Prince George’s cities to get millions in pandemic funds

Prince George’s County municipalities are set to receive a collective $160 million in federal pandemic recovery funds to spend over the next three years.

P.G. Hospital redevelopment plans could reshape Cheverly

A proposed redevelopment of the Prince George’s Hospital Center could add a whole new neighborhood to Cheverly, creating what planners hope will be a “destination” mixed-use neighborhood with apartments, retail and commercial space available. 

The proposal comes from the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County, which oversees the redevelopment of county-owned lands. The land will be coming available within a few years, as the 384-bed Prince George’s Hospital, situated on 26 acres called Hospital Hill, begins in June to transfer its operations to its replacement, the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo. It’s the end of a long history for the county hospital center in Cheverley. The facility opened in 1944 as a 100-bed hospital. Over the decades, it grew into a 384-bed hospital center, but has 

“It’s not going to be like a light switch where one building closes and another building opens.

New data sheds light on Prince George’s PPP loans

Nearly $1.2 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans went to Prince George’s County businesses and nonprofits to support more than 109,600 jobs, according to a Route 1 Reporter analysis of new, more-detailed data on the pandemic stimulus program released by the Small Business Administration earlier this month.

Hyattsville wants clarity for brewpubs in new zoning code

Hyattsville officials are pushing for a small change to the county’s new zoning code to clarify rules around microbreweries and other small-scale alcohol production facilities with restaurants. The crux of the matter is the new zoning code section regulating restaurants and bars requires those with “small scale” alcohol production facilities to devote a minimum of either 1,500 square feet or 45 percent of their total square footage – whichever is greater – to the actual serving of food and drinking of drinks. 

Hyattsville city officials want county officials to add language exempting businesses located in “adaptive reuse” buildings or where “the interior layout of the building makes compliance impractical.”

Specifically to Hyattsville, ambiguity in this area of the regulations could affect a number of businesses. Over the past several years, a number of small alcohol producers, including a meadery, a distillery, and several microbreweries, have set up shop in the city, many in buildings that predate these businesses. Potentially, the new regulations could cause permitting issues in the future, though city staff admitted it would require one to interpret the regulations counter to their intent. 

“We certainly have a few restaurants with alcohol uses within the city that are utilizing older buildings. Many of these buildings are close to 100 years old, and they are adaptive re-uses of buildings” said Jim Chandler, Hyattsville’s Economic Development Director, during a discussion of the proposed tweak at Hyattsville’s Nov.

LGBTQ activists accuse New Carrollton Mayor of bigotry

During a National Coming Out Day Rally in New Carrollton this past Sunday, a small group of LGBTQ activists and Prince George’s County elected officials criticized New Carrollton’s Mayor Phelecia Nembhard, accusing her of making homophobic remarks during a recent public meeting, being dismissive of the concerns of LGBTQ residents, and threatening activists that have planned protests over the remarks. Asked to comment for this article, Nembhard said by email that the accusations of homophobia and intimidation are false. 

“There is no facts to that allegation,” said Nembhard in a brief reply to a request for an interview. 

Nembhard did not rely to a followup request for an interview. Central to this story are comments Nembhard made during a July videoconference meeting of the Four Cities Coalition, a group of elected officials from Greenbelt, College Park, Berwyn Heights and New Carrollton who advocate for common policy goals. During that meeting, a representative from the Prince George’s County Public Schools gave a presentation on the county’s implementation of the Welcoming Schools initiative, a program from the Human Rights Commission intended to prevent bullying of LGBTQ students. 

According to transcripts from the videoconference text-chat function, during that presentation, Nembhard said “I am in total opposition of the teaching of Pre-K students about what they should feel. That is something their parents, pastor or counselor should discuss with them.

Prince Georgians urged to report flood damages

Elected officials up and down Prince George’s Route 1 corridor are pushing residents and businesses to report damages suffered as a result of flooding from a day-long torrential downpour Sept. 10, 2020.   The hope is that enough damage will be reported for county or state officials to release disaster recovery funding. This Thursday, Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management has launched a digital form to collect data on flood damages. 

The rains hit communities along the inner-Beltway Route 1 corridor particularly hard, with low-lying neighborhoods in College Park, Edmonston, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, Mount Rainier, Brentwood and North Brentwood experiencing flooding along the banks of Northeastern and Northwestern Branches. Many residents reported rainwater flooding their homes and basements and damaging vehicles. 

Since then, residents in those neighborhoods have complained about a lack of aid from county and state agencies.