Bill to spur development in Prince George’s advances in Annapolis

March 1, 2013

A bill to expand incentives to developers seeking to build at underutilized Metro stations in Prince George’s County won a key endorsement Friday in Annapolis.

The measure, sparked by a proposal from Prince George’s council member Eric Olson (D-College Park), would enable the county to reduce by half the $8,762 school charges assessed on many new housing units within a quarter mile of a Metro station or in a designated transit zone. The bill also allows the county to eliminate the school fee on studio apartments near transit to try to promote construction of small units for residents without children.

The measure, approved by the Prince George’s House delegation Friday, has won the backing of several council members. That, along with the House delegation’s endorsement, means it probably will be approved later this year by the General Assembly. Usually, local bills are approved by the full legislature without dissent.

The measure would expire after five years as a further incentive to spur development soon.

The proposal, Olson said, helps spark “walkable, urban centers at our Metro stations and jump-start the kind of sought-after development that has been successful throughout much of our region.”

Olson is also pushing two other bills to promote transit-oriented development that only require council approval. One would speed development approvals by the county if the projects are near transit, generally within a quarter mile. The other expresses support from the council for a menu of financial incentives to spur development near transit.

Prince George’s has 15 Metro stations, but few have substantial development.

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