Baltimore County Withdraws Mixed-Use Development Bill 3-24

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has announced his administration will withdraw Council Bill 3-24 currently under consideration.

This was considered a controversial bill as the three Republican councilman on the council opposed this measure. as they said  the bill would allow high density housing projects without County Council input, review, or approval.

Councilman Wade Kach was one of the councilmen that opposed and was happy to report the news.

“I have just received word that Bill 3-24 on Mixed Use Development has been withdrawn. My sincere appreciation for all of you who spoke out regarding this legislation,” Kach said on social media.

The County announced they will introduce an alternative legislation that will seek councilmen input.

Olszewski and Baltimore County Council Chairman Izzy Patoka today jointly announced an agreement to support new legislation that will encourage economic revitalization by increasing opportunities for mixed-use developments in aging communities and support collaborative community engagement on potential projects in collaboration with councilmembers.

“Baltimore County needs to act now and with urgency to revitalize aging communities, support housing creation and cultivate thoughtful, more transit and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Collaborative compromise is key to the success of our democratic process and a hallmark of our administration. I applaud Councilman Patoka for his leadership on this critical issue and look forward to working with all the members of the Council to take an overdue step forward,” said Olszewski. “We will continue doing all we can to build on Baltimore County’s legacy of sustainable smart growth and to empower residents to shape the future of their communities to ensure prosperous, thriving neighborhoods for generations to come.”

“Baltimore County should take thoughtful and forward-thinking action to promote reinvestment in our aging communities. I am pleased to work with County Executive Olszewski and my colleagues to forge a path forward and provide all of us on the County Council with a critical new tool to do just that,” Patoka said. “The County Council has been thoughtful in its review of Master Plan 2030. This new mixed-use zoning overlay district can serve to promote community revitalization and spur economic development as an implementation tool.  Combining data driven analysis with community sentiment is the right approach.”

Under the agreement announced today, forthcoming legislation would empower County Councilmembers to create new mixed-use overlay zoning districts, which would permit mixed use development within certain targeted districts, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

A mixed-use development combines multiple uses – including residential, commercial, cultural, and/or institutional – to create vibrant, dynamic, and pedestrian-friendly communities with amenities and new economic opportunities.

Mixed-use overlay zoning districts could be created by councilmembers within the proposed Master Plan 2030’s core retrofit areas or “nodes,” which identify areas prime for redevelopment by using criteria such as transit access, employment centers, and community assets. Master Plan 2030 is set for a final vote by the Baltimore County Counciltonight, Tuesday, February 20.

Consistent with the legislation currently proposed by the Olszewski administration, this new bill would also establish inclusionary housing incentives for projects that receive financial support from Baltimore County government.

The new compromise legislation is expected to be introduced by the County Council in the coming weeks.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.

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