County Executive Proposes Changes In Future DRRA Agreements

She tried it once before, but it didn’t advance.


Frederick, Md (KM) She’s going to try it again. During her public information briefing on Thursday, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said she will be introducing legislation regarding the use of Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements. “It will limit the use of DRRA’s or developers contracts to projects of 1500 or more. So just larger project will be allowed to use it,” she says.

In addition, these changes will require developers to provide enhanced public benefits such as a new school, a regional road or a recreational facility. It will prohibit the freezing of fees for the life of the agreement. It will limit the term of a DRRA to five years, with one possible extension of an additional five years.

Gardner said the current practice of DRRA in Frederick County is limiting to local officials. “The existing DRRA or developer contracts make it very difficult for current county and officials in the near future to manage growth that’s already been approved,” she says.

County Executive Gardner said the last Board of County Commissioners approved a number of DRRA’s which had terms of ten and 20-years. They also froze fees and often did not generate any enhanced public benefits. She says these projects under the old DRRA’s would be exempt from any changes in county regulations covering growth and development. “And that’s really important because things change over time, and elected officials adjust their requirements and reconsider,” says Gardner. “Particularly, if a development hasn’t moved forward for five or ten years, the whole landscape may be entirely different and what we need may be entirely different.”

Gardner says she introduced a similar bill to the previous county council, but it did not advance.

The current Council is expected to discuss this new bill at a future date.


By Kevin McManus