“If you build it they will come” is a famous movie quote from “The Field of Dreams” that has applied to baseball and even baseball stadiums for decades. But if you build more housing, do the wider roads and other amenities come too?
The building and development industry in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is anxiously watching local legislation that they believe will stymie the very economic growth some county leaders have made a priority. Those on the county council say it’s putting a stop to sprawl that’s actually inhibiting the growth everyone seems to want.
Once the county council passes its budget, which could happen as soon as next Thursday, the focus will move to a bill that would restrict where new town house developments could be built. While the word moratorium has been used, in reality, it wouldn’t put a total stop to new town house communities, but it would essentially restrict them to areas around existing mass transit infrastructure.
“The biggest concern is it’s going to disincentivize investment in the county,” said Lori Graf, the CEO of the Maryland Building Industry Association.
For the council members drawing the ire of developers, they see a declining quality of life around the county that is already leading people to move elsewhere.