Anne Arundel becoming ‘Retirement City, USA’

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To buy a new home in Anne Arundel County you’ll need a willing banker, an eye for a deal and, increasingly, an AARP card.

Of the 5,310 new homes planned or under construction in the county, at least 60 percent have age restrictions that exclude anyone younger than 55.

And some county leaders find those numbers alarming.

“If we continue on our current path we will have an imbalance of seniors in the county,” said County Councilman Ed Reilly, R-Crofton. “We don’t want this to turn into Retirement City, USA.”

The county will lack the age diversity it needs to function properly, he said.

While age-restricted communities have been in the county for decades, developers say zoning rules linked to school capacity are forcing them to cater more and more to what they call “active adults.”

Since 2002, county data reviewed by The Capital shows a total of 6,659 age-restricted homes built or on the way.

That figure does not include developments like Heritage Harbour, a 1,600-unit subdivision built in the 1980s.

And the largest such development is yet to come. The Two Rivers project in Odenton will have 2,065 homes for people 55 and older.

This surge in what marketing literature often refers to as “active adult communities” doesn’t bode well for Anne Arundel’s efforts to create more workforce housing, said Michael DeStefano, president of Sturbridge Homes.

And the high-paying defense contractor jobs expected to follow the 5,300 military jobs coming to Fort George G. Meade will make all home prices rise, he said.

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