Senior developments face restrictions or impact studies

Source: Frederick News Post
Author: Karen Gardner
Article Type:
Date Published: 06/20/2008

Housing for older people in Frederick County may either face a school capacity study or be restricted entirely to those 62 and older, according to proposed ordinances before the Frederick County Commissioners. The commissioners will have a public hearing on the two ordinances, which are mutually exclusive, next week. The ordinances are aimed at reducing the possibility that older-adult communities could add to the school population. There may be legal roadblocks to passing the ordinance requiring all residents of age-restricted developments be 62 and older. “There is very little case law,” Kathy Mitchell, assistant county attorney, said at a public workshop session Thursday. She told the commissioners that such an ordinance could bring about legal challenges. Most age-restricted housing developments in the U.S., including those already in existence in Frederick County, require that 80 percent of households have at least one resident 55 or older. Courts have determined that these developments for older residents are not discriminatory. Those types of developments may still attract residents who have school-age children. The proposed ordinance would apply to all residents in a 62-and-older community, not just one person per household.