Baltimore County Refines Open Space Waiver Fee; Exempts Senior Housing From Impact Fees

Baltimore Sun article (2019-09-04) reported that the Baltimore County Council approved legislation that eliminates deductions from developer fees for building and maintaining small parks or open space.

Under County law, new home developers must set aside 1,000 square feet of open space per dwelling unit or pay an “open-space waiver fee.” Previously, developers could reduce the fee by providing certain amenities, such as rooftop pools. However, such reductions are eliminated for new housing projects starting after the new law’s passage.

According to the article, the legislation was sponsored by Council Members David Marks, Wade Kach, Todd Crandell, Tom Quirk, and Cathy Bevins. The article also highlighted several stakeholder positions:

The Maryland Building Industry Association says eliminating open space fee exemptions would increase project costs. Another group, NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, says eliminating the exemptions will secure more money for public parks and trails.
The article also stated that the Council passed a law exempting senior living housing developments from the County’s impact fees. The bill was introduced by Council Members Julian Jones and Bevins.
Both new laws will take effect on September 16.