An argument is being made that General Growth Properties would be granted an exceptional amount of residential density in their proposed redevelopment plans for Columbia Town Center. Some argue that this bonus should be paid for by providing a larger share of affordable housing than what is required under the county’s Moderate Income Housing Unit Program (MIHU) which ranges from 10% to 15% of a residential development.
The truth is that the density that GGP is requesting is actually lower than the density the county is promoting along the Route 1 corridor in the newly created Transit Oriented Development Districts (TOD) and Corridor Activity Center (CAC) Districts. Both of these districts allow for a density of 25 residential units per acre while the 5,500 proposed residential units for Columbia Town Center works out to only15.8 residential units per acre.
If the CAC and TOD districts are only being held to the 15% moderate housing allocation why do affordable housing advocates think that Town Center, with it’s lower density allowance, think GGP is getting some kind of bonus?