Council Vote on the Update to the Subdivision Staging Policy Expected by November 16

Council Vote on the Update to the Subdivision Staging Policy Expected by November 16

Below is some information on the progress of the update to the Subdivision Staging Policy at the Montgomery County Council. We still have a few more Council work sessions to go before the update is approved and adopted by November 16, 2020.
In the meantime, the County Council has taken many straw votes reflecting major policy changes, including:

  • Eliminating the Housing Moratorium countywide.
  • Utilization Premium Payments (UPP). Establishing three tiers of UPPs at 105 percent, 120 percent and 135 percent utilization, including seat deficit thresholds along with the utilization thresholds. The Council has not yet decided the payment amounts associated with the different tiers.
  • Use of UPP Funds. Requiring that UPP revenue be spent on any project that alleviates overutilization at the school for which the funds are collected. The projects would have to be at the same school level that adds capacity.
  • Four-Year Projections. The Annual School Test will evaluate projected school utilization four years into the future using certain school utilization adequacy standards.
  • Utilization Report. The Annual School Test will include a utilization report that will provide a countywide analysis of utilization at each school level as well as utilization trends for each individual school.
  • Calculating Student Generation Rates. Analyzing all single-family units and multifamily units built since 1990 to calculate countywide and School Impact Area student generation rates. Low-rise and high-rise multifamily units will remain distinct structure types for the purposes of evaluation and impact taxes.
  • MCPS Participation on DRC. Extending MCPS’s role on the Development Review Committee (DRC) to include providing comment on the application’s impact on schools (currently MCPS’s role is limited to discussions around dedicating land for schools).
  • Retesting at APF Validity Extension. Requiring that a development application be retested for school infrastructure adequacy when an applicant requests an extension of their Adequate Public Facilities validity period, with a limitation that only requires the retest if the application’s unbuilt units are estimated to generate more than 10 students.
  • School Impact Tax Discount for 3-Bedroom Units. Providing a 40 percent discount on school impact taxes to multifamily units with 3 bedrooms in Infill Impact Areas.
  • Large Home Surcharge. Eliminating the current school impact tax surcharge on residential units larger than 3,500 square feet.
  • Enterprise Zones. Eliminating the impact tax exemption for former Enterprise Zones.
  • Opportunity Zones. Exempting development in Opportunity Zones from all impact taxes. The Council also supported the City of Rockville’s request to not include their Opportunity Zone in the exemption.
  • 25 percent Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs). The impact tax exemption on market rate units for projects providing 25 percent MPDUs is limited to amount of the applicable school  impact tax in the Infill Impact Areas and the applicable transportation impact tax in the Red Policy Areas.
  • Net Impact Basis. Impact taxes will continue to be applied on a net impact basis, providing a credit for any residential units demolished.

Work sessions are expected to continue through next week. The policy must be adopted by November 16.

Amy Ginsburg


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