Bill No. 2011-05 or (Zoning Text Amendment 10-123) is not the last word on affordable housing in Nanjemoy specifically and for affordable housing in Charles County in general.
The bill proposed sought to permit the construction of affordable, multifamily housing in the agricultural conservation and rural conservation zones. The Charles County commissioners’ 5-0 vote followed a 6-0 by the Charles County Planning Commission denying the project.
I voted against the bill but not against the idea of affordable housing in Nanjemoy.
I personally sought out the expertise of zoning law attorneys in addition to the sound counsel of the county attorneys office to reach my conclusion. Of particular interest was the argument that in the housing element of the comprehensive plan, “lower income families are excluded from the housing market when development is restricted to single-family detached residences since they generally cannot afford that type of housing.” ZTA 10-123 proposed the inclusion of duplexes and multiplexes within the AC and RC zones. The purpose was in fact to make the housing affordable for residence. Extensive legal analysis on my part notwithstanding confirmed the general finding of the planning commission and staff recommendations which included that the project would be considered spot zoning and that it would be inconsistent with the comprehensive plan.
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