PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — With more space than a condo for less money that a standalone home, townhomes are popping up all over Prince George's County.
"It was important to have something in a community where neighbors are close," said Jewel Snowden.
But, a home like the townhouse Snowden found outside 495 near Lanham could soon be harder to come by.
"It's really time that we control our development," Prince George's County Council Vice-Chair Wala Blegay said.
Blegay says new townhomes in less dense areas of the county are a drain on the county's budget. She's introduced an ordinance to 'pause' construction on new townhomes for at least two years.
"We have a lot of townhomes and areas that really don't have the infrastructure to support it," Blegay said. "You put you put 200, 300 townhomes there and you've got to pay for the road improvements. You've got to pay for the schools that need to come."
The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS says there is a housing shortage in the county, especially affordable housing. And they say this "pause" could make the situation worse and, "...drive up the cost of our existing housing stock and lessen opportunity for home ownership and wealth building."
"Townhomes are typically your first home buyer's product and I think people deserve access to home ownership," said Snowden, who also works in commercial real estate.
Blegay says her proposal would also encourage townhome construction near transit centers where, she says, the new homes won't put as much of a strain the infrastructure.
"That allows us to focus our infrastructure dollars and also get the quality retail," Blegay said. "You place the density in one place and the retail quality retail will follow it."