Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Density Deal Part One

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?


Trevor said...

What is the current status of the "affordable housing" amendment. I was hoping the Columbia Flier would provide some information, but unfortunately, it is getting thinner and thinner, and the articles are getting shorter and shorter. There is a little blurb about the amendment but no details. I was thinking of calling or emailing my County Council member to express my hope that the amendment is not approved. I want to know the current status of the amendment so I can know what I be informed when I call.

Bob O said...

Affordable housing in Howard County. Can I get some?

It's almost like "military intelligence" or "Jumbo Shrimp."

A contradiction in terms.

Why not let the market decide?

Then maybe the people who work in Columbia and have to live there would either: demand higher salaries; or, go somwhere where housing costs met their earning potential.

It's really quite simple, when you think about it.

Anonymous said...

Bob is right, again. We all have a level playing field and make decisions that we have to live with; I never understood infinite access to subsidized housing. It's a soul-killer.