- 68,000 more file for unemployment — in one week
- Michigan bans in-state insurers from covering abortion
- Nancy Pelosi tells Democrats to pass budget: ‘Embrace the suck’
- Key Obamacare official: Last two months much harder than anyone hoped
- Sen. Mike Lee: We must stop ‘the prez’ from acting like the queen
- George Bush consoles Alabama kicker Cade Foster: You will be stronger
- Megachurch pastor with ties to Obama commits suicide
- WaPo to readers: Send us your ‘gun violence’ stories for Sandy Hook anniversary
- U.S. threatens Ukraine with sanctions over dispatch of riot police
- Canada doing away with door-to-door mail delivery by 2018
P.G. Council moves toward Whole Foods development
Question of the Day
The Prince George's County District Council on Monday voted in favor of taking another step toward a mixed-use development in Riverdale Park that includes a Whole Foods grocery store.
The 7-2 decision to prepare a document supporting rezoning the property that the council will vote on later comes after months of legislative hurdles, including days-long public hearings to debate the pros and cons of the project, which boasts the upscale grocer as an anchor store.
Wearing a bright green T-shirt under her suit coat, Jane Cafritz, one of the developers and owners of the property where the 37-acre project is proposed, called the project a “logical, progressive step for this county.”
“This project is a catalyst for developing a very current transportation system that meets the needs of this community,” she said.
Along with the grocery store, the development proposes 22,000 square feet of office space, retail space spanning more than 160,000 square feet, a hotel with 120 rooms, and nearly 1,000 residential units.
The property is located near the intersection of Route 1 and Route 410 in Riverdale Park. It is currently zoned as a single-family residential area, but developers have pushed to rezone it as a mixed-use town center.
District 2 council member Will Campos made the successful motion to approve preparing a document supporting the rezoning.
Residents have argued that while economic development is welcome in the county, the rezoning would choke the quiet neighborhood environment, feelings echoed by council Vice Chairman Eric C. Olson of District 3, which includes Riverdale Park.
“This property was never envisioned for such high density,” Mr. Olson said. “I’m deeply troubled that this very specific zone, this mixed-used zone is being used erroneously.”
Mr. Olson unsuccessfully moved to deny the request for rezoning approval, but only he, council member Mary A. Lehman of District 1, and council Chairwoman Andrea C. Harrison of District 5 voted for it.
“My objection is that it doesn’t follow the plans for the area,” Mr. Olson said. “The intensity is not there. It’s not at a Metro station; it’s almost a mile from the Metro station. It will put thousands and thousands of cars on Route 1 that’s already congested.”
Though the two motions were for opposite results, Ms. Harrison voted in favor of both, saying that she was not convinced that this particular property should be rezoned because of one user.
“I would love to have a Whole Foods come,” she said. “But this case was not about Whole Foods, but about this particular application.”
Ms. Harrison said she expected the Cafritz group to demonstrate progress in terms of building a vehicle and pedestrian bridge over CSX train tracks on the eastern side of the property.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Washington honors an 'African son' at Mandela service at National Cathedral
- Maryland makes 'top tier' for its control of guns
- Snow prompts closures in D.C. area, slippery conditions remain
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Operation Homefront gives meals to military
Latest Blog Entries
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Creator of 'Selfies at Funerals' blog retires after Obama flub: 'Our work here is done'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow