Metro reveals new details of controversial College Park land sale

The controversial – and not-yet realized – sale of a Metro-owned plot of land on Route 1 is part of a larger effort by the regional transit agency to capitalize on its property assets. This week, officials with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration revealed they hope to sell several property holdings spread across the region. The new information provides additional context for a College Park neighborhood association’s opposition to potential development of a WMATA-owned wooded tract of land immediately north of Riverdale Park Station under which Metro’s Green Line travels between Prince George’s Plaza and College Park Metro stations. WMATA announced this week it hopes to sell eight properties spread across the greater D.C. region. They are as follows, taken right from WMATA’s press release:

Baltimore Avenue, College Park, Maryland

Parcel is located at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Albion Road and adjoins the Riverdale Park Station residential and retail complex anchored by Whole Foods

Southern Avenue Metro Station Parcels, Temple Hills, Maryland

Two parcels adjoining the Southern Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line

Glenmont Metro Station Parcel, Silver Spring, Maryland

Parcel adjoins the Glenmont Metro Station west entrance on the Red Line

9400 Lottsford Road, Largo, Maryland

Parcel is ¼ mile from the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, in construction, and the Largo Town Center Metro Station on the Blue and Silver Lines

Branch Avenue Metro Station, Suitland, Maryland

Parcel is across the street from the Branch Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line

5708 Vine Street, Alexandria, Virginia

Pad site just off the intersection of Eisenhower Avenue and South Van Dorn Street

7100 Chestnut Street, Washington, DC

Single family lot

1100 Park Road NW, Washington, DC

Corner lot at the intersection of Park Road, NW and 11th Street, NW

12415 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland

Pad available for ground lease only next to the Glenmont Metro Station east entrance.

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.

To block development, group wants College Park to buy Route 1 Metro property

Just north of Riverdale Park Station, a wooded tract of land sits for sale. On state property records, its listed at 4535 Albion Road. If you’ve ever driven between College Park and Hyattsville on Baltimore Avenue, you’ll recognize it by the grove of bamboo that fronts the eastern edge of the roadway. It is owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which purchased the land for just under $432,000 in 1989 as it prepared to construct Metrorail’s Green Line out to Greenbelt. Underneath, tunnels carry trains between College Park and Prince George’s Plaza Metro stations. WMATA has recently listed the 12-acre property for sale.

Analysis: In UMD golf course debate, open space matters. So what is open space?

In the contentious debate over a proposal to build athletic field facilities on the University of Maryland Golf Course, defenders of the links have settled around two rhetorical framing devices. One is concerned with maintaining the golf course in its present operational state: 18 holes and a driving range with easy access to and from the clubhouse. But another, broader argument is concerned with preserving the golf course as a source of “open space.” This argument is frequently employed by nearby non-golfing residents who oppose redevelopment of the course. This argument is a tool, one that indicates to others why they should value the presence of a golf course in their neighborhood, despite perhaps not golfing themselves.

UMD golf course update: Administrators asked to study alternatives

University of Maryland officials have been instructed to more closely analyze alternatives to a proposal to build new athletic facilities on the campus golf course. This is the result of a closed-door meeting of the University of Maryland’s Facilities Commission, according to College Park city officials. University officials did not respond to multiple requests for more information on the results of the meeting. The decision to study alternatives was made less than a week after College Park City Council demanded such a study in a letter that expressed concern about the proposal, falling short of explicitly opposing it. The move gives some breathing room for those opposed to redevelopment of the golf course.

Concerned, but not yet opposed: UMD Golf Course proposal splits College Park Council

Correction: This article has been updated to correct an error that misattributed votes by Councilors John Rigg and Robert Day.College Park City Council, with Mayor Patrick Wojahn in the tie-breaker role, voted five-to-four to send a letter outlining serious concerns with, but not-yet opposition to, a controversial proposal to build intramural fields on the University of Maryland Golf Course. Minutes earlier, Wojahn cast a similar tie-breaking vote to defeat a motion to send a letter to university officials explicitly in opposition to the proposal. The votes disappointed dozens of city residents in attendance who encouraged City Council to flatly reject the proposal during debate over the issue at its Dec. 11, 2018 meeting. The proposal now heads to the University of Maryland’s Facilities Council, which will consider the proposal at a closed-door meeting scheduled for Dec.