Monday, February 11, 2013

Potomac Yard Fire Station Inspires Montgomery County Effort

The news website BethesdaNOW.com reports that our local fire station has inspired changes to how Montgomery County, Maryland plans to pursue affordable housing in their area (Council Approves Affordable Housing Assessment Bill).

Montgomery County is often hailed for its visionary planning with regard to affordable housing and is credited with pioneering inclusionary zoning, requirements to include affordable housing along with new market rate construction that have created over 10 thousand units since 1974. While in Virginia, such zoning practices have not been allowed by the legislature, Arlandria exhibits some prominent mixed-income examples where affordable units were included in new development, not by fiat, but by negotiation (the Preston and Lenox Place).

The Station at Potomac Yard, however, is a different example of how government facilities can be created in a way to allow additional affordable housing. The four-story residential component consists of 12 one-bedroom, 49 two-bedroom, and 3 three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 700 to 1300 square feet. And Montgomery County, the 6th wealthiest jurisdiction in the country, is looking to its own facilities to further increase its affordable housing stock.

From the BethesdaNOW.com article:
The Montgomery County Council today unanimously passed a bill that will make officials assess whether affordable housing can be added to new capital projects such as libraries or fire stations.
According to the article, County Councilman Roger Berliner, the sponsor of the bill, cited the Potomac Yard Fire Station and his inspiration for proposing the bill.

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