Controversy brewing over construction moratorium in Montgomery County

In Maryland, a moratorium could halt new development in Montgomery County. On Tuesday, at least one council member is searching for ways to amend the moratorium under special circumstances.

The moratorium is in place to make sure schools aren't overcrowding and it could impact construction on new development while trying to keep up with the influx of people pouring into Montgomery County.

Councilmember Craig Rice introduced a proposal that would lift the moratorium in special circumstances, including if development is taking place on eyesore buildings, offers significant affordable housing and if the development doesn't contribute to school overcrowding by 10 or more students.

The one-year housing moratorium would begin July 1 and homes in the process of being permitted or built will stop. This is all thanks to research linking school overcrowding to development restrictions.

Impacted are at least six high schools, including Walter Johnson, Richard Montgomery and Quince Orchard, that are overcrowded and many of the middle and elementary schools across the county.

Rice's proposal is the first step toward some type of compromise.

"We've just introduced it, it will be going through our planning, housing... make something good come out of them," said Rice.

Construction already underway or permitted will continue. The moratorium would block new development applications from being processed.