Commissioners talk affordable housing at Jan. 29 meeting

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Board of County Commissioners approved action by staff to move forward with additional planning actions that can expand affordable housing options in the county. Staff provided an overview of a recent affordable housing study and presented steps that the Commissioners can take to meet the needs of county residents. Approximately 33.5 percent of county residents are currently defined as cost-burdened in obtaining affordable housing, based on their income. The study identified a specific need for 288 affordable housing units annually.


The study evaluated options where the county could develop affordable housing based on school capacity, available land, and zoning. The report provided recommendations, including amending the balanced housing stock policy in the comprehensive plan, incorporating affordability into subarea and village plans, removing barriers to affordable housing production, devoting funding and county resources to both preserve and expand affordable housing, and engaging the public in dialogue on the planning process. The Department of Planning and Growth Management is developing a geographic information system mapping tool to help identify suitable areas for the development of affordable housing where there is overlap between State of Maryland Opportunity Areas, appropriate zoning, available land, and school capacity.


Open Session Briefings

  • Staff presented a concept plan for the Charles County Humane Society to expand operations in Waldorf. Commissioners directed county staff to begin working with the Humane Society to identify options for leasing county-owned property adjacent to its current site. The Humane Society plans to explore the use of the property for additional parking and an animal adoption park.
  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided an update on second quarter of the fiscal 2019 General Fund budget, including details on revenues, expenditures, and a year-end estimate of the fund balance. For the full report, go to BoardDocs.
  • Commissioners discussed a resolution to form a Rural Land Use Designations Task Force, which will be charged with identifying regulatory challenges that undermine the preservation of the county’s rural heritage and recommending initiatives rural heritage through opportunities for existing and proposed farming, agricultural, and agri-tourism uses. The Board suggested changes to the resolution, and it will be revised and presented for approval at the next meeting on Feb. 5.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the Transit Development Plan, which is a five-year plan for VanGO services required by the Maryland Transit Administration. Commissioners also directed staff to initiate further study of fare structures in collaboration with community stakeholders. The plan was developed in collaboration with the Transit Development Plan Advisory Committee, which is comprised of community members and agencies affected by public transit services. A needs analysis indicates that customers are satisfied with affordability, level of service, and courtesy of drivers and staff. Recommended improvements include minimal modifications to two current routes and increased service, Sunday service, and expanded operating hours on other selected routes. Staff also provided information regarding fare policy considerations, greater use of fixed-route services for paratransit customers, and strategies to ensure safety and security at Park-and-Ride locations.

Commissioners also approved the following items:

  • A resolution authorizing the county to take actions necessary to acquire a portion of the roundabout connecting Billingsley Road and Middletown Road for public use.
  • A sponsorship request of $3,000 per the Community Support Policy, which will support the “Night to Shine” event on Feb. 8. This is a prom for special needs individuals hosted by the Greater Waldorf Jaycees and the First Baptist Church of Waldorf. It’s free for the 237 registered guests who plan to attend.
  • A budget transfer request of $65,000 from sewer debt service to maintenance operations to pay for eco tabs that are needed for chemical treatment in wastewater processing.
  • A budget transfer request of $186,000 within the Security Enhancement – Various Schools Project to provide matching funds for Board of Education to apply for the fiscal 2019 School Safety Grant. This grant will provide the Board of Education with additional $292,000 towards school safety and security enhancements.


Commissioners recognized Catholic Schools Week and presented a proclamation to administrators, parents, and students that attend Archbishop Neale, St. Mary’s Bryantown, and St. Peter’s Catholic Schools. View photo in Flickr.

Next Commissioners Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 5, beginning at 9 a.m.


For More Information:

Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming at    Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at upon approval.

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