Hyattsville adds closed-captions to Council webcasts

Hyattsville is testing the use of real-time closed captioning for webcasts of its City Council meetings. The move is notable in Prince George’s County, where few local governments offer closed captioning or picture-in-picture sign-language interpretation of their broadcast proceedings. Prince George’s County Council, Planning Board and Board of Education don’t offer such a service. Among Prince George’s County’s 27 municipalities, only Laurel, Greenbelt, and now Hyattsville offer closed-captioning of their proceedings. Cheverly offers picture-in-picture sign-language interpreters.

Hyattsville and backyard chickens: It’s complicated

Don’t build a chicken coop yet, Hyattsville. It looks like legalizing backyard chickens is going to be more complicated than simply amending the city’s ban on them. At its Jan 21, 2020, Hyattsville City Council meeting, several city officials had issues with the proposal, sponsored by Councilor Daniel Schaible, highlighting in particular that Prince George’s County law still bans backyard domestic fowl.

Mount Rainier says pit bull ban is ‘lowest law-enforcement priority’

Mount Rainier City Council approved a measure declaring county laws banning pit bulls to be the ‘lowest law-enforcement priority’ for its city police officers. The measure, approved by a vote of four-to-one at Mount Rainier’s Jan. 14, 2020, meeting, instructs the police department to “deprioritize, to the greatest extent possible” enforcement of the pit bull ban.

A large suburban strip mall is seen from above, at an angle. A sidewalk of street-facing retail, including a Shoe Show store, can be seen across a small two-lane circulator roadway.

Redeveloping Beltway Plaza axes townhomes from plans

Several members of Greenbelt’s City Council appear uneasy with major changes to plans for a proposed redevelopment of Beltway Plaza into a mixed-use town center. Conceptual plans already approved by the County originally called for the construction of between 850 and 2,500 apartment units and up to 250 townhomes. Now, those townhomes are gone.

Hyattsville might legalize backyard chickens

Hyattsville officials will consider repealing city laws prohibiting residents from raising chickens. At its Jan. 21, 2020, meeting, Hyattsville City Council will consider the aptly-named “Backyard Chicken Act,” which would strike “domestic fowl” and “poultry and game birds” from the list of animals prohibited in the city. 

Preliminary Northgate plans approved

Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved, with minor conditions, preliminary plans for a nearly-300-unit student housing complex near the intersection of Berwyn Road and Baltimore Avenue in College Park. The site is currently home to an abandoned restaurant and a Burger King.