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Live Coverage: District Council Approves Cafritz Plan

By a 7-2 vote, the controversial mixed-use rezoning proposal cleared its final major legislative hurdle Monday.

Editor's Note: The District Council concluded its proceedings on the Cafritz project Monday in Upper Marlboro. Below is an archive of Patch's live coverage.

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4:54 p.m.: Bye for now!

With that, the council has adjourned.

4:53 p.m.: APPROVED

The Prince George's County District Council has approved the Cafritz rezoning plan by a 7-2 vote. Stay tuned for more coverage.

4:47 p.m.: Clarification

People's Zoning Counsel Stan Brown clarifies the effect of Campos' motion, which would "approve planning board decision and all of its stated conditions" without modification.

4:42 p.m.: Motion to approve

Campos has made a motion to approve the Cafritz plan. There's a bit of confusion about the precise wording required.

4:38 p.m.: Motion to deny fails, 3-6

The motion to deny the application has failed, 3-6.

4:34 p.m.: 'Not convinced'

Before casting her vote on the denial motion, chair Andrea Harrison says she is "not convinced" that the property should be rezoned for a single user, which is "what it really boils down to."

4:29 p.m.: Filing in opposition

Campos expresses puzzlement at College Park's decision to participate in negotiations with the developer "only to end up filing in opposition for this project."

4:28 p.m.: Campos speaks

Olson concludes his remarks, and Councilman Will Campos takes the mic. Campos says he opposes the motion to deny the application and begins to lay out his reasons for supporting the project.

4:25 p.m.: 'No confidence'

"I have no confidence that a bridge will be built," Olson says, referring to the CSX crossing required by the conditions for approval.

He adds that "we have all seen" examples of developer conditions falling through and later being lifted.

4:23 p.m.: 'Never envisioned for such high intensity'

Olson says the proposal is incompatible with the parameters of Mixed-Use Town Center zoning and is too dense for its surroundings.

"This property was never envisioned for such high intensity," Olson says.

4:16: p.m.: Motion of denial

We're back in session. Councilman Eric Olson has made a motion for denial of the Cafritz application. Debate is now beginning.

4:10 p.m.: About to begin

The council is in a brief recess following earlier oral arguments on the Maryland Book Exchange project, but debate on the Cafritz project is coming up soon.

Original article:

After months of legislative debate and years of planning, the Prince George's County District Council is set to discuss—and likely vote—on the Cafritz rezoning plan Monday in Upper Marlboro.

The meeting is set to begin at 1:30 p.m., though two other items are scheduled before the Cafritz application.

Public hearings on the plan, which lasted 30-plus hours over six days, . The Council now must vote on the application before the July 20 deadline, or it will be deemed disapproved automatically.

If approved, a 37-acre parcel on the north end of Riverdale Park would be redesignated from single-family detached residential (R-55) to mixed-use town center (M-UTC), easing the way for the construction of more than 900 units of housing, a 35,000-square-foot Whole Foods, a 120-room hotel, and additional office and retail space.

Supporters say the project will spur economic growth and bring a desirable mix of retail and residential development to the area—. Critics charge that the plan would impose extreme fiscal, environmental, and traffic pressure on the surrounding communities.

See below for past coverage of the approval process:

District Council

  • May 11: 
  • May 7: 
  • May 4: 
  • April 30: 
  • April 13: 
  • April 11: 

Planning Board

  • Feb. 2: 
  • Jan. 13: 
  • Nov. 17: 

Municipal Boards

  • Jan. 11: 
  • Jan. 11: 
  • Jan. 10: 
Danny July 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM
thanks -- just wanted to check whether you were expressing your opinion (which, of course, is your prerogative) or you actually had some information that aldi is coming. apparently it's the former and not the latter.
Melissa Avery July 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Wow Danny you shop at Whole Foods? Can you pick me up some goat cheese the next time you go there.
John Davisson July 10, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Danny, Melissa: play nice, please. --The Editor
mike arnold July 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Nicely summarized! And extraordinarily significant engagement by Hyattsville, University Park, Riverdale Park and College Park citizens, professionals and officials has gotten us this far. It will take our continued vigilance over the next 5 years to realize this development as a true asset to all of our communities. So please do engage and insist on a continued open process as there will continue to be opportunities for public input.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter July 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I do live less than a mile from it. And I drive through there all the time unless I'm feeling adventurous, in which case, I cut through the maze that is University Park.

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