ALERT: Proposed Forest Conservation Legislation

that could have a significant effect on development moving forward

Forest mitigation banks are an off-site method commonly used to meet certain environmental requirements under the Maryland Forest Conservation Act (the “Act”).  A recent Office of the Attorney General opinion established that off-site existing forests encumbered with a protective easement do not qualify as forest mitigation banks.  This strict interpretation of forest mitigation banks has the potential to have significant effect on development moving forward, particularly for developers in heavily urbanized jurisdictions.  House Bill 991 was recently introduced in an … Continue Reading

UPCOMING EVENT ON FEBRUARY 4: Housing Production and The Impact on Regional Economic Competitiveness

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

Last fall, the Land Use Group at Lerch, Early & Brewer held a Regional Housing event, focused on the state of the housing market in the DMV.  The event explored how the Region’s housing market was responding to the housing shortage identified by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the associated housing targets established by local jurisdictions (like Mayor Bowser in DC and the Montgomery County Council), especially in light of COVID-19. 

Lerch, Early & Brewer Land Use Attorney Liz Rogers … Continue Reading

2021 Real Property Taxes:

Deadlines Approaching for Appeals of Latest Triennial Reassessments

Chris RuhlenChris Ruhlen, Principal

This week, certain Maryland real property owners –those who own real property in “Assessment Area 3” of each county in the State – will begin receiving reassessment notices for the 2021 reassessment cycle from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. For assessment purposes, each county is divided into three geographic areas, which the State comprehensively reassesses on an alternating three-year basis. The Reassessment Areas by county can be found here.  

In Montgomery County, Assessment Area 3 includes significant commercial … Continue Reading

Prince George’s Countywide Map Amendment Process Restarts

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

After a six-month delay due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Prince George’s Countywide Sectional Map Amendment (CMA) is finally back on the County Council’s agenda. The County will kickoff the CMA process next month with a Joint Public Hearing on Thursday, November 19 at 5 PM. Those wishing to participate in or view the Joint Public Hearing can do so at the links provided below:

The Joint Public Hearing on the CMA has been … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulatory Extensions – Prince George’s County Council Responds to COVID-19 Impacts on Real Estate and Development Industries

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

On September 22, Council Bills 73-2020 and 74-2020 were introduced to the Prince George’s County Council. In light of the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate and development industries, CB-73-2020 and CB-74-2020 propose to extend the validity periods for approved Preliminary Plans of Subdivision, Detailed Site Plans, and Specific Design Plans. This legislation would effectively accommodate projects in the development pipeline that have been disrupted by Pandemic-related shutdowns and fluctuations in the marketplace by extending applicable approval periods.

Proposed

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Robert A. Gordon Joins Lerch Early Leading New Bankruptcy/Financial Restructuring Practice

Land Use GroupLand Use Group

Robert A. Gordon has joined Lerch Early as a principal after 14 years as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. The move bolsters the ability of Lerch Early’s Land Use group to advocate for its clients in a critical area that will become even more important in the wake of the pandemic.

Before coming to the bench, Robert represented clients in every aspect of commercial litigation and insolvency law, in both federal and state

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Just Announced: Lerch Early’s Regional Housing Update (online event)

AvatarElizabeth Rogers, Attorney

Last year’s Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report was clear: The DC Metro Area is facing a housing shortage, needing 320,000 more housing units by 2030 to keep up with growth.

This, of course, was pre-COVID. Now that we’ve settled in, at least a little bit, to our new normal, it’s time to take a look ahead at the single family, multifamily, and senior housing segments in the Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and DC markets: What impact, if any, … Continue Reading

Prince George’s County & District Council Update: Transition to Virtual Hearings

Vincent BiaseVincent Biase, Attorney

On July 21, the Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously to authorize the District Council’s transition to virtual hearings. The Prince George’s County Council has been operating remotely for several months now.  But up until just recently, the District Council, which plays a significant role in land use entitlements in Prince George’s County, has been at a standstill, unable to operate virtually. This has had the undesirable consequence of putting a halt to many development projects in the County.  But … Continue Reading

Welcome to Zoned In

Chris RuhlenChris Ruhlen, Principal

On behalf of the attorneys in our Land Use Practice Group, let me be the first to welcome you to Zoned In, Lerch Early’s new Land Use & Zoning blog.

For years, we’ve been keeping developers, property owners, and investors informed on land use trends and topics through our e-newsletter, seminars, and personal outreach. However, our new blog will allow us to bring you additional, timely information from Montgomery County,  Prince George’s County, and other surrounding jurisdictions on a … Continue Reading