Recognizing its pivotal position in the center of a growing county, the City of Gaithersburg believes it is important to establish a focus for future housing initiatives. As development continues within the corporate limits, the City's Master Plan offers broad policy guidelines for future development, whereas a more concise Housing Policy can create a framework from which favorable and focused housing developments can emerge.
The objectives of this Housing Policy are to: 1) limit the quantity of multi-family housing and maximize single family housing throughout the City; 2) ensure the adequacy of transportation facilities and transportation options to support all residential development and re-development projects; 3) encourage the development community to utilize smart urban design principles and the tenets of new urbanism to bring high quality housing to Gaithersburg; and 4) minimize the impact of development on existing educational facilities by fostering the concept of neighborhood schools. In addition, the City must redouble its efforts to cooperate with regional transportation initiatives including but not limited to: expansion of Ride-On bus system to local neighborhoods, the Shady Grove Transportation Management District (TMD), I-270 Multi-Modal Study, Corridor Cities Transitway, ICC and Metrorail extension to Metropolitan Grove.
Therefore, in reviewing plans for new development projects, re-development projects and/or amendments to approved development plans and site plans, the Mayor and City Council and the Planning Commission shall:
- Encourage a diversity of housing types throughout the City. In mixed use development projects, and in residential projects generating more than 100 units, attain a mix of housing types that is comprised of a minimum of 50 percent single family detached housing unless the public interest or the Master Plan otherwise dictates.
- Refrain from the approval of the development of residential communities composed solely of townhouse units or multi-family units unless the public interest otherwise dictates.
- Where transit and public transportation opportunities will be utilized, allow higher density. Transportation infrastructure must be in place or completely funded prior to construction.
- In areas where the Master Plan has encouraged higher density or specific housing types or locational factors, mandate strict staging requirements that will preclude such development without adequate transportation facilities or transit options, or delay such growth and development until alleviation of identified traffic problems.
- Approve residential development plans that have the potential to produce diverse student populations that can be supported by existing or scheduled community-based schools.
- Require detailed traffic studies to confirm with certainty the adequacy of transportation and transit facilities when considering development proposals.
- Require the developer to provide adequate parkland to support new development or redevelopment.
- Closely monitor developer efforts to incorporate soil and erosion controls and/or storm water "best management practices" into each project.
It is intended that this Housing Policy shall be incorporated into and made part of the Land Use and Transportation Elements of the General Plan for the City of Gaithersburg, superseding policies contrary to or inconsistent with the recommendations and policies contained within existing Neighborhood Master Plans.
Adopted by the Mayor and City Council July 19, 1999, Resolution R-56-99.