Read My Lips: No New Subdivisions

Prince George's County officials put the brakes on unchecked residential growth.
January 13, 2005, 11am PST | Peter Buryk
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Prince George's County, Maryland lies to the east of Washington, D.C. and for many years has longed for the level of residential growth experienced by other counties in the region. However, as housing prices continue to skyrocket around Washington, more homebuyers and builders are taking another look at locating in this relatively inexpensive jurisdiction. In reaction to an increase in housing stock, the County Council recently approved legislation banning any new subdivisions from being build for one year. "We need to have some slowdown while we're developing a clearer sense of what we want the rural tier to look like," said council member David Harrington (D-Bladensburg), one of the bill's sponsors. In the meantime, officials are looking at a variety of land use options that could better concentrate growth into predetermined high-density zones. One option is transferable development rights - builders would be allowed to build on a portion of property and could transfer the right to build elsewhere at higher densities. "With a sound transfer development rights policy, we can protect open space and wetlands and provide incentive for developers to increase . . . density within areas where the general plan was meant to have density," Harrington said.

Thanks to Peter Buryk

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Published on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 in The Washington Post
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