In its effort to develop a comprehensive set of policies around affordable housing, Hyattsville City Council will focus on four key policy goals: increasing the number of units affordable for low income households, reducing property tax burdens, closing the racial homeownership gap, and to change regulations where possible to promote affordable housing production.
This is the result of an hour-and-a-half discussion that came during a special worksession of Hyattsville City Council during its Oct. 5, 2020 meeting. The worksession and discussion was led by staff from Enterprise Community Partners, the consulting firm hired by Hyattsville to develop its affordable housing policy strategy. The resulting discussion gave insight into how the City Council, as a whole, was approaching this task.
“It’s incredibly helpful for the public to not just see the work prudct of the consultancy that’s engaged, but it’s good for the public to see the way we grapple with important issues,” said Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth as the discussion concluded. The purpose of the discussion was to identify and agree on four housing policy goals that the city will focus on over the next 10 years.
Prince George’s County Planning Board approved detailed site plans for a new hotel near the College Park Metro station. The action took place at its Sept. 24, 2020, meeting.
The plans were approved by a vote of three-to-one, with Planning Board Chair Elizabeth Hewlett voting against. Hewlett said she voted against approval because she wanted three additional parallel parking spots recommended by county planning staff to be included in the plans. The measure approved by the Planning Board omitted those three spots, with Commissioner William Doerner saying the transit-accessible destination did not need additional parking.
The Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved detailed plans for a 9-story, 950-bed, 282-unit student housing complex in southern College Park. The move clears the way for Athens-Georgia-based Landmark Properties to apply for building permits for the mixed-use project, which will also include 6,670 square-feet of ground-floor retail. The project, which will demolish an existing office building, is the second major redevelopment in the pipeline in College Park’s southern Baltimore Avenue corridor. Dubbed the Standard at College Park, the complex will be built on a 1.9-acre parcel of land between Hartwick Road and Guilford Road. In an April letter, developers told the Calvert Hills Civic Association they hoped to open to project by Spring 2023, which would be an ambitious schedule even without a recession and a persistent regional construction labor shortage.
An excerpt from the application materials for The Standard at College Park shows the site location, about a half-block west of Baltimore Avenue and Hartwick Road.
The Prince George’s County Planning Board gave its blessing to three notable detailed development plans at its May 7, 2020, meeting, including 260 apartments at Woodmore Commons in Glenarden, a 362,880 square-foot electrical products supplier warehouse and office in Westphalia, and yet another WaWa, this one in Capitol Heights. Also, the Planning Board approved preliminary plans for a Purple-Line adjascent mixed-use project in East Riverdale. More details, below:
260 apartments approved for Woodmore Commons
A rendering shows designs for the proposed Woodmore Commons apartments near the Woodmore Town Center. The Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved final detailed plans for a 258-unit apartment complex near the Woodmore Towne Center in Glenarden. The vote took place at the Planning Board’s May 7, 2020 meeting.
The project, from Balk Hill Ventures LLC in Davidsonville, includes 307,976 square feet of gross floor area on 9.3 acres of land at the intersection of Saint Josephs Drive and Ruby Lockhart Blvd.
Hyattsville City Council has delayed consideration of the measure. The measure was removed from the agenda late into City Council’s Feb. 18, 2020, meeting. The meeting was approaching midnight, and the measure’s sponsor pulled it from the agenda for the sake of time. The proposal is expected to come back before City Council at its next meeting.
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.
Roosters, however, will remain banned.
“Chicken raising is an enjoyable recreational activity that provides a healthy food source, high-quality fertilizer, fosters community building, and, with proper regulations, does not result in unsanitary or noisy conditions,” reads a summary of the legislation, introduced by freshman City Councilor Danny Schaible. But backyard chickens are also outlawed at the County level. Hyattsville’s Backyard Chicken Act, if passed, would not change that.
Hyattsville City Council will consider a controversial proposal to demolish the gas station at Belcrest Road and East-West Highway so that a larger gas station can be built in its place. The proposal is controversial for several reasons. The biggest reason is that the redevelopment project is located smack dab in the center of the Prince George’s Plaza Transit Overlay Zone, a special zoning category designed to create a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood befitting the Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station.
Gas stations, as a result, are not permitted under those zoning rules. However, this gas station, a Sunoco built in 1961, is grandfathered in. An existing gas station, such as the Sunoco, would be allowed to build a small expansion, but generally cannot expand its building fooprint by more than 15 percent.
The developers behind Riverdale Park Station plan to build several-hundred new apartments on the property in the next few years. Now, courtesy of a new video from Prince George’s County Planning Department, you can get a feel for those plans rendered in three-dimensions.
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