build roads to handle the estimated amount of volume created by their projects, had to pay a fee to the Road Club.
Franklin tells the Post he proposed the resolution because the fund was allowing development but not using the $2.6 million it had earned from builders to make road improvements.
Council members say they were also worried that if roads couldn’t handle the traffic generated by residential development, it is also possible that fire and police would struggle meeting their requirements for accessing subdivisions.
“The resolution will help prevent problems…from getting worse,” Franklin told the post.
The original resolution called for all building in the Brandywine area to be banned. But it was amended before the vote to only include homes and allow commercial and industrial projects or developments that create jobs. The Post reports that there is also a grandfather clause that allows for projects already underway to continue.
County Executive Rushern Baker’s administration told the Post they support “the objective of the legislation,” but even if they didn’t, Baker cannot veto a resolution.
“We appreciate the exception for commercial, industrial and retail development,” Baker’s Deputy Chief of Staff Brad Frome told the Post. “That’s the kind of development we want to promote in the county.”
Council member Leslie Johnson was the only member to vote against the resolution. It was only her second day at work since submitting her resignation.