#Local Government
Gaithersburg City Council
United States of America

The supply of affordable housing is at crisis proportions and is particularly challenging for seniors in need. Local governments are enacting innovative ways to increase affordable housing stock and eliminate barriers that cause delays and drive up costs.

Unfortunately, the Gaithersburg City Council is considering a measure to do away with a valuable tool for delivering affordable housing, just as it’s about to be used for our elderly population.

Let’s encourage the Gaithersburg City Council to defeat Zoning Text Amendment CTAM-8611-2020 and allow for the efficient development of much-needed senior affordable housing in the community.

Background: Current Gaithersburg law allows for government-owned affordable housing as a Public Use permitted development, subject to strict pre-established site plan criteria and public comment. However, the ZTA would change all of that by no longer allowing government-owned residential uses to be considered a permitted Public Use in commercial and industrial areas.
If passed, much needed new affordable housing – particularly for seniors – would not be allowed in areas otherwise well suited for affordable housing, including the repurposed use of vacant commercial or industrial buildings. The inevitable result of this repeal will drive up costs, significantly slow down new affordable housing supply, exacerbate our housing shortage and make housing more expensive.

In this case, the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) wants to convert the closed Gaithersburg Holiday Inn to a mixed-income senior community with the potential for a new senior center, public open space, and commercial uses like retail and medical office space. The existing 300 hotel rooms would be reconfigured and combined into about 160 units - mostly 700 to 800 square foot one bedrooms - under the Public Use provision. This type of “adaptive reuse” of space is an effective way to quickly provide quality senior affordable housing while keeping construction costs to a minimum. Passage of the ZTA not only eliminates the use of this most valuable affordable housing tool for the HOC proposal; it also eliminates this tool as an option for any other similar projects in the City.

Please join us in urging the Gaithersburg City Council to support the housing needs of our valued senior generation by voting against ZTA CTAM-8611-2020.

We, the undersigned, oppose Gaithersburg Zoning Text Amendment CTAM-8611-2020. We urge the Gaithersburg City Council to respect the affordable housing needs of our older generation and defeat this legislation.

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The Tell Gaithersburg Not to Close the Door on Senior Housing petition to Gaithersburg City Council was written by OpenDoors GaithersburgSeniorHousing and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.