A six-acre tract of wooded, Metro-owned land next to Riverdale Park Station has been taken off the market to potentially be preserved as green space. In January, WMATA officials revealed plans to sell the land as part of its surplus land sale effort to unload vacant land it owns to developers. The Calvert Hills Civic Association in College Park issued a letter opposing the sale and urging local governments to purchase the property. Metro’s price for the land was estimated to be between $2 million and $2.5 million. The property was listed by NAI Michael.
The land itself is a narrow strip under which Metro’s Green Line tunnels between the Prince George’s Plaza Metro and the College Park Metro stations.
The biggest Route 1 municipality with a May 2019 election is Hyattsville, and what an election it is. For the first time in recent memory, races for each ward and the Mayor’s seat are competitive. Incumbent Mayor Candace Hollingsworth is running against life-long Hyattsvillian Angela Kenny. Hollingsworth has run something of a stealth campaign, it seems, with relatively little expenses. Her platform, at least in the lone debate, rested upon her resumé leading Hyattsville City Council throughout her first term while pledging to advance a results-oriented policy agenda focused on community equity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A long-planned but yet-to-be approved proposal to build hundreds of apartments at Riverdale Park Station – also known as the Cafritz Tract – is now in the earliest phase of Prince George’s County’s development review process. According to Henry Zhang, master planner in the Prince George’s County Planning Department, developers Calvin Cafritz Enterprises have submitted plans to build two apartment buildings for pre-application review. In this stage, county planning staff reviews prospective development applications before officially accepting them for public review in order to give developers feedback on issues that may arise and to avoid a time crunch. Once an application is formally submitted and accepted, the clock starts ticking on a mandatory maximum 70-day review period. During that period, County planners will solicit feedback from residents and nearby city councils before the application is considered by the Prince George’s County Planning Board.