Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today detailed legislation she is proposing that would better manage residential development outside of municipalities. During her public information briefing, Executive Gardner outlined a measure to limit the use of legal contracts known as Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, and to require any future agreements to include an enhanced public benefit for Frederick County taxpayers.
“Residential growth continues to be a hot topic in Frederick County,” Executive Gardner said. “My goal is to ensure that new housing is timed with the County’s ability to provide roads, schools, and other services so that we maintain our high quality of life. Our citizens deserve nothing less.”
The proposed legislation would limit the use of DRRAs to housing projects with 1,500 or more dwelling units. The bill would:
- require developers to provide enhanced public benefits, such as a new school, a regional road, or a recreational facility;
- prohibit the freezing of fees during the life of the agreement;
- clearly specify the laws and fees that apply to land developed under a DRRA;
- limit the term of a DRRA to no more than five years, with one possible extension of up to five years; and
- specify requirements for amending an agreement.
During the briefing, the County Executive also discussed two annually required reports that have been submitted to the County Council, one that recommends updates to the county’s impact fees and the other to school construction fees. A copy of both reports and the draft DRRA legislation is available online at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ResidentialGrowth.