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A Bill Could Bring Thousands of Residential Units to Montgomery County Metro Stations

by Nena Perry-Brown

A rendering of new development planned at the Bethesda Metro station.

The Montgomery County Council is looking for ways to incentivize housing production at Metro stations.

On Tuesday, the Council plans to introduce a bill granting developers a property tax exemption for constructing high-rise development on WMATA-owned property. While WMATA does not pay property taxes, lessees that develop on the land are typically subject to those taxes.

Councilmember Hans Riemer announced the “More Housing at Metrorail Stations Act” today at Forest Glen Metro station, where the surface parking is zoned for a 120 foot-tall building with housing above commercial space. According to Riemer, who chairs the Planning, Housing & Economic Development Committee, Metro estimates that 8,600 housing units could be built at its stations in the county. Those developments would include up to 1,300 moderately-priced dwelling units.

Riemer also noted that, like Forest Glen, other Metro stations have been zoned similarly to facilitate dense mixed-use development.

"Unfortunately, that is never going to happen unless a private sector entity is willing to take a risk here and if they can make enough profit to justify it, and we have not seen any buildings in Montgomery County on any Metro site go up that are high-rise; it hasn't happened in a really long time."

Under the bill, no real property taxes would be levied during the first 15 years of a qualified high-rise residential or commercial development after it receives an occupancy permit. A public hearing is expected for July 28th.

See other articles related to: wmata, property taxes, montgomery county, metro, housing production

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new-bill-could-bring-thousands-of-residential-units-mo-co-metro-stations/17031

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