Tag Archives: land use and development

Montgomery County eases building of accessory dwelling units

As population and the job base in the Washington, D.C. area continue to expand, households face a crunch in the price of housing, made worse by the reluctance of local governments to permit residential construction near most of the major employment centers. A unanimous county council in Montgomery County, Md. has now made it slightly easier for homeowners to create in-law units or backyard cottages, but along the way had to face down noisy opposition. I tell the story in a new Cato post (cross-posted from Overlawyered)

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Chevy Chase: “town has become farcically overregulated”

Discontent at a land-use control process perceived as “condescending and obnoxious” helped fuel a surprise voter revolt in affluent Chevy Chase, Md., just across the D.C. border in Montgomery County. [Washington Post] Aside from intensive review of requests to expand a deck or convert a screened-in porch to year-round space, there are the many tree battles:

[Insurgents] cite the regulations surrounding tree removal as especially onerous. Property owners seeking to cut down any tree 24 inches or larger in circumference must have a permit approved by the town arborist and town manager attesting that the tree is dead, dying or hazardous.

If turned down, residents can appeal to a Tree Ordinance Board, which applies a series of nine criteria to its decision, including the overall effect on the town’s tree canopy, the “uniqueness” or “desirability” of the tree in question and the applicant’s willingness to plant replacement trees.

More: Philip K. Howard with ideas for fixing environmental permitting. [cross-posted from Overlawyered]

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In miniature, February 13

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In miniature, August 3

  • Peroutka not about “reforming the existing regime” [Warren Throckmorton] As predicted, press has field day with nomination [Van Smith/City Paper, and thanks for quote] More: Mark Newgent at Red Maryland, whose August poll, open until Aug. 6, has many questions on the Anne Arundel nominee;
  • Health secretary Sharfstein departing O’Malley administration to join faculty of Johns Hopkins’ hyper-interventionist School of Public Health, and we may hope he’s just as successful in promoting Bloombergian nanny state initiatives as he was in setting up the state’s ObamaCare exchange;
  • Unlike most states, Maryland has benefited from law providing SWAT transparency, but now legislature is allowing it to sunset [Radley Balko, earlier]
  • Don’t just blame neglect for stagnation in White Oak, other parts of eastern MoCo; county planners imposed a 20-year development moratorium [Dan Reed, Greater Greater Washington]
  • “Small firms give Maryland C- for business friendliness” [Maryland Reporter, Free State Foundation]
  • The experiment begins: Annapolis tells schools to stop suspending students for cursing out or disobeying teachers; most drastic levels of discipline still okay if firearm inadvertently left in locked trunk by teen headed to after-school shooting event [Washington Post]

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