Vaughn Stewart, a Maryland House Delegate, formally introduced the Modest Home Choices Act of 2020 last Thursday, which would allow middle housing to be constructed on lots currently zoned single-family. The Act would amend the state code to facilitate construction of triplexes on residential-zoned lots that currently allow only detached, single-family homes.

The census tracts that would be modified by the bill encompass three categories: (1) “high-opportunity” tracts, where the median household income is at least twice the area median income; (2) a “jobs-rich” residential tract, where there are at least 5,000 jobs per square mile; and (3) a “transit-rich” residential tract, where parcels are all within one mile of a train station or within a quarter-mile of a high-quality bus corridor.

If enacted, the new law would go into effect in October 2020, and jurisdictions would be required to adopt regulations in compliance with the law by October 2022. Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development would also have to create a “model middle housing ordinance” by April 2021.

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