PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — The Maryland Building Industry Association is speaking out about a proposal to pause townhome construction in Prince George’s County for two years.
County council members said there are just too many townhomes being built in certain parts of the county, and it’s straining infrastructure. They’re hoping a two-year pause will slow that down and encourage builders to build in more high-density areas of the county.
“To bring true economic development to the county will be building in transit-oriented areas because that’s where you’re going to bring the jobs, that’s where the office shots are gonna come, that’s when that’s where the employers want to be,” Councilmember Wala Blegay said in an interview last month.
Lori Graf, CEO of the Maryland Building Industry Association, said this does more harm than good. She said there’s more concern about the long-term impact.
“We have several concerns. The biggest one is that we really feel like this is going to disincentive investment in Prince George’s County,” said Graf. “We also just don’t know the fiscal impact. There’s been no study. No, we just don’t know what the impact is going to be.”
Graf said they’re already seeing the impact of bills concerning developments in the county.
“They’re already deciding not to do deals in Prince George’s County. People are just very nervous about investing in the county, where there’s just so much uncertainty about if they’re going to be able to move forward,” he said.
There are also concerns about affordable housing.
“Removing this type of housing, it removes a type of housing that’s more affordable for entry-level buyers, younger buyers, those types of things that also will hurt other investments like retail and other amenities,” she said. “We already are in a housing crisis. We don’t have enough housing for everybody.”
Graf said a conversation is needed.
“We need fordable housing not just housing that’s affordable, affordable housing units, attainable housing people can afford it,” she said.
A hearing for this bill will be scheduled in the next few weeks.
On Tuesday, the council is set to consider a new project in Bowie for an area where townhomes were initially supposed to be built.