Updated: Nov 7
The town council adopted ordinance 2023-32 to amend Mixed Use District (MXD) provisions related to open space in a 4-1 vote Monday night. Council member Stephen Domotor cast the lone dissenting vote. The current MXD code allows developers to provide just 10% of a property's acreage in open space. Ordinance 2023-32 will increase required open space to 30%.
A study of open space requirements in Mixed Use Districts in surrounding areas in Maryland has shown that 30% is about the average open space required. Typically, more congested areas like Montgomery County require open space at 10% (or less). While this increase to 30% is still less than what typical high density development in Mount Airy requires (50%), Ordinance 2023-32 is a significant improvement over the previous 10% requirement, which was exceedingly low.
The passage of this ordinance is a significant step toward preventing overdevelopment in town.