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October 16, 2014

Paying It Forward

Blaine R. Young

If I’ve heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times: residential development does not pay for itself.


While it may be true that families who move in to older existing homes, like mine in Monrovia – in some cases – may not provide enough revenue to the county to directly offset the cost of taking care of them here, I have never believed that to be true for new construction. With what builders and developers are charged today for the privilege of breaking ground on a new home, I have also thought that new home construction must pay for itself.


I am pleased to find out that someone did some research of this exact question. And before anyone asks, no county employee spent any time on this research. Here is what they found:


The 20 largest residential developments currently approved in Frederick County range in size from 61 units (in Urbana) to 3,235 (in Lake Linganore). Looking at the financial contributions that the builders/developers of those 20 projects will be required to pay to the county, we find the following:


·       The mix of units is 47% single-family detached; 32% townhomes; 21% multi-family totaling 12,694 units and building out over +/-20 years; and


·       An estimated $64,000,000 in revenue will be generated from one-time recordation tax, which is used for agricultural preservation, parks and recreation, school construction, and general government. This does not include re-sales, and the recordation tax generated from developer to builder land transfers; and


·       An estimated $8,600,000 in Library Impact Fee Revenue; and


·       An estimated $142,000,000 in School Impact Fee Revenue; and


·       An estimated $66,000,000 in additional School Mitigation Construction Fee Revenue; and


·       An estimated $27,750,000 in Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit Fee-In-Lieu Revenue; and


·       An estimated $153,850,000 in Water and Sewer Capacity-Connection Fee Revenue; and


·       An estimated $50,000,000 in Annual County Property Tax Revenue when all units are built.


·       Construction with developer money of Master Planned and Major Road Improvements including:


ü  I-70 @ Meadow Road Interchange

ü  MD 75 @ MD 80 Realignment

ü  I-70 @ MD 75 Interchange

ü  Eaglehead Drive and Eaglehead Bridge

ü  Linganore Town Center Connector

ü  Boyers Mill to MD 75 Connector

ü  English Muffin Way Extension

ü  Ballenger Creek Pike Improvements


·       An estimated $23,900,000 in Financial Contributions and/or Construction of MD 75 Corridor Improvements; and


·       Capital Improvement Program funding for an additional 2,580 Elementary School seats and 300 Middle School seats through 2020 to accommodate projected future growth; and


·       Secured developers responsibility to dedicate additional school sites without taxpayer funding:


ü  Elementary School Sites: @ Linganore, @ Harvest Ridge, @ Landsdale, @ Ballenger Run, @ Casey, @ Urbana North


ü  Middle School Sites: pending @ Blentlinger,


ü  High School Sites: @ Monrovia.


·       Secured developers responsibility to dedicate additional public facilities without taxpayer funding:


ü  Fire and Rescue Sites: @ Linganore, @ Monrovia, @ Jefferson Tech Park


ü  Library Sites: @ Linganore


·       The above does not include the $1,600,000 proffered from Urban Green combined with the $1,118,475 already received from Villages of Urbana in school mitigation that is being used to fund the 300 seat Urbana Middle School Fit-Out project.


·       The financial contributions above do not include income tax revenue as a result of new taxpayers and the smaller development projects approved that pay proportionate share of impact and mitigation fees as well or the significant water/sewer and other transportation infrastructure being constructed.


·       From estimating things like recordation tax revenue it was assumed that the average new single family dwelling would sell for $525,000, townhouse for $375,000, two-over-two unit for $300,000 and traditional condominium unit for $250,000.


These numbers conclusively prove one thing: the developers, builders and purchasers of new homes in Frederick County do not pay just for themselves – they pay for themselves plus for many of us who are already here and didn’t have to pay all these fees when our homes were built.


Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
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