Georgia lawmakers want to limit local control over single-family housing moratoriums

1 min read

The state House of Representatives Monday passed a bill that would limit the ability of local governments to impose lengthy moratoriums on the building of single-family houses.  

The Housing Regulation Transparency Act, which passed 127-43, would prevent local governments from extending moratoriums that bar the building of single-family homes beyond 180 days.  

“[The bill] allows them to declare a moratorium for any reason for 180 days, but they cannot continue to extend moratoriums over and over again,” said the bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Dale Washburn, R-Macon.  

“If a local community can just declare a moratorium and say, ‘We just don’t want anyone else coming,’ – well, then we’re allowing them to build economic walls around that county and city.”

The bill also allows local governments to waive impact fees for houses that are 2,500 square feet or less in order to incentivize more single-family construction, Washburn said. Local governments sometimes impose impact fees to cover the infrastructure costs of new housing developments. 

The bill drew the support of a newly formed housing coalition made up of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Home Builders Association of Georgia, the Georgia Association of Realtors and Habitat for Humanity. The Georgia Municipal Association and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia do not oppose the bill, Washburn said.

A separate bill sponsored by Washburn that would have prevented counties or municipalities from regulating a long list of building design elements drew stringent opposition from local-control advocates and did not make it out of committee this session. 

The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation. 

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