Recently passed MPDU Bills 34-17 and 38-17 make several changes to the county MPDU law to enhance administrative flexibility and clarify provisions of the law. These changes will take effect on October 31, 2018 and include:
Connecting MPDU eligibility expressly to household income as opposed to the MPDU sale price and financing information.
Allowing the MPDU requirement to be calculated based on floor area ratio instead of a percentage of total units. The FAR-based method permits market-rate projects to satisfy the MPDU requirement as a percentage of square feet of the building, allowing units to be larger than are offered as a percentage of total market-rate units.
Requiring a payment to the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF) for developments of between 11 and 19 units. Currently, developments of fewer than 20 units are not subject to any MPDU requirements.
Removing provisions related to density bonuses from Chapter 25A of the Montgomery County Code and placing them in Chapter 59 of the Zoning Ordinance. A related zoning text amendment (ZTA 18-06) has been introduced to ensure consistency between Chapter 25A and Chapter 59. A public hearing for the ZTA is scheduled for September 11, 2018.
Providing flexibility for the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs to accept alternative payment and alternative location agreements. Alternative payments allow an applicant to satisfy MPDU requirements via a financial contribution to the Housing Initiative Fund. Alternative location agreements allow an applicant to satisfy MPDU requirements off-site from the proposed development by allowing an alternate payment or alternative location agreement to be used or placed in a different planning area than that of the development if the location is one of the county’s higher income planning areas, or after notice of “good cause” and a 30-day comment period is provided to the County Council.
Requiring 15 percent MPDUs in planning areas in which at least 45 percent of the United States Census tracts have a median household income of at least 150 percent of the countywide median household income. Places like Bethesda, Grosvenor, and White Flint 2 already has 15 percent requirements in their master plans.