Glendening describes mismatch between housing supply, demand

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
09/05/2013
he American dream is changing, and community design must keep up with it, former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening told a Frederick group Wednesday. In a talk focused on smart growth, Glendening said an increasing number of people are eschewing large, single-family houses in the suburbs and instead settling in dense, walkable communities. However, there’s a growing disconnect between the types of housing people want and what’s available on the market, he said. “Keeping our downtowns strong and keeping our communities economically vibrant in the long term will require a different approach to growth than we have been doing for the last 60 years,” he said during the event at Frederick City Hall.

Stroll and the City

Frederick Magazine
07/10/2013
Frederick City’s planning office works to make sure residents and visitors can traipse through the city with ease. Deputy Director of Planning Joe Adkins has a pedometer clipped to his belt and estimates that at least a half dozen of his staff regularly walk or bike to city hall. Downtown, with its tree-lined side streets and historic buildings to admire, speaks for itself as a great place to walk, as does Baker Park and Carroll Creek Linear Park. But Adkins says plans are moving forward with projects such as a pathway from the Golden Mile to Downtown and one connecting Worman’s Mill to the MARC Station on East Street, following the railroad tracks. He sounds almost gleeful when he talks about the idea of using the temporary pedestrian bridge on Motter Avenue, “if we can get it at a good price,” as a permanent link over Md. 26. Walkers grooving with their way of getting around tend to evangelize. On a recent rainy Sunday, about 60 people delayed their dinners to fill the seats in City Hall to listen to Washington, D.C., architect and city planner Jeff Speck talk about Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time, the title of his newest book. Speck is a huge fan of Frederick and if certain pieces of his family’s life hadn’t fallen into place he would now be calling the place home. “Frederick is a good example of a city that has great bones. Frederick may not be as dense or as large as other cities, but at its heart it performs extremely well,” he says.

Letter from a millennial: We’re not going to buy your house

Baltimore Business Journal
James Briggs
06/19/2013
If you're a homeowner, there has been a lot of great news for you lately — namely rising home prices, lack of inventory and bidding wars among increasingly desperate buyers. Although the housing market isn't on fire like it was in the early 2000s, it also isn't imploding like it was in 2009. All in all, if you're looking to sell a house now, you should feel thankful about your timing. But take heed, baby boomers and Generation Xers. If you're planning to hold onto your home for years to come, don't count on my generation — the millennials — to buy it from you.

Letter from a millennial: We're not going to buy your house

Baltimore Business Journal
James Briggs
06/19/2013
If you're a homeowner, there has been a lot of great news for you lately — namely rising home prices, lack of inventory and bidding wars among increasingly desperate buyers. Although the housing market isn't on fire like it was in the early 2000s, it also isn't imploding like it was in 2009. All in all, if you're looking to sell a house now, you should feel thankful about your timing. But take heed, baby boomers and Generation Xers. If you're planning to hold onto your home for years to come, don't count on my generation — the millennials — to buy it from you.

Hungry for growth?

Frederick News Post
Matt Edens
06/17/2013
As Blaine Young is fond of pointing out to his critics, Frederick County is currently growing at its slowest rate since the 1960s. Less than 1,000 residential building permits have been approved in each of the past five years, but the Board of County Commissioners president/radio personality remains hopeful for 2013. His most recent in a long series of letters to the editor declared that “if the economy holds, and if the banks will ease off the flow of construction money, we may actually get to 1,000 homes per year.” Young and his reliable majority on the board are doing everything they can to nudge that number along. Of the 202 fees the commissioners have reduced or done away with in the name of making Frederick County more “business friendly,” well over half have to do with the planning, zoning and permitting related to development. Those statistics are enough to set Young’s shrillest critics to shrieking, but the shriekers overlook an important point. And so does the Board of County Commissioners. While policy changes at Winchester Hall can make supply easier to deliver, there’s little the county can do to goose demand. And there are signs that demand is slowing for the sort of product our zoning and development apparatus largely remains set up to deliver.

New county plan aims to preserve rural character of Braddock Heights

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
12/06/2009
The rural reaches of Braddock Heights would stay that way under a new comprehensive plan being considered by the Frederick County Commissioners. Areas that were targeted for growth under the comprehensive plan passed in 1998 will be scaled back to a designation that will not allow new houses in many areas. If the plan is approved, some people who hoped to sell a portion of their land might not be able to do so. The plan aims to preserve what makes the area desirable, according to Tim Goodfellow, a county planner who worked on the Braddock Heights plan. The county commissioners support the proposed Braddock Heights changes.

Governor: State won't fund sprawl

Frederick News Post
Julia Robb
12/07/1998
Local government is free to make its own decisions, but state government will not pay for the developmental sprawl it allows, Gov. Parris Glendening warned Saturday in a speech at Hood College. State government means to invest in existing communities, Mr. Glendening said at the Monocacy Watershed Conference, sponsored by Hood College and Community Commons, a local environmental group. Local governments that allow development beyond their present boundaries will be forced to pay for the development’s infrastructure themselves, he said. But he said local governments that prevent sprawl will be given tax credits, low interest loans and other incentives.

Governor: State won’t fund sprawl

Frederick News Post
Julia Robb
12/07/1998
Local government is free to make its own decisions, but state government will not pay for the developmental sprawl it allows, Gov. Parris Glendening warned Saturday in a speech at Hood College. State government means to invest in existing communities, Mr. Glendening said at the Monocacy Watershed Conference, sponsored by Hood College and Community Commons, a local environmental group. Local governments that allow development beyond their present boundaries will be forced to pay for the development’s infrastructure themselves, he said. But he said local governments that prevent sprawl will be given tax credits, low interest loans and other incentives.