A small storefront is seen at night, it features a column of rainbow-colored bricks. The inside is brightly lit, seen through large windows next to a far door.

Reporter’s Notebook: Good news for Mt. Rainier library; College Park fee review; Berwyn Heights tweaks charter

I hope you all had a warm and wonderful snow-filled weekend. Here’s hoping it doesn’t put too much of a damper on your early-week plans. Word on the street is most Route 1 communities reported few issues with snow clearance. It always helps matters when the snowstorm is on a weekend. From Route 1 Reporter’s world headquarters in Berwyn, crews were seen at all hours working city and state roads alike.

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.

Beltway Plaza update: Hearing pushed back as Greenbelt Council weighs proposal

While there are concerns about density and other issues, Greenbelt’s City Council seems cautiously supportive of a proposed redevelopment for Beltway Plaza. The six-phase plan would add between 175 and 250 townhomes or quadplex units, between 875 and 2250 multi-family units, and replace the 800,000 square-foot central mall with between 435,000 and 700,000 square feet of commercial retail space to the Greenbelt Road property. 

On Jan. 11, 2019, representatives from the city of Greenbelt and the mall’s owners, Bethesda-based Quantum Cos., briefly met with the Prince George’s County Subdivision Design Review Committee to discuss the proposed redevelopment. Nothing major came of the meeting, aside from the rescheduling of a Planning Board hearing for the proposed redevelopment to March 14, 2019, to give city officials there time to consider whether or not to support the proposal. Greenbelt City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on such a resolution at its Feb.

Required Reading: Purple Line delays; Bikeshare Expansion; More shutdown woes

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Jan. 11, 2019, edition: Details of a Capital Bikeshare expansion in Greenbelt; Delays in Purple Line construction; How a government shutdown affects a new Hyattsville distillery, and more stories after the jump:

Purple Line opening delayed at least one year – The Washington Post

Key quote: “The private consortium’s reports don’t say how much it would cost in additional labor, equipment and other expenses to open the line in February 2023. The negotiations have focused on who — the state or team of companies — is to blame for which delays and who should pay to offset them.” Capital Bikeshare plans Greenbelt expansion – Greenbelt News Review

Key quote: “According to the proposal, the five locations being considered in Greenbelt are: Greenbelt Station Parkway and North Center Drive; Breezewood Drive and Cherrywood Lane; Roosevelt Center; Crescent Road and Ridge Road (near the police station), and on Hanover Parkway near Eleanor Roosevelt High School”

Board of Public Works awards state tax system overhaul contract – Prince George’s Sentinel

Key quote: “The comptroller’s office currently uses various systems to collect taxes – one of which is a mainframe business tax-collection system that dates to 1987 and another system for individual income taxes and the sales tax, which began use in 1992.”

Required Reading: 4th murder; Tire Place goes flat; Casinos booming

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Jan. 10, 2019, edition: Prince George’s County sees fourth homicide of the year; A tire store closes in the heart of rapidly redeveloping downtown Hyattsville, plus more stories below:

Prince George’s County marks 4th homicide this year- The Washington Post

Tire Place shuts down for good – The Hyattsville Life & Times

DC woman wins thousands at MGM, and loses it all over casino typo – WTTG

Judge rules man accused of burning Bowie city cars can’t stand trial -Capital Gazette

Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino posts only revenue decline among Maryland casinos in December – Baltimore Business Journal

Education funding, minimum wage at forefront of 2019 Maryland legislative session -The Washington Informer

Beltway Plaza owners add to Greenbelt Road holdings

The owners of Beltway Plaza have acquired more properties along Greenbelt Road. According to state property records, Greenbelt Retail Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Beltway Plaza’s owners Quantum Companies, purchased three lots around 6107 Greenbelt Road in Berwyn Heights for $3.2 million from the Karl H. Flicker trust in a transaction recorded Nov. 15, 2018. The property currently houses a branch of Money One Credit Union. In an email, Quantum Companies attorney Marc Kapastin said there were no immediate plans for the properties.

Required Reading: Meet Maryland’s Robert Moses; How PGCPS skewed national absentee data

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Jan. 9, 2019, edition: Meet the man who made your neighborhood; How Prince George’s County skewed national absenteeism data, and more below:

Meet suburban Washington’s Robert Moses: Harland Bartholomew – Greater Greater Washington

How bad data from one district skewed national rankings on chronic absenteeism – Edweek

Man murdered in Lanham backyard – WJLA

Maryland County execs back drug affordability board – Black Press USA

New University Park police chief sworn in

University Park has a new chief of police in Harvey Baker. Baker is University Park’s ninth chief of police and the first African-American to lead the department. He succeeds former chief Michael Wynnyk, who retired at the end of 2018 after leading University Park Police Department for 16 years. 

Baker was sworn in Jan. 7, 2019 at a small ceremony at the start of University Park’s regular Town Council meeting at University Park Elementary Scbhool. Baker most-recently served as the chief of police for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, a position he held from August 2015 through March 2017.